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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Tuesday, February 5, 2002

Letters to the Editor

'Bottle bill' deserves support at Legislature

Jan TenBruggencate's Jan. 25 article regarding the beverage industry's plan for container recycling points out the salient fact that the industry is trying to block the "bottle bill."

The curbside recycling plan is an industry dodge. As city recycling coordinator Suzanne Jones pointed out, "Curbside projects are not getting the job done." The plan would only increase taxpayer expense and miss many containers not disposed of in urban areas.

Instead, we should support the "bottle bill," which almost passed during the last legislative session. This would place a 5-cent refundable deposit and a 2-cent nonrefundable handling fee on each beverage container sold in Hawai'i.

The BEAR report found that a well-designed recycling program could triple recycling at no cost to taxpayers. Recycling our containers would also increase the life span of our landfills and remove litter from our public spaces.

The "bottle bill" deserves our support.

Randy Ching

Hawai'i should take advantage of snow

Being confined, somewhat, inside our monsoon-type weather started me thinking about the winters I had endured on the Mainland.

I believe the dollars spent on tourism have achieved little more than average success. Which led me to relive those eternal winter months of white and cold.

The attraction to Hawai'i by movie producers caused me to wonder why we, as a state, do not make our own movie. Not just a 60-second spot, but a 30- to 60-minute-dialog on the beauty and attributes of Hawai'i. I can see Edgy Lee's documentary "Waikiki" in full or abridged. Additional funding could be achieved by contacting hotels, airlines and business owners for small "commercials" throughout the broadcast.

The idea is not to sell Hawai'i but to tease people with our beauty and warmth while they are being held captive in their winter environment: scenes of moonlit walks on the beach, hotel lobbies with no doors, sunbathers in 80-degree bliss or in T-shirts and shorts with huge smiles.

A perfect airtime would be Sunday evening when most people are home watching television preparing for the workweek ahead. Sitting on the couch with their blanket-laden bodies yearning for warmer weather when, on Channel 6, comes soothing steel guitars with hula dancers bathed in sunshine.

Growing up on the Mainland, I can tell you how much this time of year really stinks. Christmas and the New Year are pau and you have nothing to look forward to except three to four months of winter weather.

This should look like a gift, not a commercial.

Kevin McClendon

Can camera vans park along highways?

Is it legal for those "talivans" to be parked on the highways? What if I decided to park alongside the H-1 to eat lunch or just to watch the cars go by? Will I be asked to move?

And to all you "talivan operators": How would you like it if someone decides to park behind you and take pictures of you during your shift? Hmm ... maybe it's something I should try.

George Woo

Consumers have say in airline merger

I am certainly tickled pink that a good number of our senators and representatives are finding the strength (enlightenment) to question the potential nightmare of the proposed airline merger.

The issue of a merger is no longer a bailout where the major stockholders can shut out the dedicated consumers and walk away with a big profit. For more than five decades, the taxpayers of Hawai'i have been giving concession upon concession to keep our flagships afloat.

Remember the Hawaiian debacle of the early '90s and its trans-Pacific mismanagement fling?

No way, Jose. The consumers of this state have a major say in this union.

Norbert Perez

Get rid of Cayetano, bring on a John Burns

Gov. Cayetano will be known as the worst governor the state of Hawai'i has ever had. He has placed the state in disarray and has cost the people of Hawai'i millions of dollars, taking care of business first instead of the people first.

The teachers, police, firefighters and other union workers who pay for his salary (he and his friends got raises) were all cheated. Now he has taken from the retirement system, taken away health benefits and is attempting to take from the Hurricane Relief fund. He is not the "governor of education" (remember that?) but the governor of Republicans.

Democrats were for the people, community and children of Hawai'i. We need a governor like John Burns again. We need plain honest leadership for Hawai'i.

Evelyn Lee
Wailuku, Maui

'Evil' corporations attack lacks specifics

Dr. Willis Butler, in saying that we need to heed the message of 9/11, is flawed in two respects:

In heeding the "message," we set a bad precedent. Why do the extreme elements of Islam think that terrorism will work? Because people like Yassar Arafat, who was and is a terrorist, is now being courted by the international community.

The second flaw is the wide paintbrush of the old "corporate evil" argument. Without saying how corporations are "evil," he implies they are. They might well be evil, but Butler hasn't said anything convincing to that point.

He seems to be trying to push one side of a argument as fact that hasn't been seen as a controversy yet. If a government does this, we call it propaganda and brainwashing. If a Ph.D. does it, it becomes "education."

Thom Winfrey

Why isn't Watada investigating others?

