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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, May 13, 2001

Letters to the Editor

Out-of-state citation could hold up license

Your driving record outside the state will come back to haunt you.

About two weeks ago, my birthday was coming up and I noticed that my driver's license was expiring. So I went down to Satellite City Hall to renew my license. I filled out the form, took the mini eye exam and then was told that they had to stop the renewal process because their computer found a "situation."

The computer did a national search and the clerk told me I cannot get a new Hawai'i license until I resolve a "situation" with the Vermont Circuit Court. The clerk gave me a phone number to call. Immediately, my mind raced because I haven't been in Vermont since college more than 18 years ago. I did remember getting a speeding ticket but, being a poor college kid, I never paid it. When I called Vermont Circuit Court, sure enough, it was the speeding ticket I didn't pay in 1984.

Thinking compound interest over the last 18 years, I was happy to find out that I needed to pay only $38 for the speeding ticket and another $30 to the computer company that provides this national service.

When I received a receipt in the mail from Vermont Circuit Court about a week and a half after I sent my money in, I went down and got my Hawai'i license. I asked the clerk why this hadn't shown up on my record before. The people at Satellite City Hall said they didn't get the computer system that checks records nationally until 1997.

So if you think you may have an outstanding driving violation outside the state, don't wait until it's time to renew your license. You're only allowed 30 days to renew your license after it expires. And if you can't resolve your out-of-state violations within 30 days, you'll have to take the driving test and exam all over again.

Eric Rosso

We're not addressing childhood obesity

Hawai'i's public schools have long been known to rival the worst in the nation when it comes to feeding the minds of our youth. Now Mike Markrich's invaluable research reported in the May 6 Advertiser has added clear proof of how poorly we are doing in feeding their bodies as well.

Indeed, one of our unique claims to fame as a state is our No. 1 ranking in per-capita consumption of Spam.

Alongside this "unenviable" record, we are told that there is a school in Wisconsin that "took out all vending machines and now mandates that all of its students (and we can assume faculty, as well) eat only approved nonprocessed, low-fat foods on campus." The result of this courageous act is "a dropout rate that five years ago used to be 5 percent ... is now zero."

Denial is the only way to describe our ability to continue to ignore "the terrible costs of childhood obesity" in Hawai'i.

Irv Rubin

Lenders can release personal information

Readers might be interested to know that their personal information, including Social Security number and records of Internet usage, is now for sale by banks and other lending institutions.

Under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, signed into law last year by Bill Clinton, companies are now free to sell to each other a person's credit bureau reports, records of Internet usage, account balances, payment history and credit card usage. The only way a person can prevent this is through an "opt-out" clause in the law, by which one must contact the financial or lending institution and specifically request that one's personal information not be shared with other institutions.

This law allows for a totally outrageous infringement upon personal privacy, and our Washington delegation should lead the charge to repeal it.

Gregory Shepherd

Prudish attitudes degrade nude dancers

Stephanie Darrow in her May 7 letter disapproves of nude dancing, but what does she think about parenthood? After all, she could just as easily have said that "countless young women are pulled into prostitution through (bad parenting), are raped, beaten and even made slaves." So maybe parenthood should be abolished?

I think such prudish attitudes have more to do with degrading nude dancers than anything else. By sneering at this "exploitative" industry, Darrow is really saying that it's okay to mistreat these people — hey, they deserve what they get.

So long as sex workers are considered second-class citizens, they will always get second-rate justice.

T. David Burns

New Hilton tower is bad on many counts

From the point of view of the betterment of Waikiki and the neighborhood of the Hilton Hawaiian Village, adding a seventh 350-foot tower makes no sense.

It would be a visual disaster, adding materially to the "Great Wall of China" effect on Ala Moana Blvd. It would fly in the face of the mayor's constructive plan to limit the density of Waikiki.

The additional traffic created by cars for 400 more rooms plus another stoplight on an already-jammed Ala Moana will create more noise, more pollution and more frustration.

The argument that there would be more pedestrian access to the beach is specious. The few from the neighborhood who go to the beach on foot have plenty of access through Hobron and Dewey lanes and Paoa Place.

Because it would dramatically reduce the ocean views of literally hundreds of condominiums and hence reduce their value, it is not even a good deal from an overall financial viewpoint.

Mr. and Mrs. Victor Cole