Use officers for crime, cameras for speeders
Honolulu Police Chief Boisse Correa said at a news conference, "I think enough is enough and we have to do something" about traffic deaths caused by speeding" (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 10
). The chief also stated that he formed a task force to reduce the speeding problem.
The solution to minimize speeding is to place cameras at selected locations to catch the speeders, as it is done in England. This will eliminate the need for long and continued use of the large numbers of police officers needed catch speeders. The policeman have higher priority work to do.
GOP no more 'moral' than anyone else
As the father of four Eagle Scouts from Troop 329 I was surprised by Michael Meli's letter suggesting that the recent Democratic victory will lead to a decline in moral values (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 9
). My sons also felt that the letter writer's conclusion was wrong.
He cites the example of former President Clinton as proof, but the recent scandals in the Republican Party indicate that no political party has a lock on morality. Morality is an individual attribute because only individuals can make the choices that affect morality.
Three of my Eagle Scout sons still live here in Hawaii, and two can vote. During the recent election season all three spent much time discussing the pros and cons of all the ballot items. The final decisions they made in the voting booth belong to them. However, what I do know is that they made thoughtful decisions that they hoped would help produce a better state, a better nation and a better world for all its inhabitants. As Eagle Scouts they are acutely aware of the complexity of our world and realize that choices cannot be made on the basis of a party label.
Exit polls suggest "corruption" as a key reason for Republican defeats. Post-election statements by the Democratic leadership indicate that they heard this message. We might indeed be heading for the most moral -- in its totality -- period that the nation has seen for generations.
Partisanship will bring Hawaii recession
In your front-page article of Nov. 9
, Sen. Dan Inouye wisely urges bipartisan cooperation, even though the Democratic Party now controls the U.S. Congress. Unfortunately, both parties will engage in political conflicts that will weaken our country in the years to come.
Due to these conflicts, the economic prediction of First Hawaiian Bank's economist Leroy Laney, who informed Hawaii's business leaders on Nov. 9 at the Dole Cannery Grand Ballroom that he foresees our state's economic expansion continuing next year but at a slower pace, will be wrong. My intuition is that our country will start to enter into a recession next year that might last four to five years. As a result, Hawaii will not experience any growth, but will feel the effects of the recession within our islands in the second half of next year.
It would be prudent for our residents, our state and county officials to reduce their spending and save whatever they can to ride out the coming recession.
Wilbert W. W. Wong Sr.
Negotiation not an option with this enemy
The chest-thumping and high-fives now coming out of Tehran and al-Qaida in Iraq over the midterm elections should only remind people of the long-term nature of the war.
There is nowhere to withdraw to or enemy to negotiate with, no matter how hard some in this country wish it to be so. Nor are we hated because of George Bush or global warming or whatever straw man people want to throw up. Just as we cannot tell from appearance which of us is the conservative Republican or who is the liberal Democrat.
Our enemy makes no distinction who is American or British or Spanish or Australian or Dutch -- or who is Jewish or Christian or Muslim, for that matter. We are all infidels to be killed or forced into submission. This is war against an enemy who has a love of killing like we have a love of living. There is nowhere to run away from this fact. We must fight.
Rail line must stop at airport, Waikiki
Now that the elections are over, the people of Oahu need to turn their attention to the pressing issue of the construction of a light-rail system. How much longer can our political leaders stick their heads into the sand and continue to pretend that a light-rail system is viable which does not include the airport and Waikiki? There is no way on Earth that a light-rail system has any hope of recovering a significant part of its construction costs if it does not service the airport and Waikiki.
The fact that powerful interests are opposed to such service does not alter economic reality. If a light-rail system is not going to service the airport and Waikiki, it needs to be voted down because it will be a white elephant.
Earle A. Partington
What will become of homes along rail path?
Has anybody thought about the people living along the proposed rail route who will lose their homes to make way for the rail? Any houses located in the rail's projected path will most likely be acquired by the government via its eminent domain power and destroyed to make way for the rail track.
The rail might sound good on paper, people, but think it through.
Family made strong Senate run possible
I owe so much to my family and supporters who helped me win more votes than any Republican since statehood, as I challenged a Democrat running for re-election to the U.S. Senate.
My daughter and campaign manager, Laura H. Thielen, worked tirelessly to get our message out, showing we were running a serious campaign to win this race. My youngest son, Greg, handled the difficult finance challenges, raising more than one-third of a million dollars in five and one-half weeks! This amazing accomplishment allowed us to be on television and radio statewide. His wife, Laura E. Thielen, helped with affordable and low-income housing issues.
Peter and his wife, Shannon Thielen, led the Kauai campaign and pulled in a respectable showing in that Democratic stronghold. My oldest son, Dave, had our campaign Web site up and running on day one of our six-week campaign, and he and my granddaughter, Winter Maile, kept us out in the blogosphere. Mickey did all of the leg work, so necessary to keep our campaign running.
We started our campaign on Sept. 25 with no money, no office, no campaign materials. And our inexperienced but strong and dedicated family group pulled off amazing results in just six weeks. The people heard my call to move our nation off dependency on foreign oil and to develop our nation's clean and safe renewable energy. Voters responded, and I am grateful for their support.
To them, and to my family, I send my sincere aloha.
Rep. Cynthia Thielen
Judges should be subject to term limits
In the article "Age-70 retirement dismays Hawaii judges" (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 9
), a judgeship is presented as analogous to a job and mandatory retirement of judges as employment discrimination.
A judge is more like a legislator or governor/mayor (i.e., a political/government official who engages in public policy-making, although appointed rather than elected in Hawaii) than a professional-class civil servant/public employee. How long a judge should serve in office should be discussed along the same lines as how long a legislator or public executive should serve in office.
Although a legislator or governor/mayor is not constitutionally subject to mandatory retirement in Hawaii, they are or can be subject to term limits. Perhaps, the state Constitution should be amended to eliminate mandatory retirement and impose term limits on judges as well.
Edmund M.Y. Leong
Vote on judges showed anti-lawyer attitude
Voters defeated the proposal to amend the age limitation for judges
because judges are viewed as attorneys, and people don't like lawyers. Just think of the number of disparaging lawyer jokes you hear in just one year.
A retired judge, with a higher pay scale than most, could easily rest on his retirement or return to the private sector. They have a lot of opportunities compared to the rest of us. The defeat of the amendment is not a big consequence to most. However, others should see this decision as age discrimination.
Some of my friends in their 50s know that they will be working beyond the age of 62 due to financial and/or medical reasons. Others count their days to retirement with confidence in their plans. A few want to work as long as they can.
As one teacher says, "I want to go on 'til I can no longer go on." I am sure it would break him if he were mentally and physically capable but could not teach because of a rule based on age.
In America, we place more value on the young and new. Age is no longer equated to wisdom. The voters' decision should be dismaying to others, as well.
Save the saluting for those in uniform
A comment on Virginia Senator-elect Jim Webb, who "once declared that the sight of President Clinton returning a Marine's salute infuriated him" (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 9): Was he equally infuriated at President Reagan and the current president? Perhaps Webb never noticed Reagan tossed off a whole lot of snappy salutes, as does President Bush.
Military protocol is inculcated into every recruit. There are things, like our service numbers, we just don't forget. Those of us who really served our country, like Webb, know that it is the uniform saluting the uniform; when you're in civilian clothes, you do not salute.