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Criticism of Dobelle hurts university

The University of Hawaii's Board of Regents seems devastatingly intent on letting President Evan Dobelle know who's boss no matter what happens to the university (Star-Bulletin, April 3). The vast majority of students I've talked to have made positive statements concerning the president, his accomplishments and what he stands for. He certainly doesn't pussyfoot. He's a man of action, as his record demonstrates.

The highly intelligent regents must open their eyes and see that they are harming a fine university, an honorable man and most of all the state of Hawaii.

If you win, we lose!

Jimmy Borges

Jesus doesn't belong in Tinseltown product

The much-publicized "Passion of the Christ" is a sad folly of man's belief that he can dramatize the sanctity of a man's final days on Earth, that Christians pray and learn of his very existence simply by faith, trust and inner belief alone.

Not acted out, written and portrayed in a manner which we mortals on Earth should be left to imagine. This for sure is so delicate a subject, out of simple respect for those who worship or preach, it should never be attempted on a big, wide screen with a rush for tickets, followed by opinions.

Mel Gibson should concentrate on "Lethal Weapon 5" and leave this sanctity alone, for us to wonder in peace. Things of this nature should be left untouched by man.

John L. Werrill

Restaurant lets smokers break law

The recent revelation by The Shack restaurant in Hawaii Kai that it allows patrons to smoke is making a mockery of our civil law. The Shack's managers read the law and realized they could be fined only if they did not have signs posted that said "Smoking prohibited by law." They posted the signs and added the words "management does not agree with this law, and we will not enforce it. Feel free to smoke at your own risk." The only risk to someone smoking is if the police respond to a complaint by another patron. The police are unlikely to respond, as they have higher priority calls to deal with. This policy is the opposite of liquor laws, which carry stiffer penalties for the establishments than for the offending patrons.

The really disturbing part of this is that now the Shack's managers are trying to market their disregard for the law, in effect punishing restaurants that respect the ban. Why don't they post a sign saying "Use ice at your own risk. We don't agree with the law against ice use." They should not be allowed to pick and choose what laws to uphold.

The law at the city level should be changed to fine establishments that don't take appropriate steps to stop patrons from violating the law. An employee or patron should sue the Shack for exposing them to second-hand smoke. And the state should arrest the managers for inciting people to break the law. This meets the "clear and present danger" exception to free speech.

If the Shack actively encouraged people to get drunk beyond the legal limit to drive and a fatal accident resulted, then we would hold the Shack responsible. Second-hand smoke may take longer to work, but it is just as deadly. Write your Council member to amend the law.

Bryan Mick

Rice contradicts her own testimony

National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice's testimony yesterday is being touted as strong in defense of the Bush administration's actions (and nonactions) before Sept.11. However, there seem to be many inconsistencies. For example, Rice claimed there was "nothing about the threat of attack in the U.S." in the Presidential Daily Briefing of Aug. 6, 2001. In fact, Rice herself confirmed that "the title (of the PDB) was 'Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States.'" How much clearer could this inconsistent testimony be?

The news media should be more critical of her statements rather than just focusing on her comment about there being "no silver bullet."

Ivona Xiezopolski

Fallujah victims should be unseen

I can't believe what I saw in the Star-Bulletin. I had read another local paper and then proceeded to read yours. In the other paper, the article on the killings in Iraq of the civilians had a picture of only the crowd, but you showed the bodies hanging from the bridge.

Don't you think it is enough trauma on the victims' families hearing the details of their deaths without having to have a photo to see? We are amazed that the television stations over there actually showed footage of it happening and the cowardly act of it without our own papers showing their deeds. I think you owe all the family members and friends of the victims an apology for this slip in judgment.

Vicki Wood

Limit home sales to full-time residents

Nobody can doubt our concern for affordable housing here on the islands. Perhaps here on Maui more so than on Oahu there is another concern about quality of life being degraded due to overpopulation.

At the same time, we constantly read stories in the paper about the increase in the median cost of housing on all islands. Your April 3 article even identifies the reason -- "thanks to steady buying by mainland investors."

It seems to me that if we are concerned about affordable housing and the aina, then we can take a simple, drastic action: Pass a law that says only full-time Hawaii residents may purchase houses.

If we are not willing to take such a step, then we need to look deep inside and see whether our real concerns are affordable housing and maintaining Hawaii for future generations or satisfying the profits of, as your story astutely pointed out, "mainland investors."

Steve Milewski
Kihei, Maui

Now let's all rally behind Camile

I was sad to see Camile Velasco go last night ("'Idol' ax finally falls as Camile is ousted," April 8). I hope her future is brighter now that she has had this kind of exposure. It now seems only right that all of Hawaii and Hawaiians at heart show overwhelming support to Jasmine Trias and make her the first American Idol winner from the Aloha State. It was sad to see both of them up for elimination at the same time. Like the judges said, there were a couple of other people who should have been there instead of Jasmine and Camile.

I've heard that people in Hawaii have been giving their full support for both girls, but whether you live in Hawaii or the mainland, we all need to get involved and support Jasmine. Las Vegas loves and supports you, Jasmine. All Hawaii, stand together and vote for Jasmine.

Gayle Nobriga
Henderson, Nev.

Stonebraker has right to debate fund use

Shame on Rep. Scott Saiki, the House majority leader, who on April 5 asked Speaker Calvin Say to censure Rep. Bud Stonebraker on the floor of the House. What was Stonebraker's offense? He simply tried to debate the wisdom of the Legislature's long-standing practice of transferring tens of millions of dollars in special funds into the general fund.

I say shame on the majority leader for not only being unwilling to publicly debate how our tax dollars are handled, but more so for attempting to censure Stonebraker for doing what he is obliged to do by the state Constitution.

Jim Hochberg Jr.

Gays shouldn't have to work for civil rights

Mary Papish's April 5 letter to the editor prompts me to ask, which civil right does she, as a heterosexual, want to limit just because she is straight?

This is exactly what her letter calls for when she suggests, "If homosexuals who want the right to marry were really interested in more benefits, they would be working to expand the benefits already provided under Hawaii's reciprocal beneficiary law."

Civil rights are not something to negotiate! When heterosexuals marry they are given more than 1,000 federal rights. So, which civil right does Papish want to bargain away?

Carolyn Martinez Golojuch
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Oahu




Hawaii is popularly known as "The Aloha State." What might be a better slogan?

To get started, think about what you might see around the islands -- rainbows, waves, sand, traffic jams, homeless orangutans ...

Send your ideas by April 21 to:

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

Or by fax:
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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