Military draft might be a necessary evil
Regarding Al Eisner's letter Thursday
concerning an increase of troops in Iraq: I have an idea in that area. How about re-instituting the draft? It would be terribly unpopular but right now 13 million men and women in the United States are of draft age. That could solve the problem 400 times over the number of troops that are currently needed in Iraq.
Now if Congress would just act on that problem instead of just worrying about being re-elected. Maybe then you wouldn't see troops on their third or fourth tour of duty in Baghdad.
Port Angeles, Wash.
Former Hawaii resident
Don't punish drivers for too-low limits
Under the guise of saving lives from "speeders" on our roads, the City and County has created a new revenue-making business: nailing any driver going even 5 mph over our unrealistically low speed limits.
While driving home to Kailua last night, I saw many police cars, partially hidden, ready to nab every driver they could for "speeding" (actually, going 5-15 mph over the posted speed limit). I went the speed limit the entire drive to avoid being one of their victims and found I spent more time watching my speedometer than paying attention to the road and situations around me. That is far more dangerous than going with a more reasonable flow of traffic.
On the Kailua side of the Pali, I actually had to ride my brakes the entire way downhill to maintain the speed limit of 35 mph -- surely not good for my brakes, and way too low for downhill driving. There was, then, an uphill grade in which the limit was reduced to 25. All this on a long stretch of road in which there are no homes, schools or other buildings for me to be a danger. Not only was it maddening, but to watch police cars, clearly not in pursuit of anyone, speed past me at likely 20 mph above what I was driving showed me they are enjoying the perks of their job and are exempt from the laws I am required to obey. Somehow, they are safe while the rest of us are dangerous and need to be punished.
Let's focus more on the truly dangerous drivers -- the ones who are drunk, racing or going more than 30 mph over the limit -- and let's demand the state get real about these ridiculously low speed limits on many of our roads. Let them get their money another way, not by hiding in wait, as though it were a game to see how many people they can "get" to fill their coffers.
Get involved with your neighborhood board
Many people often feel that their elected officials make decisions while sitting atop their ivory tower. Neighborhood boards offer a unique opportunity for people to get involved at a grassroots level. Boards meet monthly and hear reports from various government agencies, including the police and fire departments, City Council, the mayor's and governor's offices, state lawmakers and our congressional delegation. A board can take an advisory position on any government function. Boards also make recommendations concerning capital improvement projects and administrative rules.
The key to the neighborhood boards' effectiveness is having qualified, passionate and committed people serving on them. The boards are elected every two years in odd-numbered years, so the 2007 election period is upon us. Candidate application forms are available at the city clerk's office, the Neighborhood Commission's Honolulu and Kapolei Hale offices, Satellite City Halls and online at www.honolulu.gov/nco/ The forms are due in by Jan. 16. The election itself will be in March. Many elected officials got their start at the neighborhood board level. For more information, please visit our Web site or call us at 527-5749.
Public relations assistant
Neighborhood Commission Office
Yachts shouldn't be floating in garbage
As a first-time visitor from Australia, I have been very impressed with the beauty and friendliness of Hawaii.
The only thing that surprised us was the condition of the water in the Ala Wai Boat Harbor. It seems very unfortunate to have million-dollar yachts floating amongst all sorts of rubbish (that had presumably come down storm-water drains).
Couldn't the marina owners pay someone a couple of hundred dollars to scoop it out on a regular basis? A very small investment considering the cost of the boats.
Apart from that, we enjoyed our stay very much and look forward to coming again.
Gender wage gap is a blessing from God
It is God's blessing that men are stronger, more powerful and free from time-consuming personal care. Therefore, our men's tasks involve all of the above endowments and differ from women's tasks.
Full-time or part-time makes no difference. Power, strength and stamina answer the requirement of a wage gap.
Double-speak won't keep symphony home
Abraham Lincoln once asked a man how many legs a dog has, and the man said, "Four." "Well, what if we call his tail a leg? How many legs will the dog have then?" "Five," was the reply. "No," said Lincoln, "the dog still has four legs, no matter what we call his tail." Thus illustrating that changing the name of something does not change its nature.
Sidney A. Quintal, director of the city Department of Enterprise Services, says the Honolulu Symphony is not being forced out of its home at the Blaisdell. "Please be assured that no such action has occurred or is contemplated," he states (Letters, Jan. 2).
Really? If the symphony is not being forced out of its home, why is it that of my 13 pre-purchased tickets, only two will be honored for admittance to a symphony concert at Blaisdell in 2007? How can Mr. Quintal say "no such action has occurred"? Maybe it's time for a lesson from Honest Abe!