Sad story was incomplete
Thank you, Lynne Gilbertson Tucker, for sharing your thoughts about your mother concerning the car accident that eventually took her life (Letters, Star-Bulletin, March 9). It was nice to hear the real story. I didn't know your mother, but from your description she seemed to be a special person.
Unfortunately, the media often leaves out the human aspects behind the story. I, too, read the original story without knowing the human reasons behind it. It was refreshing to hear about the real Harriet B. Gilbertson and her own explanation for the tragic accident.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and my condolences to you and others in the family.
Stewart Chun takes his .223 semiautomatic rifle for a spin at Koko Head rifle range. The range is a gathering place for target shooters and other firearms enthusiasts.
Concealed carry weapons would help fight crime
Turning on the news and seeing carjackings and muggings and with the murder of Janel Tupuola in Kailua on Jan. 17 still fresh in everyone's minds, violent crime seems on the rise. In the case of Tupuola, the police responded too late even though the Kailua station was minutes away. Understandably the officers were out patrolling their assigned sectors and not all waiting at the station.
Tupuola's alleged killer had prior violent convictions and would never have been able to obtain a firearm legally. Criminals will always find the means to execute their crimes.
I hope that people see that this issue is never going to go away even with more stringent gun laws and more police officers. Other states have faced this same dilemma and they have taken a more proactive and less reactive role in letting people be prepared to protect ourselves, our loved ones and others who might not be able to protect themselves (Tupuola) by passing concealed carry weapon (CCW) permit legislation.
Senate Bill 2278, which was introduced on the day Janel was killed, is one such bill. The verbiage of the bill stills leaves it open to interpretation for the issuing agency to be scrutinized for potential corrupt policies, though it is a good start for Hawaii to start letting law-abiding citizens defend themselves.
'Gun-free zones' are safe only for criminals
I wanted to comment about the article "Shooting Up" in Friday's paper. The reason why many are arming themselves because any sane person knows that the police cannot help us if someone is breaking into your home. You can call 911 but if the person is armed and intends to harm you, by the time the police arrive, they'll be there to gather details and write their reports while you're lying there dead. The only person who can protect you is yourself.
As for the University of Hawaii professor worrying about campus shootings, these occur because most campuses are "gun-free zones," meaning that even if you lived in one of the 40 states that allow you to carry a firearm legally, you can't take it with you on campus.
Many people had firearms locked in their cars at Virginia Tech (and probably at the other school shootings). Most shootings occur at so-called gun-free zones. When was the last time you heard someone going on a shooting rampage at a police department or Koko Head Shooting Complex?
Perhaps someday our Legislature will have the smarts to let Hawaii join the other 80 percent of the country that allows law-abiding citizens to obtain concealed-carry permits. Then we can watch the crime rate drop as the criminals become afraid not knowing which of us are "packing."
Rail is the right way to go for Honolulu
When all the political dust settles, the public will see the wisdom in allowing the panel of real technical experts select the technology choice for Honolulu's transit project.
This is the largest single public works project in the history of our city and we have to do it right. The panel's decision to select steel wheel vehicles on steel tracks as the technology that makes the most sense, should be scrutinized and dissected. However, to challenge the selection and try to change it for political gain or because of the PR spin that has been bandied about, is both irresponsible and unforgivable.
Let's hold our elected officials accountable to do the right thing. There is not one engineer among them and we should follow the best advice we have been given. City Council, please do the right thing and select rail for our guideway system.
Rail will bypass those who need it most
Two letters on the same day (March 11) from fellow Ewa Beach residents Tyson Baisac and Beth Cole push rail as the solution to our legendary traffic congestion. Maybe in their research to support rail, they missed the part that shows Ewa Beach won't be getting rail. We will have to drive 3.7 miles to Kapolei or 5 miles to Waipahu to get to the nearest station. If rail had anything to do with serving those most in need of transportation alternatives, wouldn't you think we would have a station?
Garry P. Smith
Hana hou for Carlisle as city prosecutor
It's great news that Peter Carlisle has announced that he will run again for city prosecutor. He is a hands-on prosecutor who not only manages his office and contributes to his community, but handles cases himself. He works tirelessly in keeping our community one of the safest in the nation. Carlisle is a genuine, caring human being and we are extremely fortunate to have him as our city prosecutor.
