State should collect new transit tax
Honolulu's congested traffic conditions show how badly we need mass transit. The people of Honolulu, who constitute approximately 80 percent of the state's population, will continue to suffer if the plan of the city administration fails again simply because Governor Lingle refuses to let the state collect the general excise tax (Star-Bulletin, June 14
The Legislature passed the law to collect the visitors tax without funding for its collection, yet the state collects it for the city. Why should the law to collect the tax for mass transit be implemented differently? We elected Lingle because we believed she would work in the best interests of her constituents. We appeal to you, Governor, to do so.
Wilma L. Albano
World Cup critics too wimpy to play football
With a so-called "World Series" of baseball and the "world champions" of the National Football League, along comes the legitimate World Cup of soccer
, correctly known as the game of football throughout the world we live in, played skillfully by virtually every nation on this Earth including these United States, and celebrated this year in Germany.
A plethora of negative remarks begins yet again by numerous columnists and sundry, who exalt their ignorance and show little respect for the many thousands of boys and girls in our own back alleys, parks and tournaments, who enjoy the discipline and skills, plus a high level of fitness, of the most popular spectator sport on this Earth.
I'd be delighted to observe any critic to run up, down and sideways for 90 minutes without a single time out, except for 10 minutes at halftime.
John L. Werrill
Wie must concentrate on her putting
Putting has ruined many of us. I have a gray hair for every three-putt in my career. But truth be told, Michelle Wie conveniently forgets all the putts she makes scrambling for par. If Tiger Woods couldn't putt, he'd shoot 80. Listening to a tournament earlier this year, the commentators, including Lanny Wadkins, a great putter himself, said they think Woods could be the best putter of all time, and I agree, especially under pressure. To hear him talk, you'd think he had stone hands.
Similarly, I've seen Michelle make many putts for par. Her failing at this point seems to be her concentration and determination on eagle and birdie putts. I've seen this countless times, and my assessment is that the individual doesn't have the mindset to "go low" and either consciously or subconsciously realizes that par is good and the need to really go after the birdies just isn't there. It's a comfort zone that prevents both bad scores and great scores. She's also got to be careful that those short misses don't anchor in her head. Think I could get a job as her psychologist?
Hawaii residents tops in giving time, money
According to "Hawaii ranks near the bottom for volunteers" (Star-Bulletin, June 13
), the information on volunteer numbers in Hawaii came from the Corporation for National and Community Service. As a longtime resident of Hawaii and an avid volunteer, I question their facts.
I, and many of my friends and neighbors, volunteer every spare moment we can, despite having to work multiple jobs just to make ends meet in our very expensive state. I have two paying jobs and three weekly volunteer jobs, with another five agencies I volunteer for monthly. And I am not alone.
It is obvious the corporation did not look beyond national and state agencies to the local churches, youth leagues, athletic programs, museums, theaters, schools, etc., because that's where we are -- at the grassroots level, helping out organizations and agencies that don't always qualify for government help, so they count on us.
I have lived in Oregon, California and Hawaii. It has been my experience that Hawaii is the most giving place. Residents work not only as volunteers, but they dig deep and donate as well. Maybe the survey should have asked not about volunteering, because many of the folks I know just call it aloha. When the next survey is done they might get a more accurate picture if they ask how much aloha was shown. Or maybe not -- humility is big here, too.
Something's gotta give if fare are too low
When it comes to this new airline, go!, entering the Hawaii market, several time-tested sayings need to be remembered.
» There is no such thing as a free lunch. You might be tempted to fly with go!, but you will regret your choice one day if this company becomes a permanent part of the Hawaii skies.
» If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Although go! is offering absurdly low fares today, it will come at a price. If you don't pay now, you will pay later, but you will pay. No airline can cover costs at that kind of fare. If Aloha or Hawaiian pulls out of the market, we will be left with a substandard airline offering fares comparable to those of last year, with all profits going to the mainland and a massive loss of local jobs.
» You get what you pay for. If you think you are going to get the same level of safety, quality and comfort flying at $19 on go! as you do on Hawaiian and Aloha, you are severely mistaken. Safety costs money. What are they going to be paying their pilots and mechanics when they charge $19 for a ticket? When you shop for a doctor, do you go to the one who offers you the lowest price? Or the one you think will give you the best care?
Don't be fooled by the hype.
Troops preserve his freedom to choose
During the past few days I have read all of the comments concerning 1st Lt. Ehren Watada's decision to refuse lawful orders he swore to follow. The differences of opinion have been between people who have never believed strongly enough in something to make the ultimate sacrifice and those who have.
Watada is not a coward or traitor, as some would suggest, but someone who does not believe strongly enough in the idea of freedom to keep it alive.
I served four years to keep freedom alive, which includes Watada's freedom to make his choices, right or wrong. This is what a free society is about.
Soldier should gear up and do the right thing
Lt. Watada, this is a wake-up call for you. Get rid of your childish behavior and go forward to vindicate yourself from all humiliations. Pick up that phone and tell your superior that you are geared for combat and ready to go. You are an officer and you damn right know the consequence if you are in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. I don't need to define it for you.
Get your act together, sir!
Felino B. Damo
Should all troops be prosecuted for war?
To continue with Elaine Heiby's logic ("What if Watada were in Hitler's army?" Letters, June 14
), if Lt. Watada has determined the mission in Iraq is illegal for him, and if his view is upheld, then wouldn't the war be illegal for all? And if illegal for all, should all who adhered to their oaths of service without protest be prosecuted for war crimes, as were many Nazis after World War II? That would be a preposterous conclusion!
Furthermore, if a lieutenant can pick and choose the missions he is willing to perform, what about more junior personnel such as sergeants, corporals and privates? Can they pick and choose also only the missions they feel are legal?
Watada is letting down so many people on so many fronts -- his soldiers, his command, the Army as a whole, his community, his country, veterans past and present, his family and even himself. If it's not too late to salvage his career, he should suck it up, honor his oath and deploy with his unit.
U.S. Navy, retired