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Thursday, June 17, 2004






What do you think?

We'd like to hear from you about the firing of University of Hawaii President Evan Dobelle. Please follow the guidelines for letters to the editor in the information box on this page. Letters will be published in Sunday's Insight section.

Special students shine in Ho'okupono

On Saturday, June 5, my 17-year-old granddaughter graduated from Kailua High School through the Ho'okupono program, a special education program.

Were it not for the committed, capable, competent, compassionate and loving instructors at Ho'okupono, that fine young woman would be floundering in today's society.

Special education programs in Hawaii such as Ho'okupono should not perish. Nay, they should flourish and be supported by the Department of Education and our legislators.

Ann Lee
Kahuku

Drivers shouldn't play 'Red Light Green Light'

Charles Memminger wrote about driver safety in his June 10 "Honolulu Lite" column. I think safe drivers would agree with his sarcastic observations except his last one.

Every driver and pedestrian at a stoplight knows why a vehicle runs through a red light and risks collision with a person or another vehicle: They are trying to beat the light before it turns red from yellow. According to Memminger, this is a responsible driver because, he wrote, "Lights are colored for a reason ... and yellow means GO FASTER."

Therefore, when a driver sees a yellow traffic light (no matter how far away one is from the intersection), one is to drive faster, and if the light turns red when they are in the intersection, it's because they did not drive even faster. But now they have become (created) a risk for collision, which Memminger suggests is not the driver's fault because "stopping at an intersection when the light turns (has turned) yellow should at least be a misdemeanor."

Anyone who passed the traffic rules test in North America, Alaska or Hawaii knows yellow means caution (be ready to stop because the light is about to turn red) and not "go faster."

Speeding drivers are said to be putting the pedal to the metal, or pushing the accelerator as hard as they can. The headline on Memminger's column was "Putting pedal to medal tests our mettle." This translates to: Stepping on a prize, award, medallion or badge (which are medals) tests our courage, spirit, disposition (which is mettle). Is Memminger being sarcastic, subconsciously guilty, or is this a misspelling?

Clifford Y.C. Chock
Honolulu

Queen's workers should park elsewhere

The Queen's Medical Center keeps expanding. Even though it has a huge parking structure, hundreds of its employees and students take up most of the on-street parking spaces of the surrounding neighborhoods. This leaves little room for our own parking.

Around my apartment's two adjacent streets, I watch between five and 10 people park their cars, trucks and SUVs and then walk to Queen's every morning. Some have even been brazen enough to park on our lawns and in our building's tenant-only parking lots.

Now Queen's is planning yet another expansion. According to its Web site, it will expand the Queen Emma Nursing Institute and specialty training for nurses. Where will these students park?

Apparently, Queen's does not manage its parking responsibly. We need the assistance of the local government to oversee this problem.

P. Minczer
Honolulu

Humorous jab gave wrong impression

I write to clarify some comments made by Star-Bulletin columnist Richard Borreca in his June 13 "On Politics" column headlined "Lingle forgot the No. 1 rule: Bring food."

Borreca wrote about Gov. Lingle's use of state resources to support CARE, a 501(c)4 nonprofit social welfare organization. Borreca suggests in this column that perhaps Lingle could have avoided a violation of the State Ethics Code if CARE had set up "a plate-lunch wagon in the Capitol rotunda."

The question of the proper use of state resources has nothing to do with food. Providing food to state officials raises an entirely separate issue under the State Ethics Code: proper or improper gifts. Although Borreca's column suggests that he and I discussed the issue of food given to legislators, he never raised that issue with me when talking to me, and thus I did not comment upon it.

Borreca suggests that Lingle was confused about the proper use of state resources because, according to Borreca, organizations that lobby often provide food to legislators. However, Lingle has never indicated, to my knowledge, that any gift of food was the cause of her use of state resources to support CARE.

Lingle may indeed have forgotten the "No. 1" rule. However, that rule is to contact the State Ethics Commission in advance on questions of ethics.

Daniel J. Mollway
Executive director and general counsel
Hawaii State Ethics Commission

Gabbard's solution sounds pretty trashy

City Councilman Mike Gabbard must be the most brilliant man I have ever heard. His solution for shipping our garbage to the mainland ("Gathering Place," Star-Bulletin, June 13) is genius! That's how Hawaii has always solved its problems. We ship out our prisoners to the mainland instead of keeping them in Hawaii where they could stay in touch with their families. We shipped out Rep. Neil Abercrombie so we wouldn't have to deal with his antics locally. We shipped out Chris Hemmeter when he couldn't build luxury buildings anymore.

I say let's ship out Gabbard to Congress. That's how we always solve the problems we don't want to live with.

Fred Gartley
Kaneohe


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art

[ BRAINSTORM! ]

The ponds at the state Capitol are full of icky green stuff. What, besides holding an election, can we do to get rid of all that scum at the Big Square Building? Or should we just replace the ponds with something else?

Tell us what you think, whether you know of a way to clean the ponds or if you'd rather see a remodel of the Capitol grounds. Anything would be an improvement.


Send your ideas by June 16 to:

brainstorm@starbulletin.com

Or by mail:
Brainstorm!
c/o Nancy Christenson
Star-Bulletin
500 Ala Moana
7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

Or by fax:
Brainstorm!
c/o Nancy Christenson
529-4750


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How to write us

The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (150 to 200 words). 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 and include a daytime telephone number.

Letter form: Online form, click here
E-mail: letters@starbulletin.com
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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813




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