to the Editor

Write a Letter to the Editor

Election 2002

A few more thoughts
on Tuesday's balloting

Issuing school bonds will incur expense

It's time to end the dissembling by advocates of ballot question No. 2.

If approved, this constitutional amendment will result in the state selling special purpose revenue bonds for the purpose of funding private schools. Advocates claim there will be no cost to the state. Besides the fact that this is not even technically true (the state will issue and sell the bonds), the proponents of question No. 2 attempt to hide these bonds' tax-exempt status. Because there is no limit to the amount of tax-free bonds the state may sell, the cost to the state cannot be predicted precisely. However, it is likely to amount to tens of millions of dollars per year, every year, indefinitely.

Opportunity cost is a cost that matters. Saying ballot question No. 2 costs nothing is like saying the cost of the $1.6 trillion federal tax cut of 2001 was really $0. After all, the government didn't spend any money.

If you still believe waving taxes of private businesses and individuals costs nothing, then please vote next year to waive my state taxes. I could use the money.

Donovan Steutel

HSTA leader skewed facts on question 2

Regarding Hawaii State Teachers Association leader Karen Ginoza's letter to the editor about ballot question 2 of the proposed constitutional amendments (Star-Bulletin, Oct. 24): Propaganda, perspective and spin are in the eyes of the beholder. Facts, as any good politician knows, can be bent to persuade the voter.

>> Will the state lose tax revenue? Special-purpose revenue bonds are low-interest bonds that will help schools maintain their facilities. Construction jobs will be created, bringing in revenue and tax money.

>> Will primarily large, wealthy private schools gain from the bonds? Smaller schools can pool together to take advantage of the bonds.

>> Will the focus be taken off the public schools and their plight? Unions and the news media should keep the public informed. Government has the responsibility to administer the public schools. These problems have nothing to do with the private schools.

Voters, please consider: Nonprofit institutions like hospitals receive SPRBs because they serve the public good. Private schools serve the public good by educating children who will one day take their places in society as workers and responsible citizens.

Forty states allow SPRBs for private schools. Why not Hawaii?

Please vote "yes" to ballot question No. 2.

Kathy Kimura

Anti-Lingle quote used without permission

I am upset that my name appeared on the Web site. While the quote is accurate, it gives the impression that I do not support Linda Lingle.

I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican. I support candidates based on their individual merits. This is why I support Linda Lingle for governor and James Apana for Maui mayor.

It has been difficult for me to write this letter because of my poor health. However, it is important to me that people know I have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for Linda. Due to my personal situation, I have not been able to provide support to her in this campaign. Despite this, she has continued to be a close and dear friend. Whenever possible, she sends me her aloha and prayers for my recovery. She is truly a kind, caring person and friend.

I do not want my name to be associated with anything that is negative toward her.

May God bless you and heal your bitterness.

Duane Hayashi



Plan to probe gifts anything but schizo

"Disingenuous" is the most polite term that came to mind when I read the "schizophrenic" label Mayor Harris' attorney attached to City Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi's plan for Council hearings on gifts to the city ("Councilwoman calls for a hearing to investigate city gifts," Star-Bulletin, Oct. 22).

That Kobayashi also looks to examine the city's gifts to various organizations is (1) a logical extension of such work, typical of the thorough and conscientious quality of all her efforts for us, and (2) clearly prudent in light of what seems to be emerging as Honolulu's motto: quid pro quo.

If Honolulu's adherence to the law is indeed deemed schizophrenic, then our city is in worse shape than any reporter from Forbes magazine or other observers can imagine.

Howard Driver

With total animal ban there would be silence

To help control noise in my neighborhood, can you include dogs in the proposed ordinance before the City Council? The dogs are just as loud, if not louder, than chickens crowing.

Oh, what the heck, why don't you add cats to the list, since they make a lot of noise when they're in heat or when they're fighting. While you're at it, can you also ban those pesky sparrows, doves and pigeons who chirp early in the morning. And please, ban the most annoying animal of them all -- the city councilman who proposed this bill. He should be banned from the government.

Please do not pass Bill 71. It is just another ploy by government to restrict people from enjoying animals that we love.

George Fukushima

Hawaiian column challenges learners

Mahalo Ke Akua (thank God) for the Star-Bulletin. For 60 years, Hawaii has waited for a legitimate news organization to print and communicate in the official host language of the state of Hawaii.

The Hawaiian language column "Kauakükalahale" (published Sundays) will encourage all people to learn, read, practice and speak the language. I thank the Star-Bulletin for its courage, respect, vision and true leadership.

