Homeowners, it's time to take a stand
Are we just going to sit there and take these artificially inflated land values ("Oahu property values up 26 percent," Star-Bulletin, Dec. 16
)? Only a few fat speculators, realtors and government officials are actually making anything off of these new boosts in property values and taxes.
Tax revolt anyone? Better yet, class action lawsuits?
Senators should vote against oil interests
The oil industry's allies in Congress have stooped to a new low in their efforts to allow drilling in the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This weekend, a provision allowing oil drilling in the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was attached to an unrelated bill to fund our military and hurricane recovery in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is an environmental treasure, home to polar bears, caribou and thousands of other wildlife species, and drilling for oil would permanently ruin it. It simply doesn't make sense to destroy this special place for less than a year's worth of oil. That's why year after year Congress has rejected the oil industry's efforts to drill.
Don't be fooled. Defeating this Arctic drilling rider would not jeopardize funding for our troops. The House of Representatives is already scheduled to reconvene to debate a new defense bill before Christmas, anticipating this bill's defeat in the Senate.
A vote against this bill is a vote for integrity and honesty in the Senate. We urge Senators Akaka and Inouye to vote to support all efforts to block this indefensible abuse of power.
Hawaii field organizer
Cigarettes are out of place in paradise
As one who vacations on one of the islands every year, I agree wholeheartedly with your Dec. 18 editorial
calling for state-wide smoking restrictions.
Coming from California where there is NO public smoking, it is always a shock to encounter second-hand smoke in the land of aloha. Makes one want to turn around and go home ... but the awesome beauty of Hawaii and its people keeps me coming back every year.
John W. Lillpop
San Jose, Calif.
Marathon cleanup was well executed
As I write this, the 2005 Honolulu Marathon
is just about over. It is 5:15 p.m. Sunday and there are still a couple of stragglers on Kahala Avenue and Kala Place -- with three miles to go!
But the best news is that the cleanup crew has just gone by. Five or six cheery young men with push carts and rakes and plastic bags, all wearing bright orange and yellow tops, accompanied by two huge trucks well laden with the cleanup trash of paper cups and yellow sponges, etc. Kahala Avenue has never looked cleaner.
A couple of hours earlier, believe me, it was a mess. And they did it all with great dispatch. And they put all the red "safety systems" signs in piles where they can be picked up later.
My hat is off to the Honolulu Marathon Group.
Firearm myths don't fly in real life
This is in response to the comments made by Bruce Matheson (Letters, Dec. 17
). First of all, there has been no proof that the homeless man who died
while in police custody did so due to any type of misconduct or neglect on the part of the police. We should wait for the results of the investigation before pointing a finger at anyone.
Second, with regard to the comment about how air marshals "should have shot for the legs" of Rigoberto Alpizar, I have this to say: Police are trained to shoot to kill (generally aiming for the torso of the body, or "center mass"). Shooting for the legs (or shooting to wound a suspect) is a myth perpetuated by Hollywood and is something only a fool would attempt.
A police officer who draws his sidearm does so because he/she feels that their life or the life of another person is at risk and all other options have either been exhausted or would be ineffective. At that point, the objective is to stop the threat ASAP. To only wound a dangerous suspect might afford him the opportunity to cause further harm.