November 8, 2001
Imagine a Senator interrupting their speech before Congress to read a commercial message. Or a teacher interrupting their class room lesson to read an ad. Unthinkable? Commercial messages have already invaded public radio and television with promotions for the "underwriters". And now ads interrupt Maui's telephone white pages. My 1995 phone book white page had no ads. Last year the ads were only along the bottom of the page. Now they are everywhere all over the page, and the size of print has been shrunk to accommodate them. Advertisements are like Miconia trying to invade every corner of our public sphere. The Yellow Pages are for commerce, but the white pages are the only directory available to the public for everyone's phone numbers. Ads in white pages are like parasites sucking on your eyesight, rather than information you are looking for. You can't choose where you get your telephone white pages, but you can choose your local phone service---so let Verizon know you are switching your local phone service to the only other choice (ATT) until they get all ads out of our white pages.