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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Wednesday, May 23, 2001

Letters to the Editor

Army isn't exempt from OSHA rules

William J. Aila Jr. failed to research all the charges he made against the Army in his May 20 Focus commentary.

Aila said he was concerned about soldiers being exposed to toxic or dangerous chemicals in possible violation of OSHA regulations. Then he states: "Wait a minute, though: The Army is exempt from OSHA requirements and even some EPA requirements regarding operations on training ranges."

As an Army civilian safety specialist, let me assure you the Army is not exempt from OSHA requirements. I have dealt with OSHA about on-base safety allegations. The Army, like all the services, must follow these guidelines to protect the health and safety of our people.

Aila's false allegations against the Army bring to question the entire validity of his arguments against the use of Makua. If he failed to research this area, how many other of his allegations are false? All he had to do is call the local OSHA office and ask.

Al Aliment

Production assistance was ignored by Disney

I do not know how Disney picked its viewing audience for the on-board premiere of "Pearl Harbor" on the USS John Stennis, but I do know that it overlooked or ignored a company, Middle Loch, that supported it for over a month and a half last year in the production of its movie.

The workers here at Middle Loch, with their crane, boat and logistical support, were instrumental in the moving of Disney's gear. There has been no recognition, no invitation, not even free passes to the upcoming opening at theaters here from Disney.

The thrill of working with Disney was a memory I and my co-workers will always cherish, but this oversight will also be remembered.

Jim Grimes

Don't confuse methods of catching blue marlin

The May 4 letter from William King concerning the Western Pacific Council and blue marlin deserves comment.

King conveniently neglects to mention that half of the documented blue marlin catch landed in the State of Hawai'i is produced by small commercial troll vessels and recreational charter troll vessels. King assumes that the blue marlin not bid on at the Saturday auction was landed by a longliner. Did he check that this was indeed the case? However, in King's eyes, small trolling vessels no doubt occupy a more worthy position on the moral spectrum despite being just as deadly to blue marlin as the "evil" longliners.

King clearly sees no moral conundrum between the catch of blue marlin for food or the deliberate catching of a large fish for the vicarious pleasure of fighting it to the point of exhaustion and potential mortality.

This is a fishery allocation issue, and where you stand on this issue depends on whether you believe society benefits more from "reserving" fish for recreational use or putting them on the table for food.

King's letter, despite its errors, is useful for highlighting the constant tension generated by the recreational and commercial use of marine resources. This is the reason Regional Fishery Management Councils were established by Congress through the Magnuson Act as the forum for dealing with these issues.

Judy Guthertz
Chairwoman, Western Pacific Fishery Management Council

Don't price small-boat owners out of market

It looks as if most opinions favor privatization of the operation of the principal small-boat harbors on O'ahu. The fear of boat owners is monopoly pricing by a private operator.

The harbors are, of course, a public utility, like the power company. Just as they are regulated in pricing, the slip fees must be regulated and justified.

If the price is left to what the market will bear, we will be left with wealthy, out-of-state and foreign owners with the funds to deposit a boat in Hawai'i for a vacation spot. There are a lot of them out there.

Very few of the boat owners in Hawai'i are wealthy. As it is, they spend significant sums to own and operate their vessels to take their non-boat-owning friends sailing and fishing. If we lose the local owners, we all lose.

Jeff Hossellman

Honor Murakami with his name on stadium

To our legislators and to the University of Hawai'i Board of Regents: It's time to do the right thing. Time to do what you should have done before. Time to honor the man who has brought honor, integrity and respect to University of Hawai'i baseball and who has taught countless others whose lives he has touched to live by those principles.

Please don't let slip away this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do the one thing that would most honor the man who made UH baseball what it is today. You should do it without waiting any longer. Name Rainbow Stadium for Coach Les Murakami. Now. In his lifetime.

Anson Lee

Former Cannon Club has become an eyesore

My heart jumped with joy when reading your recent article that the Cannon Club may be used as the home for the Kapi'olani Community College Culinary Program.

How wonderful to save this once-beautiful area and have it used as something other than the state's personal garbage dump.

For the past year, I have watched sorrowfully as the state and its Department of Land and Natural Resources destroyed one of the most beautiful areas of Diamond Head. What an eyesore it must be for thousands of tourists who walk by there every day visiting the crater: broken beer bottles, plate lunches, homeless people taking over the clubhouse and piles of debris carted in from who knows where. The area is now overrun with destructive and noisy wild roosters and chickens. What a shame.

We should pay KCC to take over the care of this beautiful landmark estate if for no other reason than to keep it out of the hands of those who would destroy its beauty.

