Posted on: Friday, February 2, 2001
Letters to the Editor
Military deserves better treatment
The Jan. 31 Hawaii page item "(Coast Guard) rescue plane sent to Midway" should perhaps have appeared on Page A1. The 25-year-old injured crew member could have been anyones son, brother or husband. The place could have been off the Leeward Coast of Oahu, not Midway. Only by super training by the Aeromedevac Squadron at Hickam could this rescue be carried out.
How can the military, denied a place to train, for whatever purpose, effectively carry out similar missions or protect this state? It makes me wonder why I, and so many like me, volunteered years of our young lives to serve in the Navy in the then-Territory of Hawaii.
Appreciation? Gratitude? Our military deserves better treatment.
Who gave Kamehameha the right to invade?
Professor Jon Osorios theory (Letters, Jan. 29) of the legitimacy of the Republic of Hawaii and all that has followed amounts to this: Revolution is theft. But how did the monarchy come by the so-called "stolen lands" in the first place?
As I recall, King Kamehameha I got the land by killing a lot of people on Maui and Oahu with the help of an army, an Englishman and a cannon. Wasnt that theft, or was the monarchys title to the land legitimate anyway? If so, how? Because it represented the people? But Queen Liliuokalani hated the representative institutions "forced" on King Kalakaua (a scandal-ridden incompetent who used bribes from would-be royal opium monopolists in a farcical attempt to establish a Hawaiian empire in the Pacific), and was on the verge of forcefully abrogating most voting rights when she was overthrown. So, unless one just assumes that race is the sole legitimizing factor here, the monarchy was legitimate because ... well, because it was.
Lets face it. Revolution is a nasty business, and the winner gets to write the rules, whether he is a big, tough chief from Kona, George Washington or the arrogant, cruel, vicious, despicable, rich "haoles" who gave Hawaii a stable representative government, the rule of law, prosperity and peace.
Maybe the professor would feel better about things if he thought of it this way: The Republicans just took a lesson from King Kamehamehas play book.
Theodore B. Hannon
Why the opposition to skateboard park?
I have to wonder out loud why a state representative would openly oppose the addition of a skateboard facility in his district.
That is what Rep. Willie Espero, D-41st (Ewa Beach), has done as he actively works to prevent such a facility from being built in Asing Park. Instead, he favors a facility outside his district in Ewa Mahik¯ Park. He did not relent in his opposition even when he was informed that both parks were scheduled to get skate facilities.
Espero claims the noise from the skateboard park would disturb a wild bird sanctuary, but curiously he does not oppose a basketball court or a soccer field. The sanctuary is across a street, beyond a row of homes and a railroad right-of-way roughly half a mile from Asing Park.
Some West Loch residents are up in arms as to why their elected representative would want to make their kids cross a busy highway and travel over a mile to use a skateboard facility when one could be built right next to their homes.
Inouye is thwarting Cayetano on economy
Auwe! Gov. Cayetanos well-intentioned motives to improve our economy by encouraging the emerging and burgeoning cruise ship industry have been, at least in part, thwarted by Sen. Inouye.
Inouye attached an unrelated bill to the Labor Departments appropriation bills precluding Norwegian Cruise Line from allowing a casino on its ship while in international waters en route to a foreign country: Kiribati (Fanning Island).
That all other international cruise ships passing through Hawaii waters that either embark or disembark from an American port are allowed such a privilege does not seem material. Norwegian was apparently singled out because it would be the first to be home-ported in Hawaii and in direct competition with American Hawaii Cruises, which is probably the main reason for the bill.
How ironic then that American Hawaii Cruises announces just a few days later that, "for tax breaks," it is moving its home offices to Florida, the cruise capital of the world. Never mind that American Hawaii Cruises generates no income in Florida. The majority of its income comes from its Hawaii-based operations and secondarily from New Orleans and the Mississippi River. Never mind that Hawaii, in the past, has offered American Hawaii Cruises similar tax incentives.
Hopefully Norwegian Cruise Line and other cruise ship industries will work with those representatives in Hawaii who are truly interested in helping Hawaii businesses become more and more independent from the undue Washington influence that is continually imposed upon us.
Jack H. Scaff Jr.
Tax on food, rent, care is unfair and inhumane
Hawaii is one of the few states that collect sales tax on food, rent and medical services, under the name of an excise tax.
