Thin traffic by enforcing car insurance law
I'VE NOTICED that more and more people are talking about enforcing the insurance laws as a way of getting more cars off the roads.
This is an excellent idea. There is sure to be a screaming backlash from all those who claim they can't afford insurance, just like every time there's a proposal to ban people from riding in the back of pickups, truck owners claim they can't afford second vehicles even though they're riding around in $60,000 trucks.
There are certainly some people here who really can't afford car insurance, and if it comes down to paying insurance or feeding your kids, obviously the insurance loses. But with as many hit-and-runs that we seem to have, maybe it's not such a bad idea. It's as simple as the police asking for your registration as soon as they pull you over (I believe they're supposed to anyway). We also could take a cue from California, where the insurance company is required by law to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles that your insurance is expired, which makes your registration invalid and nonrenewable until you have insurance. For repeat offenders, after the second time simply tow their cars on the spot, cut up their licenses and have an officer give them a ride home.
Take responsibility for billing form error
I just read the story on the mistake the city property tax office made on the year -- 2006, instead of 2007 -- placed on the bills (Star-Bulletin, July 25
). This is the story every time when a state or city agency makes a mistake; the poor taxpayers will always foot the bill. This continues until someone is held accountable.
In private industry, someone would surely be admonished for a mistake like this, but in a governmental agency probably this will end up under the rug. People tend to forget, and tomorrow it will be yesterday's news. Hopefully the city will get someone to be responsible for this and not report that "We missed this somehow."
Pay back pension fund -- with interest
Lawmakers cannot make future attempts to raid the state Employees Retirement System (Star-Bulletin, July 25
). Thank goodness. This ruling should have been made many years ago.The only failure in the ruling is that they do not have to pay back the $350 million. Why not? They should be required to pay back the millions plus interest for the past 40 years or so since they started using the monies. The rest of John Q. Public is subjected to such requirements when we borrow money.
How come two top justices cannot agree it is and has always been unconstitutional to raid and steal from the ERS? Lawmakers have received glorious credit for their public works projects, which they were too incompetent to accomplish without robbing the ERS.
We do not have 100,000 retirees receiving benefits. There are only about 35,000 members. If ERS wants to give out money, give the retirees a raise. ERS is for the retirees and only the retirees -- period.
Retired lieutenant, Honolulu Police Department
Too early to tell how young golfer will fare
Too much too soon? Maybe so; maybe not so. Time will tell: if Tadd Fujikawa can carry the load and handle the pressure, he would become a "mighty mite" celebrity. But if he fumbles and stumbles too often, he might become "just a flash in the pan."
It's a test of grit and time.
Potter ends one story, Pele starts another
A new fissure opened up to the east of the Big Island's Pu'u O'o crater in the first moments of last Saturday, July 21, sending forth fresh, frothy lava flows
. This coincided with the midnight release of the final book in the series of Harry Potter's adventures
As clocks struck midnight, hundreds of costumed, wand-waving fans were finally getting their hands on the hot-selling, hard-backed copies of Book Seven. At the exact same time, Madame Pele was brewing up some new hot stuff herself, as the Pu'u O'o crater floor began to sink, and a new, diffuse glow appeared in the eastern sky.
Just as J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter story line was ending, a new chapter in Pele's ongoing Kilauea saga was beginning. Isn't there an old saying that when a literary goddess closes a door, a volcano goddess opens a window?
Many of us have been wild about Harry for the past decade. Many of us are in continual awe of Kilauea's 24-years-and-going-strong episodic lava show. We on the Big Island are lucky to live on earth that is constantly re-creating itself, in a time when we can engage our imaginations in the magic of adventurous novels and volcanic science.
Try to open your heart to Hawaii's visitors
In regard to Steven King's July 26 letter
("Stop blaming others for your own failings"): I fully agree. Shame on residents of Hawaii for claiming that tourists are "a miscarriage of justice" for our people. It's even worse when you have other people agreeing that "The tourist perpetuates this American-created injustice." It doesn't matter if you have lived here all your life or moved here two years ago, tourists are the way of life in Hawaii. Stop thinking so foolishly and negatively toward tourists.
The truth is simple. Hawaii is a tourist destination. Hawaii depends on revenue spent by tourists -- revenue which is then passed to family members (who probably are related to the authors of negative comments toward tourists), revenue that supports our children and families.
Get your heads out of the darkness and open your eyes to reality. Hawaii is supposed to be the home of aloha, so spread it with all who travel here, and maybe your thoughts won't be so negative.
