to the Editor

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Monday, September 3, 2001

Most race fans are law-abiding citizens

In the wake of recent events, the community is pressing the police department and the state for stricter penalties for people who drive modified cars. People need to realize that it is the driver, not the car, that is unsafe.

Now people are talking about having the government restrict modifications. I say don't punish the car enthusiast community because of a couple of bad apples. Most of us are just looking for a way to express ourselves. I have done mod- ifications to my car that might make people think that my car is unsafe and a "high-speed" vehicle, but it is not.

My car has been approved by the Reconstruction Station, and was deemed safe. And as for being a "high-speed" vehicle, let's face it, changing the intake and exhaust system is not going to turn a car in to an Indy 500 racecar. At the very most, my car might have gained 10 horsepower. So please don't stereotype people with modified cars as "racers;" most of us are law-abiding citizens.

Brad Takahashi
Pearl City

Don't let accident ruin motorsports

The tragedies resulting from street racing should not mar the reputation of legitimate motorsport. Although it can be argued that motorsport is inherently dangerous, the same can be said of many other extreme sporting activities. Our current problem is that the public is directly exposed to these risks (imagine if pro football players were to play a full-contact game in a shopping mall).

What street racers may not realize is that greater acceleration, more g-forces, and whiter knuckles can come from legitimate motorsport. Never has there been more sophisticated automobile technology available than there is today; and in the hands of testosterone-packed teenagers in an uncontrolled setting, this formula can be deadly. It is obvious that when any equipment is used inappropriately, misfortunes can result, which is why all organized racing bodies have the safety of competitors and spectators as their primary interest.

There are several venues, even in Hawaii, for teens to compete legitimately and safely while providing themselves a stepping stone to higher forms of motorsport. One of the best is go-karting, which is alive and well here in Hawaii, and has been the starting point for most all European and Latin racers including the current Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher. It's time for street racers to realize that competitive motorsport is at its best on a track, not the H-1.

Roger Yu

Access road will ease traffic on Ewa road

I know everyone knows about the traffic nightmares on the infamous Fort Weaver Road in Ewa, but I wanted to let you know about a little miracle project that would take an estimated 300 to 400 cars off of Fort Weaver Road every day. The Ewa Mill Access gate project, which is actually an extension of Kapolei Parkway Boulevard, is a project I have been working on with the city and Councilman John DeSoto's office for three years.

Desoto's office obtained budgeting for design and construction of the Kapolei Parkway Road, but that will take a minimum of two years. We need relief now. So I continued to ask for temporary relief of our traffic problems by opening the Ewa Mill Access gate.

More than a month ago the Ewa Mill Access gate was opened for about three weeks, and then closed again due to safety concerns. Currently it is closed, but I just got word that they are going to pave the area, put in safety signage and markings. The City and County is committed to reopening the Ewa Mill access gate in two or three months.

I wanted to thank John De-Soto's office, Malcolm Tom's office, Skippa Diaz (mayor's representative for the Ewa Neighborhood Board), and all the concern residents of the Ewa plain who signed petitions, called the city and continued to support the efforts of the Ewa Mill Access gate project.

Tesha H. Malama
Ewa Beach


"They can't pick to just exit and just set up a new life somewhere."

Karen Radius,

Family Court judge, on a court program for juvenile substance abusers that requires drug treatment and family counseling and help offenders cope with both school and family life.

"I feel guilty relocating the people. You can't have rentals on beachfront property for $500 to $700 a month; it just doesn't pencil."

D.G. Andy Anderson,

Developer who evicted families from beach homes at Velzyland near the North Shore where he wants to build a controversial gated, 29-lot subdivision.

"He's going to have this big shindig, and people are in despair. Pour a little more salt in the wounds."

Patti Duenas,

One of the evicted tenants at Velzyland, where developer Andy Anderson planned to have a Labor Day party using the vacated beach houses.

Funds needed to fight invasive species

Kudos to Attorney General Earl Anzai's investigations division and the Department of Agriculture staff who worked together to seize a 5-foot snake and an aquarium full of non-native aquatic animals before they could be released (intentionally or not) into the wild.

As chairman of the Maui Invasive Species Committee (, I share the attorney general's concerns regarding the negative environmental, economic and public safety affects snakes or other non-native pest species have in Hawaii.

I hope our governor and legislators also share the the attorney general's view of invasive species and work to increase the budgets of both the DOA and Department of Land and Natural Resources divisions and programs responsible for the prevention and quarantine of non-native pest species, as well as increasing the state's rapid-response and enforcement capabilities, which are currently woefully underfunded.

Otherwise, Hawaii is doomed to lose its heavily marketed "paradise" label and join a hundred other tropical tourist destinations around the world with snakes, biting sand flies and midges, and a whole host of Pandora's pests that neither Hawaii's economy or unique environment need.

Randy Bartlett
Lahaina, Maui

Public servants are human, too

The cases of public corruption among our public officials may cause some people alarm, but we must remember that public servants are a microcosm of our society.

Just as you find criminals in society, you will find them in public office.

There are people out there who claim to be just as honest and trustworthy as our politicians, but they are no better. All we can ask is that our elected officials, if they are caught doing something illegal, serve their sentences just as would any one of us.

Maybe we should have a special law where public officials are given heavier sentences like multiple offenders are given. Even this may not be a good enough deterrent.

Charles Santiago Jr.

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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