Everyone agrees, including The Advertiser, that tax on food and rent is regressive and unfair because the burden falls heavily on the poor. Tax on medical services is even worse. It taxes the sick and old, who are more likely to need medical care. Long-term care can wipe out a familys entire assets. Yet on top of that, the state collects its 4 percent excise tax. Tax on medical care, in whatever name, is cruel and inhumane.
Some legislators want to abolish the excise tax on food, rent and medical services. Gov. Cayetano said he would veto such a bill because the state would lose about $180 million in tax revenues a year. In one sense, the governors position may be understandable. Everyone has to eat, find lodging and, when sick, seek medical care. So this excise tax is easily collected.
But if a tax is unfair and even inhumane, isnt the governors responsibility to the people he serves to abolish it and then find ways to make up the deficits through spending cuts and alternative tax revenues?
Godwin C. Chu
Studies prove fluoride in water ineffective
Regarding dentist Ronald L. Youngs Jan. 26 letter on fluoridation in which he says, "The only proven way to dramatically reduce this needless suffering in children is to fluoridate the water": This is simply not true.
Many, many studies, including one commissioned by the U.S. government (U.S. Public Health Service in 1986-87 of 39,207 schoolchildren in 84 areas throughout the United States), in the United States and around the world show that the prevalence of dental cavities in nonfluoridated areas is substantially the same as in fluoridated areas.
Referring to another letter writers proven way to reduce tooth cavities, Young writes, " ... if this were true, then no children in Hawaii would suffer from any cavities." Here Young implies that, in spite of good dental hygiene, regular visits to the dentist, brushing before going to bed and cutting down on sweets, his keiki have "horrific" cases of tooth decay. Young has to know that this proven way to reduce cavities is not being followed by his patients.
Robert G. Briggs
Critics should look at teacher commitment
How dare Raymond August criticize our deserved raise (Letters, Jan. 25). Has he ever walked in the shoes of a teacher?
There are many of us who come to work hours before the day starts and stay beyond the end of the workday. We believe community service is a legitimate part of our curriculum and do these activities on our own time with our students. In return, these students learn valuable lessons beyond the school day.
I know of many teachers who have to travel beyond their work area picking up supplies after the end of the workday or on weekends. Many of us work with students during our recesses and lunches, which we are not paid for, because we want our students to achieve.
Many elementary school teachers have 30 to 35 students in a class. The middle and high school teachers have 120 to 150 students a day, so we either stay beyond the workday to grade assignments or take them home to do after the family is fed and put to bed.
Many high school teachers are asked to write letters of recommendation so that these well-deserving students get the opportunity to go to the college of their choice. These letters take hours from our workdays. But we do them and everything else because we care about the present and future lives of 120 young people each year.
Politicians should stay away from 'IT'
House Speaker Calvin Say told me in an e-mail that he was totally against "IT." Then the news media reported that he thought "IT" needed to be considered as a way to take care of the medical needs of the elderly. Then in the last week, Say has come out and said that he finds "IT" acceptable under a "new" proposal.
Current Senate President Robert Bunda has indicated that he also finds "IT" acceptable and something he could live with if current suggestions are followed.
Our governor, who has long opposed "IT," now finds "IT" is acceptable if you just move "IT" along a delicate but dedicated path.
What is "IT" with these government officials? Surely "IT" has gone down this path before, and been told no way in terms easily understood by anyone with at least a preschool education. Why is "IT" blinding the minds of those we trust to know better?
Of course, "IT" knows the real answer to that question. The vast majority of people know what "IT" is really all about. However, we still need to remind people as to what "IT" is. "IT" equals legalized gambling. How pathetic our state leaders are becoming.
Enjoy the improvements along Kalakaua Avenue
The other weekend, my wife and I parked down by the Ilikai and walked along Waikiki Beach all the way to the Natatorium and back. We like to do that once or twice a year.
The landscape improvements along Kalakaua Avenue the mayor pushed through have made a huge improvement to the feeling of that area. It is cooler, more pleasing to the eye and a more enjoyable place to be in.
Many other local residents seemed to know this and were out enjoying the area also. If you have not been to Waikiki recently and seen the improvements, give yourself a treat and go. It is not only a nice way to spend the day, but it gives you a good feeling to see firsthand that our government does some very good things to improve our city.
Mahalo to Mayor Harris for his vision in making these improvements.
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