We must put an end to smoky celebrations
As I write this, it's New Year's Eve
, just past 9 p.m., and a terrified cat is clinging to my lap. Other animals are cowering under the house. Due to the smoke, I had to move my birds' cages to a central room and seal it off. The animals are not the only ones afflicted; my year in Vietnam left me with a visceral distaste for explosive noises. I am sure that those suffering from asthma and other breathing disorders are having a horrible time.
It's time to stop this semiannual travesty. Let's have some professional fireworks displays in appropriate locations and ban the use of fireworks in residential areas.
E-bus would have been much faster choice
In his Jan. 1 letter
, Ray Graham says that it took him one hour and 40 minutes to get to Waikiki after the movie let out at the Ward Theatre Complex. Most of this time was wasted waiting for the bus. Mr. Graham says that from now on he will take the car.
The E-bus, which was canceled in June, would have sped him home. It ran every 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the time of day, stopped near the theater complex and went straight to Waikiki.
It is time for the city to reinstate the E-bus. It was the most efficient bus route, speedy, and took people where they needed to go (from Chinatown to Waikiki, including major shopping centers and tourist attractions) without having to transfer to another bus. Mayor Hannemann should restore funding for the E-bus in the budget he will present to the City Council in March.
With the E-bus, Mr. Graham would be able to leave his car home.
Playing soldiers is part of boyhood
As soon as I saw the pictures of Cub Scouts having fun playing with the National Guard in last Thursday's paper
, I knew someone would write a letter complaining about it (Star-Bulletin, Jan. 1
). There's nothing immoral about boys pretending to be soldiers protecting our country from the bad guys, and there's nothing immoral about guns in general. The immoral component comes into play when guns are used irresponsibly or for illegal purposes.
Most boys are fascinated with guns, so directing this interest by teaching them the proper use and respect of guns would be the responsible way to deal with this issue. Besides, we should be thankful that boys like guns. These soon-to-be-young-men are more likely than women to become the police officers who protect our communities, and will grow up to register for the draft just in case our country needs them to protect our way of life.
As for now, let boys be boys. The pretend world of childhood, from the magic of Santa Claus to having the super powers of Spider-Man, will fade away once they leave the limitless boundaries of child imagination and enter the adult world of responsibility and the real limits of mortality.
Regulated gambling could lower taxes
With all the increased taxes being placed on the people of this state, it is time that our legislators seriously look at allowing state-regulated gambling such as a lottery, casino gaming, parimutuel betting, horse racing, bingo and shipboard gambling as a means to giving us taxpayers much-needed tax relief. We already pay the highest taxes and have the highest cost of living in all of the United States, yet our incomes are below the national average. Retirees on fixed incomes will be forced out of their lifelong homes, unable to pay the unrealistic increases in their property taxes.
Our elected officials should pass laws that would let the voting taxpayers decide whether they want gaming. If they can readily pass laws to increase our taxes, then give us an option to give ourselves some tax relief.
Steven T.K. Burke
Hui Malama leader walks righteous path
Many people in the past have been wrongfully imprisoned for their religious values. Eddie Halealoha Ayau is not the first ("Hui Malama leader in jail," Star-Bulletin, Dec. 28
) nor will he be the last to walk in the path of Jesus.
Richard P. Kinney