Mutual respect needed on Statehood Day
As statehood day approaches, will Iolani Palace serve as a stage for vulgarity and mutual disrespect between Hawaii's neighbors?.
Choosing the palace to celebrate what many Hawaiians view as a blot on their history was insensitive and bordered on provocation, while racist invectives from some Hawaiians bordered on terroristic threatening.
One has to wonder if mutual respect (no, this isn't a new verse to "Kumbaya") might actually help turn the insults into actual communication. All voices matter and nobody's going anywhere.
At Costco, eat like a king on a budget
Recently I was having a gourmet lunch of a kosher quarter-pound Polish frank with all the fixins and a refillable soft drink for only $1.50 at Costco.
I started thinking about all the people who say they are against the "big box" corporations coming to our island. The Costco outdoor cafe is always standing room only and for good reason, it's the best quality lunch for the price anywhere on Kauai.
When you are done at the cosmic gourmet $1.50 cafe, you can wander through the store and sample many different foods on any given day. The sample people are always friendly and do not mind if you go back for seconds and thirds.
Besides my Polish frank, I sampled wild Alaska salmon, beef Wellington, pizza bagels, teriyaki chicken balls, grapefruit slices and Japanese mochi ice cream, all for $1.50. That's not even a decent tip at most restaurants.
I usually don't like to give my secrets away; however, Costco without a doubt is your best bank for your luncheon dollar-fifty.
All I can say is, at least there's Costco.
James " Kimo" Rosen
Anti-smoking group is going too far
I take offense to remarks by Deborah Zysman, executive director of Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii (Star-Bulletin, July 29
). Zysman said smokers tend to be less productive at work and to have higher rates of absenteeism.
It is despicable that the organization she represents is force-feeding a completely offensive, discriminatory line of garbage. How dare she imply that because a person is a smoker, he is less productive? Where is her proof?
The coalition members also say it is not against the rights of smokers for a condo or apartment owner not to rent to smokers. They pair this logic along the lines that landlords or condo associations can refuse to allow pets. So the truth is out -- if you are a smoker, you are the equivalent of an animal to them. I am disgusted by their rabid and malignant tactics.
They are going after your homes and your jobs. Zysman has just awoken the smoking giant. Politicians, pay attention. We 200,000 Hawaii smokers will be affecting the next elections with a vengeance unlike any voting bloc you have ever seen.
Hawaii Smokers Alliance
Helping prisoners will help community
I agree with your editorial regarding increasing prison capacity to battle recidivism (Star-Bulletin, Aug. 1
). Recently, the Legislature has encouraged the Lingle administration to move forward with a new prison on Maui, which we funded with about $42 million to date. Despite little initiative from the administration in recent years, it appears that the state is now ready to begin the work to replace Maui Community Correctional Center with a new, bigger facility in Puunene.
Your comment that legislators have been unwilling "to go forward with plans for new prisons" is inaccurate. Our funding of the Maui site supports our intent. It is my desire that a new prison will become a national model for re-entry and rehabilitation programs and services working with the many community stakeholders who have an interest to help our offenders.
Senate Bill 932 mandates the return of mainland prisoners who are scheduled for release. Assisting inmates who will one day be free in our neighborhoods will benefit us all. Our support will determine whether we are their next victims or whether the ex-offenders will become productive members of our society. I look forward to working with the Department of Public Safety to make the transition successful.
Sen. Will Espero
Senate Public Safety Committee
Governor should find money for schools
Where is the spirit of aloha and the concern for our children when the governor postpones needed repairs to our schools? According to a report in the July 31 Star-Bulletin
, renovation of the schools would be delayed because of "lower-than-expected tax collections." Since when are tax collections more important than children? A limp excuse!
If the funds were allocated to the tourist industry you can bet there would be a positive response. What are the governor's priorities? She should immediately release the school repair funds if there is a sincere interest in enhancing the education of our children. "Aloha" should not mean "do nothing."
Lawmakers refuse to play nice
I can imagine it's a challenge for Richard Borreca to produce a weekly column during the "off-season" (especially in a non-election year), but his July 15 "On Politics" column
offered readers little more than a further revelation of his own political cynicism.
Guised as an insider's look into the backroom dealings at the state Capitol, Borreca really only depicts his desire to hold on to the myth that our elected officials are a bunch of selfish children who refuse to "play nice" and need a mediator to reconcile their problems.
Those of us who aren't so cynical know that if legislators really wanted to work out their problems with the governor, they could easily call and arrange it. Gov. Linda Lingle isn't going to say "no" if Senate President Colleen Hanabusa or House Speaker Calvin Say, or any legislator for that matter, actually asks to meet with her.
The problem is, they don't. As has been shown since 2003, there's no need for dialogue when you control more than two-thirds of each chamber.
Instead of recounting the obvious, Borreca embraces the Legislature's rhetoric that the governor is inaccessible and tries to link this with Bob Awana's recent resignation. I think he'd do better to avoid looking for a complicated explanation for simple situations or serving as the mouthpiece for perpetually unnamed "Democratic leaders" in the Legislature.