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Theater closings create inconvenience

What's up with the closing of the Waikiki Theatres (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 21)? I was among that handful of people who used to go there. Once in a while I like to go to Waikiki for the weekend, get a hotel and play tourist, with dinner and a movie at one of the theaters.

Thanks for the warning. Now I will have to catch one bus to Waikiki, then catch another bus out of Waikiki to see a movie.

Ray Richards

Movie fan would like one last picture show

Like many Honolulu residents, I was saddened to learn about the closing of the Waikiki Theatres. I understand the reasons and commend Consolidated for sustaining the theaters even as they began to lose money. There had been talk of their closing for years, and in many ways it shouldn't have been a surprise.

What was a surprise was the suddenness of the closing. Even the employees didn't know at lunchtime Wednesday that they'd be working elsewhere on Thursday.

Oahu has more than 150 movie screens, but the Waikiki theaters, especially Waikiki 3, are easily among the most storied and affectionately remembered. As a lifelong Hawaii resident and movie addict, I know I am not alone in being disappointed in not having a chance to bid them farewell.

I made it a point to visit the Kuhio Twins, Kapiolani and Cinerama theaters, and even the Kam Drive-In, as they entered their final weeks. I know I was not alone in cherishing those bittersweet moments, revisiting memories and saying goodbye.

I implore Glenn Yim, regional manager of Consolidated Theatres, to consider a more fitting (if purely ceremonial) last showing at Waikiki 3; one more chance to see a movie on that historic screen.

I know Consolidated has paid tribute to its local roots and humored the more sentimental among its customers in the past. I call upon it to do so again. No Consolidated theater location has ever deserved it more.

Ryan Kawailani Ozawa

UH researchers wear teaching hats, too

The University of Hawaii High Energy Physics Group is pleased to have a number of "star faculty who land big research grants" and who also are dedicated undergraduate teachers. Members of our faculty receive millions of dollars each year in research funding and also teach thousands of student hours, mostly at the elementary and introductory levels.

Physics is hard to learn and even harder to teach. However, like our students, we work hard at it and do a credible job. Nevertheless, since teaching is an important part of our profession we continue to try to improve our performance, just as we do with our research.

I applaud President Evan Dobelle's plan to raise the university to the top tier and assure John Culliney (Letters, Nov. 20) that the faculty members in our laboratory will continue their commitment to provide effective undergraduate education for the community.

Stephen L. Olsen
Principal investigator
High Energy Physics Laboratory
University of Hawaii

Try shouting your support for Warriors

During the past few weeks, there has been some confusion in news stories regarding the use of artificial noisemakers, like Thunder Stix, at University of Hawaii sporting events. The inference is that Aloha Stadium is denying football fans the use of Thunder Stix specifically during the UH-Alabama game on Nov. 30. I assure you this isn't the case.

Artificial noisemakers have been prohibited at Aloha Stadium since 1982. They are prohibited at all UH sporting facilities including the Stan Sheriff Center, Rainbow Stadium and the Wahine Softball Stadium.

Additionally, NCAA rules for men's basketball and WAC rules for women's volleyball do not allow the use of artificial noisemakers during play.

I have been in touch with the UH athletic director and he agrees with the anti-noisemaker rule at Aloha Stadium. I also want to point out that the 8,000 Thunder Stix referred to in news accounts were not paid for by the university's marketing department, as was previously reported.

Ultimately, the use of artificial noisemakers isn't necessary to show our support for UH Warrior football. I strongly urge Hawaii sports fans to turn out and support all of our UH teams with the loud and hearty use of lung power.

Edwin Hayashi
Aloha Stadium

Something's fishy about special election

On Nov. 30 we will have a special election to fill out the remaining month of Patsy Mink's term in a Congress that is not even in session. Dwayne Yoshina, the state's chief elections officer, said he relied on state law and the advice of U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie in scheduling the election. Abercrombie said it is essential for Hawaii to have full representation in Congress.

Isn't this the same Abercrombie who assured us that Mink was on the road to recovery just days before her death?

I've been an unfailing voter in Hawaii for the past 27 years, but I refuse to vote in this sham. Fool me once, Rep. Abercrombie, shame on you. Fool me twice ...

Robert Chanin

Live in one district, vote in another?

How you figga? The only place to vote early (walk in) on Oahu for the 2nd congressional district in the special election is in the 1st congressional district. Are they trying to make it difficult or influence the outcome?

Bud Ebel

Keep fluoride out of Hawaii's water supply

Fluoride should never be put into Hawaii's pristine water. Dr. Wayne Levy (Letters, Nov. 5) does not seem to know that fluoride is an acute toxin with a rating higher than that of lead. Fluoride used in water is also a toxic waste product. The U.S. Public Health Service has stated that fluoride makes bones more brittle and dental enamel more porous. If anyone wants to have his teeth treated with fluoride, he can have it done by his dentist.

Look at the label on any tube of toothpaste with fluoride; you'll see a warning that if a child swallows more than used for brushing, to contact a poison center immediately. That should be a warning to everyone.

Keep our water pure.

Eugene Simbra

Quiet strength marches in the dark of night

At 3:20 Friday morning I am awakened by the sound of the dogs barking and barking. Thinking someone is out front, I yell for the dogs to be quiet and pull myself out of bed. Out the window I see 50 or so dark shapes standing out in front of the house. As I clear the cobwebs from my head, I realize it is the Marines from Kaneohe out for a early hike.

Already 5 miles from home at 3 a.m. and still heading the other way, several hundred fully loaded young men walk through the night.

"What are they doing, Daddy?" my daughter asks as she joins me.