I realize many people may not be able to read Hawaiian and we can remedy that by making Hawaiian language a requirement in all Hawaii schools, private and public alike.

Each Hawaiian language article is like a puzzle waiting to be solved by non-Hawaiian language speakers. Take the challenge to read it, research it and decipher it.

The Star-Bulletin is leading the way for all Hawaii media. Let's reward the newspaper by picking up your subscription today. I know I am.

Tesha Malama

Generations can share Hawaiian column

I would like to mahalo the Star-Bulletin for publishing a weekly column in the Hawaiian language.

"Kauakükalahale" has brought joy to my ohana because it is something my grandmother, my child and I can share as Hawaiian speakers.

It is important to acknowledge the Star-Bulletin and its staff for providing us with such a column after decades of absence from a Honolulu newspaper. I must also mahalo na Kumu Laiana Wong and Kekaha Solis for having the energy to work on this significant project for the generations to come.

I look forward to great things to come from the Star-Bulletin.

Mehanaokala Hind

Jet-skis pose danger to nearby surfers

New state rules governing jet-skis unfairly favor a rich minority. Many North Shore surfers cannot afford these $10,000 machines. That is why the jet-ski complaint isn't huge yet; only a small minority can afford them. But establishing rules favoring these few will have devastating effects as more start to arrive.

I've read that a jet-ski has to stay away from a surfer by 200 feet. That is a very short distance for a craft that travels at 45 mph. At this speed, it will hit a diver or surfer in three seconds. Where are the paddle-in surfers' rights?

Most of my schoolmates live near a surfing spot known as Hammerheads. Tow-in surfers want to make this spot a designated practice area. The school is only a mile away. Many of us teenaged surfers need to keep this surf spot open, as we do not have transportation, and this is the spot nearest where we live. Practicing where the majority of the North Shore population lives is asking for trouble. The death of a surfer is what I'm trying to prevent.

Garrett McNulty
Waialua High School

Loose rock bill needs broader look

A City Council committee has passed a bill making property owners responsible for loose rocks and boulders on their properties. Several homeowners who live near the bottom of my property have removed rocks from my land to their make stonewalls and other structures, causing the dirt to slip and destabilizing the mountain side.

There also is a need for a law about disturbing the mountainside/hillside by removing rocks and other materials such as dirt and vegetation.

Shouldn't a mountain or hillside be deemed safe before the city issues a building permit for houses below them? I worked for a construction company and we removed all loose rocks and boulders from the mountain when developing Wailupe-Kalani Valley.

Putting the responsibility solely on the property owner is not totally right.

Herbert Kihoi

Safety reason for restroom restrictions

I am responding to Clara Olds question (Star-Bulletin, Letters, Oct. 22) about why the public is prohibited from using the rest-rooms on the 5th floor of Restaurant Row, Tower One, where certain Family Court offices are located.

After meeting with employees and union representatives, Judiciary officials decided that the restrooms would be limited to staff usage for reasons of security. Court employees are concerned for their safety because no security personnel are stationed on the 5th floor, which is often visited by individuals convicted in the courts.

Visitors are asked to use the building's public restrooms such as the ones located on the first floor.

Olds also asked why visitors to these offices must pay $6 an hour for parking at Restaurant Row. The Restaurant Row management does not provide discount parking because public parking is available across the street at the First Circuit Court (777 Punchbowl St.) during the work hours of the 5th floor staff.

Before arriving for their appointments, individuals are informed they may park in the state lot directly across from Restaurant Row and adjacent to the courthouse.

The parking rates at the state parking lot are $1 for the first two hours and $1 for each half hour thereafter. The lot is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

Marsha E. Kitagawa
Public Affairs Office
Hawaii State Judiciary

No pride in being biotech leader

Upon learning of Governor Cayetano receiving an award as best governor for the biotechnology industry, I felt a knot in my stomach rather than pride.

In 1977, when I obtained a biology degree, I was impressed that insulin genes could be spliced into bacteria, creating a reliable source of insulin for diabetics. Yet I see genetic engineering as a Pandora's box.

Nuclear power was supposed to solve our energy needs. Now we try to forget Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, fight over where to put our nuclear waste and worry about dirty bombs.

Hawaii allowed biotech companies to grow corn with genes that provide pharmaceutical chemicals. Cross-pollination occurs within corn species, and it is theorized that these unnatural genes could even cross into plants other than corn.

