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Dolphin should not have been in captivity

Regarding the story "Kewalo scientists and staff mourn death of dolphin" (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 5): The time for mourning the life of the dolphin Akeakamai at the Kewalo Basin Marine Mammal Laboratory is over. Now the scientists who kept this intelligent, social animal isolated from her family and natural environment for 25 years get to mourn her death. I've heard of the syndrome of victims identifying with their abusers, but here we have a case of the abusers mourning their victim.

This article traced a history of invasive procedures tried without success, ending in laboratory head Louis Herman's statement that the dolphin was given a sedative and "just went to sleep." Is this the scientific language that Herman will use in his next funding grant to get more dolphins?

I'm sure everyone who visited Ake in her prison tank feels sad about her death. The way to stop this sadness is to stop keeping dolphins in captivity, whether for entertainment, "therapy" or research that primarily benefits the researcher's reputation and financial status while doing little or nothing for the unwilling subjects of these experiments.

Bob Chorush
Seattle, Wash.
Frequent Hawaii visitor

Elevated rail hasn't taken off in Seattle

I am from the Seattle area and have lived in Hawaii for four years. I was looking at pictures of the proposed elevated rail system, which looks a lot like Seattle's Monorail. Back before the 1962 World's Fair the idea of the Monorail was to show the future of commuter transportation. It's been 40 years and Seattle still isn't using elevated rail. Maybe before we in Hawaii spend millions of dollars researching the idea, we could find out why Seattle hasn't expanded the Monorail.

Ted Obringer

Community will miss Makiki Shell station

While I'm sure that the Shell Oil Co. has its justification for tripling Makiki Shell's monthly rent (The Buzz, Star-Bulletin, Oct. 29), I would like to share a human side of the story.

Warren Higa, the owner of Makiki Shell, is one of the rare individuals who has truly served the community in attending to our vehicles. His was a true "service" station. Warren is the last of the dealer entrepreneurs who sold gas and, more important, serviced and repaired your car. He is a humble, hard-working man whose warmth and honesty always prevailed. If your car wasn't fixed right, he'd make it right and not even charge you for it. His 10,000+ customer base is proof of the outstanding service he and his staff have provided.

One example is his generosity to The Honolulu Boy Choir. For more than 25 years, Higa has serviced and repaired the choir's equipment vehicle. Like so many nonprofit organizations, the choir often could not afford to pay for the repairs to our tired and worn truck. Higa has donated tune-ups, towing, radiator repairs, tires, batteries and so much more, so the boys could continue to sing for the enjoyment of the community.

Shell Oil Co., you've given up a living treasure in Higa and Makiki Shell. It's certainly a major loss for the community.

With tears in our eyes, we wish Warren Higa much success as he moves on to work for Manoa Chevron (as an employee!).

Blake M. Nuibe
Former executive director
The Honolulu Boy Choir

Protect bar workers from cigarette smoke

I was disappointed by the editorial that suggested smoke-free protections should not extend to bar and cafe employees (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 1). The editorial staff appears impervious to the facts on tobacco and secondhand smoke, which together comprise the first and third causes of premature death in the United States.

Secondhand smoke is an airborne cocktail of more than 4,000 chemicals, 43 of which are carcinogens, including formal-dehyde, arsenic and radioactive polonium-210. These carcinogens are present in the air at concentrations up to 100 times what the smoker inhales. As little as 30 minutes of exposure to secondhand smoke can lead to constricted blood vessels and thickened blood. Two hours increases the risk of irregular heartbeat.

We've known secondhand smoke kills for 20 years now; in 1983, it was connected to heart disease. In 1986, the surgeon general recognized secondhand smoke causes lung cancer. In 1999, the National Cancer Institute summarized the science to confirm that secondhand smoke can cause (yes, cause) sudden infant death, asthma, lung cancer and heart disease.

Tobacco companies have been denying science and the value of our workers' health for years. Don't you think it's about time we did something about it?

Russell Kallstrom
Kaunakakai, Molokai

Lingle sends taxpayers to the twilight zone

Let me see if I've got this straight: A Republican governor, whose stated goal is to achieve a Republican takeover of the House and who is NOT up for election next year, is trying to incite Democrats who ARE up for election next year to attempt to pass a whopping tax increase.

Sounds pretty Machiavellian to me.

Jim Henshaw

UH-West helps people reach their potential

I am a student at the University of Hawaii-West Oahu who strongly believes that the campus is an essential part of the Leeward community. The people of the Leeward Coast have long been marginalized. Removing the only public institution that offers a baccalaureate degree on this side of the island would perpetuate this suppression. The 300,000 people who live west of the Red Hill area would be forced to commute the 15-45 miles to Manoa. Removing the West Oahu campus also would affect people on the neighbor islands who use UHWO's distance-learning programs and people on Oahu's North Shore.

The economic and societal value of education has been proven over and over. Education is one of the best ways to raise an individual's socioeconomic status. The removal of UHWO would only make it more difficult for these people to gain the knowledge they need to become significant contributing members of our island state.

We have been ignored and pushed aside for too long. It is time for the Board of Regents to give UH-West Oahu and the people it serves the respect they deserve, and build us the campus that would meet the needs of the rapidly growing population in the Kapolei area.

Kyle Cabral
Pearl City




Historical markers?

Other cities have permanent markers signifying historic sites or locations. Shouldn't Hawaii be equally accommodating to students and visitors? What should such markers look like in Honolulu? Design one! Remember, markers on walls require the owner's permission, but markers in the sidewalk belong to the city.

Send your ideas, drawings and solutions by Thursday, November 13 to:

Or mail them to:
c/o Burl Burlingame
500 Ala Moana
7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

c/o Burl Burlingame


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

Join the Student Union

Student Union is a forum for Hawaii's teenagers to tell the community what's on their minds and in their hearts. It appears on this page every Thursday. We welcome opinions of no more than 700 words on any topic. Please include your name, address and phone number.

Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Student Union, Editorial Page, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813.

For more information, contact Jeff Finney at 529-4735 or

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