I am increasingly suspicious of the true motives of Bob Watada, the executive director of the Campaign Spending Commission. His position is supposed to be nonpolitical, but I really don't believe that to be the case.

If this wasn't politically motivated, then why isn't he also investigating the Linda Lingle and Ben Cayetano campaigns? I have heard that these campaigns were allegedly not forthcoming with the names of their campaign contributors and that they also received more than the allowable amount from Geolabs.

Ellen Abrams

Quarantine system should be stopped

As an environmental scientist and a good citizen, I want to be sure Hawai'i's environment is safe and healthy. I certainly don't want to allow rabies to get a foothold here, so we have to use the best possible methods for keeping rabies out.

The pet quarantine system has not found a single rabid animal in its entire 90-year existence. If I took almost $1,000 from people when they arrived in Hawai'i, saying I would keep the elephants away from their gardens, but in 90 years no one ever saw an elephant here, people would long ago have concluded that my services were not needed.

Since the quarantine facility has never found a rabid animal during its 30- or 120-day stays, that says that the preshipment requirements already in place have been successful, all by themselves.

The rest of the world has realized that microchip identification, suitable vaccinations and blood tests, and a standardized recordkeeping (passport) system would be four times more effective than the existing quarantine program.

It's time for us to eliminate our expensive and ineffective quarantine system. Put those 35 Agriculture Department employees to work on feral cats.

Barry J. Huebert

Animal quarantine must be preserved

I don't agree with the reasoning and solutions to stopping the quarantine period for animals coming into Hawai'i.

We have a unique situation here in the Islands as one of the few places throughout the world that are rabies-free. Less than 1 percent of the population utilizes the quarantine station (or has even heard of it), and the majority of the ones who do are temporary citizens. The issue is not a pet issue, it is a human issue.

The majority of the animals confined at the station do very well. It's harder on the owners than it is on the pets.

I don't understand how and why this small group of people can or would even consider changing something that has worked all these years. The World Health Organization agrees with our quarantine laws.

There was a rabies scare here many years ago, and many pets were put to sleep if they even looked cross-eyed at their owners.

Texas was quarantined in the recent past because of rabies. There were several human deaths in Puerto Rico not so long ago. Once rabies is introduced into the Islands, we will never be able to go back to where we are now.

Any city or state official who agrees with this proposal to shorten or do away with the quarantine will be opening themselves up to being taken to court for turning their backs on the Island citizens and introducing this dreaded disease into Hawai'i.

Adrienne L. Wilson-Yamasaki

Missile test story left out key detail

This is in reference to the Jan. 26 article by Jan TenBruggencate, "Navy test intercepts rocket off Kaua'i."

Please, Jan, reassure and allay my fears about flying and tell me that the odds of one of those "test" missiles locking onto a commercial airliner and blasting it out of the sky are zero, so I can relax and enjoy my upcoming vacation. Thank you.

Ann Haioka

Despite qualifications, no job for this teacher

Regarding Michael Thomas' complaint about Cliff Slater's commentary "DOE: Rigor mortis has set in": Slater was right on. After 13 years teaching in the Detroit public schools from 1959 to 1972 with all but one year in inner-city schools and three years at Central High School, one would assume that I had good classroom management.

In case you are not well-informed, 1967 was the year of the riot. Where? Around Central High School. The National Guard and Reserve used Central as their billets. When school began, there were a lot of angry young men roaming the halls and the streets. I had zero problems because I had rules and they were to be followed.

After Detroit, 25 years were spent working for the Department of Defense in Germany as a middle, junior and high school music, speech and P.E. instructor. Again, not many problems with the students. Most problems were a result of a misconception that children of high-ranking individuals deserved more privileges than others. That notion, also, was quickly dispelled.

If Mr. Thomas' theory were correct, I should be employed by the Hawai'i Department of Education as a music teacher. Unfortunately, several schools decided I was not qualified to teach in this fair city.

Let's examine who turned me down: Kapolei High School: no interview, not qualified (without reading my resume, I must assume). Mokulele Elementary: "He would not fit in our 'ohana." At Salt Lake Elementary, body language and the look of disdain told me to forget any idea of working there.

Bigotry and discrimination against black and other qualified individuals run rampant in this school system, a system run by one ethnic group.

Mr. Brody, with whom I spoke several years ago about this matter, assured me there was no bias in this school system. Boy, was he wrong.

If Mrs. Hamamoto wants to change this system, she will have to clean a very large house and hire people who believe in education, not advancement or power. The principals and teachers and their union need to get out of bed with one another and work for the betterment of the schoolchildren.

R.W. Smith