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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, August 30, 2002

Letters to the Editor

Homeless neighbors could help with repairs

Last year, I camped at Waimanalo Park, with a permit, several times over a three-month period. Weekdays I rode the bus over the Pali to work. Weekends I enjoyed the beach.

I never felt I was in danger from the "homeless" people. I chatted with some in passing, as neighbors will do. A few of these folks drank too much, but most were respectful of other park users. The most threatened I felt was when a police officer woke and harassed me, without cause.

Once, after going to work in the morning, I discovered I had lost my wallet. When I returned that evening, a homeless man with whom I had previously talked came to my campsite and told me my wallet had been found and given to a park employee.

The next morning, the park employee returned the wallet to me, with all money and credit cards still in it.

Waimanalo Park is in need of repairs. Could some of the homeless people help implement these repairs, in exchange for staying on for a while at the park? These people need to be seen as part of the solution, not as part of the problem.

James Weatherford

Disruptive students should be kicked out

Fred Cavaiuolo's Aug. 26 letter about disruptive students brings back memories. I graduated from high school 41 years ago. Disruptive students have always been a major problem in classrooms all over the country.

And as long as our current system does not allow any form of discipline in the classroom or indeed in the school, just exactly what do you expect?

Three strikes and you are out is one solution, and may be the best, since it would hand the problem child back to his or her parents.

The majority of kids who want to learn should not be held hostage to the few troublemakers.

Betsy Alau

Voters must break grip of Democratic Party

The Aug. 16 Island Voices article by David T. Johnson is something everyone living in Hawai'i should read. His premise that the present political system in control in Hawai'i is corrupt and full of self-serving, arrogant individuals is on the mark.

This is what happens when a single party is in power for so long and is controlled by people who have known nothing but power and prestige for decades.

The reason the Democratic candidates for governor are not having a debate among themselves on who should best represent their party is that their party is so concerned they will lose power in November they all want to appear they are the "good guys." This "love fest" in the Democratic Party is orchestrated by the powerbroker himself, Sen. Inouye. Sens. Inouye and Akaka and Reps. Mink and Abercrombie are pulling the strings on who shall receive the blessing of the party in November in all races.

Regardless of the individuals "anointed" by Sen. Inouye to represent the party, they are still the same old individuals with the same old ideas and the same "old-boy/girl" network of people hell-bent on retaining power and their individual rice bowls. Power tends to corrupt, and with the absence of competition, absolute power fosters nothing but arrogance and the feeling of total control over the process.

Nothing will change in Hawai'i until voters shake the cobwebs loose from their brains and decide to have a viable two-party system in the state. The Democrats have been in power too long in Hawai'i, and they have abused that power to the point where a large portion of the people eligible to vote have turned their back on the system.

Shame on the Democratic Party and on the voters for allowing this to happen.

Frank & Terry Henrion

John Carroll agrees: Repeal the Jones Act

John Carroll, Republican candidate for governor, fully agrees on removing the restraints that the Jones Act is imposing on Hawai'i. This is something Carroll has believed for over 30 years.

Repeal of the Jones Act would not only help our tourist economy, but would significantly lower the cost of living for all the people of the state.

If elected, Carroll will work with Hawai'i's congressional delegation and influential Republican members of Congress to accomplish this goal.

Daniel P. McGivern

Tracy Ryan offers Hawai'i a better choice

When I lived in Hawai'i, I fervently supported Linda Lingle for governor of Hawai'i. I still think she is a fine person, but I believe that there is a much better choice now for governor: Tracy Ryan.

Ryan is a very open-minded person who would base policy on reason, rather than on emotions. With Tracy Ryan, those who have been left out and locked out will truly have a place in Hawai'i.

She also believes that government should be our servant and not our master, as opposed to those who are currently in charge of Hawai'i's government.

If you are frustrated with dictatorial Democrats and Republicans who only get it half-right, there is a sound alternative: Tracy Ryan, Libertarian for governor.

You go, girl!

Sean P. Porter
New Orleans, La.

Steel grate wouldn't mar landmark's beauty

We very much appreciated the article by Mike Gordon that highlighted the efforts by our cousin, Nancy Dick, to persuade state officials to install a grate over the Halona Blow Hole, following the death of her son, Daniel, at this landmark.

What the article did not make clear was that the steel grate would in no way mar the beauty of this natural wonder or prevent its eruption in any way. In contrast, however, it would most certainly prevent the tragic occurrence of yet another death such as young Daniel's and others who have perished at this site.

We so much admire Nancy's immediate efforts to bring about this necessary change for the sake of the safety of others, even amid the unimaginable pain of the loss of her son. We and other family members will do all we can to help her succeed in this mission, and we sincerely hope that the state Department of Land and Natural Resources will do the same.

