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Friday, July 30, 2004





Spend tax money on necessary projects

It's not only Ala Wai residents' taxes that pay for the big mess in that area. It's all our tax money that the mayor is spending on "beautification"? If he wants to "beautify" something, then how about fixing all the potholes and bumps in our streets that are damaging the alignment and tires on our cars? How about repainting the disappearing white lines in our streets? How about replacing the green-arrow traffic lights that are so dim you can't see them in daylight, which can be a safety hazard and cause a serious deadly accident? Nimitz Highway downtown has been torn up for years. How long do we have to wait to get that street back to a safe condition?

Speak up, taxpayers. Let the mayor know we want our tax money spent where it will do the most good for the public.

Chester Chaffee
Pearl City

Waikiki should be virtually free of cars

Just because some of us chose to live in Waikiki does not mean we should not own an automobile. I bet your editorial writers own cars, ("No easy solutions for Waikiki parking problems," Star-Bulletin, July 29).

Why don't we solve this in a fair way? Those of us who choose to live and work in Waikiki, the economic engine that drives this island and this state, should be the only ones allowed to have cars in Waikiki. All others should be shuttled in and out. Those of us who work and live in Waikiki must accept inflated prices for all services and stand in long lines just to buy an overpriced burger day and night. We use our cars to leave Waikiki from time to time in order to purchase items at an almost fair price. Our cars are not parked on H-1 every morning trying to get to our jobs, we are already here!

Give us a break, or just turn Waikiki into Disneyland, make Ala Moana Park a big parking lot, put up gates, charge a fee to get in and send the zoo tram over. That would never work, no one could ever keep the tram running!

D.S. Robb
Waikiki

Israel's land grab is cause of terrorism

Israel's relentless expansion into their neighbors' land, with American acquiescence, is the fundamental reason for the tragic violence in Israel-Palestine. It is not Yasser Arafat's "constant failure as a negotiating partner" and dysfunctional administration, as David Sarasohn claimed in his July 23 column.

Contrary to Ariel Sharon's line that Arafat is no partner for peace, it is Sharon who avoids negotiations with Palestinian leaders. He uses Palestinian violent resistance to continued occupation as a convenient excuse to put off talks. He only gave lip service to the "roadmap" for peace proposed by President Bush. Dreaming of a "greater Israel" ever since the U.N. partition of Palestine in 1947, most of modern Israel's leaders have chosen force to unilaterally establish "facts on the ground" favorable to Israel rather than negotiate for peace with justice for both peoples.

Israel's actions, including its ongoing construction of massive barriers surrounding Palestinian towns, are sowing hatred and reaping a bitter harvest of terrorism and international condemnation.

Janet E. Thebaud
Honolulu

Obama, Taguba set good example for all

I just read your July 28 editorial regarding Barack Obama. There is definitely something exciting about that man! I told my husband that I predict Obama will be president someday. I agree that he's a shoo-in for the U.S. Senate seat from Illinois and think that would be the case even if his opponent had not withdrawn due to scandalous accusations. I also agree that it's great that Obama credits Hawaii for his diverse worldview.

My family moved to Hawaii in 1969, and while it would have been great to have graduated from Punahou, I am a 1973 Kaimuki High graduate now living in Alaska. I can very much relate to Obama's feelings about how being raised in Hawaii helped him learn how to relate to lots of different people. I think Hawaii's atmosphere of tolerance (while not perfect, as mentioned by Obama) is close to unique. I have always been proud to say I spent many of my formative years there. I have seven special nephews, two special sisters and special friends in Hawaii who also make me very proud!

I also remember feeling proud about Hawaii's Gen. Antonio Taguba, too, when he so fearlessly brought to light the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Yup, Hawaii produces some pretty cool people!

Karen Ramsey
Ward Cove, Alaska
Former Hawaii resident

Obama breathed life into boring election

Rarely am I moved, if ever, by political speeches. Tuesday evening, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois revisited the essence of what it means to be a part of the United States of America. His charismatic presence and uplifting delivery was the perfect platform to relay his message of hope and unity. While praising our country's diversity, Obama also strongly emphasized our need to become and act as "one America."

I urge everyone, regardless of political stance, to view this speech, for I can do it no justice in a single paragraph. This ho-hum presidential race has been instantly revitalized by the words of Barack Obama.

Lisha Chase Gaudiano
Honolulu


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[ BRAINSTORM! ]

Hawaii's police officers are forced to endure the tropical heat and humidity in dark blue uniforms. It must get pretty uncomfortable, especially for the solo-bike officers. So this month's question is: If you could design a new uniform for our hard-working public safety officers, what would it look like? (Be nice!) Think about material, color, footwear and the different departments (patrol, detectives, solo bike, bicycle ...). We'd love to hear from members of our police force for this one, too.

Send your ideas -- include your name, address and phone number -- by Aug. 20 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
Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813




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