Rae Marlow
Diamond Head

Teacher strike did indeed help children

This is a response to all the parents who felt the strike benefited no one, especially their child, due to the loss of class time; that their academic level will never return to the level it should be had the strike not happened.

Time and time again, our HSTA representatives stressed through the media that the strike was for the future of our children. Overnight improvement of grades and academic progress will not be seen for months or maybe years, but the more attractive pay will retain and attract qualified teachers to gain that progress.

Yes, sometimes situations will occur that may hurt the innocent, but when the people who control the funds do not realize what the system needs to improve, then it is up to the union and the right of the workers to strike to improve the system.

Being a teacher and a single parent of a college and high school student with bills like everyone else,I have had to borrow money because of the strike. Yes, I am satisfied with the raise. I will gain over the next two years, but it will be awhile before I am not in debt, a sacrifice I made because I believed in the strike and what it truly meant for the future of our children in Hawai'i.

Francine I. Masuda

Luana Hills course isn't worth preserving

I may be a long way from home, but I'd have to be on the moon not to respond to Jim Slavish's attack on Councilman Steve Holmes' plan to acquire Luana Hills Country Club and convert hundreds of acres of Maunawili into a public park.

Slavish writes that Holmes' plan should be dismissed because he's not a golfer. By that logic, Slavish's support of the course should be dismissed precisely because he is. Neither position is an argument.

Slavish writes that Luana Hills should be preserved because it was designed by the notable golf course designer Peter Dye. He neglects to mention that Dye may have produced some fine courses, but Luana Hills is not one of them.

Dye's plan involved terra-forming the slopes of Olomana with thousands of railroad ties, a plan that proved to be unworkable. It produced instead a construction nightmare, a course notoriously difficult to play, and a maintenance head-ache that feeds tons of agricultural chemicals into Kawainui Marsh. So it's not as if we're talking about dismantling the Garden of Eden here.

The Windward side is amply served by golf courses and underserved by parks. Perhaps we might rescue nine of the playable holes and tuck a public course into a larger public landscape. But at the end of the day, if we're not yet enlightened enough to beat swords into ploughshares, perhaps the least we might do is give this overdeveloped island a break and beat some golf clubs into hiking sticks everybody can use.

Robert Onopa
Visiting professor, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Drive safely while using phone

As was clearly indicated in The Honolulu Advertiser's May 9 editorial "Just hang up on cell phone study," the issue of driving while talking has erupted into a heated debate.

With over half a million people in Hawai'i and more than 115 million people nationwide using wireless phones, Americans are concerned about the safety of our roads and highways and many feel that talking on the phone while driving could be putting lives at risk.

While the studies and surveys will no doubt go on, Verizon Wireless is already taking action. One of our highest priorities as the nation's largest wireless provider is to put our strength behind enhancing the availability, affordability and awareness of hands-free technologies to help drivers be responsible behind the wheel.

We feel our customers' attentiveness to driving can be improved by using their wireless service in conjunction with hands-free technologies, such as headsets, earpieces and voice-activated systems. In fact, we have mandated that our vendors manufacture phones that are hands-free-capable by 2002 or risk losing our business.

And, we stand proudly behind our educational campaign, "Drive Responsibly. Call With Care," which aggressively communicates these responsible driving tips:

• When behind the wheel, safe driving is always your first responsibility.

• Dial your phone when your car is not in motion.

• Always use hands-free when driving and talking; when you turn your phone on, make sure your hands-free device is on and working.

• Preprogram important and frequently dialed numbers, including home and baby-sitter, so you can dial them by pressing only a few buttons.

• Never take notes or write down phone numbers while driving. Pull off the road to a safe spot or leave yourself a message on your voicemail system.

• Know your wireless phone number so emergency personnel can call you back. You may want to write it down and keep it in your car for quick reference.

• If traffic conditions warrant your undivided attention, turn your phone off and let calls go to voicemail or activate call-forwarding.

Wireless phones give us the ability to instantly connect with lifesaving organizations. An average of 100,000 wireless calls are made each day to 911 on a nationwide basis. However, this capability comes with the responsibility to drive with care when using a wireless phone.

Will hands-free talking guarantee that everyone will drive responsibly? Of course not. It is ultimately up to each one of us to be a responsible driver. Will the driving-while-talking debate come to an end? No — this debate will continue, as will the debates over other distractions in the car and the impact they have on the driver of the vehicle.

As these debates continue and we observe Wireless Safety Week this week, I encourage everyone on the roads to make responsible driving a top priority while using a wireless phone.

Tony Simpson
President, Hawai'i Region, Verizon Wireless