Friday, January 4, 2002
Street performances are about moneyRegarding Judge Virginia Crandall's ruling that the city ordinance restricting street performances was unconstitutional, violating the First and Fourteenth Amendment rights to free speech and due process (Star-Bulletin, Dec. 29):
I just don't see the "free speech" or "free entertainment" issues cited by the judge and one of the street performers in the story. I see a group of people with an intent of making more than a couple of bucks under the guise of constitutional protection.
I would guess that if the tourists stopped dropping their dollars, our Waikiki sidewalk "entertainers" would have little motive to express the constitutional privilege granted to them by Judge Crandall.
'Cold War' spying comes to HonoluluSome say, "If we don't learn from the past, we are bound to repeat it." Richard Jones' letter of Jan. 1, "Altering enforcement program ridiculous," is a good example.
Our family was in East Berlin before "The Wall," with its cameras, came down. Now, Honolulu makes surveillance cameras a reality on Jan. 3, 2002.
East Berlin cameras were atop each building in Alexander Platz. On one large government building, the wall facing the platz had a portrait of one of their dictators. His eyes were cameras that slowly moved side to side. There were soldiers not just on every corner but in between as well. They stood at parade rest all around the platz, not at every corner but closer because the platz was huge. Guards also stood at the entrances to the underground metros. They did not talk but watched everyone and everything around them.
I felt like a prisoner with guards watching our every move. My skin crawled and a cold chill was deeper than the cold air.
The Honolulu traffic cameras are one step closer to another Bill of Rights violation for citizens. We should make our streets safe, but not at the expense of our civil rights. I have kept silent because the rumors of legal action against the traffic cameras have allowed me the safety that others would take care of it all.
Maybe this is a reality check before East Berlin "safety" becomes standard in Hawaii. There is a cold wind coming.
Carolyn Martinez Golojuch
"I was so happy we made it. I was so elated. I felt like the luckiest unlucky guy in the world." Thomas Holmes
Maui tourist from Los Angeles, who was attacked by a shark while snorkeling at Olowalu. Holmes, aided by his girlfriend, was able to swim to shore but required 35 stitches to close cuts on his right buttock and thighs.
"All year round, they're firing up here. It's not at wild pigs. Up here it's terrible. Homeowners are firing guns." Charles Newman
Kalihi Valley resident, whose home was one of two hit by bullets fired on New Year's Eve.
Quit being gloomy; go to work and spendFor 12 years, I owned a retail boutique in the Amfac Center and closed my shop three years ago because of our bad economy. Well, things haven't gotten better. They've gotten worse, and our news media is constantly reminding us of what we already know.
In Hong Kong the media doesn't dwell on bad news. People are busy going about their business, doing business. They make no time for gloom and doom.
I think we all need to get off our okoles and do something to bring business back. Let's begin the New Year with good, positive thoughts.
Those of you who can afford to support small businesses, the backbone of all business, we desperately need you to pitch in and lend your support. Spend! It will provide jobs, lessen crime, bring in tax revenue. It will give our aloha spirit a much-needed lift; and the news media will have to find something else to talk about.
I am going to do my part and begin looking for a location to reopen my business.
Joan "JJ" Johnson
Young people should get letter-writing habitThank you to the Star-Bulletin for printing my letters to the editor and providing a platform for airing my views during 2001. It was interesting to see many familiar writers with their side of the story throughout the year.
In 2002, I encourage young people to write letters to the editor. They are the leaders and makers of the future.
Roy E. Shigemura
Smokers tie up tables at restaurantsBill Tobin, in his Dec. 27 letter regarding a smoking ban in restaurants, overlooks one of the most important aspects of the issue. Serving more people is how restaurants and employees make more money.
First, of course, must be our concern for the health of employees.
Second, comes the fact that a smoking ban would level the playing field and not give any one business an unfair advantage over others. Since the majority of diners do not smoke, it makes good business sense to appeal to the larger number.
And many restaurant managers will tell you that they don't want people to sit around and smoke after they finish dining. It ties up a table that could be making money for the restaurant. The more times you "turn over" a table, the more money the owner makes and the more tips for the wait help.
Carmen Uilani Haugen
Treating terrorists fairly shows strengthRegarding Fred Cavaiuolo's Jan. 1 letter on military tribunals: Of course we all want justice for the events of Sept. 11. But while each of us may have strong feelings about who is responsible, and what ought to happen to them, we don't have access to all the relevant facts. That's what a trial is for, a place of reason and decorum where the facts may be presented to 12 people whose sole job is to consider them.
While we all may feel that these people should just be caught and executed, that isn't how America works. The founding fathers recognized that even well-meaning outside observers could be swept away by emotion, or simply mistaken. A jury trial, they reasoned, was the best defense against a human error that could result in the imprisonment or death of an innocent person.
I also disagree that trying terrorists in court would be showing weakness. I think it shows strength, that no matter how cowardly, violent and underhanded our detractors may be, we will never lower our standards of justice to meet theirs.
The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point on issues of public interest. The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed, must include a mailing address and daytime telephone number.