When will drivers learn that speed kills?
Why can't the speed limit be the speed limit? I just read another article about a 75-year-old man getting killed by a hit-and-run driver (Star-Bulletin, August 26
). Seems like even with the crosswalk law, the number of unfortunates has gone up.
I drive to work every morning between 5:30 a.m. and 6 a.m., driving in the right lane going the speed limit. Cars cut in front of me, overtake me, and the others speed. I saw a guy take the Pali cut-off and come right back onto the freeway on the Punchbowl on-ramp just to pass some cars. What's the rush? What's the passion about being in front of the line?
Speeding may get you there faster but at the risk of killing someone. I thought the vancams did a great job in getting people to go the speed limit. Then when gas prices went way up, drivers slowed down again. When prices go down or they stay level for a long time people get used to the price, and they speed up again.
People need to remember what it's like to enjoy life. Or allow others to enjoy their life.
Democrats shaken by Case rocking boat
I am an independent voter who has voted for candidates who were Greens, Libertarians, Republicans, Democrats and others.
When Ed Case declared that he was going to run for the Senate without first getting permission from local Democratic Party leaders, they admitted what we have always known: They don't want you to be the nail that stands up or they will knock you down. Don't rock the boat and don't make waves. To heck with what your constituents might want, the party makes all of the decisions and if you don't agree, you don't get to put your hands into the money jar and you won't get any support.
Dan Akaka is so afraid of debating Ed Case that he refuses to agree to do it on the four largest television networks. He won't even allow his challenger to ask him any questions. Why? What is he afraid of?
I can't give him my vote, especially after Time magazine declared him to be one of the five least effective senators in Washington. Why would the good citizens of Hawaii want to send someone with that reputation back to Washington anyway?
Medical marijuana reform is needed
It is critical that the state government transfer administration of the medical marijuana program from the Department of Public Safety to the Department of Health. Under Public Safety, the program has faced significant administrative problems, poorly serviced patients and -- due to placing the program in the Division of Narcotics Enforcement -- made many patients feel uncomfortable about being in the program.
An equally critical reform is to raise the permissible amount of marijuana possessed by patients, which is currently at three plants and one ounce of usable marijuana. Additional debilitating conditions also should qualify for treatment with medical marijuana. Many patients struggle with diseases that currently do not qualify for treatment, or they need doses that this program will not allow.
I hope that next year the Legislature will have the heart to make Hawaii's marijuana policies more sensible and just.
State slow to recognize problem of gambling
After years of attempting to convince legislators and bureaucrats that gambling is a serious addiction and social problem, the Aug. 20 article ("Hawaii gamblers cash out," Star-Bulletin
) makes it very clear. This state is woefully behind in recognizing that gambling is as addictive as tobacco, alcohol or crack. We've had little success in trying to discuss the seriousness of this issue with private psychiatric practitioners and various state public health and social service workers in Hawaii. Many have not even considered it; others have brushed it off as not an important issue.
I met with state Health Director Chiyome Fukino when she first took office and was dismayed to discover how unaware she was of the dangers of gambling addiction. Apparently her position has not altered very much since then. If more than two people a day from Hawaii are calling a Washington, D.C., hotline because of the severity of their gambling addiction, as the article says, how many more are there in our state who need help?
I stand by my quoted comment at the end of the article that Hawaii doesn't need legalized gambling. Illegal gambling already is far too prevalent here and, as law enforcement officers know, legalizing gambling in other states has not reduced the number of illicit operations.
In order to continue to call attention to the effects of addictive gambling, the Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling, as a part of September's Women's Health Week, is hosting a panel on "The Impact of Gambling on Women, Children & Families." Presenters include a recovering gambler and a nationally recognized researcher on gambling.
Call the coalition office at 949-7766 for time and place.
Judy A. Rantala
Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling
Don't forget about administration's sins
In an Aug. 25 letter
, Janice Pechauer pre-emptively accused liberal Americans of being responsible for any future attack on our nation, with no mention about her dear leader's inability to apply the many resources at his disposal to find Osama bin Laden. As election season heats up, it seems clear that Ms. Pechauer, a former Republican national convention delegate, is working from Karl Rove's strategy book: Smear the left, without regard for the facts. Her comments ring about as hollow though as Dick Cheney's 2005 line that "the insurgency is in its last throes." Or, what about when President Bush, knowing it to be untrue, told us that Saddam had purchased yellow cake from Niger in order to make nuclear weapons?
My message to Republicans is to reread the U.S Constitution. It does not provide limitless authority to the president. It does, however, explicitly provide for freedom of the press, and our democracy needs this now more than ever to protect Americans, not only from terrorists but from our president as well.