Waikiki Beach Activities
Program increases odds for transplant patients
Your story about Dr. Linda Wong ("Doc saves lives 1 liver at a time," Star-Bulletin, March 8) highlighted the tragic shortage of human organs for transplant operations.
More than half of the 98,000 Americans on the national transplant waiting list will die before they get a transplant. Most of these deaths are needless. Americans bury or cremate about 20,000 transplantable organs every year.
There is a simple way to put a big dent in the organ shortage -- give organs first to people who have agreed to donate their own organs when they die.
Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ allocation system fair. People who aren't willing to share the gift of life should go to the back of the waiting list as long as there is a shortage of organs.
Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers. LifeSharers is a nonprofit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. Membership is free at www.lifesharers.org or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88. There is no age limit, parents can enroll their minor children and no one is excluded due to any pre-existing medical condition.
No more suffering under Democratic rule
Some might not remember those early days when warning labels first started to appear on cigarette packages. They simply stated, "Caution: Cigarette Smoking May Be Hazardous to Your Health." And as we know, it was and still is.
Well, with recent actions of Democrats in the Hawaii Legislature, it is time to put out a public warning to all voters that "Democrats Are Hazardous to Hawaii's Health." Proof that this warning is serious is Rep. Tommy Water's recent rejection of tort reform legislation in the House, as well as Maui Sen. Roz Baker's rejection of support in the Senate for a new private hospital on Maui.
It appears that Hawaii Democrats have little concern for keeping our doctors from leaving due to excessive malpractice insurance costs, or for Maui residents who are forced to come to Oahu for many kinds of critical medical treatment.
This November, Hawaii voters need to act on this dire warning to our health care system and elect a Republican Legislature that will ensure the expansion of health care resources, rather than their contraction. Otherwise, Democrat control will continue to be "Hazardous to Hawaii's Health."
Willes K. Lee
Hawaii Republican Party
Bikes on sidewalks do hit pedestrians
In response to a March 14 letter to the editor by Jeff Zimpfer: I do understand what he is saying about it not being safe to ride a bike in Honolulu and that there should be more bike paths, but I don't agree that bike riders should be allowed on the city sidewalks.
He states that he's never heard of anyone being hit by a bicycle; well, I have. I was walking down Kalakaua Avenue with a coworker when I was hit in the back by a bicyclist and nearly knocked down. I yelled at the guy, but he kept on riding as if it were nothing new to him.
Bikes do not belong on crowded city sidewalks -- period! (That goes double for you moped riders.) In addition, when bicyclists ride on the road they are required to obey the rules of the road, which I would say 99 percent do not.
By the way, I was once an avid biker until I was hit by a drunken driver and nearly killed. Still, I say ride your bike on bike paths or the road, but stay off the sidewalks as they are designed for pedestrians.
Waimea Valley needs a major facelift
Recently my wife and I took a day off and played tourist. Despite living in Hawaii for more than a decade, we hadn't visited Waimea Valley before, so that's where we went.
For Japanese tourists in particular, Waimea Valley is an embarrassment when considered in the context of the beautiful and well-maintained parks and gardens throughout that country.
Waimea Valley is a remarkable setting whose natural beauty has been seriously degraded by both poorly conceived and shoddily executed efforts to "improve" it. Nothing about the park looks exemplary (other than the waterfall itself), and only a very few sites even achieve acceptable condition. If a garden could be called slum-like, Waimea Valley is it.
We hope that the Office of Hawaiian Affairs' nonprofit subsidiary, Hi'ipaka LLC, recently made responsible for running Waimea Valley, is up to the task. In five years or so we'll go back and see.
Lower price at pump by reducing gas tax
Some oil companies pay between 50 and 60 percent of their operating income in taxes to the various taxing authorities around the world. Most of these taxes are passed on to the consumers at the pump.
If these authorities were able to repeal many of their taxes on oil companies, then we could reduce the price at the pump and give people more disposable income.