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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, May 11, 2001

Letters to the Editor

ADB focuses on money, not people

As many catastrophic consequences of ADB policies occur throughout Asia and the Pacific, numerous concerns should be raised regarding the assumed agendas of this institution and others of its kind.

One of the easiest to notice is a blind reliability on the "infallible wisdom" of advisers working for contributors whose aim is to collect money. It is obvious that their models are designed to exclusively focus on economic development.

Human development is, therefore, relegated to second place, and is only promoted, not to assure the well-being of culturally diverse people, but in order to prepare an immense quantity of cheap labor to participate in the Western process of massive accumulation of wealth. Local sustainable and, in most cases, self-sufficient forms of production are simply considered inadequate to the movement of the new times, because the notion of "progress" is only thought from the Western standpoint.

The true reduction of poverty in these communities concerns a problem of health and education, not the promotion of a consumer-oriented society.

These institutions need to open debates with the participation of the affected habitants and comprehend that, since they are designing the future, more questions need to be raised on the kind of assumptions they bring into the lives of millions of people around the globe.

Alejandro Barcenas

Ferry transit system for O'ahu being offered

I am concerned over the paucity of long-range planning for traffic growth on O'ahu.

To be sure, the O'ahu Metropolitan Planning Organization has a list of improvements to existing systems, but no area rapid-transit system and wisely no major new highway alignments.

What we need is a new system for the transport of people that does not require highways and that does not further overload the environment of O'ahu. Hopefully, a new system can also involve private funds.

An entrepreneur, in the person of company president William Dillon, has come forward and will devote nearly $100 million to ferry services in Hawai'i. He offers an intra-island ferry transit system for O'ahu.

The vehicles would be 250-passenger, 45-mph Boeing jetfoil craft, which will have no troubles with hydraulic suction in coastal waters. The three jetfoils that failed here previously have been operating successfully in the coastal waters of Hong Kong for many years.

E. Alvey Wright

'Cultural center' isn't appropriate in Makua

I am trying to understand what is going on with the possibility of a "cultural center" being built in Makua Valley.

How can one think that development on sacred land can be the solution to stop the protests against military training? Why is it hard to see that people object to the training because it kills and disrespects this sacred place? And with this being the case, how would constructing buildings show respect?

This is just like the H-3 Freeway. People talk about the natural scenery, all the greenery and the beauty of the mountains. Isn't it ironic that they don't see that this freeway just destroyed all that natural beauty (not to mention more sacred sites)?

We need to think beyond ourselves so we can all realize that sometimes developing the land kills the land.

Erin Ushijima

Hogue's conclusions misinformed, unfair

Regarding Sen. Bob Hogue's May 4 letter knocking my objectivity in the April 22 Focus commentary about politics and the hurricane relief fund's $200 million reserve: The piece stands on the facts, and Democrats do deserve credit this year for cautious hazard mitigation legislation, which has now passed with 15 of 22 Republicans joining all 54 Democrats in a basically bipartisan ending.

Hogue or his staff incorrectly presumed hurricane bills in the House had the same "flawed" content as what he refers to. We followed the bills every day. They had the same 838/1156 base numbers but were vastly different drafts — thus his conclusions are misinformed, misleading and unfair.

"Interest siphoning flaws" he refers to were removed in conference committee at the House's request — he still voted no in the end on a simple, sensible pilot program for matching grants.

House members were not voting on the same bill language he referred to — House Democrats never proposed or voted for raiding the interest or fund principal; to say "every single Democrat in the Legislature voted to siphon off most of the interest" is not true and the record shows that, in fact, diversions were opposed by House Democratic leaders consistently.

These "flaws" also can't be used to explain the House GOP voting pattern we were questioning, whereby many voted no, no, no, then finally yes on the same language.

The public purpose and good of the legislation is, in addition to insurance benefits, to help an estimated 9,000 policyholder families have their older homes strengthened by up to 100 Hawai'i contractors (and retailers), creating new jobs and economic activity statewide — not intended just to help one or a few small businesses. Hurricane clips and storm panels are competitive.

Gerald Peters
President, Hurricane Protection Systems

Opportunity was missed on dwarf sperm whale

Regarding the rescue of the dwarf whale as reported in the May 1 edition: As former director of education at the Miami Seaquarium and former director of information at the Institute of Marine Science, University of Miami, I was delighted to learn of the rescue here on Maui of an extremely rare dwarf sperm whale. Unfortunately, the beautiful animal died before it could be released into the open sea.

Nevertheless, scientists still had the opportunity, through a postmortem examination, to learn not only the probable cause of death, but other vital facts about the physiology, diet, possible parasitic and other hitherto unknown factors in the life and death of an animal that has been rarely seen or examined.

However, a Hawaiian spiritual leader and two Hawaiian divers insisted that the dead whale be returned to the sea in order that "the spirit of the Hawaiian culture remain intact." And, incredible but true, state veterinarian Greg Massey and federal veterinarian Thierry Work of the U.S. Geological Survey apparently agreed.

