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Preserve Kakaako waterfront for parks

Filling in central Honolulu's last large oceanfront recreational property with a complex of sprawling four-story buildings and a huge parking lot for a new University of Hawaii medical school is insane urban planning ("New day dawns for med school," Star-Bulletin, July 18).

Everything makai of the Ala Moana Boulevard in Kakaako should be designated as an public park area. The existing plan for the area mauka of Ala Moana is to fill it in with huge residential towers housing 100,000-plus residents.

To fail now to open the coastal area as public park area would be a gross urban planning blunder. Ala Moana Beach Park is maxed out for playing fields, and just look at the poor condition of the over-used lawns on Magic Island. The daily and weekend crowds are elbow to elbow.

There are so many other good sites in Honolulu where the medical school could be built. UH President Evan Dobelle should revisit his decision to eviscerate the recreational future of central Honolulu's Kakaako Oceanfront Park.

R. Rodman

Businesses, education are victims of unions

I read with interest J.M. Comcowich's letter concerning the efforts of unions, especially those involving airline pilots and professional ball players ("Unions benefit those who need it least," Star-Bulletin, July 16). How many airlines have gone into bankruptcy, or even out of business, in the past two decades as a result of their unions? Many. How many parents can afford to take their kids to a major league baseball game today? Few.

Look at our state's education system. It is ranked among the worst in the nation -- again, thanks to the unions.

Bob Marouchoc

Keep Rainbow name in green and white

I was pleased to read Kalani Simpson's article "Rainbow story is what college football is about" (Star-Bulletin, July 17), and simultaneously appalled to hear that new athletics director Herman Frazier may advocate changing UH's colors to green and black.

The University of Hawaii is not only the state university, it is also the state's university; it is the school of this community called Hawaii. After these many years and the many graduates who have passed through her doors, the name "Rainbows" and the green and white colors belong to Hawaii. It is the community that should be consulted before any significant changes are made to those identities.

Frankly, I was astonished at the arrogance shown by university officials that they would change the team's name and colors without any consideration to the public. Their motives may have had merit, but they had no conscionable right to usurp the will of the community to satisfy their personal preferences. To now "officially" change the school's colors would be another display of unwarranted arrogance.

Jim Mistysyn

Misplaced wallet with $1,000 returned intact

I am a visitor to your beautiful island and I must bring to your attention an act of special kindness to me by one of your citizens on July 3.

I am a member of a touring party of eight Australians. We lunched at the excellent Mariposa Restaurant at Neiman Marcus. We had parked our vehicle in the parking area adjacent to the store's entrance.

On alighting from the vehicle, I dropped my wallet containing approximately $1,000 and all my credit cards and driver's licence. Some 40 minutes later, while lunching with my friends and blissfully ignorant of the loss of my wallet, I was approached by a courteous lady from the customer service department. She was holding my driver's license and asked me to accompany her to the service department where my wallet, totally intact, was returned to me.

One of your fine citizens, Jayne Fisher, had found my wallet, correctly guessed we had entered through Neiman Marcus and handed my wallet to the customer service department. Genevieve Ely, a customer service representative, phoned my office in Melbourne to confirm my presence in Honolulu, and by some clever detective work located me in the restaurant. I am sure your readers will appreciate my relief and thanks.

My special thanks to Jayne Fisher for her honesty and kindness and to the staff at Neiman Marcus for the quality of their service. Honesty is a special gift of humankind.

Ron Beazley
Melbourne, Australia

Corporate crooks need equal treatment

Are charges of major law violations by Enron, Arthur Andersen, Tyco, ImClone, WorldCom, and many other large corporations quite new problems? Not entirely. Fifty-three years ago, eminent criminologist Edwin Sutherland reported 980 convictions for the 70 largest corporations in the United States -- an average of 14 per corporation.

Most of these corporate law violators received minor penalties, while individuals, small-business owners or public employees committing fraud get long jail terms.

Although recent reports of corporation illegalities continue to show high frequency rates, there are major differences from earlier cases. Current allegations include corporate multibillion-dollar defraudings of the public as well as of their own investors and employees.

Under current proposals for corporate reform, they will continue under the regulatory justice system. Not until we penalize corporations like we do individuals will we see "justice" in our justice systems.

Jerome G. Manis

Dislike of El Coqui is understandable

I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, and I must say that it is understandable to me how Hawaiians and others who live in Hawaii can find the sound of a 1 1/2 inch amphibian a bit troublesome. For us, El Coqui is a national symbol. We grow up listening to it every day, and we are taught at an early age that it is a symbol of who we are (maybe they meant "small and loud" ... hehe) and that we should be proud of it. Our sensitivity to their sound is pretty much gone; their sound is part of us, a part of everyday life.

I now live in Miami. No, I did not run from the coqui, but when I visit Puerto Rico and I hear the coqui it cheers me up. It tells me, "Hector, you are home."

I don't expect Hawaii residents to understand or to love El Coqui. It has never been a symbol of your culture or something you should be proud of. If you can't sleep because you can't stand the sound, well, my apologies, but if I ever have the chance to visit Hawaii I'm sure I will feel right at home.

Hector L. Santiago
Miami, Fla.

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.

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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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