Letters to the Editor
License all fishermen, enforce regulations
Regarding the July 14 article "More fishing for fewer fish": Being an avid fisherman for many years, I have noticed the declining supply of fish off O'ahu. I have seen the use of gill nets unchanged. I have seen night diving also unchanged.
What I have not seen is the enforcement officers making sure all of the laws and regulations are followed.
It does not matter how many laws are passed or how many non-fishing areas are created. If we are not going to have armed enforcement patrol of these areas, then quit wasting our time with these useless laws. Only a few law-abiding people follow the laws, and they are the real losers.
The first thing is, license all fishermen, recreational and commercial. Charge them for the privilege to fish. If a person only has a recreational license, then he cannot sell fish. If he has a commercial license, then he cannot sell certain fish.
In other words, the market will have only a certain type of fish, usually deep sea. If the consumer wants a reef fish, then he needs to get a license and pole. The charge for the license should help underwrite the cost of the patrol officers.
Unless we have an enforcement of the laws, we can expect to find gill nets with no Clorox markers (in order to hide the gill nets from the non-existent officers), the fishing in non-fishing zones and the taking of fish during the kapu seasons.
Ritchie K. Hanabusa
North Korea editorial was irresponsible
I believe you owe your readers an apology and a retraction for misstating the facts regarding U.S. policy on North Korea's nuclear weapons program.
According to your view of the matter, " ... Bush and Kim have walked away from close to a decade of painfully crafted diplomatic arrangements that had almost completely frozen nuclear weapons development on the peninsula ... " This is an irresponsible and untruthful assertion.
Why did you not acknowledge the existence of the clandestine North Korean uranium enrichment program, an effort that the DPRK must have begun four or five years ago, only a few years after it signed the Agreed Framework? The aim of the Agreed Framework was to freeze plutonium development, but the document also reaffirmed the DPRK's commitment to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
The revelation of the DPRK uranium enrichment effort was widely reported. Why did you ignore that fact? Instead, your editorial assigns blame to the Bush administration and ignores the obvious possibility that the DPRK never intended to honor its commitment to not develop nuclear weapons, that the DPRK strategy is to delay and deceive until its program is fully in place.
I generally enjoy your publication, and controversial editorial opinions are an editor's right, but distortions of fact such as those in your editorial are unacceptable.
Jackie Kido had ax to grind with Lingle
Jackie Kido's July 16 letter ("TV coverage blame rests with Gov. Lingle") had some interesting insights.
She states that it is difficult for a person to reject a telephone request from a sitting governor when she picks up the phone and makes a request. She then says (former) HVCB chief Tony Vericella states that it was Gov. Lingle's office that made the request. She also insinuates that the trip was made with re-election as the prime objective. She also mentions some of the normal Democratic mantra about slashing programs for education and the impoverished.
I wonder what her motivation was to write her letter?
She is definitely in the know about how difficult it is to say no to a sitting governor. After all, she was on the staff of Gov. Cayetano and probably witnessed many strong-armed telephone calls. Her boss, the ex-CEO of our state, left Lingle with lots of problems to deal with.
Don't give tax breaks to private golf courses
There is a big push by the private golf course owners here in Hawai'i to be given tax breaks. They have been lobbying the City Council and the mayor for legislation giving them breaks because they say they cannot afford to maintain and operate them anymore.
Who plays golf? Mostly wealthy people play golf; very few poor people play. I do not play golf or hate those who do, but those who do play golf should pay the price not the taxpayers, most of whom do not play golf.
Golf courses are one of the biggest consumers of the precious, but dwindling, water resources here in Hawai'i. They are responsible for much of the pesticide-saturated runoff that finds its way into the ocean. The golf courses take up acres and acres of prime land on the overly crowded islands.
Now the owners of these courses want tax breaks?
Even the newspapers are sitting on the fence, running editorials saying only that it "needs careful thought." It does not need careful thought; it should be rejected immediately and the golf course owners told that if expenses are too high, then they had better pass those expenses on to those who play golf.
The city is cutting services to its residents. The city cannot afford to pay public employees decent salaries. It cannot maintain its parks and beaches. Can we afford to give the golf courses a $4 million break in taxes? Hell, no, we can't! It is very simple; no thought is needed.
Bob Rees is stuck in his ideological box
It appears Bob Rees may be so caught up in the same ideological paradigm the mainstream media are stuck in, he is unable to detect underlying, cultural and historical constructs.
Political observers outside the United States, for example, are amused by how U.S. politics equates the left with "liberal" and the right with "conservative." Surely, Gerhard Schroeder of Germany and Lionel Jospin of France would not choose to be called liberals. Their countries have transcended these labels in the process of developing a democracy that places common interest above ideology.
The United States, however, as part of its obsession with these ideologies, has prevented the development of political parties that progress beyond mere political democracy to promote social and economic democracy.
