King's widow led as example of courage
I met my hero, Coretta Scott King, when she came to witness Hawaii's formal recognition of her husband's birthday. I worked in the state Capitol and was present when Gov. Waihee signed Martin Luther King Jr. Day into law.
In 1968, on the day of Dr. King's funeral, Mrs. King was pictured on Parade Magazine's cover. I framed that picture, and my two daughters grew up with Mrs. King as an example of the woman I wanted them to be like, and a reminder to me to have courage when life gets rough.
On Tuesday, Mrs. King was buried. As I write this letter, I am remembering her soft Southern voice and her delight when I told her why I had saved her picture all those years ago.
When I gave her a lei made of carved wooden flowers, she vowed that she would treasure it for as long as I had kept her picture.
I live across the world now, in Egypt. But Mrs. King's picture still hangs on my wall.
Kapuananimekalamaku Virginia Johnson
New Cairo, Egypt
This should really help clear things up
I would like to comment on Patrick Stanley's letter of Feb. 8
, headlined "A moving bicycle can really do some damage." While this is certainly true, the physics of the letter is incorrect. Mass times velocity does not equal force. Mass times velocity equals momentum. Force is the time rate of change in momentum and is equal to mass times acceleration in this case. Also, assuming the rider has the same mass of the pedestrian, and neglecting the mass of the bicycle, the kinetic energy of the rider traveling at three times the speed of the pedestrian is nine times the energy of the pedestrian. This is because the kinetic energy of an object is proportional to the square of its velocity, not to velocity itself.
The correct physics validates even more strongly the points made in Stanley's letter.
Mechanical Engineering Department
University of Hawaii-Manoa
State tax burden deceptively high
Yesterday's Star-Bulletin* featured an Associated Press story noting that Hawaii residents pay more taxes
to the state per capita than do residents of any other state. But before everyone gets all riled up -- now that's wishful thinking! -- let's remember the reason: Our public school system is run by the state and is, therefore, paid for by taxes we pay to the state. In other states, the cost of public schools comes from municipalities or counties.
A more accurate and less inflammatory measurement of our tax burden would have been to combine city or county taxes with state taxes and compare that number to the other 49 states.
*Ed. note: This article was repeated for today's early and online editions.
Lawmakers motivated by special interests
City Council members vote on the number of terms they can stay in office
. State legislators decide when to give themselves pay raises.
Voters who are concerned about the power of special interest groups should also question lawmakers' personal interests in lawmaking. I'll bet that a lot of the time personal interest is motivated by special interest.
Let them know you want it curbside
Now is the time to let Mayor Hannemann hear that we cannot continue to ignore our "mountaining" waste disposal problem. We cannot continue to bury it: note the scandalous violations of our rights to clean air, water and land by contractors running our Waimanalo Gulch landfill (or should we say "landfull" ... almost); we cannot burn it fast enough and safely enough; and we cannot export enough of it to be practicable.
What we can do is to reduce the volume of the waste stream by removing that which can be profitably recycled. The best way to encourage all of our thoughtful citizens to do this is by establishing a system of curbside recycling, like all of the rest of the major urban areas of the United States.
Our politically astute mayor has wisely taken the "green waste" first step. Senate Bill 2918, introduced by Sen. Carol Fukunaga, provides the platform and financial support for the city and state representatives to work together to get curbside now. Call the mayor's office at 523-4141 and Sen. Fukunaga at 586-6890 and let them have your manao in strong support of this important issue.
Michael M. Kliks