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World is darker place without Jack Wyatt

One of Hawaii's best sports writers is gone! Jack Wyatt's untimely passing is almost unbelievable because those who knew him never had a chance to say goodbye. That Jack was one of the most nonconfrontational, warm and friendly individuals to ever grace the face of the Earth was unknown to the demons in Cline Kahue's brain when he allegedly pushed him into the Ala Wai Canal.

If ever there was a "Mr. Rogers" of reporting, it was Jack. He always tried to see the best in everything and everybody. Even when events or race directors showed their glitches and foibles, Jack would report fairly, consistent with journalistic accuracy. One was never afraid to be interviewed by Jack and no matter what the outcome, when Jack left, he always left with a kind word for the interviewee and the event. One might say that he was a bright light in our lives and now the torch has been passed, but now the world and the universe are a little darker.

Jack H. Schaff Jr., M.D.
Past President, Honolulu Marathon Association
Race Director Emeritus, Great Aloha Run
President, Hawaii Sports Foundation

Thanks for sharing memories of his life

We would like to thank the people of Hawaii and the staff of The Honolulu Star-Bulletin for sharing the life of our father, Jack Wyatt.

We each have different memories of Dad and we have all shared in different parts of his life. We could not physically share in his daily jaunts and stops; however, through the outpouring of aloha and shared memories from others we could be a part of his everyday walks around Waikiki and Manoa, his enthusiasm as he greeted everyone at the end of a race and his pleasure as he talked of school athletics. We could see the simple scenes of a beautiful Hawaii and its people through the eyes of a photographer.

Our dad loved Hawaii and its people. He loved his family, his lifestyle and God. He was blessed with contentment later in life and we know he was happy. Thank you for sharing his life with us.

Services will be held July 13. The time and place are pending.

Christine Wyatt, Cheryl Ferreira, Jackie Greene, Jonnel Wyatt

Local businesses need local solutions

Having been in business for 22 years, I'd like to share my thoughts and concerns regarding Sept. 11's effects on business.

Many business owners are sitting back and letting people like Steve Forbes tell us what to do. Why are we not getting the support from our elected officials in Hawaii to help us with our economic conditions?

Many businesses in our complex have suffered tremendously. In spite of fixed rent, we have seen a 32 percent plunge in sales and loss of customers, yet we continue to pay the same general excise tax.

Realizing we needed to do something in order to survive and keep serving our loyal customers, we recently decided to move our store to someplace with cheaper rent. Our new landlord provided much support and understanding in helping us make the transition.

Although business is still slow, we know that this helped a little and we are doing something about it.

David Turetzky
Owner, Good Health Store

Without more pay, cops will keep leaving

The recent meeting in Honolulu of all the county police chiefs to make the public aware of the recruitment and retention plight was informative. Qualified, college-educated applicants are being hired, but the bottom line is, how do you keep them on the job? By compensating them with pay at least equal to those mainland jurisdictions that are enticing them away. Departments in Washington, Oregon, Las Vegas and other areas like recruiting our well-trained officers, especially those with at least five years on the job.

Besides the usual reason of no money being available for these pay raises, the bigger issue is political. The state and counties do not want to alienate the other public sector unions, and as much as possible want to make sure everybody gets an equal piece of the the negotiated pie.

Unless changes are made and our officers are duly compensated, we will continue to lose personnel to other departments and agencies.

Steven T.K. Burke
Retired police officer
Former president, State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers

Hawaii tourist industry should pay its own way

The state of California spends $7.2 million annually promoting tourism for 280 million visitors. That's less than three cents each. The April edition of Honolulu magazine noted that Hawaii's 2000-2001 spending of more than $150 million on seven million tourists amounts to $23 per visitor.

Income from the state's transient accommodation tax has been controlled by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Under a 2002 law, TAT money now will go into a trust fund under the state director of finance. It limits tourism funds to $63 million but any "shortfalls" from that amount will be supplemented from its trust fund. That's guaranteeing HTA $9 per visitor to stay at highly profitable hotels.

In the Honolulu magazine story, a retired dean of the University of Hawaii travel program said, "... the truth is, we'd probably have the same numbers without spending a cent."

Why doesn't the tourism industry pay for its own promotions?

Hawaii state and local taxes paid mainly by nontourist businesses and individuals provide the tourism business with many public services, including police and fire protection, lifeguards, water, sewer and beach maintenance. Elsewhere, hotel room taxes pay for some of these costs. Not in Hawaii.

Jerome G. Manis

How to write us

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.

Letter form: Online form, click here
Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

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