to the Editor

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Monday, July 23, 2001

Let's have peace and quiet in Waikiki

If the authorities are serious about improving Waikiki, they need to address noise pollution. Both locals and tourists recoil at the sounds from revved up motorcycles, the roar of accelerating buses and the unwelcome over-amplification of music from businesses trying to attract customers and from boom-box cars.

A muffler law, strictly enforced, would easily alleviate one problem. Local authorities could require rental agencies for scooters, motorcycles and cars to toe the noise-reduction line or be shut down.

Bus and trolley companies should be required to keep their vehicles in proper operating condition, which would mean quieter engines that burn their fuel more properly. As for over-amplified music, put a limit on levels of decibels within a fixed distance.

By blocking Kalakaua Avenue for several hours, the "Brunch on the Beach" effort on July 15, provided welcome relief from those insensitive bikers who can't resist letting us know they exist by revving their engines.

Charles Pomeroy

Explorers went home for dinner

What's all the fuss? (Insight article on the first Americans, July 15)

The guys who went to Peru obviously missed Samoa. They built the reed boats because their wives insisted they get back home. A few stayed.

John Wasko
Pago Pago


"Part of our DNA is to be a church-planting church."

Elwin Ahu,
Executive pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship, on the church's expansion program that has already "planted" six churches on the Big Island, four on Oahu and supported missionary pastors in other countries.

"I'm just trying to stay in shape."

Jan Newhart,
73-year-old triathlete, training to take part in her 13th Tinman Triathlon yesterday.

ACLU directors can save face by resigning

Your July 5 editorial criticizing the American Civil Liberties Union's Hawaii chapter for not inviting Clarence Thomas to debate didn't go far enough, only suggesting the ACLU should reconsider inviting him.

The Hawaii ACLU has provided Thomas and ACLU critics with the ammunition that they always wanted to attack the ACLU as being nothing more than a bunch of left-leaning liberals. Simply reinviting Thomas isn't good enough. The three black members as well the nine members who were willing to sell their integrity to avoid the accusation of being racially insensitive must resign, too.

If anyone thinks that this matter will go away soon they are very wrong. The reputation of the ACLU has been severely damaged. Only by demanding the resignation of all the members who capitulated to charges of racial insensitivity, and selecting a new board will some credibility be restored to the ACLU. It will take the ACLU a long time, if ever, to live this down.

E. Watson

Lack of ramps make streets hazardous

Maybe it is time for new city codes to make our streets more accessible -- and therefore safer -- for people with wheelchairs.

My 94-year-old mother-in-law lives in the McCully district and is unable to get around her neighborhood in her wheelchair due to the lack of curb ramps. We take her out as often as possible, but even for us, maneuvering her wheelchair in the area is difficult and often dangerous. We use private driveways, often in the middle of the street, or walk around the block to find a place to cross the street.

We also often must walk in the roadway for half a block, which is also unsafe. From King Street to Kalakaua, and all streets on either side are missing sidewalks or have sidewalks that do not have ramps. This is a heavily populated area and should be upgraded to ensure safety and accessibility for everyone.

Carol Sunabe

U.S. has no right to bash Beijing

Your diatribe against the International Olympic Committee's designation of Beijing as host of the 2008 Olympic Games (Editorial, July 15) is rife with inconsistencies.

Your assertion that the Beijing games will do nothing to alleviate human rights violations by the Chinese government may well be true. Two Olympics on American soil in recent memory certainly did nothing to protect Wen Ho Lee, an American citizen, from being falsely arrested.

As the Olympics have done nothing to alleviate these all too commonplace human- rights violations on U.S. soil, what could lead you to demand that they do so in another country?

While your proclaiming the Australian games splendid is supportable, Australia, like the United States, is a nation founded on genocide. Oppression of indigenous populations continues in Hawaii. It's difficult to see how you could protest the Olympics being held in China while justifying their being hosted in Australia.

Your questioning the Chinese ability to administer the Olympics or resist corrupt construction practices, while portraying the games as a culmination of the democratization of South Korea is ludicrous. South Korea's difficulties in running the Seoul games are well-documented, as are corruption scandals there.

Bill Rathburn
Kannat Tabla, Saipan

Court acts high-handed in Felix case

Let me get this straight: The federal court is threatening to take over special education in Hawaii because the state is not meeting its obligations and is not living up to the Felix decree; and the Legislature is trying to investigate the issue to see why the state is not complying; and the same federal court that is threatening the state is blocking the Legislature's subpoenas of the federally appointed monitor(s) of the issue -- those who are likely to have a great deal of information about special education spending.

Does this appear to be a case where the federal court is really trying to take over special education and show the state how it "should" be done? It seems the federal courts should be doing what is reasonable to help the state get out of this mess. But I might be wrong; this is only my opinion!

Ken Rossi
Ewa Beach

Governor's support is encouraging

Governor Cayetano stands at the front, showing leadership with his support and pledge to cooperate in the Legislature's Felix consent decree investigation. This call for accountability preserves the resources and protects the rights of Hawaii's people.

We now, for the first time, stand with Hawaii leaders aligned in our children's interests. The future just got brighter.

Steve Bowen
Parent of a special needs child

Letter guidelines

The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point on issues of public interest. The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed, must include a mailing address and daytime telephone number.

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