Our prisoners deserve to be back home
Mahalo to our courageous state legislators for overriding Gov. Linda Lingle's veto of Senate Bill 932, the Community Safety Act. For years, I have questioned the wisdom of shipping our people to mainland prisons where they are separated from their families and exposed to more violence, drugs and the gang life. How does that training prepare prisoners to return home and stop committing crimes?
We've been hearing a lot of excuses from the governor and the Department of Public Safety that they can't create a plan to bring home our inmates incarcerated in mainland prisons. Sadly, they prefer to do "business as usual" with private prisons that increase their profits by building new prisons and filling them year after year. We must practice the old saying "Charity begins in the home." Let's bring our sons and daughters back home, and fund programs in our prisons and community that actually stops the revolving door to prison and helps them become productive citizens.
AKAKA BILL DEBATE
Opposition to Akaka Bill is growing louder
In response to the July 17 editorial
"New civil rights panel might not reflect local sentiment":
You can't be serious! According to your analysis, the new appointments to the state's advisory panel to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission are part of an anti-Hawaiian sovereignty plot designed to derail the Akaka Bill, which you claim enjoys overwhelming support from the population at large; from a poll commissioned by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs? Why not the Center for Hawaiian Studies next?
You describe voices critical of the Hawaiian sovereignty movement as "shrill." That's the bullhorn trying to be heard over the vociferations of self- righteous indignation. Yeah, dissent can be a real bummer sometimes.
Akaka Bill poll inherently biased
I'm not sure how the Star-Bulletin comes up with the opinion that "local sentiment" is in favor of the Akaka Bill
. The poll cited as being in favor of the Akaka Bill was paid for by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the questions skewed toward providing a favorable response. A separate poll by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii had almost exactly the opposite results.
Because our fearless leaders will not allow the public to vote on the most important issue of our time, we are left to our own ideas of what the "majority" opinions are of the people.
If the Akaka Bill is so vital to the existence of our state, then the people should at least be allowed to voice their opinion just as they did when asked if Hawaii should become the 50th state. No one would be surprised if the Akaka Bill failed to be favorable.
Nonbiased survey would help sort it out
Your July 17 editorial
about the new composition of the Civil Rights Commission does a disservice to the public by promoting the theory that the public supports the Akaka Bill. Your source for this idea was the Office of Hawaiian Affairs survey, and you were careful to avoid including the survey by Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, which showed overwhelming opposition.
It would do everyone a lot of good if a responsible, nonbiased survey were conducted, so that those promoting racial preference and those opposing it were to have the same data upon which to base their contentions. This is especially important where the will of the public is being proclaimed. The issues addressed in the Akaka Bill are far too great to be trivialized by our hometown newspaper making snarky comments about those who oppose the Akaka Bill as racist legislation.
Ultimately the Akaka Bill will probably land in the Supreme Court, and all of the money and politics will rest on the fundamental principals upon which our nation was founded. This is an important debate that has been cheapened by your editorial.
Sovereignty question should be put to vote
Your July 17 editorial
says "New civil rights panel might not reflect local sentiment." But that describes the stacked, old civil rights panel under Charlie Maxwell, where every member supported the Akaka Bill and Hawaiian racial supremacy in general. Their topsy-turvy theory of civil rights was that the Supreme Court's 7-2 decision in Rice v. Cayetano violated the "civil rights" of ethnic Hawaiians to have racially exclusionary government institutions. Wow!
The new panel is deeply divided on the Akaka Bill, just like public opinion. Surveys in 2005 and 2006 that called every listed telephone number in Hawaii found that 67 percent of respondents oppose the Akaka Bill, including half of ethnic Hawaiians.
Our people are divided on the Akaka Bill, as deeply as Hawaii itself will be divided and broken if the bill passes. Put the issue on the ballot where everyone can vote in privacy without intimidation. Note that the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Legislature and wealthy institutions getting government money strongly oppose letting us all vote on the Akaka Bill. What does that tell you?
How would patriots view sovereignty opponents?
In response to the Star-Bulletin July 17 editorial
"New Civil Rights panel might not reflect local sentiment":
How would Hawaiian national patriot Joseph Nawahi, African national patriot Nelson Mandela, Argentinian national patriot Che Guevara, Irish national patriot Michael Collins, Vietnamese national patriot Vo Nguyen Yap, Indian national patriot Mahatma Gandhi and Italian national patriot Anna Maria Venere, all of whom fought valiantly against fascism, hegemony and foreign invasion, respond to the Hawaiian sovereignty struggle relative to the American, European and Asian colonizers occupying Hawaii while chastising Hawaiians for protecting their Hawaiian national, cultural and aboriginal rights?