No one knows what impact this might have. Many companies insert pesticide genes into their plants. We now know that many now-banned pesticides cause cancer, and there may be a link between pesticides and Parkinson's disease. Many countries wisely ban or require labeling of genetically modified food (China and the European Union).

Because the economic benefit is uncertain and the biological effects unknown, Hawaii should tread carefully in the field of genetic engineering before we find ourselves buried in an unhealthy hole.

Jodie D. Roeca

Don't put landfill above aquifer

Another round begins in the desperate gaming about where to hide the trash generated by the population of Oahu.

A shortsighted group of City Council members are considering for a landfill an old pineapple field off Kunia Road, land that sits above the Pearl Harbor aquifer. What is there to consider? How many aquifers are the Council willing to risk for this scheme? And at whose health risks?

Putting a dump over an aquifer of potable water that so many depend on is senseless. I am a voice of one, but I am sure there are others like me who would be motivated to make sure this plan is properly dumped, as it sure is trashy.

I encourage other Oahu residents to write to the Council, and if need be, begin the ground work of legal defense as well as environmental defense to prevent this senseless plan from becoming a reality.

Richard Moran

Church's celibacy rule violates human nature

Instinct No. 1: Self-protection and self-preservation.

Instinct No. 2: To mate.

Therefore, if we can presume that the two precepts are true to human life, then is it not an reasonable assumption that to impose a mandatory celibacy, whether to a man of the clergy or of the laity, is contrary to the laws of nature?

Tetsuji Ono
Hilo, Hawaii

War is not the solution to Mideast problems

I am a mother of sons, and I am also a teacher. Our country is poised to invade Iraq and I am considering the impact this will have on my family and the families of others. Which of the young people whom I love am I willing to sacrifice to the violence of war? Not a single one. Which of the young people you love are you willing to sacrifice?

The aim of war is victory. Victory won by violence leads to more violence. We must insist on peaceful solutions to international conflicts if we wish to live in a peaceful world. It is our sacred trust to call upon our leaders to move forward -- away from fear, hatred and rhetoric -- towards a sustainable and lasting peace. We must not fail our young people by accepting anything less. War is the problem, not the solution.

Star Mullins
Mountain View, Hawaii

Bush's posturing cultivates hatred of U.S.

Given the lack of evidence of Iraqi involvement in the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and given the evidence that most of Saddam Hussein's military capability has been destroyed since his attack on Kuwait, President Bush's threats against Iraq are verily criminal.

Most of human history has unfolded according to a Darwinian might-makes-right dynamic, with the threat of violent aggression the prevailing condition, except as held off by tenuous local treaties or by stand-offs between relatively equal powers. But after two devastating world wars, and in the shadow of the mushroom cloud, the United Nations Charter was enacted to instead establish an abiding peace by outlawing such aggression.

Unfortunately, the U.S. leadership has repeatedly violated this law, garnering hatred from many worldwide for its actions. Indeed, Bush regularly declares that he'll ignore the very core of the U.N. Charter to strike Iraq, even as he frequently recites Hussein's failures to abide by special U.N. resolutions on disarmament.

The refusal of the powerful to submit to international law may lead to tremendous destabilization and indeed may land us all in an unprecedented conflagration. We should insist that the current U.S. administration stop its inappropriate cowboy posturing and stop threatening new acts of aggression that cannot legitimately be construed as in self-defense.

Such acts not only violate international law and thus make our objection to aggression by other states laughable, they generate new recruits for those who cultivate hate for us, such as the al-Qaida. Real, long-term peace can come only when our reliance upon such aggression finally ends.

R. Elton Johnson III

Bush's Iraq plans don't have Hawaii's support

It is uplifting to know that 100 percent of our state's representatives in Congress voted against Bush's unilateral attack on Iraq. So why then is Bush telling the world that "America speaks with one voice" on the Iraqi war? What about us? Number 50 over here says no to Bush's war, but does the world know that?

It's time for Hawaii's residents to show Bush and all war supporters that aloha doesn't include preemptive strikes. How do we show them this? At the polls. Republicans should be really worried and so should Democrats, whose party overwhelmingly supported Bush on his unilateral war. Most of the people of Hawaii don't like parties that support war, especially parties that push for preemptive strikes.

With their past in oil and arms industries, President Bush and Vice President Cheney are willing to ask the nation to pay any price to conquer Iraq, which has the world's second largest oil reserves. They are also involving the United States in oil-rich Colombia's tragic civil war.

Yet they have shortchanged alternatives, such as wind, solar, fuel cells, and energy-efficiency that could make us less dependent on imported oil.

Brandon Letize
Pahoa, Hawaii

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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