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Lambasting Lingle's fund-raising is unfair

There is an old saw that if you tell a lie often enough, people will start to believe it. It is also true, however, that the truth can help people see through the lie.

The letter in the Star-Bulletin yesterday from Alfredo Antonio is a classic example. Antonio repeats the allegation by Democratic Party leaders that Republican gubernatorial candidate Linda Lingle's off-island fundraising somehow will make her beholden to off-island groups rather the people of this state. This charge is pure mud-slinging. Just compare Lingle's target of 20 percent mainland fundraising with Democratic Sen. Dan Inouye's 98 percent mainland fundraising between 1997 and 2001.

Antonio also insinuates that the election of Lingle would bring a return to the days of domination and control by the "Big Five." The truth is that big business in Hawaii has overwhelmingly supported the Democratic Party since shortly after the 1954 election.

I fervently hope that this year's political campaign will not be dominated by smears and use of the big-lie technique by those whose sole objective is to prevent Lingle and the Republicans from being given a long-overdue opportunity to work for change, for the benefit of the people of Hawaii.

Richard W. Baker

U.S. has forced Mideast retaliation

Lisa Kehmeier writes (Star-Bulletin, May 28) that we shouldn't blame Republicans for the 9/11 attack, but Osama bin Laden instead.

She, and most U.S. citizens, have forgotten that 12 years ago the first President Bush illegally invaded the Mideast, committing acts of war, aggression and terrorism, killed thousands of innocent people and destroyed homes and businesses. It has continued since.

People in the Mideast have a right to retaliate. They have been warning us to stay out of their world for 12 years with barracks, embassy and ship bombings.

England, with the permission of the League of Nations, took Palestinian land and gave it to the Jews for a homeland in 1917. England wanted the Jews to become a majority so that they would become the ruling race. We have been financially and morally supporting that injustice and the terrorism of Israel against the Palestinians.

We fully deserve to be hated by Muslims all over the world.

Gordon Banner

Palestinians should strive for peace

The Friends of Sabeel want peace and justice for Palestine and Israel ("Palestinians need justice, group argues," Star-Bulletin, June 1). I want the same.

According to the article, a visiting Palestinian Christian clergyman, telling of his family dispossessed of its land in 1948, was a local groups' first insight into the struggle.

I remember when the U.N. partitioned the land between Israel and Palestine in 1948 and created the state of Israel.

From that day until the 1948 British withdrawal, Palestinian Arabs did everything they could to isolate the Jews. They killed more than 6,000 Jews in six months. The Jews fought back. The day after the withdrawal, as Israel declared its independence, the surrounding Arab countries joined the Palestinians in war against Israel in an avowed attempt to drive the Jews into the sea.

But the Israelis defeated the Arab countries and created a democratic nation. They made the land habitable, welcomed all Jewish refugees, built schools, hospitals, industries. This was done through hard work, the help of Jews around the world and, yes, the United States.

The neighboring Palestinians stagnated in their land, neither accepted as refugees nor helped to build a decent society by oil-rich Arab countries. As hatred for Israel festered and passed to the next generation, it was Yasser Arafat and the terrorist groups who were given the financial support.

The Palestinians deserve peace and survival in their land -- if they want to live peaceably. Just don't come to the United States with a holier-than-thou attitude of the extremists who control the thoughts and actions of most Palestinians and Arab countries, and blame the Israelis for not rolling over into the sea.

Judith Goldman

Verizon helps hearing-impaired

This is to thank Verizon for upgrading the hearing assistance system that for so many years the firm has made available at no cost to hard of hearing persons who attend Honolulu Symphony concerts at Blaisdell Concert Hall. The equipment was first available at concerts two weeks ago, and as one of those hard-of-hearing concert-goers, I was delighted.

Verizon can show the way toward similar installations at Kennedy Theatre at the University of Hawaii and Manoa Valley Theatre. The people who run those playhouses have for years refused to install such equipment because it is too expensive and too hard to maintain. However, such equipment is available at Diamond Head and Kumu Kahua theaters and the Honolulu Academy of Arts theater.

Indeed, not to make such equipment available risks federally funded lawsuits under terms of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Phil Mayer

Council lets developers duck responsibility

Rather than fight over scraps for pools and skateboard parks, the City Council should look to its allowing 800 additional homes at on land at Mililani Mauka, which was intended for a school within the development, as approved 14 years ago by the Land Use Commission as part of improvements to be funded and constructed by the developer.

