to the Editor

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Monday, December 31, 2001

Raising taxes, wages is unfair to business

Hawaii is in the worst economic depression perhaps since the 1920s and we are talking about raising the minimum wage. Can this be true? Shall we keep doing what the Democrats have been doing to us for decades and continue to spin our wheels in the mud of pseudo-socialism? How can we even entertain these thoughts?

First Governor Cayetano wants to double the taxes on alcohol, and then we increase the burden on business even further by raising the minimum wage. What's next? A mandatory $500 tax on airline seats?

Yes, you are right, that last comment resounds with stupidity, just like the governor's ideas.

Daniel Barretto

Airline workers get short shrift in merger

As I watch the Aloha jet and the Hawaiian planes race toward each other for a merger, I see the current CEO of each airline bail out, comfy in his dazzling golden parachute.

I also see a bunch of devoted workers from both companies being pushed out of their jets, kicking and screaming, sadly holding onto their severance lead balloons.

Richard Y. Will

Debate on Chapter 19 was open to all

It's unfortunate that, for some, misunderstandings and hard feelings seem to exist about the Board of Education policy dealing with student conduct (Chapter 19). Schools Superintendent Pat Hamamoto has been attacked unfairly. She should be commended instead for showing a sense of fairness and wisdom in involving all interested parties in policy implementation strategies.

We need school climates where both students and Department of Education employees foster support, respect and fairness for all protected categories, not just sexual orientation. I am a member of the initial task force, consisting of four pro-family and four pro-homosexuality supporters, plus several DOE personnel. The challenge faced by this group and the DOE isn't whether to implement Chapter 19 (all appear to favor that), but how best to do so.

If students focus on academics and other important school issues, and use self-control to avoid sexual-related behaviors, verbal and non-verbal, one's sexual orientation shouldn't surface. Thus harassment in this area should diminish and hopefully disappear. This "don't tell, don't do" method is the best, and in my view the only one, that balances the rights and respects the feelings of those on all sides of this issue.

Phillip C. Smith, Ph.D.


"There's an inquiry going on as to specially what took place. But if he was treated that way because of his ethnicity, that will make me madder than heck."

President Bush

On an incident last week in which an armed Secret Service agent of Arab descent was removed from an American Airlines flight after the plane's captain was not satisfied with the agent's credentials.

"I tell the people during the winter months, I don't expect you to go swimming in the water. It's too rough."

Clayton Kawada

State parks supervisor on Kauai, on the dangers of the high surf and his advice to campers along the Na Pali Coast.

First lady has right idea with health plan

I am supportive of a state-sponsored, long-term care program such as that proposed by Vicky Cayetano's task force.

My mother-in-law, who is 102 years old, is bed-ridden and lives with her family at home. While a state program is too late for her, I know how long-term care affects families.

Drugs are expensive. Most of her money is spent on her drugs. The family who cares for her sometimes needs time out. The state employees' long-term care insurance is too expensive.

We would be willing to spend a small amount of our money for such a tax.

Caroline Batalon

Thank you, Hawaii, for marathon aid

I have participated and completed the Honolulu Marathon for the past five consecutive years as a member of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training, and I thank the people of Hawaii for their tremendous support of all the runners and walkers on the course that day.

We could not finish the marathon safely without their help. The folks at the water stops are especially helpful because they know how to hold the cups out to us and give them to us as we go by.

To everyone else on the course who stands out there through the warm, humid and often showery days, thank you. Your smiles, hand-clapping and words of encouragement really do help keep us going, especially in the later miles when we need it most.

Again, thank you for the support, and I look forward to coming back on Dec. 8, 2002, to complete the marathon again.

Tim Yagle
Castro Valley, Calif.

Walker could still be dangerous to America

Helen Thomas, in her "Capital View" column of Dec. 27, says President Bush should be merciful to John Walker, the American Taliban soldier who was captured in Afghanistan. In view of the hardships Walker has endured to dedicate himself to the Taliban's anti-American causes, he must really hate America, Americans and what we believe in.

Forgiving him for the past is one thing, but his potential for further destruction of Americans and our values should not be underestimated. If Walker is released for whatever reason, I hope Thomas and those who agree with her get to accompany Walker on his flight back to America, a land that he does not love.

Russel Noguchi

Time was right to shun bin Laden

Auwe! Burl Burlingame was wrong to complain that Osama Bin Laden should be given recognition by Time magazine as Person of the Year (Editor's Scratchpad, Dec. 27, "Magazine falls into the rabbit hole").

New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani or any of a multitude of others who have been dedicated to helping others since the Sept. 11 terrorist attack are more deserving of having their story told. I'll bet Burlingame's stocking was full of lava cinders on Christmas morning.

Daniel Bowen
Hawaii Kai

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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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