Criticism of media was unwarranted
Concerning the April 15 articles on Kirk Lankford
and his lawyer Don Wilkerson: Shame on Wilkerson for calling two honorable experts "liars" because their opinions did not agree with his shameless defensive strategy.
Shame on Wilkerson for maligning Hawaii's press and television news corps because they printed and telecast the known facts of the case, including everything he had to say.
Sometimes, when you over-reach for the brass ring of notoriety, you can fall on your brass!
'Super-bikeways' could ease congestion
As usual, City Councilman Romy Cachola got to the heart of the matter in his April 15 column
in the Star-Bulletin. There should be further study of all rapid transit concerns, including the impact of the proposed mass transit system on traffic congestion during construction of the project, estimated to be several years, in the best-case scenario.
How much will it increase commuting time? How much productivity will be lost? What will be the effect on the quality of life of Oahu residents?
We should begin construction of travel alternatives immediately, such as thoroughfares for travel to all parts of the island using bicycles, motorcycles, scooters, Segways, inline skates and skateboards. This could be visualized as a "super-bikeway," but accommodate smaller multiple-passenger vehicles such as taxis, jitneys and vans.
It has been estimated that this alternative could be completed around the entire island in less than five years for less than $250 million.
Can someone tell me why this shouldn't be considered?
Doctors should focus on improving safety
Someone recently wrote in favor of so-called medical tort reform (Letters, April 13),
urging doctors to elicit patients' support for same.
According to an three-year study by HealthGrades, representing approximately 45 percent of all hospital admissions, 195,000 people - the equivalent of 390 full jumbo jets - are dying every year in the United States due to preventable medical errors.
Would any other profession get away with this sort of safety record? Probably not, so why should it be any different with doctors?
The answer is for doctors to cap their malpractice, not to put a cap on their victims' claims.
Misnamed "tort reform" only lets doctors off the hook, and denies their victims proper recourse by denying juries the right to determine damages. A more fitting name for such legislation would be "malpractice enabling" legislation or "Get Out of Jail Free."
GOP shares blamefor high tax rate
Although everyone has a right to her or his opinion, no one has a right to be wrong in her or his facts, as Willes Lee was in "Tax day hurts more in Hawaii" (Star-Bulletin, April 14).
Specifically, he got it backwards when he demonized Democrats and lauded Gov. Linda Lingle with respect to Hawaii's regressive taxes.
Hawaii's .5 percent general excise tax increase is its biggest and most regressive ever, and it was passed under three parties: Democrats, a few Republicans who survived Lingle's two elections and Lee's own party, which seems little more than the governor's alter ego - Lingle Party.
Facts: Pre-Lingle Party, Democratic lawmakers, under a Democratic governor, twice proposed a .25 percent GET increase. Back then - even before the Republican Party implosion - Republicans were a minority, so credit for both defeats is due Republicans and anti-tax Democrats.
On Oct. 31, 2003, the Star-Bulletin reported ("Lingle tax plan empowers counties") that Lingle invited the Democratic Party to try again.
And in Small Business Hawaii's September 2005 newsletter, Sen. Sam Slom confirmed he had enough anti-tax Democrats and surviving Republicans to sustain her veto. She refused to issue one.
For better or worse, Lingle deserves unilateral credit for Hawaii's last GET increase - a regressive tax that just completed its first year of undermining Hawaii's already staggering economy.
George L. Berish
Use of ethnic term should be avoided
After viewing Corky's April 14 cartoon about the Ko Olina aquarium,
I take umbrage at the use of the term "welshed." I am 25 percent Welsh and had a grandmother who was very much Welsh and spoke the language. I don't think any ethnic term such as this should be used in such a negative way.
Mike S. Nelson