Instead, state and city agencies, over the years, have quietly allowed changes to these conditions and shifted expenditures to the taxpayer, thus forcing public subsidy of private development.

Statewide, hundreds of millions of dollars for roadways, parks, school land, water and sewers have been, and continue to be, financed by taxpayers. The cumulative effect of this sleight of hand will really be felt when the next 25,000 homes in Central Oahu soon begin to come on line and property taxes and costs for water and sewer soar.

Then, Mayor Harris and the Council may be out of office or may adopt the "I didn't know" defense. The opportunity to mitigate the costs of overdevelopment will have slipped from their slippery palms.

Laura Brown

Dog owner did the right thing

Our heartfelt sympathy to Kathy Dunn and her family (Letters, May 27) for the tragic killing of her dog, Charmer, by another dog. Dunn did the right thing and notified the Hawaiian Humane Society of the incident. We began an investigation under Honolulu's dangerous dog law which does not preclude her from taking civil action, too.

It is important for pet owners to be aware of the dangerous dog law. The law protects both people and animals who are attacked and allows determination of responsibility through the criminal courts.

If the dog is deemed dangerous, the court may impose restrictions upon the housing and handling of the dog, and fines or jail time for the owner.

We encourage any Oahu pet owner whose animal is injured or killed by a dog to file a report with the Humane Society. We also urge anyone who has a dog that exhibits aggressive tendencies to take action to socialize their dog, sterilize it or confine it so it may not become a threat to our community's safety.

Pamela Burns
President, CEO
Hawaiian Humane Society

Forbes fixed 'fact' to fit 'tax hell' notion

Here is a partial list of where the Forbes article is not true.

The author, Lynn Cook, writes, "Honolulu wages down 10 percent from the national average since 1997, fell 3 percent in 2001; its unemployment rate is 5.4 percent. In terms of growth, the city is on a par with rusty Flint, Mich."

The unemployment rate in Honolulu at the time of publication was 4 percent while it was 6 percent nationally. Unemployment has not been at the 5.4 percent level in Honolulu for years. Not true at all.

Growth rate is on a par with Flint only if you don't adjust for inflation. Counting inflation in growth includes changes in prices which does not better anyone's welfare.

Inflation was just over 10 percent nationally and just under 4 percent in Honolulu. This means that wages, or personal income, grew at about the same rate in Honolulu a they did nationally.

Forbes had to reach for this statistic because per capita income, a more widely used measure indicates Hawaii is above average. This is because the wage measure includes a lot of low-paying service sector jobs while excluding profits on business operated by Hawaii residents. Per capita income grew in Honolulu by 1.3 percent in 2001 while it declined somewhat nationally.

Others have pointed out that Forbes was not truthful, or accurate, about fish exports and taxes. Forbes had to manufacture facts to fit its argument. A "socialist tax hell" could never have below average inflation and unemployment.

Lawrence Boyd
Ph.D. Economics

Harris was the best man for the job

The hands-on management experience, vision and energy that Mayor Jeremy Harris has brought to City Hall are exactly what the state needs, and which sadly are now glaringly lacking in the campaigns of those still in the field.

As a Republican who always votes for the best candidate, regardless of party, I have been impressed with the mayor's willingness to listen to all sides and find solutions best for all Hawaii's people, regardless of party labels and based upon a shared vision of our future.

Quo vadis?

Ken Stevens

Rehab bill helps public tackle drug problem

I'm a student from Kailua High School who would like to thank all those who helped with the passing of a bill relating to drug rehabilitation. I have done research in Waimanalo on what residents think are its problems. The community feels that drug abuse is the biggest problem. By passing the bill we feel the state has done something to crack down on druggies and to get help for those already in jail.

Thank you, Senator Bunda, for recognizing the needs of my community.

Joshlin Lindsey

Menor made good decision on gas cap

Sen. Rod Menor made a decision on the gasoline price cap legislation based on facts and with the best interest of consumers of Hawaii in mind. It was evident from his floor speech on May 2 that he had done his homework on this issue. His words to his fellow senators were sincere, compelling and accurate and addressed all concerns. As the Consumer Protection Committee chairman, this was a serious issue that weighed heavily upon him. He had a responsibility to bring fairness to all parties involved.

