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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, July 29, 2002

Letters to the Editor

Sounds of modern day intrude on Paradise

Hawai'i: rustling palms, pebbles rolling in the surf, mellow 'ukulele, trades in the treetops.

A typical day and night on the most remote islands on Earth: fire sirens, car alarms, screeching bus brakes, helicopters, street-cleaning machines, garbage trucks, leaf blowers, tree cutters, tree shredders, tree trimmers, hotel generator testing, drills, diggers, back-up beepers. All this in the hotel and residential area of Waikiki.

My scream is lost in this nightmare. Aaaaaagh!

Lois Raynor

Ala Wai Marina area coveted for tourist lu'au

The representative of a Mainland corporation that for years has sought to take over and profit from the Ala Wai Marina recently said they are eyeing the old heliport site as a venue for a tourist lu'au.

This revelation has both astonished and angered the local waterfront community of surfers, paddlers and boaters. The statement was made at a land board hearing on July 12. Now, by coincidence, just one week later, that space has been freshly repaved. This work was paid for by Ala Wai boaters, not taxpayers.

Will that now-improved area remain a necessary parking lot for the many people who enjoy Kaiser's and other popular surf spots? Or, will powerful corporate interests bring to the Ala Wai more tacky, phony but apparently lucrative "Hawaiiana"?

It's clear that the Ala Wai is at serious risk of corporate exploitation in the form of privatized operation, despite overwhelming public and legislative opposition. The governor and his land board have consistently refused to heed the voices and views of the numerous opponents of privatization who recognize it for the sell-out it is.

L. Parsons
Ala Wai Marina board member

Foundation to a child's education is in the home

Does the federal government really believe the No Child Left Behind Act will help improve our public education system?

Moving children who perform low on standardized tests from their home schools to "better" schools is not going to improve test scores. The foundation to a child's education starts in the home. Without educational support from home, the child is at risk regardless of the school he or she attends.

Some of the best teachers and programs are at low-performing schools. What they lack is support from parents. On the other hand, parental support is the driving force behind better schools.

If the government wants to improve education, it needs to begin with the family. Accountability needs to start in the home. Only then will no child be left behind.

Nalani Koch

UH pay-for-view deal not that great a deal

In these days of UH athletic budget stress and a new, unproven athletic director, it would at first blush seem unseemly and disloyal to complain about the new pay-for-view TV charge for this coming season of Warrior football. But let's look at the "rest of the story."

The media have (misleadingly) put out the word that the new fee for Neighbor Islanders will be (a manini) $25 for a season of home games on TV (though much higher on O'ahu) and that the necessary pay-for-view box installation will be "free."

Proving the adage that there is no such thing as "free lunch," here are the following facts: 1) Our Maui cable company is quoting a monthly rental fee of $4.70 for the necessary new digital box, and 2) since the box makes available an additional 29 channels, it will impose a fee of $10 a month for this (unwanted) additional service. Most people already have far more cable channels than they need or want.

So, UH football fans will pay an additional cable company charge of $14.70 per month during the season. Calculating the charge from a necessary advanced installation of the digital box from, say, Aug. 15 through Dec. 15 (four months), we're talking a minimum of $58.80 to cover the home games that begin Aug. 31 and end on Dec. 7. So the Neighbor Island fee isn't $25 — it is $83.80.

There is still time to fix this lousy deal. Will the UH athletic moguls do so? Or are they determined to penalize their most ardent supporters?

Fred Rohlfing
Kula, Maui

Parking hogs making it harder on others

I would like to address the issue of on-street parking here on O'ahu. Everyone knows that parking is at a premium.

I work in Kalihi, and my work hours enable me to go in later than normal. By the time I get to work, it is a struggle to find parking. Cars parked on either side of the road are not taking full advantage of the space available. I have already received a citation for parking too close to a stop sign.

More times than not, I find cars that are not pulled all the way to the legal edge of a driveway, which would enable another car to park in front or behind them.

Fellow drivers — please pay attention to where you are parking. Pull all the way up to the edge to allow someone else to park too.

Loretta Neddo

Driver shouldn't be allowed to drive again

I just read your article about the case of Michael Coulter, who evidently drove drunk, hit and killed officer Dannygriggs Padayao, then tried to lie his way out of taking responsibility for his actions.

According to the article, he is facing up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. What is missing here?

A car or truck operated irresponsibly is a deadly weapon, just as deadly as a gun handled irresponsibly.

Had Coulter killed Padayao with a gun, do you think he'd ever be allowed to own or possess a gun again? Coulter should never be allowed to drive again.

Nobu Nakamoto

Lingle would tell us where money's going

To those who say we can't afford Linda Lingle's agenda, I say we can't afford not to implement it.

All we have to do is close the 300 special funds the politicians are using to hide where our tax money goes. Then we'll know how much money the state really has.

Even better, we can reprioritize where it's being spent.

