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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Letters to the Editor

Ti won't be harvested in forests of Hawai'i

In a June 6 Letter to the Editor on 'okolehao, Penny Levin suggests, that "(Steve) Thompson would greatly add to the quality of his venture by partnering now with farmers to grow ti for the roots he needs."

That is what we are doing.

I have met with three small farmers on Maui and one on Hawai'i, and will meet with three more on O'ahu during July. Two of those growers, Douglas and Carol Anamizu, were mentioned in the June 1 article. I also think that Levin's suggestion that a network of small farmers under contract to grow ti is a good suggestion, which I will discuss with the farmers and growers I meet with.

In any event, it was never our intention to harvest ti in the forests of Hawai'i, which could compromise the environment and provide a growing ground for invasive plants. We want to participate in the future of Hawai'i by providing an alternate commercial agricultural opportunity for the growers and farmers, and we will work closely with the University of Hawai'i Agriculture Department in this endeavor.

Steve Thompson
President, Sandwich Islands Distilling Corp.

Council's handling of recycling is shameful

Like Mayor Harris, I believe the City Council's handling of the new budget is shameful, specifically as it relates to the recycling program. Its rejection of the recycling plan proposed by Harris is myopic.

The state of Hawai'i is emblematic of a pure, clean environment, yet O'ahu's landfill is overflowing and most recently was expanded, with a need to find a location for a new landfill. How can we spoil this beautiful landscape with garbage? Recycling would go far to reduce the amount of garbage going into landfills. The additional $8 fee for a second pickup to which the City Council objected would be an incentive for homeowners to commit to recycling and in time create a mindset that would further limit their trash by compacting.

The state that symbolizes paradise must lead the way for other states in waste management. Not only should Hawai'i's residents be seriously recycling, but in addition, building plants to transform garbage into energy.

The $340,000 the City Council budgeted for a recycling study is a complete waste of money. That money should be used to implement the existing plan identified by Mayor Harris.

As a homeowner who came to Hawai'i from the Mainland to live in a cleaner, healthier environment, I want the increased property taxes I will now be paying to be spent for a recycling program now, not in 2004. This land is sacred, and yet we continue to pollute the rich earth with unnecessary garbage.

The City Council's priorities are misplaced. Let's eliminate the bureaucracy in this state — like employees for community block development — and spend tax dollars on programs that ensure the future of this state.

Helen Picca

Limited interest in coaching job is odd

It strikes me as odd that there is limited interest in the St. Louis Crusaders head coach position.

I supposed that it would be every coach's dream to lead a football program so rich in tradition and achievement. So, why is finding a person to assume responsibility for the program's success such a difficulty?

Perhaps the reluctance comes from the hard lessons learned from the example that the Hawai'i High School Athletic Association made of Baldwin High School soccer coach Fred Guzman. When I think of what happened to him, it is easy to see why possible candidates are backing off or remaining in supporting roles.

Evidently, coaches are not willing to put careers, livelihoods, reputations and family on the front line. The losses would be far greater than any victory.

Raymond Feliciano

Individuals should decide on helmet use

Regarding your June 2 editorial "Don't like helmets? Learn from Ching": Honestly, I do like helmets and have been using one for many years while riding my Honda moped around Honolulu. Wearing a helmet makes good sense for me and my family.

What I disagree with is the government telling me that I must wear a helmet. Allow the individual (and his or her family) to decide on helmet use, or not. All others, butt out!

Dave Kern

High rental prices on O'ahu outrageous

The median price range for rentals in Hawai'i is $779. I would like to know where on O'ahu a family would be able to rent a decent house for that amount of money.

My family pays well over $1,500 a month for rent only. That doesn't even include water or electricity. It's just a regular three-bedroom house, nothing spectacular.

It's a shame that our legislators do not work on this problem in Hawai'i — then maybe we could afford to actually live a life and not have to work three jobs and struggle to survive just to have a roof over our family's head and not be living on the streets.

Linda Rivera

Finding weapons isn't needed for justification

The war in Iraq was justified. Finding weapons of mass destruction is not necessary for this justification.

It is documented that Saddam Hussein had such weapons in 1998. United Nations Resolution 1441 demanded that he disclose what he did with them. It was approved by all the nations of the Security Council. He was given more than ample time to comply. He refused.

We must determine what happened to these weapons. But whether he hid them, destroyed them or gave them away is immaterial to the justification of this war.

Peter T. George

If you're in gridlock, you're part of problem

It seems that every month someone complains about how traffic is getting worse, and usually his answer is to build more roads.

Having studied traffic management in UH's department of urban and regional planning, I could point to hundreds of examples where it's been tried and failed. The simple reason is that if you build more roads, you encourage people to live farther from work and use roads more.