And, by the way, Bob, if Michael Moore is to represent the U.S. left (an impossible dream given the corporate media's decision to marginalize him), then I assume you would choose Rush Limbaugh rather than President Bush as the standard-bearer of "conservatism"? Sorry, Bob, you've only confirmed your membership among the tired old liberal media establishment. Welcome to the dailies.
Act of random kindness by waiter was moving
The incredibly moving story on July 4 about Jose Racasa and Walter Nishioka so touched me that I could think of little else since.
During the day when I least expected it, parts of the story about these two men and the most remarkable actions of Prince Kuhio waiter Racasa would suddenly surface, causing me to stop and ponder this fact: At a time when we face the most brutal acts of man's inhumanity to man (parents killing children, women and babies being subjected to disease, war and other acts of violence globally), I could not help remembering a biblical phrase we all grew up with: "Greater love hath no man than he lay down his life for his friend."
Today we are surfeited by so much sadness, so much cruelty, so much pain, so much darkness; then out of the blue an excruciatingly moving act of random kindness: the donation of a kidney. It gives new meaning to the question "Am I my brother's keeper?" Yes, because I am my brother.
If The Advertiser would regain its once devoted readership, it would do well to print more of the type of human interest stories we out here in the desert so crave, the kind of writing that touches the human heart, at which Wade Shirkey has become so expert.
When you print as many of this type of story to match the others you regularly print, perhaps, then, can you honestly call yourself "Hawai'i's Newspaper."
Fix negatives at home, and tourists will come
Gov. Lingle promised us changes, and she has indeed kept her promise. Some good, some OK and some not just bad but horrendous.
For starters, let's hear her lament about the economy and what we cannot afford. Schools, seniors, medical assistance, etc., which are high-priority causes and which didn't hit the governor's help button.
The one biggie that stands out as a bad act is the $75 million tax credit for a second aquarium. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out something is dreadfully wrong with this decision.
Then the trip to Japan, which set taxpayers back a cool quarter of a million. Now I admit it sounds like a wonderful gesture, but think about the basic reasons for the Japanese choosing not to come to our shores at this time. One obvious clue would be that the Japanese economy is struggling.
The other reason for any and all persons to rethink a trip to Hawai'i is the crime situation. The trip money would have been a terrific boost in getting more policing. Having lived in Japan for a few years, I can say the Japanese consider the crime element extremely important. More so than having a dignitary appear in Japan.
So what if former governors made similar trips? This is here and this is now. Get with the program of fixing our negatives here at home, and tourists will return.
It ain't gonna happen
Please reassure Sarah Kawanishi of Kapolei (Letters, July 18) that if she gets the city to support and sponsor a Gay Pride Day, I'll get the ACLU to sue the city.
Hawaiian diacriticals available
I read the article regarding use of the Hawaiian language with diacriticals with interest. Coconut Info worked hard with Lokomaika'iokalani Snakenberg starting way back in 1986 to present a Hawaiian, diacritically conscious font for Macintosh, originally licensed statewide under the DOE, with then Superintendent Charles Toguchi in 1988.
Since then we have continued to provide macron solutions and have happily watched the Hawaiian language grow on Mac and PC computers quite remarkably, including Hawaiian font solutions from Guava Graphics as well as Coconut Info, and the important work of John Donaghy at Kualona, UH. Perhaps the most important revelation was the addition of the 'okina and macron by The Honolulu Advertiser.
Sen. Kalani English is absolutely correct. Without use of the proper diacritical marks, the Polynesian language is simply and undoubtedly misspelled. In Polynesian, originally an unwritten language, syllables are strung together like beads on a necklace. The result is a language that has thousands more homonyms than English, resulting in massive complexity, as Haunani Apoliona mentioned.
While a Hawaiian look-up dictionary is possible (and available), it is not a "spelling checker for Hawaiian" (a frequently asked-for product). It would make little sense. What is really needed is a Hawaiian grammar checker in word processing. Whew!
The advantage of publishing without marking may be that it is "easier to the eye" and perhaps "easier to read," as I've heard some designers argue. Also in Web publishing, search engines are not Hawaiian-friendly yet, and this presents a problem indexing.
Regarding the Web, Hawaiian dynamic fonts for the Web exist, but not for all operating systems and all browsers. When installed on a typical Web site's server, they download invisibly and seamlessly. (PCs with IE occupy 90 percent of the market, and dynamic fonts work fine for them.) Certainly mutating the macron vowel with umlauts and carets is odd at best, but seen often.
Apple's move to use Unicode fonts and its expanded character set, first by Mac OS X, is a move in the right direction, but this method only works on a handful of "native" OS X applications at this point, including TextEdit and within the Finder. The implication in the article, therefore, that one can pull a Mac out of the box and use it with any favorite application and font to type Hawaiian is not correct. Fonts can be tricky.
Coconut Info recently introduced its own keyboard software and fonts for OS X that work in OS X with native and non-native applications in OS X, and continues to support Hawaiian language on Mac OS 7 through 9. We also continue to provide macron solutions for Windows applications and Hawaiian Web-based fonts.
John F. McGrady
Coconut Info Software & Publishing