Are political motives behind amendment?
Would the constitutional amendment abolishing the mandatory retirement age for judges (thus giving the governor fewer opportunities to appoint them) even be an issue if Gov. Linda Lingle had been a Democrat?
Demolishing 'drug house' was wasteful
Earlier this month (Oct. 6) I watched the late-night news on one of our local TV stations, and I could not believe what I saw -- a perfectly structured house being destroyed because it had been designated as a "drug house."
With hundreds, if not thousands, of homeless families here in Hawaii, how can anyone justify destroying a perfectly structured house? There surely must be a better way to take possession of such houses and give them to people in need.
Stop grousing and give HECO a break
I feel compelled to write after seeing all the negative comments toward Hawaiian Electric Co.
following Sunday's earthquakes and outage. I would like to thank them for their efficiency and the safety precautions they took. I've been through longer power failures on the mainland for such things as ice storms and heavy thunderstorms.
I thought HECO's explanation of the slow power-up made good sense. If a surge or overload had caused an electrocution or a fire somewhere, the same complainers who are grouching about HECO's inefficiency now would be blasting them for their haste and inattention to detail and safety.
Disclaimer: I have no friends or relatives who work for HECO and am not biased by any business relationship with them, other than requiring power and Internet connections for my work.
Residents need quick response in a crisis
Monday's Star-Bulletin article "2 stations take real-time lead"
pointed out that KSSK and KITV took the lead in getting the word out to Hawaii residents about the earthquake. I could get only KSSK. After things started to settle down and they actually got live people on the air, they did a great job.
The real question that we all should be asking is whether the state Civil Defense network did its job.
When the earthquake occurred, my family immediately gathered our important documents and departed our Kailua home for higher ground. As we drove, we searched all the radio stations. KSSK was still broadcasting but its programming was pre-recorded. Once we arrived at Castle hospital, our linkup location, we started to search the Web for information. Finally, one of the KSSK technicians came on the air to announce that we had suffered an earthquake and that they would give us more information when they could.
Eventually, deejay Michael W. Perry called in from his Kailua home and started asking, really directing folks to get information. Thanks, Michael. Eventually, both Michael and Larry Price were on the air asking the tough questions and answering some fairly stupid questions. Eventually, the governor and lieutenant governor came on the air to tell folks what they knew. The National Guard finally sent over one of its public affairs officers to assist in getting out information.
It wasn't until after 10 a.m. that we heard the first Civil Defense broadcast. Would we say that our system works? Do we have confidence that the Civil Defense system will get the word to us in a timely manner when disasters occur? If you live anywhere on the coastline of our beautiful state, you had best not wait on these folks, because you might be too late.
Mazie would leave us vulnerable to terror
My biggest concern in the election is about the threats from the radical Islamic jihadists who vow to fight for generations against all Western societies. Mazie Hirono said she'd join the Congressional Progressive Caucus, chaired by Calif. Rep. Barbara Lee, who is the solitary member of Congress to vote against funding the war in Afghanistan after 9/11.
Hirono wants U.S. troops out of Iraq before the end of 2006. She wants to start a "Department of Peace," saying we can't make peace "while making war." Hirono says Bush spends $200 million a day on this war effort, and she would spend this all instead on health care and other things. But she says nothing about how to confront the jihadist threat. She really thinks nothing else needs to be done.
U.S. Rep. Ed Case had a more rational approach, as does Bob Hogue. Things can certainly be done better, but Mazie's approach is foolish and dangerous. I will not vote for someone who is not serious about protecting us. There is too much at stake. Bob Hogue gets my vote.
Lingle can't support both troops and Bush
During the Oct. 6 gubernatorial debate
, Gov. Linda Lingle said that sitting down with mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, children and grandparents of the Hawaii soldiers lost in the war on terror has been the toughest part of her job. Yet Lingle, a Bush friend and follower, supports his plan to remain in Iraq indefinitely, resulting in more casualties and more troop rotations.
How dare Lingle say that she will never put her party above what she thinks is right for the people, while she supports Bush's unending war in Iraq? How can Lingle say that she cares about our military families and soldiers, when she chooses to keep them there?
Hawaii needs a governor who demands our troops be brought home now.
Akaka best candidate for the environment
Recently a friend asked if I was voting for U.S. Sen. Dan Akaka or Cynthia Thielen. "Akaka," I said, "and for environmental reasons."
Granted, he was on the wrong side of the vote on drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. But he was on the right side of the vote on the Iraq war. He was one of the few senators who voted against the war, when others were following the Bush administration like sheep. The destruction of the environment caused by the Iraq war far outweighs a wrong vote about ANWR and possible harm to the caribou.
Also, as someone who ran for office in the past as an underdog, I find it unfair that the governor disregarded the other Republicans running in the primary to appoint Thielen. Thielen risks nothing since she can keep her current job, she hasn't had to campaign and answer questions, she is cynically calculated to bring in Democrats; while the other candidates who raised money, worked hard, answered the questions, are left high and dry.
Thielen cares about issues, not parties
I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that Cynthia Thielen was the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate. As someone who votes for the best candidate rather than a particular party, I'm happy to see such an intelligent and caring community advocate on the ballot. I admire Cynthia's perseverance and dedication to issues such as renewable energy, teen centers and grass-roots decision-making.
I have appreciated her independent attitude on local issues and believe she would take that same spirit to the national level. I certainly would prefer Cynthia's allegiance to principle over the alternative: good-old-boy, party-line politics as usual.
Thielen cut through red tape for students
A few years ago I was one of a group of parents trying to get funding for an after-school tutoring program at Kalaheo High School. We kept going back and forth between the Department of Education and the Legislature, getting nowhere.
Then Cynthia Thielen got involved. Not only did she help us solve the problem, she took the time and energy to teach us how to work inside the system to get other things done, too. As a result of the program, my son went from a D average to a B. That was more than 10 years ago. I am proud to say that my son is a licensed electrician and a productive citizen in the community.
Thielen has the kind of caring attitude and willingness to help that we need in Washington. Her leadership, independence and ability to work with different parties and to stand up for the right thing have not gone unnoticed.
Thank you, Cynthia. You have my vote.
Claudine M. Tomasa
Rail will drain city of money, not traffic
Thank you for printing "Lanes, not Trains"
(An Alternative to Rail Transit) in the Oct. 1 Insight section. This marvelous article by David Rolf should be required reading for all Honolulu taxpayers and especially the residents of Honolulu Hale. The ongoing love affair with the idea of a train has clouded people's vision of what it really entails and why it will not work.
The numbers are real, they are there for all to see and the scenario they project for Honolulu is financially devastating. We simply must face the facts and turn our attention to the viable alternatives spelled out in great detail by Rolf. Only then will there be real hope for a solution to the stranglehold of traffic congestion.