This gas-price cap is a very complex issue that cannot be compared to regulating the price of a hamburger, and Menor surely had many sleepless nights searching for alternatives to the problem of gas prices in Hawaii. As consumers, we must now be cautious of the oil companies' free-market campaign to allow the market to fix itself. It hasn't and it won't.

Remember only a few dealers out of 100 or so in this state showed up to protest and support the oil companies' position despite a massive campaign by the companies to solicit dealers. Thank you, Senator Menor, for your commitment to the consumers of Hawaii.

Frank Young
Former owner K&Y Chevron

'On the Beach' boosts more than economy

I have recently returned from living in Tahiti and had a chance to attend the Brunch and Sunset on the Beach sponsored by the city. I understand that the City Council may want these events to be scaled back because of their cost.

I say "Shameful!" With a small business in Tahiti, my husband and I struggled with the lack of support from our local government in an economy also dependent on tourism. The boom in government sponsorship legitimizes the efforts of the small businesses to make our local economies viable and strong. Why the shortsightedness from a Council that states it is worried about the future?

From what I can gather, the opportunity to have a business engage with other clientele normally not reached is fantastic. To be able to work side-by-side with other vendors rather than in isolation, builds a community of partners.

To see locals and visitors alike sharing, helping each other out and mingling, is a joy!

Before criticizing the program, speak to the people. All of us helping one another helps boost consumer confidence, spreads the word about welcoming community, and supports big and small businesses, ultimately, making Honolulu the no ka oi place to be.

Nane (Dalene) Duterte

City must not abandon Waikiki program

I have been going to Brunch on the Beach and Movies on the Beach since it was started, and have enjoyed both these events. Please keep the funding in the budget.

Ken Tate

Hotel makes playing tourist wonderful

On a recent stifling hot weekend, I struggled to think of an activity I could do with my little girl. Rather than hibernate in a movie theater, I decided to head down to the Sheraton Moana Hotel to play tourist.We had a delightful, fun and relaxing afternoon.

The staff at the Moana were considerate of our every need. When I pulled up to the valet, he took one look at me, my baby and my cooler and asked, "Poolside? Let me help you with that bag." Whereas I had initially worried that perhaps I would have to do the traditional sneak-in, instead I was unabashedly welcomed. The valet didn't even gawk at my incredibly messy car. The waiter, although young and new, checked on us and delivered every item we asked for without a single snide look and always with a smile. Even the pool guys, seeing that my baby had discarded her loose swimming suit, actually gave us swim trunks and extra towels for us to use.

For my child, the pool and the ocean could not have been more fun. She delighted in swimming with other little children. I enjoyed talking to tourists and parents as we waded in the pool. Waikiki Beach brims with activity and eye-candy to keep kids and adults endlessly entertained.

Back at the Moana, my child munched on an early dinner that, for once, I did not have to cook. Meanwhile, as the sun set and the end of this awesome afternoon drew near, my daughter napped as I sipped happily on the best darn mai tai in the state.

It is a tough time for our state, our economy and our tourism industry. The Sheraton Moana recognizes that their kamaaina visitor is their most cherished guest. They showed me that they welcomed and appreciated my patronage. I urge everyone to take their families to there and enjoy what millions of people pay big bucks to come here for: true aloha.

Malia Manol

Forbes article didn't say anything isle residents don't know

Forbes magazine, a much-respected business publication, has printed a story that states doing business in Hawaii is equivalent to suicide.

Now, this is nothing new to those of us who try to do business here.

The article goes on to say that we are the highest-taxed and that Hawaii is considered to be a socialist welfare state. Being the most unionized state in the country, and having the highest per capita number of government employees puts us in the category of a "third-world state."

None of this is new.

This has been the way for decades now. Our fearless leaders, however, put on their rose-colored glasses and do nothing about our situation.

The first step in solving a problem is to recognize it. But our leaders compile a list of excuses for our sad state and point fingers at everybody but themselves.

They refuse to recognize the problems and therefore these problems cannot and will not be solved.

Whose fault is it?

It is the voters' fault. Year after year the same incompetent people are voted into office, one crook replacing another crook if change is absolutely necessary.

The fault lies with the plantation mentality that still exists here.

No one wants change, especially when it would mean that we would have to change.

It may take a few more decades for us to get out from under the plantation mentality, and in the meantime, the new plantation owners are the governments and the unions.

Donald Allen

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The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (150 to 200 words). 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 and include a daytime telephone number.

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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

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