State needs harsher penalties for fatalities
People must slow down on Hawaii's roadways. They are killing innocent people because of their carelessness. They really need to learn how to drive with aloha, and the laws need to be stiffened. Drivers who kill pedestrians should have their licenses revoked for 10 years and get a minimum of one to 10 years in jail.
I don't think people really care nowadays unless you make an example of someone. The speeding really needs to be stopped once and for all!! It doesn't matter what age or race you are when you get hit by a 4,000-pound vehicle.
What is happening to Hawaii drivers?
It sickens me to read so many stories about pedestrians being hit by cars in Hawaii, but the story of young Christian Mahuna infuriated me ("Questions, nightmares haunt young victim," Star-Bulletin, Feb. 7
). Why on earth would the driver not stop? I asked myself this question as I read the article and a number of reasons came to mind.
Honestly my first thought was disturbing. I wondered if the driver intended to run over someone that day. Not necessarily Mahuna, but someone. I quickly rushed that out of my mind, hoping that our civilization hadn't come to that. Maybe the driver was distracted. Maybe they were too busy "texting" a friend or smoking a cigarette while they flew down the street to be bothered with watching the road ahead. Maybe the driver couldn't see out of the dark tinted windows that early in the day and the "thump-thump-thump" of the car stereo hid the "crunch" and the screams when they drove over poor Christian's legs.
Whatever the reason, this has got to stop. If you are going to drive, then drive. Stop all the other activities. Your car is not your office, your beauty salon or your entertainment center. And if you can't understand what the big deal is, put yourself in Christian's shoes.
San Antonio, Texas
Former Hawaii resident
We need more bikes in Hawaii, not fewer
Cheers to Gary Edwards from Honolulu ("Let bicycle riders have elevated lanes") and jeers to Glen Mickens of Kapaa, Kauai ("Don't spend tax money for a few bicyclists") for their diametrically opposite opinions in consecutive letters to the editor in yesterday's Star-Bulletin
Bike paths are NOT white elephants; on the contrary, they are a necessity due to skyrocketing gas prices, growing gridlock, global warming, shrinking incomes and increasing obesity. The only reason there are few riders on our islands is that bicycling is so dangerous! People often tell me (even this very day) that I am brave to dare to cycle on our streets.
We need more bike paths and more cyclists and fewer cars on the road, so don't ever call bicycling a passion of the few. Check out Holland and Denmark. Thanks to a proliferation of safe cycling paths, bicycling is very popular there, people are fitter and those countries have withstood the Middle East oil crises far better, despite their predominantly cold and wet climates. We can learn a thing or two from them.
Bless our mayor and bring on the bike paths here!
Pelosi already turning from ethics stand
Nancy Pelosi, who recently made history by becoming the first female to become the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, promised that this would be the most ethical Congress. She gave many of us hope that finally someone would clean out the corruption and hubris that has become synonymous with Congress for years and prevented its members from doing the nation's business. Yet she has already started bending the rules she staunchly pledged to defend.
It has been recently reported that she will be using military aircraft and bringing her family and California delegates along when the occasion arises. It is bad enough that the taxpayers will be footing the bill, but most disappointingly her transgressions do not make her any better than the people of the other party she just replaced. Military aircraft should be used only for official trips overseas, to U.S. military bases or on a Pentagon-sponsored trip.
How can she lead and expect others to walk the straight line without sounding like a hypocrite? Obviously she does not see it that way and might indeed even find that it is one of the perks that the position entails. Or she might even rationalize that the Republicans did it, so why can't she?
Alas, then, we are left with the cynical question: What difference is one party from the other?
Are all other troops war criminals?
To believe that Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada is correct and should be acquitted of the charges against him, one must necessarily believe that all those on active duty who did not disobey their orders when tasked to deploy to a combat theater are war criminals.
This is what gives the lie to those who claim to "support our troops, but not the war."
Thomas E. Stuart
Politicians aren't leaders in science
I had three thoughts when I read that Gov. Linda Lingle has claimed the "Technology Governor" mantle:
» Gov. Cayetano once claimed the "Education Governor" mantle, but neither Cayetano nor Lingle lifted the standardized test scores of Hawaii's public school children. Shouldn't she do that before we trust her and the Legislature with more grandiose visions?
» Why do we let politicians lead in science and technology when they almost universally have only mediocre academic records in "political science," not real science? Aren't "political science" and "education" still the places college students look for "gut" courses when needed? For example, Lingle was correctly quoted to say her "senior policy adviser" couldn't pass the 5th-grade standardized math test.
» Politicians with the least science and technology education always "imagine" the grandest goals for "technology." I think the lack of a serious science education leaves them ignorant of the difference between fantasy (foolishness) and science fiction (some day possible).
Look at the science-free politicians who converted to the ethanol religion without realizing that were helping burn the world's remaining oil with literally 10 to a 100 times more pollution than is now occurring. A barrel of oil forsaken by Americans is not held for posterity. It just lowers prices to permit nations like China to burn more -- without the pollution controls imposed in America.
I think it's time we demand results in our schools before trusting Hawaii's government with grand expenditures for more fantastic visions. Don't you?
George L. Berish