Comment about pilots was irresponsible
Will Espero is a state senator and is held to a higher expectation than someone like me. He surely knows that when he says, "... if pilots fell asleep or passed out, let the public know" (Letters, Feb. 22
), he is, in effect, planting seeds in the public's mind.
I am not aware of any previous public comments by relevant officials regarding accusations like these, but unless these accusations have been put forward to the public previously, this is a terribly irresponsible way for an elected official to be speaking in public.
Caucus was poor example of democracy
The setting was a Democratic Party caucus, passing itself off as a new democratic process, an improvement over the tried and tested primary elections of old. It ended up a madhouse
, with some citizens leaving without voting, some voting on behalf of others, some voting more than once, many voting who are not registered Democrats and, quite possibly, some "observers" voting who are registered with other parties.
When an elected official announced that the Democratic Party was suspending the rules and that voters need not worry, I began to worry.
When caucus workers wearing T-shirts advertising their favorite candidate passed out blank pieces of paper and told people to write a name on it and drop it in the ballot box, I began to worry.
When a woman handed her blank "ballot" to her husband and said, "Vote for me, I'm getting out of here," I began to worry.
Remember when campaigning was illegal at polling places? Remember when we used to have to prove who we were with a picture ID, and affix our signature on an official record and then, and only then, were we given a packet of ballots from which we could only vote on one ballot?
Remember when democracy meant one citizen, one vote?
If this "caucus" thing is the new democracy, we need to worry, and we need to question the actions of those who conduct such affairs. We must demand fair elections or we will be no better than the Third World countries, rogue nations, or Bush Republicans.
Remember Florida in 2000? Ohio in 2004?
Paul is best candidate for troop supporters
My state party's chairman, Willes K. Lee, contrasted "Republicans" and "Democrats" in his Feb. 9 letter
. He did not address the most significant development in Hawaii that affects the presidential race: who Hawaii's campaign donations have gone to.
Republicans and Democrats debate about the best way to support the troops. But both parties' higher-ups are silent when it comes to the question of which candidate Hawaii troops support the most. So which candidate in quarter four has received more Hawaii military dollars than all the other candidates from both parties combined? With 60 percent, Ron Paul.
Hawaii's officials must listen to the people. Hawaii is pro-peaceful diplomacy. Unless the message soon changes from tying down our Hawaii Republican Party to the national party's failed pro-war agenda, we will continue to lose more local seats.
If Hawaii wants to support Hawaii's troops and their families, we'd better take heed to their bottom line in support.
Hawaii state coordinator
Ron Paul 2008 PCC
Lawmakers can save women's lives
The death of Janel Tupuola (Star-Bulletin, Jan. 17
) shook me to the core, largely because it was a familiar scene. In July 2006, my cousin, Delphine Haina, was ejected from the vehicle that she and her boyfriend were arguing in. She was in an abusive relationship. She died.
Janel's death brought back feelings of frustration and helplessness. Nearly two years later I haven't seen anything of substance done to protect women like my cousin. Change needs to occur now and the Legislature has the opportunity and ability to enable that change.
There are several good bills that can make a difference. One such bill is HB 3351, which would implement a statewide pilot project for the electronic filing of temporary restraining orders on nights and weekends, in effect making it available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This bill would make the TRO process more responsive to the urgency that often accompanies the need for a TRO. All too often we hear of women who were in the process of getting TROs when they were beaten or killed. This can help change that.
I implore the Legislature to stop worrying about clotheslines, sweeteners, Styrofoam and the like. Focus on improving the quality of life for your constituents and protecting vulnerable residents like my cousin Delphine.
Kainoa K. Kaumeheiwa-Rego
Caucus volunteers went beyond the call
As the chairman of District 17 of the Democratic Party (Hawaii Kai/Kalama Valley/Queen's Gate), I was stunned and delighted by the huge turnout at Koko Head Elementary School for the Feb. 19 presidential preference poll. We were provided with materials for about 300 voters (double the highest previous turnout), but more than a thousand participants overwhelmed our resources.
Without the many instant volunteers who offered to help with registration, vote counting, and other tasks, it would not have been possible to get through that night successfully. They gave their time and patience to make sure everyone could participate. My heartfelt thanks go to them and to the voters who endured crowding, heat and chaos to participate in this exercise in democracy.
Among the many newcomers to the process and the Democratic Party, some stood for and won positions as precinct officers and state convention delegates. Congratulations to them. I believe that their energy and enthusiasm will help to revitalize the Hawaii Democrats for years to come.
Don't let rule change sink isle cruise ships
Why is our congressional delegation trying to damage our economy by continuing to support the rule change to the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (Passenger Vessel Service Act)? If adopted, foreign cruise vessels would be required to spend at least 48 hours in a foreign port.
House Republicans have introduced a resolution calling for the Department of Homeland Security's Bureau of Customs and Border Protection to reconsider this proposed rule change that would greatly affect foreign cruise ships visiting Hawaii.
Every other state with a port city that deals with cruise ships opposes this rule -- Alaska, California, Washington, Maryland and more. According to the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, this would decrease sales in Hawaii by $155 million, decrease labor earnings by $44.4 million and cost Hawaii 1,500 jobs.
To save our cruise industry and keep our economy growing strong, we all need to contact our representatives and ask them to hear both House Concurrent Resolution 79 and House Resolution 65.