Campaign signs level political playing field
In response to the complaints about the proliferation of campaign signs and sign wavers as we head into the election season, I would remind people of an even more disconcerting problem that pervades campaigns from municipal to national elections: campaign financing. The concern is that the wealthy and well-connected have the greatest chance of gaining political office because they have avenues to a disproportionate share of available campaign funds.
To me the ability to campaign with signs in neighbors' front yards or on street corners provides the most economically level medium for all candidates -- for some, perhaps the only means available to reach a substantial number of voters.
This grassroots means of campaigning is the essence of America's egalitarian roots. Perhaps if the detractors view campaign signs more as a pillar of democracy than as an eyesore, they will be more tolerant of them during the short term of their existence.
Mr. Bush, please make stamps' value obvious
Dear President Bush: This may be a bit picayune, considering the mire you are stuck in, but could you remind the postmaster general to remember to put the value of a postage stamp on the postage stamp itself? You see, when those guys raise the rates, my envelope of older stamps ... well, I have no idea how many stamps to put on the envelope to send you a letter.
That's why I'm writing to you in a letter to the editor. I don't have a single stamp with the value marked on it and I would not want the letter returned for insufficient postage; paying less than a one-way delivery and making the post office carry it two ways for nothing.
Thank you in advance for your efforts on this matter.
Solve homeless, feral pig problems at once
With all the issues of the houseless on the Waianae Coast and the feral pigs up mauka there is a simple solution:
Get a bus and gather all the houseless hunters and take them to where the pig problem is. Give them spears and let them thin out the pig population.
This way they can feed themselves and help control the population of feral pigs. Just make sure the bus takes them back to the beach. Once they see how much food is available up mauka, they might never leave there, too.
Lack of federal funds won't stop research
In regard to the stem-cell research bill passed by the Congress and immediately vetoed by the president, I think it lets us reflect on what we need to do more of in our country. This bill that was vetoed would not create a "law" stating that stem-cell research is allowed. The bill was for federal tax dollars to be used for the funding. I think that fact always gets missed in the discussion.
Stem-cell research is legal and can be done in our country, but I agree that federal tax dollars should not be used. I also believe that a lot of our federal tax dollars are wasted in other ways such as foreign aid to just about every country in the world. Charity from federal tax dollars should start at home to help U.S. citizens and legal residents who need a hand up but not a handout.
Compare speed of isle transit alternatives
I attended the "Transit Alternatives Analysis -- Community Update" at the Honolulu Hale Mission Memorial Auditorium.
I was disappointed to find out that the rail proposals were all for "local" trains. There is no plan for express trains. The projected time from Kapolei to the university (23 miles) is one hour. Therefore, the rail alternatives will be averaging 23 mph and will always stop at all 30 stops.
All of the different types of trains discussed operate at the same speed. The rail proposals appear to be much slower than the "managed lanes" alternative (elevated lanes for buses, emergency vehicles, cars and visitor industry buses that are willing to pay). Drivers on the H-1 who are going 25 mph or more will see themselves speeding past the overhead trains.
If two commuters from Ewa Beach get on a bus to go downtown, and one stays on the bus on the managed lanes alternative, and one gets off the bus and then boards the rail alternative, the commuter who stays on the bus will get downtown first.
If we choose the faster, cheaper managed lanes alternative, drivers on the H-1 will see the buses and cars speeding past overhead. This will be a powerful incentive to get more riders to use the bus.
Murder suspect acted in deliberate manner
How, I might inquire, can a grown man declared incapacitated -- a paranoid schizophrenic, unable to understand reality, delusional -- carry a hidden loaded gun and systematically hail a taxi and tell the driver to head for one of the most isolated places on Oahu, at Round Top Drive look-out. Then proceed to ask the driver for his money, who refused, so in turn shoots him in the head, then approaches an innocent couple up there taking pictures of the lights in the dark of night, and shoots both of them in the head.
Then commandeers the taxi and drives down steep hills and sharp turns to a nearby residence, knocks on the door, aims his gun at the wife of a judge, announcing a name she doesn't recall, but continues to tape up her hands and legs, and orders her to lie on the bed. Warning her not to say a word, or she would be shot.
The husband arrives home to be similarly startled, ordered to lie beside her, is taped up, and again under threat of death told to remain silent. As well as the concerned maid of the house, who happens on the scene a short while later.
Reminding them yet again to remain still, or else, the assailant continues to steal the cell phones, batteries, money, plus the keys to the family Jaguar, which he calmly drives downhill to be caught in a police roadblock.
I simply cannot imagine anyone who is paranoid, or in any condition listed above, who could carry out any of these heinous programmed events, and doesn't understand reality. He, in my opinion, could well understand what he was doing, and it's a lame, insipid excuse, all too often used in the courts.
Anybody paranoid would be scared to death.
John L. Werrill
Don't punish Wal-Mart, fix the infrastructure
The plan to build a Wal-Mart in the city of Kapolei is a great step forward in the development of our city. I realize the very real concerns about traffic; however, this is a challenge (traffic and infrastructure) that needs to be addressed and solved without the restriction of new business development in Kapolei.
I urge our city and state officials to find solutions to infrastructure issues in Kapolei while the interest level of Wal-Mart is on the table. I firmly believe that solving traffic instead of resorting to emotional exchanges will result in allowing Kapolei to truly become a "second city." How we resolve this issue will set an important precedent as to whether or not we are truly business friendly.
John F. Honold IV
Hope Chapel Kapolei
Synchronize isle polls with West Coast
I agree with the unnamed neighborhood board chairman in the "Insider Survey" (Star-Bulletin, July 16
) about why Hawaii has such low voter turnout. The results of national elections are called before Hawaii's voters have a chance to vote. Perhaps in these elections Hawaii's polls could open and close at the same time as California's polls. Early absentee, mail-in and e-mail voting also could help.
I do not, however, agree with the suggestion to hold a contest to try to attract voters to the polls.