Bishop Street lights beautify the season
Twice this week I have come to work early in the morning and was amazed by the brilliant lights along Bishop Street to celebrate the holiday season.
I urge all of you to come early this week and thank the building managers for doing this every year to celebrate the holiday season and to remind us how lucky we are to live here. (I am also glad that I don't have to see the electric bill!)
Contract not 'given' to mayor's supporter
Garry P. Smith's Dec. 9 letter
tries to convince us that since Joe Pickard was a contributor to Mayor Mufi Hannemann and Neil Abercrombie, it automatically follows that he was given a nonbid contract as a reward. To start with, Pickard's company negotiated a sub-contract with Parsons, Brinkerhoff, Quade and Douglas -- it was not "given" one by the city.
Pickard not only contributed to Hannemann and Abercrombie, but Lingle and Djou and many others as well. Does Smith suggest that anyone who has made a legal contribution to any elected official be eliminated from consideration for government contracts or subcontracts? If so, that would also eliminate Kitty Lagareta, whose firm was passed over by Parsons, and practically everyone else in the consulting business in Hawaii.
Smith offers only deliberately inaccurate and misleading information to support his argument that City Councilman Charles Djou is "doing taxpayers a service." I, for one, see Djou's actions as politically motivated obstructionism.
Judith Ann Melvin
Victory is more elusive than Bush realizes
I don't get it. What does the president mean by "A Strategy for Victory?" What is he thinking? That we are in a conventional war where there are winners and losers, and one side can declare victory? Nonsense.
We all know the plan is to train enough Iraqi troops so that we can bring our troops home. Does the president really believe if and when this happens we can proclaim victory? The terrorists will be with us for a very long time. It may be true that once our forces have left Iraq that the insurgency may diminish, but by no stretch of the imagination will it end. Terrorism will continue to be a threat to our country and countries around the world. Where is the victory?
Man, woman evolve, create more humans
Creation vs. evolution, here are the facts:
» It takes a man and woman to create a human being.
» It took evolution to make human beings what they are today.
» End of story.
A possible explanation for everything
What would happen if we found out God came up with evolution?
Don't turn back clock to partisan elections
I must disagree with the conclusions of my friend Chuck Prentiss when he urges taking a step back in time and return city elections to a partisan basis ("Honolulu's nonpartisan elections are failing us," Gathering Place, Dec. 18
When I was first elected to the Honolulu City Council, I ran as a Democrat against an incumbent Republican. In the next two elections, I ran as a nonpartisan candidate.
I always felt that city issues like sewage treatment and garbage collection shouldn't be decided based on party affiliation. I ran an issued-based campaign in all three of my elections and no one doubted where I stood on issues important to my Windward district or islandwide.
This is really how it should be. Every candidate should be judged by their knowledge of how city government works and what solutions they have.
Council members should never hesitate to disagree with a mayor of any party affiliation when conscience and independent reasoning prevail. That is how balance is achieved under the City Charter and the public trust is best protected. Returning to partisan races encourages posturing and silence.
I find myself most proud to be an American when leaders of both parties come together to solve problems and not just finger point and blame. Let's leave our local elections nonpartisan so we can elect problem solvers.
Port Ludlow, Wash.
Savvy governor puts Democrats in corner
For those who doubted Linda Lingle's political savvy (mostly Democrats, I would suspect), her recent budget proposal to include $300 million in tax relief should be proof positive of her brilliance (Star-Bulletin, Dec. 20
). This recent move now places the onus on the Democratic leadership to either sink or swim.
Unfortunately for all of us, I suspect our Democratic leaders would rather sink like a rock by not passing the tax break than give the governor more political clout. The brilliance in this is that either way, the Democratic Party loses.
City would collapse with no property taxes
What if nobody paid their property taxes for one year? Think of the effect it would have on the city and its administration. Think about it, Honolulu.
Please be careful driving around town
To the driver of a large silver truck on Young Street turning left onto Keeaumoku Avenue at about 5 p.m. Dec. 20:
I just have a bruise on my arm and my neck hurts, but I'll see my chiropractor today. I don't know what distracted you but thanks for not crippling me. I'm thankful to God for not becoming another traffic fatality or brain-damaged patient. If you were on a cell phone, please use it when the car isn't moving. When turning the vehicle, look to where the vehicle is going, especially if it's through a crosswalk. I will do the same when you and your loved ones are in the crosswalk. Have a blessed Christmas.
U.S. should drill on barren ANWR land
I feel compelled to respond to "Senators should vote against oil interests" by Moira Chapin. (Letters, Star-Bulletin, Dec. 20
). People talk about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as if its some Yellowstone-class forest. The reality is, land up there is mainly tundra and muskeg. For the uninitiated, tundra is flat, treeless land and muskeg is a bog.
Chapin and others would like people to believe that the whole area is going to be turned into a giant oil development. The reality is 2,000 acres are proposed for development. To put that into perspective, take a standard sheet of paper and put a dot on it. The sheet of paper represents ANWR and the dot the proposed development area.
Moira also claims that there is less than a year's worth of oil there. The Department of Interior estimates there is between 4.8 and 29.4 billion barrels of oil up there. To put that into perspective, the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, which transports oil from the North Slope of Alaska, moves on average 893,000 barrels of oil per day, and that meets about 20 percent of the United States' oil needs.