Tough judge could ring up cash for city
Regarding the story "For what does the bell toll? A surfer's $572"
Star-Bulletin, Aug. 3:
Please do everything possible to persuade Municipal Court Judge Dennis Lavender of New Jersey to move to Honolulu!
As Judge Lavender fines people $572, plus $33 court costs, for ringing a bicycle bell, imagine the field day he would have fining people for leaf blowers, stereo boom boxes, whacky car alarms and "broken" mufflers!
That income alone would pay for Mufi's rapid transit system!
Loss of unique shops diminishes isle life
During a year which has seen the closures of too many well-loved and unique businesses such as Shung Chong Yuein, Magoo's Pizza and Varsity Theater, it was especially disheartening to read that Kahala Mall's management has elected to contribute to that growing list (Star-Bulletin, Aug. 7
Unlike many other older Hawaii shops that have recently shut down because their owners either wanted to retire or can no longer deal with various insurmountable operating challenges, the Patisserie and its neighboring eateries at the mall are still viable tenants.
I see these restaurants regularly filled with patrons who have chosen to forego the generic national chains in favor of items they can't get just anywhere. Closings of such distinguished establishments remind us that these treasured places make our communities in Hawaii, and by extension, our life experiences, unlike those anywhere else.
Somehow, saying you took your family out to dinner at the 593rd branch of Lucky Cow upon receiving your first paycheck doesn't hold quite the same sense of nostalgia as remembering you proudly treated them to a seven-course meal at Yen King.
I hope the mall's management will reconsider its recent decision and demonstrate that more longstanding local businesses can coexist in a complementary environment with larger national retailers.
News consumers need to seek many sources
Alicia C. Shepard "Image problems" (Insight editorial section, Aug.12) makes a good case for journalistic fairness. She fails, however, to mention the public's own responsibility to get all sides of the story.
The proliferation of news sources offer a bird's eye view of the marketplace of ideas that those who grew up on shortwave radio could not have imagined. But with the Fairness Doctrine's relevancy in question and the growth of advocacy journalism, news sources should be considered with healthy cynicism.
Why should one Hawaii newspaper agree to publish "Broken Trust," one of this country's most important stories, and not the other? Why should Nation Public Radio, despite an ombudsman, regurgitate official slogans (Operation Iraqi Freedom) without disclaimers during their newscasts in the early days of the war?
To ask rather than expect journalists to justify the how and why of what they do is no mere academic curiosity. It's a civic obligation.
Gabbard changes lives -- even in Minnesota
I am a teacher in a suburb of Minneapolis, Minn. In June, my class of at-risk students embarked on an adventure in Hawaii; first at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and then in Oahu. In order to be in my "Leadership" class and to be on this trip, students have to decide to change their lives.
One of the true highlights of our trip was meeting your wonderful state senator, Mike Gabbard, his wife Carol, and several of his staff members. Not only did Mike and Carol greet us at the airport with plumeria leis, they spent an entire day with us. Gabbard was amazing at reinforcing the importance of our class mottos, "Life is about relationships" and "A leader is a dealer in hope." Mike and Carol formed relationships with my kids, made them feel important and accomplished, gave them hope and reinforcement that they are making the right choices and good things will come back to them because of the changes they are making. Mike presented each student with a personalized certificate congratulating them on making life changes.
When we return home from our trips, I listen carefully to the stories my students tell others so I can learn what really mattered to them on the trip. They constantly talk about Mike and Carol, as do I.
Life is about relationships and because of Mike and Carol Gabbard, we have such fond memories of Hawaii and have felt the warmth of Hawaii's citizens through them.
Thank you for sharing him with us!
Marcia Nelson and Leadership Class members
Crossroads Alternative High School
Coon Rapids, Minn.
Impeachment needs wide public debate
Voters continue to communicate their anger about the war to Congress. While Democrats claim that they share their frustration, they warn against impeaching government officials who commit high crimes and misdemeanors. The latest excuse is that impeachment will make Dick Cheney president.
But if Congress first impeaches and convicts Cheney, the 25th Amendment to the Constitution kicks in. Anyone nominated by the president to fill that vacancy requires the approval of a majority in the House and Senate before a new vice president is confirmed. Vice presidential vacancies were filled that way in 1973 (Gerald Ford) and 1974 (Nelson Rockefeller).
House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi opposes impeachment. Only she knows whether she takes a narrow view from a firm desire to do nothing. But by resisting, she is blocking a beneficial national educational debate.
Vincent K. Pollard
It's tough to have faith in bridge inspectors
Regarding "All bridges in Hawaii safe, officials say"
Star-Bulletin, Aug. 3:
For the sake of everyone living in Hawaii, I hope that the same people who inspect our bridges for safety are not the same people to whom we entrust the inspections of hillsides for falling rocks or for dams like Ka Loko.