I think we will be amazed how much more money we can then find to spend on schools, healthcare and the environment.

It is about time someone is willing to stop the wasteful spending and tell us exactly where our tax dollars are being spent. I can't wait to learn the truth about our state finances.

Brian Durham

Natives across U.S. are under attack

Let's be real. Native peoples are under attack. Not just in Hawai'i, but in the continental U.S., where Native Americans struggle to preserve their ancestral lands and culture.

In Hawai'i, the assault began with Rice vs. Cayetano and continues with lawsuits against OHA and DHHL. The individuals behind these lawsuits are partly funded by Mainland conservative groups that are connected to powerful people like the current solicitor general. They share the warped mentality that programs that benefit disadvantaged minorities and native peoples constitute racial discrimination.

Make no mistake, these people are racists. For they ignore history and the privileges they and their ancestors have gained at the expense of indigenous peoples. The U.S. government violated international law by aiding in the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai'i. This U.S. intervention set in motion the theft of native lands that continues today with forced leasehold conversion of Bishop Estate lands and the sale of ceded lands.

I urge the family of the child admitted to the Maui campus of Kamehameha Schools to voluntarily send their child to another school out of respect for the Hawaiian community.

Carrie Ann Shirota

Keep the standards at Kamehameha high

The opening of the Maui school should have been preceded by intense efforts to educate the Hawaiian children of Maui, thereby creating a qualified pool of students to pull into the system once it opened.

At the same time there are so many programs already in place. Do we really need one-on-one intervention with every Hawaiian family?

Why cry now? Act! Educate! Make sure that this will never happen again. Instead of angry words filled with contempt, educate. Take a few children aside and form a book club, be a mentor. We as a Hawaiian community must work to ensure that Hawaiian children meet the higher standard, which others propose that we lower.

Why lower the standard? Are you saying that Hawaiians are inept and incapable of competing with the "haves" of society? I am proud of my "have-not" beginnings and my current "have-not" existence. But please, never say that I can't hold my own when it comes to scholastic aptitude and intelligence.

I would rather have a school that upheld the high standards that we are all proud of.

Those of us of Hawaiian ancestry were named in the princess' will. We were chosen. Funny how all of this didn't matter when the trust was land-rich but cash-poor. Look at all the leeches festering around us.

Bruce Kaimi Watson

Harris aide arrest was overplayed

I had to read the July 23 story about Mike Amii twice because I couldn't see what justified front-page, above-the-fold coverage.

He was arrested, but not charged, on allegations that he campaigned "at two events on city time without taking vacation or leave." This is the same city worker who gives back unused vacation time every year. Huh? There's something wrong with this picture. Seems as if the city is getting a bargain if Mr. Amii works (and doesn't get paid for) overtime and doesn't use all of his vacation time.

I am not condoning the use of city funds to pay city workers for non-city work, but it seems that the Prosecutor's Office has a hidden agenda. If Amii's actions are so scandalous, why was he arrested but not even charged? Will he be the first of several Harris aides who are arrested but not charged on suspicion of felony theft and racketeering? Is the prosecutor picking on Harris aides, hoping that one of them will spill the beans on Harris?

For the record, I do not support Jeremy Harris — never have, never will. But it disturbs me that the Prosecutor's Office will trash the reputations of Harris aides as a way to get Harris.

Maya Zhong

Know the facts about 'morning-after pill'

There has recently been a concerted effort in Hawai'i and elsewhere to promote what has become known as emergency contraception, the so-called "morning-after pill."

In this campaign, it has frequently been stated that emergency contraception does not cause an abortion. However, this claim is premised on a recent redefinition of pregnancy as beginning after the early developing human has implanted in the lining of the uterus, rather than at the time of fertilization. The traditional understanding of pregnancy, as defined in Stedman's Medical Dictionary, is "the condition of a female after conception until the birth of the baby," and conception is understood as "fertilization of the ovum by the spermatozoon."

A study from the Office of Population Research at Princeton University concluded that emergency contraception pills "could not be as effective as it appears to be if it worked only by preventing or delaying ovulation." A likely additional action of emergency contraception is that the early developing human is prevented from normally implanting in the uterine lining, thus causing its loss from the uterus. Dorland's Medical Dictionary defines abortion as "the premature expulsion from the uterus of the products of conception."

By putting this information and these long-accepted medical definitions into context, it is not improper to say that there is a significant probability that the pills can cause an abortion. But, even if this long-established terminology is not accepted, redefinitions do not change reality.

The reality is that women who are anti-abortion overwhelmingly believe that a new human life begins at fertilization and that any interference with that life so as to cause its loss before implantation is morally equivalent to causing its loss after implantation. Therefore, to not inform women about this possible action of emergency contraception is to withhold information relevant to their decision to use, or not use, emergency contraception.

Nathan Hoeldtke, M.D.