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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, September 6, 2003

Letters to the Editor

Unions are damaging state, U.S. economies

What if Hawai'i were a union-free state? There would be no bus strike, of course. Don't you think the unions are the ones that are damaging the economy of this state and actually the whole United States?

We are almost done with the struggles of 9-11, then the war, and then SARS, now the bus strike. The unions have so much power because our politicians need them — not because the unions are contributing to our society or protecting our workers; our politicians need their support to get the votes.

Get rid of the union and let the bus drivers go back to work.

Arthur Ma
Chinatown merchant

Some gas stations gouging during strike

Amazing the lack of aloha being shown by certain retailers since the bus strike began. In particular, I would like to mention the gas station owners who have raised their prices by as much as 5 to 10 cents per gallon.

Kudos to those who have not taken advantage of the increased driving necessitated by the strike.

The strike will end. And I, for one, will remember and patronize the stations that were wise enough to keep that in mind and not gouge their friends and neighbors.

Cynthia Lowe

Mayor has put bus system in jeopardy

Thanks to our mayor, who loves to spend money the city really doesn't have, our bus system is in jeopardy. Sunset on the Beach, very expensive signs to identify places on the island, funds being spent wildly that could have been used to prevent cutting bus operations and bus drivers, thus leading to a strike.

Mr. Mayor, wake up. You are the thorn in the C&C operation.

Curtis R. Rodrigues

Queen overthrown by her own subjects

Among the plethora of opinions on the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, Louis Agard (Letters, Aug. 27) accuses Thurston Twigg-Smith of revisionism in his Aug. 20 letter. In fact, Agard is the revisionist. He indicates that Twigg-Smith incorrectly stated that the queen's own people overthrew her. Twigg-Smith distinctly indicated that the people who overthrew her were subjects of the queen.

Mr. Agard also states incorrectly that the 1887 constitution deprived the queen's own people of the right to vote. The 1887 constitution did not deprive the queen's people of the right to vote but did impose an income and property requirement on the right to vote in the upper house.

Agard further states that the queen sought to restore the right to vote to her people in the proposed 1893 constitution. In fact, the new constitution would have taken away the right to vote in the upper house and replaced it with appointments by the queen.

Possibly, a thorough and objective review by the U.S. Congress of the 1893 overthrow would narrow the continuing divergence of opinions. The 1993 apology resolution did not serve this purpose, since it was apparently based on a particular interpretation of historical events to support the belief that the U.S. government played a significant role in the overthrow. The document received no investigation of historical facts and almost no debate prior to approval by the U.S. House and Senate.

Frank Scott

What preference?

I must have misread the Kamehameha Schools will. I thought it specified giving a preference to "indigent" Hawaiians. But, based on the actions of the trustees, who appear to be screening applicants on the basis of academic ability rather than poverty, it appears the correct reading is a preference for "indignant" Hawaiians.

Jim Henshaw

Roughwater Swim didn't take precautions

I wonder if the "directors" of the Roughwater Swim have stopped defending their untenable position on holding such an event with a hurricane bearing down long enough to realize they were a hair's breadth away from costing the lives of hundreds of people who trusted them to know adverse conditions when they saw them.

Not only did they allow more than 1,000 people to forge ahead without saying "very strong" meant currents of 10 knots pulling toward Diamond Head and out to the sea, but they also frantically entreated any private citizen with anything that floated to rescue literally hundreds, thereby compounding the problems by risking countless more lives. Brilliant.

It is time for the Coast Guard and fire and rescue folks to call the shots regarding these "fun" events. They are the ones who have to risk their lives when disaster strikes, after all. Obviously the "planners" can't.

It's a miracle no one died — this time — thanks only to the bravest, finest and the most public-spirited people who came through with such skill and aloha. We who still have whole families as a result are grateful.

Janet Weyenberg