Letters to the Editor

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Sunday, June 12, 2005

Let prisoners clean up Aloha Stadium area

The area around Aloha Stadium looks terrible with all the rubbish strewn all about. This is one of the areas that is most frequented by tourists, with the swap meet, and the Arizona and Missouri memorials located nearby. It is not the pristine sight that I would want tourists to remember when they leave the island.

Why can't inmates from Halawa prison, located right up the road, take care of this for us? After all, the taxpayers are paying for their incarceration and not receiving anything in return. And please don't tell me it is beneath their dignity or violates their rights to make them pick up trash. They lost that privilege and distinction the moment they decided to commit a crime. I read where Jamal Lewis, a noted professional athlete, just spent a difficult four months in prison by reading and weightlifting. Is this what our prisons have turned into, glorified spas for criminals? Put these folks to work, REAL work.

James Roller

Accused drug dealers should not get bail

The recent drug bust of Shawn Aguiar, brothers Audwin and Randolph Aiwohi, Kale Ornellas and the supplier, Eric Castro of California restores my faith in law enforcement and the various agencies involved in this bust (Star-Bulletin, June 1). Drug suppliers and distributors are responsible for getting our children and loved ones addicted to this horrific drug and the cause of the increase in crime (often violent), divorce, foreclosures, bankruptcy and homelessness. They are the reason our jails are filled and why families are broken up.

I hope that all the hard work that the law enforcement officers, investigators and Attorney General's Office did does not get washed up and dropped in the judicial process. Congratulations to Magistrate Judge Kevin Chang for having the guts not to grant the Aiwohis and Ornellas bail. It is unfortunate that we have magistrates like Leslie Kobayashi and Helen Gillmor who have allowed Aguiar and Castro to post bail. I have to wonder why these criminals get to walk away from such acts.

Whatever their reason, it was bad judgment to have allowed these people to post bail. I hope the public follows this case closely and applies pressure to the judicial system so this can be used an example that we will no longer tolerate a slap on the wrist for this kind of crime.

Pat Puana
Wailuku, Maui

Workers compensation must be reformed

Although the Legislative session is over, I still agree with Governor Lingle's attempt to force a showdown with the Legislature over Senate Bill 1808 to preserve existing workers' disability compensation benefits. The system needs reforming to accelerate medical treatment and to get employees back to work. There is too much lingering and abuse in this system, the paperwork is overwhelming and the cost to business is great. In addition, little is done to investigate suspected fraud cases. It is easier to write a check and maintain abusers of this program than it is to investigate them.

Considering the technology of today, there is always some form of work a person can do instead of receiving workers compensation monies. The Legislature needs to stop putting up barricades every session and get to the root of the problem. Working people deserve a reform of this system. After all, they are paying for it.

Dora S. Johnson

Is the bus company above the law?

When a child or baby is in a moving car, they have to have a seat belt on or be in a booster seat or the driver will get a ticket. So why don't they have seat belts on the bus, and why don't parents have to bring booster seats for their babies?

I ride the bus and see cars cutting in front of buses, and the bus driver has to hit the brakes and everybody goes flying to the front of the bus or heads go ripping to the seat in front of them.

If I have to pay $92 for kids not using seat belts or booster seats, the bus should pay, too.

I like that law but the buses are not showing kids the right way to ride in a car or how to listen to the law.

Gordon Ponce

Denying marijuana to the sick is absurd

Kudos to the editorial board of the Star-Bulletin for its principled stand on medical marijuana ("State should opt out of medical marijuana raids," Editorial, June 7). Of course a Supreme Court that would depart from time-honored precedent and hand an election to the popular vote loser can find a rationale for short-changing state's rights at the expense of medical marijuana users.

How ironic that it is the conservative justices like Sandra Day O'Connor and William Rehnquist who can see clearly the absurdity of denying a life-saving substance to the chronically and terminally ill, simply because it is not the "drug of choice" for the powers that be. Alcohol and tobacco do far more harm than marijuana ever has or ever will.

Michael Salling

Pow wow's afterglow ruined by litterbugs

On Sunday my sons and I had the pleasure of watching a live pow wow, which was sponsored by the Intertribal Council of Hawaii, at Kapiolani Park ("Tribal vibrations," Star-Bulletin, June 6). The dances were entertaining as well as educational, and we thoroughly enjoyed the presentation.

On our way back to my car, we stopped at the pond at the Ewa end of the park. I was saddened by what I saw. There were empty plastic cups, beer bottles, plastic bags and other debris as well as ironwood needles and coconuts in the water. It spoiled what otherwise could be an attractive feature of the park. Imagine what visitors to Oahu think upon seeing such a disgraceful sight.

It is difficult explaining to a 6-year-old and 2-year-old why we need to pick up after ourselves when we see such poor examples others have left behind. I am proud to say, however, that we managed to pick up more garbage than we brought in.

Natalie Iwasa

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