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Big holes in logic allow outlaw of fluoridation

The City Council's continuing ban on fluoride in Honolulu is proof positive there are big vacant brains in Honolulu.

Fluoride reduces cavities; there is no argument about that. But to say it is detrimental to one's health is an insult to any thinking person's intelligence. I am 61 years old and was raised on fluoridated water (California). My father, who is 92, and my mother, who is 90, have been on fluoridated water for longer than a half-century. It is interesting they are still alive because, listening to the pundits in Honolulu, they should have died from whatever due to fluoride years ago. Just think of the millions of people in California and elsewhere where fluoride has been used for decades! No one has made the case that even one person has died from fluoride.

This reminds me of the quarantine program that was kept in place for decades for no scientific reason.

This is an example of why people choose to leave Hawaii.

Gary Hibbard
Bend, Ore.
(Former 28-year Hawaii resident)

Cooperation of groups led to court's ruling

The recent decision from the Hawaii Supreme Court protecting native Hawaiian traditional gathering rights and water reservations by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is the result of many groups coming together for the welfare of the Hawaiian community on Molokai.

We commend our clients Wayde Lee, Martin Kahae, Judy Caparida, Louise Bush, Robert Alcain and Walter Mendes, who almost eight years ago foresaw the harmful effects of Molokai Ranch's plan to drill a new well in the Kamiloloa Aquifer. The well's impact on the shoreline and fresh-water springs would have severely altered traditional gathering practices that not only provide food for the table but sustain and nurture a unique way of life.

This decision is the result of collaboration between public and private entities such as the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp. -- the last two of which are often on opposite sides of the table. It was the overwhelming concern and the realization that no group alone could do justice for the Hawaiian community on Molokai that led to this joint effort.

Alan Murakami
Litigation director
Native Hawaiian Legal Corp.

Opponents were unfair to Synagro testifier

The headline on the Jan. 25 article "Sludge plant firm paid supporter" implied impropriety surrounding Marta Rivera's appearance before the City Council on Dec. 3. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is the story of a good person who has been wronged.

We have always been up front about funding Rivera's trip from the Bronx to testify, and Rivera acknowledged at the hearing that we paid her way.

We invited Rivera because community groups and Council members were asking questions about the biosolids recycling facility in the Bronx. Who better than an active and respected member of that community who lives near the facility?

However, we now deeply regret inviting Rivera to Honolulu. While she testified as a private citizen, her political opponents created a controversy with the Bronx Community Board No. 2, where she served as chairwoman. This caused her and her family so much pain that she resigned from her chairmanship.

We regret that this exceptional community leader was so unfairly maligned because she traveled thousands of miles to share her experience. This unfortunate outcome does not change the fact that the proposed facility will benefit Honolulu:

>> It will help protect our environment by recycling 51 million pounds of waste into 12 million pounds of high-quality organic fertilizer every year.

>> It will help to extend the life of the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill. Sludge now is disposed of by trucking it to the landfill and dumping it. When the sludge is recycled, all that dumping will stop and truck traffic on Sand Island will be reduced.

>> The biosolids recycling facility will help keep the city in compliance with its consent decree with the Environmental Protection Agency, which mandates that the city make "beneficial use" of its sewage sludge.

Jim Hecht
Project director
Synagro Technologies

Good leadership helps Kamehameha Schools

In recent times, beginning with the interim trustees, the Kamehameha Schools launched many new beginnings, such as public annual reporting. The yearly report of 2003 sends the same positive message of the past four years.

That consists of extending the reach to more children of Hawaiian ancestry through the initiation of programs to identify public school students with potential and abilities, expanding early childhood programs, expansion to three k-12 campuses, revitalization and expansion of extension education, scholarships for post-high education, translating and publishing Hawaiian writings, and research on programs and children.

Such progress in healing a damaged institution also tells us of the outstanding leadership of former CEO Hamilton McCubbin and the executive team he created. Mahalo to the former CEO for giving back to the Hawaiian people by turning the Kamehameha Schools around and for laying a solid foundation and a roadmap for Kamehameha Schools' future and one that Dee Jay Mailer, the new CEO, can advance and build upon.

Kealamokihana Jackson
Kamehameha alumnus, 1956

Dems' doublespeak supports civil unions

It is the height of dishonesty for presidential candidates like John Kerry and Howard Dean to say that they are against same-sex marriage but they are for civil unions. There is absolutely no difference between civil unions and same-sex marriage.

Anyone who says that they are against same-sex marriage but for civil unions is quite directly calling the people of the United States and Hawaii stupid -- so stupid that we won't realize the deceptive game they're playing. Politicians like to engage in doublespeak, but you'd think that doublespeak as blatant as this would embarrass even them.

Mary Papish




Can you design a quarter that represents Hawaii??

Some states have issued collectible quarters that commemorate their entry into the union. The front of the coin looks the same but the eagle on the back has been replaced by something that represents that state. For example, Georgia's quarter has a peach on it. If you could design Hawaii's quarter, what would it look like?

Send your ideas and solutions by Feb. 17 to:

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

c/o Nancy Christenson


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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