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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, February 12, 2006

Letters to the Editor

UNWELCOME CHANGE

HPD SHIFT PROPOSAL COULD HURT STAFFING

The recent announcement by Chief Boisse Correa changing the 3-12 work schedule to a 5-8 schedule may have a negative effect on the citizens of Honolulu. This unwelcome change comes at a time when morale in the department is low.

Productivity is best when worker morale is high, when workers believe that their welfare is high on the priority list.

Our police officers are underpaid, and many must supplement their income by working special duty or part-time jobs. The new 5-8 schedule virtually eliminates the opportunities for this extra income.

It is not inconceivable that many officers will consider leaving the department for "greener pastures," something we experienced some years ago.

HPD is chronically short-handed, and the possible exodus of officers will worsen an already bad situation and eventually jeopardize public safety.

Shirley Kato
Pearl City

ANTI-MILITARY

UARC FOES SHOULD STUDY THEIR HISTORY

The common view of opponents of the proposed UARC at UH is pretty clear: The military is loathsome.

Put aside for a moment how absurd it is for a citizen of Hawai'i to hold this view given the military's role in defending Hawai'i during World War II, not to mention the huge economic benefits the military has brought to us over many decades.

It strikes many of us on the other side of this issue that one could only slouch his way into this view precisely because the military has for so long and so well secured our freedom.

We know that "The military is a great matter of the state. It is the ground of death and life, the Tao of survival or extinction. One cannot but examine it." These are the opening words of "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu, written more than 2,300 years ago.

Loathing the military and thoughtless disregard for the fundamental role it plays in securing civilization can only be the mindset of those who are ignorant not only of human history but of current events as well.

How ironic it is that they seem to be concentrated in our university.

T. Mark McCamley
Honolulu

BENEFITS

HORSE RACING COULD REPLACE DEL MONTE

The loss of Del Monte from Central O'ahu will have significant impact, not only for the employees and their families, but everyone who has a stake in a green and productive agricultural sector. Into the ensuing debate over solutions to address land use and jobs for displaced farm workers, I have some thoughts.

Everyone appreciates the dark side of legalized gambling and many resist its introduction to Hawai'i at all costs. Are there any positives to legalized horse racing other than the obvious income stream for the state?

Yes. Horse racing as a gaming activity is a spectacle of beautiful animals sprinting around the track, and residents and visitors betting on the field.

But what about the agricultural infrastructure that makes this spectacle possible? Imagine this picture: rolling green pastures irrigated with reclaimed water from the surrounding community and Diamond Head in the background. Horses eat, and what they leave behind in stables and barns is an essential low-cost growth medium for local edible mushroom production. Pastures and fields of forage in Central O'ahu will need people to install and manage them with farm suppliers, hired hands, machines, banks and government gathering together before paradise is paved.

Joe DeFrank
Honolulu

JOB LOSSES

DEL MONTE CLOSURE PART OF GLOBAL TREND

Del Monte was an Island institution that people took for granted, and now it's leaving.

Twenty years ago, I would have been shocked. Now I see it as part of a pattern that many U.S. companies are following.

Massive layoffs, reneging on pensions and outsourcing of jobs is taking place all the time. Workers only now are waking up to their misplaced loyalty.

Let's hope Del Monte is more compassionate than most corporations.

A perusal of the federal government's latest budget says it all: Government wasted and misspent and now it is attempting to rectify this by cutting funds that could help workers.

I hope the Del Monte workers can hold on to their homes. To be out of a job and homeless, too, is an insult in the richest country in the world.

The problem is the riches are all at the top. At least someone (developer Peter Savio) is attempting to come up with a solution. If you're used to making $17 an hour, an $8-an-hour job isn't going to feed your family.

Cleo Kocol
Honolulu

SHOPPING CARTS

IT'S TIME TO CORRAL CURIOUS CREATURES

It's happening again. The new Wal-Mart at Pearl Highlands has only been open a few days and the shopping carts are beginning their migration.

These strange creatures obviously have an aversion to large herds and break away whenever they have a chance. I believe them to be mindless creatures, like sheep, which could be in need of a border collie to keep watch over them.

The stragglers wander, sometimes to amazing places around the island, before dying, lost and alone. They often die in plain sight of the general public, which seems oblivious to their plight, yet complains loudly and indignantly when the carcasses pile up.

I propose Hawai'i establish a scientific group to study these curious creatures so that we may better understand their odd behaviors. With knowledge, we may be able to better control them.

Colleen Bista
Pearl City

CREATION

COMPARATIVE THEORY CLASSES ARE NEEDED

Why, if the Hawai'i state school system believes in giving a quality education, does it not offer an optional course in comparative theories, including creation? Why should important topics of conversation not be discussed?

I just asked two high school seniors how they could prove that the world was not flat. They said the topic was never discussed in their classes.

I have resided on O'ahu for more than 51 years and watched the quality of education go down for decades.

I get the impression that the public schools and in the past, I have visited all of them on every island should decentralize for the good of the students.

The leadership and teacher skills in too many of them do not reflect the student needs in this new century. Certainly they are not "designed intelligently."

Ken Stevens
Kapolei

PEOPLE'S CHOICE

CONSIDER TWO PLANS FOR KAKA'AKO DEVELOPMENT

At last we have a choice. I very strongly recommend that the Honolulu Community Development Authority accept the current plan offered by the members of the Save Our Kaka'ako (Feb. 1) for the development of this last state-owned waterfront site in Honolulu.

Also, I strongly urge all concerned citizens to read the plan (www.Kewalo.org/kakaakoplan011606.pdf). It should be presented together with Alexander & Baldwin's. plan as an alternate choice to our residents.

This is where we can have the people's choice and is certainly the most democratic way. The final decision should not be decided by a select group of commercially oriented individuals.

Philip C. Loh
Honolulu

ARMY AMMO

SHELLS REMAIN FROM WARTIME DESECRATION

At last! The so-called Weapons of Mass Destruction thought to be in Iraq the sham rationale for the invasion and disastrous occupation have finally been found ... but just off the Wai'anae Coast!

Tons of harmful and deadly chemical weapons in the form of large, loaded (and perhaps leaking) ammo shells were unceremoniously dumped a mile or so off Wai'anae's shore, courtesy of the U.S. Army, our "defender." This happened in the late 1940s. They remain there today, the military has admitted.

I wonder when we'll hear voices of outrage about this. When will our officials and media pundits pause to reconsider the military's occupation of Hawai'i and its desecration and pollution of Hawai'i lands and waters?

John Witeck
Honolulu