Legislature failed to find prison site
The July 12 Star-Bulletin
reported on the finger-pointing that's now going on regarding the new law that would return Hawaii inmates from mainland prisons if they have less than a year to go before their parole.
I don't understand how Sen. Colleen Hanabusa can point at the governor as being the source of the prison-overcrowding problem. The problem existed long before Linda Lingle became governor.
In fact, if you look at the faces in the Legislature, you will see that many of them have been serving in office longer than Lingle has been governor. Maybe they need to look in the mirror to see the real problem in this matter. Hanabusa herself objected to a prison being built in her district. How many other legislators have resisted having a prison built in their district?
And simply directing the return of prisoners without providing the funding to carry it out is an unfunded mandate. Our Legislature complains loudly when Washington, D.C., sends us unfunded mandates. Kind of ironic.
Maybe the state will have to ship out one prisoner for each prisoner returned under this law.
I guess it's all about politics, with the prisoners being the latest pawn.
Countdown displays would aid pedestrians
Michael Nomura (Letters, July 12
) doesn't think it's necessary to replace cross/don't cross signs with "fancy crosswalk lights" showing countdown displays, but I can see how they could really work to help pedestrians know when to stay out of a crosswalk and when to go.
We are all familiar with countdowns -- from little kid time -- to know when to take something really seriously. We need to improve pedestrian safety; a fresh coat of paint is NOT enough.
Ron Paul signs show love of liberty lives
I noticed the Ron Paul signs all over the island on July 4, as did Phil Klein (Letters, July 11
). But instead of contemplating Hawaii's strict signage laws being trespassed, I was encouraged that Paul has supporters in Hawaii who are enthusiastic enough to express their support for him. No other candidate's followers have shown any comparable visible support this early.
I especially liked that the signs appeared on Independence Day, knowing Congressman Paul's principled stances and voting record for freedom, peace and prosperity.
I'm sure Mr. Klein sees open house signs all over our island every weekend, as well as Pop Warner, garage sale and church signs, to name a few other examples of questionable signage.
As for those supporters risking citation for the sake of Paul's name recognition, I hope the police officers who may catch them believe in the cause of liberty and know about Ron Paul!
MADD explains miscue over license revocation
Legislators often introduce bills requested by the governor, business, labor, fellow legislators and constituents. Senate Bill 946
was introduced by me at the request of Rep. Marcus Oshiro, D,Wahiawa-Poamoho.
When the Senate Judiciary Committee held a public hearing Feb. 28, Mothers Against Drunk Driving submitted written testimony in support of the proposal. Because of MADD's good work on drunken driving-related issues, I have always given its position strong consideration.
At a subsequent public hearing on the bill in the House held March 29, MADD changed its position on the bill and testified against it. I was not aware of the change in MADD's position.
I have been a strong advocate of MADD because I believe in its mission. In 1985, I voted to raise the drinking age from age 18 to 21; I introduced legislation proposing stricter penalties in 1988 and 1989; and this year introduced a bill relating to ignition interlock technology, all supported by MADD.
Subsequently, MADD became aware of the miscommunication and issued the following press release, which said in part:
"Sen. Clayton Hee, who introduced SB 946 may have mistaken MADD-Hawaii's early written testimony as being supportive and he was unaware of our shift in testimony in later hearings held in the House of Representatives."
MADD stated further:
"Early in the 2007 legislative session, Hee had also introduced ignition interlock legislation. MADD-Hawaii respect- fully asked him to wait until the interlock program could be researched carefully and Hee willingly postponed action on an interlock bill until 2008 because of MADD-Hawaii's request."
I hope MADD's press release clarifies my actions on driver's license lifetime revocations.
Sen. Clayton Hee
Swift graffiti cleanup restores public pride
Too often, good things that simple people experience often never make it to our media. As a dedicated member of our neighborhood watch, it has been an honor to malama our little park in Aiea. The joy and love that Napuanani Park has given both children and adults can go on forever. The Honolulu Police Department does a fantastic job of patrolling our park, but recently it was harmed by some irresponsible souls who left their selfish signs of disrespect. It broke my heart to see this.
Thinking of the children and the pride of our little park, I placed a call to the mayor's complaint line. I was then referred to the city Parks and Recreation Department. What resulted from this was that the obscene graffiti was painted over very efficiently and in a timely manner. All is "pono" once again. Mahalo nui loa, Mayor Mufi Hannemann, Chief Boisse Correa, Parks Director Lester Chang, and all the hard-working city employees for making our city a safe and beautiful place to live, work and play.
Impeachment may fail, but it's necessary
The Democrats should start impeachment proceedings against the president and vice president instantly. Although they wouldn't come within a whisker of impeaching Darth Cheney and Dubya at least they would show a little backbone and show to President Bush that they aren't afraid of him. What good is it to to scream about all the terrible things Bush has done if you do nothing about it or even attempt to ?
Port Angeles, Wash.
Former Hawaii resident
Chinese inventiveness goes too far
The Chinese have shown, by prior contributions to mankind, to be a high inventive race. Fireworks and pasta immediately come to mind.
Now they've come up with a way to turn dirty cardboard into food ("Shredded cardboard is found in buns sold at a Beijing food stall," Star-Bulletin, July 13).
Recycling to feed the masses.
Soylent Green, anyone?
Carol T. Chun