It's bad time to decide judges' retirement age
Now is not the time to raise the retirement age for Hawaii's judges. Perhaps the motives of the Democratic legislators who put this amendment on the ballot were above reproach; or, they might have been looking for a way to reward cronies and tie the hands of the Lingle administration. To my mind, however, the timing is suspect; like Time magazine's slap at Sen. Dan Akaka.
In two years voters will get to decide if they want a constitutional convention in 2010. If they say "yes" to a Con-Con, they'll have a chance to carefully consider the plight of our 70-year-old judges. Of course the age limit is discriminatory -- so is the requirement that they be lawyers. (U.S. Supreme Court justices need not be.)
After our duly elected Con-Con delegates have debated the issue and put their recommendations on the ballot four years from now, we voters may be given the chance to look at this question again. Who knows, a majority might vote to give a break to geriatric judges in the future, when the smell of rotten fish is not so heavily in the air.
More money is not always the answer
The matter of money continues to prevail when it comes to elections. It does not make a politician a good politician. Listening to his/her constituents and giving considerations to the people, meaning the people who elected her/him is the important thing. Money has a not-too-nice side when it simply means I want more.
The other money matter is the ongoing report of how much each tourist contributes to our economy. These tourists can read, and if we have not provided a good experience for them they don't want to read that our concern is how much money they bring to our state. If we have their interests at heart and provide a positive experience for them, the money will come automatically. No need to print their dollar amounts.
Consider the result of U.S. leaving Iraq
Perhaps the Democrats have it half right. We should quit the war in Iraq.
Iraq will remain a quagmire as long as its border is porous. Currently, any Muslim who wishes to kill Americans only has to fly into Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria or Jordan and then take a short bus ride.
Once we leave, they will have to fly into Canada or Mexico, then make their way in. Our borders are far more secure than the Iraqi borders. Observe how many miles of fenceline our few border guards need to watch. Consider how many foreign nationals have entered our nation illegally without following proper immigration protocols.
Iran declared war on us in 1980. Since then, count how many buildings, airplanes and Navy vessels have been attacked.
Let's pull out. It's time to have some action in our neighborhood.
Bureaucrats shouldn't make big decisions
The city Department of Planning and Permitting recently granted a tentative approval for massive development of the rural Turtle Bay area.
How do those in charge at DPP acquire their positions? I do not remember seeing DPP candidates on a local ballot. The islands have finite size and are already heavily developed. The majority of the population desires green space and does not want mega-development plans that would clog the already-choked traffic and stress the water, sewage and solid waste disposal systems.
How can an unelected state body make such crucial decisions? The mayor and City Council owe it to the majority of residents who want to keep the country country and override these unelected government employees.
Rail also must be easily accessible
I've been seeing many letters about rail with opinions for and against, but unless I've missed them, none about what would make or break the project. That is, accessibility -- being able to get to the stations conveniently.
If it's too hard to get to the trains and get on them, that won't happen. Or does that go without saying?
Kanahele's legacy is one of service to isles
A keiki o ka 'aina, born in Waikiki, I know that Office of Hawaiian Affairs' candidate Bumpy Kanahele's legacy is historic and consistent. His great-grandfather, Frank Samuel Keiki, traveled to Washington, D.C., in 1894 with the native Hawaiian delegation seeking reinstatement of Queen Liliu'okalani.
On Dec. 7, 1941, a Japanese pilot landed on Niihau. He threatened women and children.
Kanahele's grandfather, Benjamin Kanahele, while wrestling away the airman's gun, was shot three times at point blank range. Kanahele hurled the pilot against a stone wall, killing him. Benjamin Kanahele was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Facts about Bumpy Kanahele are at his Web site: votebumpykanahele.com.
All registered voters can vote for OHA candidates. Please exercise your right to vote on Nov. 7.