Don't go backward on smoking ban
With an odd economic sentiment that entirely ignores health, some folks support having our state government sell special licenses to kill. These licenses would be given to bar owners who claim a so-called right to require their workers to breathe tobacco smoke just to make a living.
When women in Hawaii will die from breast cancers caused by working where smoking became specially permitted or any of us suffer fatal heart attacks weeks after our law would be revised, how should we kindly address the mourners? "So sorry we put your loved one's health aside, but some bar owners cried the law was unfair and that seemed good enough for us."
As 22 other states in the United States, most Canadian provinces, Hong Kong, Singapore and several other nations have wisely moved beyond this (the latest movers being Turkey and Thailand), we would look like fools to go backwards. But this is not a laughing matter. After all, people cry at funerals.
Associate professor, William S. Richardson School of Law
University of Hawaii-Manoa
Bush ignores facts about U.S. and Iran
The Associated Press report in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin on Monday quotes President Bush's description of Iran as "the world's leading state sponsor of terror." That is not only questionable but it fails to mention current and past American policies in the Middle East.
While attacking Iraq in 2003, Bush ignored our support of Iraq in its recent war with Iran. He also ignored reports in books like "I Was An Economic Hit Man" and "Daughter of Persia," which described how the United States managed to overthrow Iran's elected president and install a corrupt monarchy. Most Europeans know all about those events but few Americans do.
Bush should not be allowed to trap the United States into another unwise and costly war, this time with Iran. We are still stuck in the seemingly unending Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
Jerome G. Manis
Annoyed by potholes? Let's have a contest
I propose that the City and County of Honolulu and the state of Hawaii institute a contest, the Linda-Mufi Giant Pothole Contest. The purpose of this contest is to provide entertainment from a very minor annoyance in Honolulu -- namely, potholes.
The contest would last for one week. Contestants would report large potholes, and the winner would be the one who reported the largest. The prize would be new tires and a free alignment to repair the damage from the very minor pothole annoyance mentioned above. Also a sign would be erected near the pothole; the sign would read "So and so, winner of the Linda-Mufi Giant Pothole Contest." Further, depending on whether the pothole was a county or state road, the Honolulu Traffic Management Center would be renamed to either the "Mufi Traffic Apology Center" or the "Linda Traffic Apology Center."
If the contest is a rousing success, it can become a weekly event. One can think of many other possible contests: the roughest washboard road contest, the longest traffic delay contest, the worst-timed traffic lights contest, and so on. The list is endless. We can turn all of our minor traffic annoyances into well-needed entertainment.
Caring for culture means protecting taro
The state has made a commitment to the survival of the Hawaiian culture. This year state senators will have the opportunity to practice this. Learning as much as they can about what it is to keep the taro pure here in Hawaii becomes their kuleana when they made the commitment to care for the survival of the Hawaiian culture.
The senators are the ones who can allow the Department of Agriculture to protect crops in Hawaii from virus and insects from attacking Hawaii crops. They are the ones who make it possible for alternative forms of research other than genetic modification to happen. They can create opportunity for the public to engage and reach out to help the farmers in our state by creating educational forums to help people learn what it is like to be a self-sustaining state.
The buzz word this season is "Taro Purity and Security." Please, senators, make that happen by becoming educated about what this means and how it will affect us, today, tomorrow and in the future.
New Orleans loves the people of Hawaii
As a resident of New Orleans, I would like to say thank you for coming to the our city. It was a great pleasure to have such well-behaved and friendly guests in our city. We enjoyed your gracious spirit and your generous nature. Rarely do we meet a people who share the love of good food, good music and good times as much as we do. Your visit was very special to us.
We hope you all a wonderful experience and enjoyed New Orleans as much as we enjoyed having you here.