Gas consumers let stations control prices
The gas cap was a learning experience for us all. Most of all, the gas stations learned that Hawaii consumers are willing to pay more than $3 a gallon and not make an effort to conserve.
What we consumers need to do is show the gas companies we are NOT willing to be gouged like this. We need to catch the bus, ride a bike, ride a scooter ... anything to cut down on how much gasoline we use. We must be willing to switch gas stations because it's 1 cent cheaper at the one down the road. We must make these gas stations compete for our business, and only that way will the prices come down naturally.
Federal law officers fight Hawaii crime
Rod Antone's coverage of Operation FALCON II (Federal and Local Cops Organized Nationally) is an astounding story of U.S. Department of Justice in action (Star-Bulletin, April 28
Not only does it congratulate the feds for an achievement that benefits the people of Hawaii and the United States, but it shows that Hawaii's law enforcement agents can be effective as adjuncts.
Many of us are not totally happy with what statehood has wrought in our islands. However, state law enforcement authorities, including the attorney general, so often refuse to prosecute violators of state laws that people have no choice but to turn to the Justice Department.
Without its assistance, Hawaii would have little recourse to combat serious crime. In applauding the department, I also implore the state Attorney General's Office to investigate more zealously and prosecute law violators with at least the same zeal. It would make for a better Hawaii.
Philip R. Foti
Nuuanu needs mayor's, Council's protection
I am just a downtown worker with the most glorious job in the world. Each day at work I get to stroll the Iolani Palace grounds with visitors and gaze up at the beautiful valley of Nuuanu. Because I love this aina from where a part of my ancestry began, I have taken an interest in the current conflict over new development in Nuuanu
The answer to the problem there is obvious. These islands are already overpopulated, and more development in our forest areas are depleting the native bird population and encouraging more flooding and rock slides.
Bravo to the residents of this lush valley for fighting for what is right. As Margaret Mead has said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
City Council members and Mayor Hannemann need to come to the forefront and better protect us from irresponsible development.
Cindy Elika Grace-Ascencio
Graffiti artists deserve harsh punishment
After reading the May 13 editorial
about the graffiti problem, I couldn't agree more. The House passed a bill to pass along the costs of removing the "rogue artistry" by graffiti artists. It died in the Senate. Other bills that would impose stiffer fines also were killed.
Are we encouraging graffiti artists to spray paint on every blank surface in Hawaii? If judges actually consider this act as playful mischief, then let's remind them of how countries like Singapore treat graffiti artists. We taxpayers are paying to have their "art" removed. It's time they pay.
Symphony's new prices put balcony off limits
I'm happy that the Honolulu Symphony is going to receive support from the governor and the Legislature in the form of a $4 million appropriation; it needs it.
On the other hand, I am angry that the symphony is willing to alienate people like me by pricing us out of the experience we have been enjoying for many years as season ticket holders and faithful contributors.
What used to cost my husband and me about $40 a performance will now cost about $120. We believe that music is best heard from the balcony, but now we will not be able to sit where we want, in seats we can easily afford. With the new pricing, what used to be the cheapest seats are now among the most expensive.
Why is the symphony doing this? Could it be that management finally realizes that the balcony is the best place to hear symphonic music and has adjusted the price accordingly? Or have they decided to empty the balcony to fill the orchestra?
If the latter, shouldn't more effort be made to really fill the hall rather than just give the impression that the hall is full?
Along with others with whom we have discussed this, we will be sitting out next season rather than sitting in the orchestra.
Someone is making a killing on recycling
I'm confused. It used to be that I bought a can of soda for 50 cents. After a while I collected a truckload of cans, took them to the recycler and got paid a few pennies on the pound. I made about $20 a load. Free money! Then the deposit bill was passed.
So then I bought a can of soda for 60 cents (inflation), plus 5 cents for a deposit and 1 cent for a "processing fee." Simple math -- 66 cents for the same can of soda. I collect a truckload of cans and take them to the "redemption center." They give me 5 cents a can. I drive off a happy camper with about $50 in my pocket.
Halfway down the road I realize I've just gotten my own $50 back. (The 5-cent deposit I originally paid at the store. Duh!) What about the redemption fee? I just lost $20. Where did that money go?
But it gets worse. Because I'm doing so well, they're upping the "redemption fee" a half-penny (Star-Bulletin, May 17). Why am I being penalized for doing a good job? Now I'm out $25 on a truckload of cans.
Then I learn that there is a $20 million surplus in the HI-5 account from bottles and cans not redeemed. And what about the "recycling" fee? Who got the profit on that? Not you or me!
I'm still confused. And let's not even discuss the blue trash cans.
Peters caused his own 'suicide by cop'
The shooting death of Tracy Peters (Star-Bulletin, May 15
) was another case of "suicide by cop," a phenomenon that is becoming all too common in Hawaii.
The premature and violent end of a human life is always tragic, but Peters made it unavoidable by firing numerous shots and pointing a gun at a police officer. Peters had numerous criminal convictions, including murder, and our prison system obviously did nothing to rehabilitate him.
Under the new three-strikes law, it is likely he would have eventually been sentenced to life imprisonment and, in effect, he decided to commit suicide rather than face that grim prospect.
Until the prison system makes an honest effort to rehabilitate inmates instead of just warehousing them, we can expect a lot more suicides by cop as well as police and civilian casualties.
Prison for meth users is creative solution
The ice epidemic gets worse and worse, and there seems to be little that the Lingle administration has accomplished that will stem the terrible toll this scourge takes on our society. Rep. Brian Schatz's recent proposal to build prisons for methamphetamine users merits careful consideration.
There are at least three reasons to implement this creative idea. First, it provides an environment where rehabilitation of ice abusers is the goal, unadulterated by the needs of other, presumably more hardened criminals. Second, the federal government will contribute a percentage of the cost of building and maintaining such an institution; and third, the chronic, severe shortage of prison beds Hawaii faces can be partially alleviated by this plan.
I urge the governor and the Legislature to consider Schatz's innovative idea.