"Keeping us safe, honey," is my reply.

We bring in the dogs and stand in the darkened house and watch them as they pass, then return to the safety of our beds.

Words cannot express my emotions. Thanks for the service, guys!

Doug Hoffman

Nurses need to know they are valued

I am disconcerted by what's been published about a possible nurses strike. I have seen little about nursing issues and how those issues affect patients. Nurses work hard. They take care of too many patients. The hospitals must do something to decrease medication errors and bring back quality workers who want to take care of the ill.

The way the medical system is set up, the R.N.s are the first line to the doctor and the nurse practitioner. They continually assess and evaluate patient status. In contrast, a patient will see a doctor for only 5-10 minutes a day.

We do not want to staff our hospitals solely with traveling nurses. We want to keep our nurses in Hawaii, so we should let them know that we appreciate their services and give them a decent retirement plan. We have to keep up with the mainland to keep our hospitals staffed with quality people. Let them know we value them.

Diane Sandy

Nurse shortage caused by working conditions

Why is there a nursing shortage? Let me tell you.

How many jobs require you to work 12 hours, then be told you can't go home because there is no one to replace you?

We hold the lives of many people in our hands and have tremendous responsibility. Our work is highly technical. We must know how to run many scientific machines, all the while recognizing subtle changes in a patient's medical condition. We are the first to spot and save people's lives when something goes wrong.

We go to school for many years to receive the essential education needed to keep people alive. We work long, hard hours to keep the public safe and educate people on how to lead healthy lives.

For years, registered nurses have sacrificed wages and benefits because we are a caring group of people. Few people would take our jobs because of the low wages, high stress and hard work. It is time to give nurses equitable wages and benefits before there is no one left to care for your loved ones.

Kurt Shanaman, R.N.

Parents, leave teaching to the experts

Public school professionals, administrators, teachers, office staff, cafeteria workers, custodians and support personnel do their best to provide a positive learning environment for Hawaii's students. Parents are welcome to share valuable information about their children. While parents have every right to seek specific evaluations or instructional programs for their children, they do not have the right to tell trained and competent individuals how to do their jobs.

Parents can choose to send their children to private schools. Private schools can choose which students to teach. Private service providers can choose their clientele.

Public school professionals do not have these choices. They work with every student under time constraints, federal regulations, state Department of Education rules, continuing education requirements and high caseloads.

When parents harangue our public school professionals by demanding specific evaluations or instructional programs for their children, they elicit such high levels of stress in the process that our professionals either leave the public school system or quit the profession altogether. Our public school professionals deserve our respect and appreciation for their dedicated work.

Dolwin Matsumoto
Pearl City

Boors and litterbugs trash Waianae coast

The other day I was following a teenage boy in the Nanakuli Sack 'n' Save parking lot, walking toward the store's entrance. This kid brazenly threw a piece of trash on the ground as he strolled past the trash receptacle. I picked it up and disposed of it in the receptacle and thought to myself, "What a lolo!" Probably no upbringing and reinforcement in this poor soul's life.

This kind of behavior is quite common over here on the Leeward side. Even our newly furbished beach areas along the makai side of Farrington Highway are slowly being abused. Our beloved state and City & County have provided us with new parking areas, green grass and shrubbery to enhance these public areas, but auwe, after the sun has gone down and the people have packed up and left, the trash remains, in some cases strewn all over the place. It is a major problem here on the Waianae coast.

It seems like the people today just don't care about their brethren anymore. There is a definite lack of common courtesy and decency these days. But I'll keep trying to do the right thing because my mom told me that it was the thing to do many, many years ago. Funny how certain thoughts remain with you. Too bad it isn't contagious.

David K. Alama Jr.

Public concerns about housing go unheeded

Along with the many valid points made in your Nov. 22 editorial concerning the Central Oahu Sustainable Communities Plan, residents of Central Oahu have another major concern. From the beginning there has been an effort by the city to ramrod this plan through to approval despite community concerns. As evidence:

>> The community accidentally found out about the original draft in 1999 just before it was to go to the City Council for approval without public comment.

>> Except for a public hearing in Waikele in mid-November attended by two of the nine Council members, where every person who provided testimony opposed the plan, all City Council hearings have been held during the normal business day in downtown Honolulu, which makes it extremely difficult for residents of Central Oahu to testify. This venue, however, is very convenient for those pushing the plan.

>> The Mililani Neighborhood Board, which has been expressing concerns over the plan since 1999, received no official notice of the September City Council meeting where the plan passed second reading.

>> This plan has been on the Department of Planning and Permitting Web site for several months, giving the impression it is already approved. At its August meeting, the Mililani Neighborhood Board asked Randall Fujiki, head of DPP, why this was the case. Although he said he would get back to us, this question has gone unanswered, reinforcing the feeling that approval is a foregone conclusion.

>> Both the Mililani and Mililani-Mauka neighborhood boards passed unanimous resolutions in opposition to the plan last spring.

>> Although in his 1998 State of the City Address Mayor Harris warned about "the politics of land use allowing urban growth to spread through Central Oahu," his DPP is doing precisely that.

>> Three years of meetings with DPP have produced no meaningful changes in the plan from the September 1999 draft.

>> Numerous requests that final consideration of the plan be deferred to the new Council -- whose members must answer to voters as opposed to a lame duck Council that will return only three members -- have gone unheeded. The plan is scheduled for final vote at the Council's Dec. 6 meeting.

Our community's last hope is that the Council will put the welfare of the residents of Central Oahu first and not approve the plan until residents' concerns are adequately addressed.

Doug Thomas

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