If we doubled the highway to Wai'anae, more developers would build on the Leeward side, and in 10 years, the roads would be gridlocked again.

Remember that 30 years ago there was hardly anything out that way; they built a highway, and now we have a new city.

There are only two ways to stop traffic congestion: stop people with cars from moving to your area, or get more people to use their cars less. We have avoided rail transit, and now we have gridlock. We have tried to advocate park-and-ride and Vanpool, but not many people are willing to give up their cars.

So remember, if you're sitting in gridlock complaining, you're part of the problem.

Kyle Greenwood

We should treasure the mom-and-pops

The snack shop at the Suda Store is gone; another establishment that was wrought by the mom-and-pops of yesterday has come and gone. Kihei will never be the same.

Those late-night beer sippings that lingered into the morning, the munchies that ensued early Sunday morning before the first game kickoff. "Go down Suda's, brah, go buy me one cheeseburgah an one saimin. Oh, no foget da Honolulu Advahtizah, eh?"

Shootens den, we all went to Suda's snack shop to get a bite in the early morn. Nothing could be finer than dat! Across da street, the blue Pacific Ocean, the Kihei Canoe Club bruddaz and sistahz hangin' out. What memories.

Yes, Maui has lost another spot where it was come-as-you-are, like no need take a bath, juss come and grine. Your hair could be a mess, your armpits could stink, but who cared? Playing golf in Wailea or Makena? That pit stop at Suda's snack shop was the best, no ka 'oi.

As time moves down this river of life on Maui, and in Hawai'i in particular, we all should frequent these little establishments and see what the little businessman/woman is doing. We live in the modern big-box store age where the convenience of those businesses seemingly pushes the mom-and-pops to extinction.

It will be sad to see places like Sushiya's in Lahaina go, as well as that mango stand across from 505 Front St. It will be sad when Takamiya's departs us, if it ever does. Once Ooka's closes down, if it does, it ain't gonna be da same ever. Fukushima's in Ha'iku, hope it stays around.

But the fact of life is that things don't last forever. Sad but true, Suda's snack shop was one of the greatest places you could go to get some local grines, with or without body odor and bad breath and a messy head. Yes, my friends, Suda's snack shop rocked with the best of them. Is Like Like Drive Inn still around? I neva go O'ahu long time.

Ron Sambrano
Lahaina, Maui

Officers dismissed Big Island claims

I'm writing in response to an article that ran May 20 ("Hawai'i County settles 2 lawsuits against ex-police chief for $93,000") regarding a settlement between the County of Hawai'i and two complainants, Tanny Cazimero and John F. Brunton. Both lawsuits involved allegations against me as the Hawai'i County police chief.

The article correctly stated that the cases were settled for $93,000, with $60,000 being paid to Cazimero, a former Hawai'i County police officer, and $33,000 being paid to Brunton, a former officer in the King County Sheriff's Department in Seattle.

However, the article never mentioned that Cazimero and Brunton dismissed their claims against me before they settled their respective cases with the county. Further, neither I nor the county on my behalf paid any money toward any of the acts alleged in the Cazimero case.

In the media release, Deputy Corporation Counsel Joseph Kamelamela confirmed that the county denied any wrongdoing in the cases, but settled the cases to limit the costs of further litigation. Although conceding in this manner to save costs may preserve county funds in the short run, such compromises, in my opinion, will over the long haul encourage frivolous lawsuits against the county.

I was also quite disturbed that the writer of the article never contacted me about the settlement even though I was named as a party. As a matter of fact, I was not a party to the joint media statement, which has been offered by the other parties in the Brunton case. Most disturbing was the fact that the article quoted allegations made by complainants Cazimero and Brunton without affording me the opportunity to respond.

If I had been contacted by your reporter, for example, I would have told him that despite Cazimero's allegation that I fired him from the Police Department, I had recused myself from his case from the onset and that the investigation and subsequent termination of Cazimero was handled by then Deputy Police Chief James S. Correa, under the guidance of corporation counsel.

With respect to the Brunton lawsuit, the article correctly states that I had publicly confirmed the investigation, but neglects to point out that the investigation was initiated at the request of corporation counsel. In short, this investigation was conducted not for political reasons, but rather in response to a bona fide request from county attorneys.

I sincerely doubt that Cazimero and Brunton would have dismissed their cases against me and that Cazimero would have withdrawn his grievances with SHOPO, which he did, if the allegations were true. In addition, the complaints Cazimero and Brunton filed against me with the Hawai'i County Police Commission were either dismissed or not sustained.

In this case, the plaintiffs failed to prove a single complaint against me, against the Police Department or against the County of Hawai'i in their respective lawsuits — frivolous lawsuits that I had strongly urged the county to litigate.

Wayne G. Carvalho
Police chief, retired