I had believed that the Maui Ocean Center was sincerely interested in education and research, in addition to selling tickets. But the center has demonstrated that its scientific goals take a back seat when a conflict develops between the aims of science and the aims of a prominent Hawaiian spiritual leader.

William M. Stephens

Thank you, Hawai'i, for helping Dakota

We want to thank all of you for your outpouring of donations and aloha for Dakota Denomie, who is awaiting a liver transplant.

We have tried to personally thank each of you, but some cards were returned with incorrect addresses and some of you donated anonymously. We want all of you to know how much we appreciate your donations, thoughts and prayers.

Dakota and his mother are now in Palo Alto awaiting the transplant. Of course, we are all hoping the wait will not be a long one, but unfortunately, the list is rather lengthy.

Thanks for your help in subsidizing their stay in California. We are most appreciative of any further donations, which can be made to the Dakota Fund, First Hawaiian Bank, Pearl City Branch, 890 Kamehameha Hwy., Pearl City, HI 96782. Mahalo.

The Denomie and Baxter families

Spaniard first set roots here in 1794

Thank you for the excellent, and balanced, April 29 cover story by Christie Wilson on the rapidly growing Hispanic community on Maui.

The growth is occurring on other islands also. A Hispanic group on Kaua'i just started teaching Spanish lessons due to the tremendous influx of Colombian tourists and other Latinos. The Big Island and Honolulu also have various Spanish-language services, church services and businesses.

I would like to offer one point of clarification. The Hispanic presence in Hawai'i is traced to Francisco Marin, a Spanish sailor who became a resident of Honolulu in 1794. Marin worked for Kamehameha I as his physician, business manager for the kingdom and vintner. Vineyard Boulevard is named after the grape vineyards Marin had. They were located from Maunakea Street to River Street and Vineyard Boulevard down to Hotel Street.

On May 12, 1994 — the bicentennial of Hispanics in Hawai'i — Mayor Harris dedicated the Marin Tower (Ala Moana Boulevard between Smith and Maunakea) to Se–or Marin.

Also in May 1994, the Legislature approved, and Gov. Cayetano signed, the Hawai'i Hispanic bicentennial bill, which gave the Hispanic community $10,000 to celebrate the event.

Jose Villa
Publisher, Hawai'i Hispanic News

Children come before dogs on our beaches

Your April 30 editorial attempts to find the middle ground as it applies to dogs on our beaches. I commend the author for his diplomatic tone and for advocating for the public to resolve problems without resorting to government intervention. However, in this case the argument is flawed.

When it comes to dogs on our beaches, we need to think about the safety of our children and not about the recreational activity of our dogs According to the Humane Society, hundreds of dog bites are reported every year and many more go unreported. Dogs are unpredictable and can "flip out" if they are unfamiliar with a child or if they feel a child has entered their territory.

As the author points out, it also isn't sanitary or healthy for children to play on the same beach where dogs have passed stool or urine. Children can become ill or contract parasites if they play on the same beaches as dogs.

To resolve this dilemma, the author suggests that we apply the concept of "dog parks" to the beaches. This seems a little impractical considering the limited public shoreline that is available to us on O'ahu.

Why do dogs need access to the beach?

Robert Owen

June Jones sets a bad example

Shame on June Jones for driving his Harley over 70 mph and telling the entire state about it in the May 6 paper. What kind of example is he portraying to everyone, particularly young athletes who admire him and strive to be just like him?

Serene Goodpaster
'Ewa Beach

Drugs create losers, but it's not the end

Five months and 50 pounds later, I am being released from the O'ahu Community Correctional Center.

I was arrested on Dec. 17, 2000, after shopping at a local shopping center and forgetting (intentionally) to pay for a $100 item. With a cocaine pipe and residue in my pocket, I exited the store. A store detective, with several others in tow, placed me under arrest.

This last cocaine relapse had lasted over a year. I went from 200 to 135 pounds, from living in a family home to living on the streets, from two cars and a truck to walking, from a wife and children to a divorce, from being a junior at UH-Manoa to an inmate at OCCC.

During 20 years of in-and-out relapses, I thought I had hit rock-bottom several times. I was wrong. I always had someone to pick me up, wash me off and take me home. Now I had no home, hadn't bathed in weeks and had become a shoplifter.

I truly believe this arrest was a blessing. I am grateful to the HPD, as well as OCCC. I am 187 pounds now and in better shape than I was at 25. I have reapplied to school and will take some undergraduate law courses.

I am an advocate of reform. With release, I will become an activist. I do believe that addicts need to be stopped when they cannot stop themselves. Society would be much better served with addicts in detox beds (30-day lockdown) and in drug treatment programs rather than prison cells.

During my short stay at OCCC, I have been busy. I've read 50 books, written 1,120 letters (for myself and other inmates) and exercised every day. I correspond with my children and look forward to a father and sons day with my three boys. I often pray for their safety and for all our children to never have to go through what I have.

Drugs create losers, but addicts given the chance can become winners.

Michael Spiker