Letters to the Editor
SALARY COMPARISON AT UH AN EYE-OPENER
It caught my attention that UH men's basketball coach Riley Wallace and I were hired at UH at about the same time. He joined UH in fall 1987, with a starting salary of $55,000. I was hired as an assistant professor of Japanese, with a specialization in modern literature, the next year at just about half that, $27,000.
I am quite aware that university sports staff are generally paid more than academic personnel, and that among academic specializations, humanities salaries are among the lowest. By next fall, after 16 years at UH, my salary will have just more than doubled to about $57,000. Mr. Wallace's salary will be four and a half times higher than 17 years ago, at $250,000. He is, indeed, a very winning coach.
Lucy Lower | Manoa
ECONOMIC GROWTH HAS PAVED OVER OUR ISLAND
Population growth (crowding) should be discouraged rather than recruited by more and more development. High-rises in Ho-nolulu and urban sprawl have pretty much ruined this once-lovely island all in the name of "economic growth."
Economic growth isn't about benefiting the taxpayers. It's about the short-term gains of the developers, their employees and other special interests. Taxpayers pick up the tab for new roads and their upkeep and repair from more and more traffic. More schools, new teachers and other staff take a huge bite out of the tax coffers. Rubbish pickup, landfills and toxic wastes, and the concrete visual blight (e.g., high-rises on Kapi'olani Boulevard) are some of the obvious effects.
The imminent water shortage is going to devastate all of us. Once saltwater intrudes into the aquifer (due to demand exceeding supply), it will never stop. Desalinating the water is not a viable, cost-effective or environmentally appropriate solution.
Economics 101 simply stated: The higher the demand, the higher the prices. So our utilities, public services, mass transit, taxes, consumer prices in stores, etc., continue to escalate. Even parking is more and more of a challenge, to say nothing of the bumper-to-bumper traffic that everyone wants to solve, even though there is no good solution.
It is time to decide what "economic growth" really means. Who benefits and who makes the sacrifices and foots the bill? "Sustained growth" is just a euphemism.
Caroll Han | Makiki
HAWAI'I SHOULD EXTEND SAME ALOHA AS CANADA
Canada is now the fourth country to legalize same-sex civil marriage, with the Supreme Court of Canada's Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin giving royal assent on Wednesday.
It is wonderful to see that equal rights for all individuals is the law of the land in Canada.
However, it serves as a constant reminder that most Hawai'i residents consider civil marriage to be a special right for gay and lesbian members of our 'ohana living in our supposed "aloha" state.
Dennis Triglia | Kea'au, Hawai'i
LET RESIDENTS KNOW ABOUT POTENTIAL DANGER
Linda Smith and Linda Lingle tried to pull a fast one on us. The Legislature did a good thing when it overrode the veto of Senate Bill 1473, a measure that now requires the Department of Health to give prior notice to the local neighborhood board whenever it wants to use land in the Waimano Ridge area as a sex offender treatment facility, drug treatment facility, state laboratory, or for any other health-related use.
As a resident of the area, I was outraged to learn from the newspapers that the department planned on doing research on the West Nile virus, bird flu and other potentially fatal diseases just up the street from where I live.
This facility is also next door to Pearl City High School.
The state should have the decency of at least letting the people who live in the area know if they are going to do something like this. People should be told up-front whenever dangerous activities are going to be conducted in their communities. After all, if this facility is so safe, what does the Lingle administration and the department have to hide?
Erik K. Abe | Pearl City
YOU CAN HELP KEEP OUR WATERS CLEAN
Since moving to the Mainland, my husband and I look forward to our annual trips back home to visit family and friends, and of course to enjoy Hawai'i's beautiful beaches. But our perception of Hawai'i's waters especially beaches in town changed drastically last week.
My husband had his last training swim at Ala Moana to prepare for the Tinman Triathlon. After his swim, he became very ill; the doctor said it was likely dysentery or typhoid. My husband is better now, but he couldn't participate in the Tinman, and we are both happily staying out of that water (at least for the rest of this trip). But I couldn't imagine that simply staying out of the water was the solution to this problem, so I did some research.
There are many good sources of information out there, including the Hawai'i Water Environment Association's Web site, which talks about sewage spills (one of the causes of water pollution) and ways everybody can help to prevent further pollution. Prevention is as easy as using your kitchen garbage disposal less and keeping food (especially greasy food) out of the wastewater systems.
Please help keep our waters clean. See what you can do to help at http://www.hwea.org /psa/psa01.htm.
Michelle Uejio | San Francisco and Kaimuki
UPGRADED WALKWAYS ARE NOW DETERIORATING
What happened to our parks and sidewalks in the Waikiki area? Millions of dollars were spent to put in great-looking stone sidewalks along the waterfront walkways along with special grass.
Due to neglect, much deterioration has occurred.
The sidewalks are covered with sand to the extent that grass is growing in the debris left on the walkways. Weeds and bare areas are visible throughout the lawn areas.
We walk these areas regularly and talk to local people and tourists who are equally appalled by the neglect.
Tourism is our lifeblood, so why are we ignoring the very things that draw people? A clean, attractive Waikiki is essential to future tourism.
Mr. Mayor, don't hold the dime so close to your eye that you miss the dollars a clean and environmentally attractive Waikiki will return to Honolulu. I invite you and your staff to take a walk from the Natatorium to the police station and observe the deplorable condition of sidewalks and park areas.
Rudy Krause | Waikiki
VETO ONLY REINFORCES HOMOPHOBIC BIGOTS
When Linda Lingle vetoed House Bill 1715, not only did she violate a promise that she made during her campaign for governor, she affirmed an appalling message. That immoral message is that members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community are not deserving of the same basic human rights and protections that the straight community takes for granted.
This is the same message that a father in Florida heard loud and clear when he beat his 3-year-old son to death just because he thought his son was gay. The arsonist(s) in Fayetteville, Ark., also heard this message when they decided to torch that town's only gay bar. The schoolyard bullies have heard this message when they think it is OK to harass the GLBT students. It is only reaffirmed when the bullies go unpunished for their actions.
So Lingle can try to justify her veto, but what she needs to keep in mind is that this action was not only a violation of trust but an affirmation to every homophobic bigot out there.
Michael Golojuch Jr. | Kapolei
CROSSING LIGHT ON FRITZ
There's a crossing light near Ruby Tuesday's that doesn't really work. It's very slow. What if there was an accident and we needed to cross that street but the crosswalk sign took too long? What would happen and who would be responsible for it? Also, Mililani High students who have to cross that street might be late for school. What should we do to help? I would appreciate it and I'm sure others would too if you would take time out to try to fix this problem.
Lorraine S. Smith | Mililani High School student