Nancy would never consider taking action against the city or state, nor does she in anyway support such a lawsuit. She continues to speak frequently of the wonderful outpouring of concern and support that she received from so many individuals and organizations in Hawai'i, noting that she does not know how she could have gotten through those agonizing days without them.

We, too, are so very grateful that you were there for Nancy, Jacob and Matthew during their time of need. Our most sincere thanks for your kindness and generosity.

Chris and Dennis Olin

Government should build more fences

Why can't the government build fences to block falling rocks like it did at Waimea Bay? This would prevent sad incidents like the rolling boulder that crushed Dara Rei Onishi.

The government knew about falling rocks in the past, and something should've been done about it. Let's not let something like this happen again.

The government should do something about this problem. If it doesn't, more and more people will get severely hurt or killed and families will suffer from lost loved ones. Build the fences.

Wayne Johnson
Waipahu Intermediate School, Grade 8

Tyranny of the majority must be guarded against

In response to James Roller's Aug. 24 denunciation of Mitch Kahle, I want to say that Kahle does a great service to this community in alerting us to issues where the important principle of separation of church and state has been violated to the detriment of various minorities.

While the cases may seem trivial and not controversial by the majority, they are like the camel's nose in the tent.

Roller is simply wrong when he states that this country is based on majority rule. Our Founding Fathers understood the tyranny of the majority, which, just on the basis of numbers, would deprive people of their rights.

This country was based on respect for the minority, and the jewel of the Constitution is the Bill of Rights, which protects minorities from intimidation by the majority. Without those amendments, the Constitution would have little significance because it says nothing about protection of civil and human rights for minorities.

Alfred Bloom

Novel brings back memories of Marshalls

My daughter on Kwajalein e-mailed me about Robert Barclay's novel, "Melal, A Novel of the Pacific." I remember the Barclay family, as I was on Kwajalein from 1966-69 and 1977-81.

It was a wonderful place to raise children and learn of another culture. The Marshallese are gracious people who have been taken advantage of by the American government and some of their own leaders.

I have only the fondest memories of the family outdoor activities, the lack of TV (my children all love to read), the Ebeye Exchanges once a month with the Marshallese women, riding bicycles, peace and beauty everywhere.

I am off to buy the book.

Pat Blair

Problem solved

In reference to Raymond Nosaka's Aug. 22 letter on naming a freeway after one of our famous World War II combat units, and William Smith's Aug. 23 comment about the high-speed driving on the H-1 Freeway near Makakilo and Kapolei: I recommend we call that strip of freeway "Go for Broke Freeway."

Wayne Izumi

H-Power living up to its billing

As your Aug. 26 story, "O'ahu trash problem mounts," correctly points out, O'ahu must soon find a solution for its growing municipal solid-waste problem.

While the city and the community continue to look for answers, we would like to take this opportunity to correct some misinformation that has been circulating recently and to set the record straight regarding H-Power's role in helping to meet O'ahu's waste-management needs.

H-Power was originally created to reduce the need for landfills on O'ahu; we've done just that. Thanks to H-Power, O'ahu has saved hundreds of acres of landfill space in the past 12 years and more than 10 million barrels of imported oil.

The statement that the H-Power facility has "at times proved inadequate because of occasional shutdowns" could not be further from the truth. Although the facility experienced some temporary difficulties last year, we moved quickly to correct the problem.

Over the duration of our existence, we have actually exceeded the tonnage guaranteed in our contract by 464,159 tons. H-Power reliably, cleanly and efficiently handled an average of 1,800 tons of municipal solid waste each day, an amount equal to two additional Waimanalo Gulch landfills. Over the years, we have made regular improvements to our system, and today H-Power is running as strong as ever.

The problem, however, is that O'ahu generates more waste than H-Power was designed to handle. The proposed expansion of H-Power can further reduce the need for landfills. Expanding H-Power is also O'ahu's best and only proven choice for handling municipal solid waste in an environmentally friendly and cost-efficient way. Although alternative technologies exist, to our knowledge they are still unproven, expensive and highly experimental.

On the other hand, H-Power is a proven, reliable, clean way to handle municipal solid waste. Our sophisticated pollution-control equipment makes us an especially good fit for our island home. We're also committed to working with the city to find environmentally sustainable ways to reuse ash to increase the benefits H-Power brings to the community.

All of us create garbage. Thanks to the reliability of H-Power, we are converting it to renewable energy and making it work for all of O'ahu's residents.

Rodney W. Smith
Facility business manager, H-Power