Stop blaming GOP for Hawaiian bills' failure
In the Star-Bulletin article headlined "Republicans kill funding for Hawaiian housing" (Star-Bulletin, March 22
), Congressman Neil Abercrombie blames the Republicans for the failure of the Hawaiian housing bill in Congress Wednesday night. Does he really think we are all that stupid?
I've been following the debate about all of our Hawaiian issues for years. Those of us who have the privilege of making Hawaii our home have the utmost obligation to seek justice for native Hawaiians. When the Democrats were in control of Congress in the early 1990s, they blamed the Republicans. Now that Congress is once again controlled by the Democrats, they are blaming the Republicans for this bill's failure.
Abercrombie, you're in the majority. Stop making excuses and pass the housing bill for Hawaiians.
Gun debate needs facts, not scare tactics
Syndicated columnist Dan K. Thomasson wants to increase police budgets (fine) or find some way to ban the circulation of weapons and ammunition meant for the battlefield -- mainly, semi-automatic "assault" rifles and armor-piercing bullets ("NRA is a force of destruction," Star-Bulletin, March 4). I have never had anyone explain to me or any of my friends just what an "assault" rifle is. Did Thomasson mean the "black" rifle with a pistol grip (a military look-alike)? Going back into history, all rifles were meant for the battlefield. First there was the lever action (this after muskets and muzzleloaders), then the bolt-action Mauser, then the semi-automatic rifle. People cried "wolf" at each one. Today we have the semi-automatic "black" rifle with the pistol grip, which is finding its way to competitive shooters and hunters (a civilian version).
As far as armor-piercing ammunition goes, it is already illegal.
Thomasson says constitutional language was designed for members of a militia carrying muskets. Every constitutional expert and all 50 states have determined that the Second Amendment (1) refers to a well-regulated militia and (2) prohibits infringement of "the right of the people to keep and bear arms."
In this country you can say whatever you want, but Thomasson should do his research first.
James A. Maloney
UH campus not as safe as it might appear
The University of Hawaii-Manoa campus is not safe, especially the parking lots. Although funding is always critically short, the university needs to install more lighting and some cameras in parking lots and near exits of campus buildings and walkway areas near dorms. Because Hawaii is generally safer than many mainland areas doesn't mean that it is violence or crime free. What will happen is, the administration will wait until someone is killed rather than just assaulted to really face up to the problem. There are few guns in Honolulu, but it only takes a few minutes to bleed to death in a parking lot if someone sticks a knife in you.
Aloha spirit is not what infects parolees and drug addicts. The open designs, louvered windows and general sense of safety lulls young people who walk late on campus into dangerous situations.
True, Manoa is lovely and is not New York City, Chicago or some other high-crime areas, but there are still criminals in Honolulu looking for easy targets. An unaware student alone walking in the dark and not paying attention to his or her surroundings is easy to victimize.
Hawaii's smoking rules are too strict
I just returned from a trip to Hawaii. After a 13-hour flight to Honolulu, I could not believe that there were no accommodations for smokers at the airport ("Smoke-free law may cloud Japan tourism," March 23
). Atlanta, Las Vegas and other airports have areas that allow smoking without interfering with the nonsmokers.
And after having a nice dinner out, to have to go 20 feet from the restaurant entrance to enjoy a smoke, even though you are outside, seems quite extreme.
This was my seventh trip to Hawaii, but I would reconsider having an eighth.
Lingle knows how to get more nurses
Hawaii's nursing shortage is a very real problem that needs to be addressed now. Just this year Gov. Linda Lingle presented a bill before the Legislature that would create a statewide Nursing Consortium to coordinate the nursing programs on all University of Hawaii campuses; create a nursing specialty in geriatrics, which will be needed for our retiring baby boomers; and, most important, ask for increased funding to the UH School of Nursing, thus increasing the number of graduates.
Unfortunately, the governor's bill has stopped moving through the Legislature. However, there is another bill relating to nursing education workforce development. It would be wonderful if the Healthcare Association of Hawaii and the Hawaii Nurses Association worked together with the Legislature to insert Lingle's initiative into this other bill. It is extremely important that this measure is passed so that we can prepare for our future.