Make welfare recipients take drug tests, too
If teachers are required to take a drug test to get their raises, then the people on welfare should also take that same test before getting their money
If you pass the test, the state should pay for that test. If you fail, you pay for that test.
Lingle glosses over Liu's code violations
Anyone so anxious to level unfounded criticism at the Senate's Procurement Investigation ("Lingle and Kim wage war of words over Liu," Star-Bulletin, May 8)
must be desperately afraid of its findings
I am not surprised at Gov. Linda Lingle's attempt to divert attention from the facts surrounding the $8.7 million procurement violation by Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism director Ted Liu
However, she failed to mention that the Senate voted unanimously to authorize the investigation after his months-long refusal to comply with the state procurement officer's order to rescind his award of the contract to his friend, Barry Weinman, and instead give it to the rightful highest-ranked bidder, Kolohala
The governor also neglected to mention that Weinman has been a significant contributor to her campaign. Records show that Barry and Virginia Weinman contributed more than $100,000 to her, Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona, a handful of other candidates and the Republican Party
She glosses over the fact that Liu's supposed error clearly violated even the most basic tenets of the procurement code. That is at the core of our investigation: To determine whether he did so knowingly and intentionally. Sixty hours of testimony revealed that he, his deputy, his assistant and division heads were at best embarrassingly derelict in administering the procurement laws
My question to the governor is what happened to her campaign promise of restoring trust in government? She stated, "We have seen favoritism in the awarding of government contracts and personal advancement based on who you know. We have observed nonbid contracts going to contractors, engineers and architects who by no small coincidence were major contributors to some elected official's last campaign. I will immediately create a transparent system of awarding contracts that brings Hawaii in compliance with universally accepted standards."
Instead, we see the Lingle administration doing everything she criticized past administrations for.
Sen. Donna Mercado Kim
(D, Kalihi Valley-Halawa)
Investigation committee chairwoman
Protesting the war will help troops, too
I strongly object to the use of the word "patriots" in the headline of the Kokua Line column May 12 ("Web sites can help patriots send thanks to U.S. troops")
. It suggested that people sending good will messages are the patriots. Supporting the troops in an orderly withdrawal from the sinkhole of Iraq would be far more significant in saving their lives, than flagwaving.
Special SUV for HPD is not necessary now
Regarding your May 6 article
about plans to purchase hybrid vehicles for the Honolulu Police Department, the city's Department of Budget and Fiscal Services has declined to authorize the special police SUV that was described
This vehicle would be nice to have but is not necessary at this time. HPD has other equipment needs that can be met with revenue from the asset forfeiture fund.
Mary Pat Waterhouse
Director, Department of Budget
and Fiscal Services
Gambling addiction deserves public funding
In response to your May 9 editorial "Hawaii lucky to be free from gambling,"
Hawaii is neither free of gambling nor gambling problems. While it is true that the Aloha State does not have any legalized gambling, there are still many Hawaii residents who gamble either illegally - on sports betting, cock fighting, Internet wagering, poker games or illegal casinos - or who travel and gamble legally. Either way, families and communities in Hawaii bear the burden of those who become addicted.
As you noted in your editorial, gambling problems have their roots in our biology and psychology, and we estimate 1 percent to 3 percent of Hawaii residents meet criteria for a gambling problem in a given year. That means that between 10,000 and 30,000 adults (and 1,500 adolescents) suffer from the devastating consequences of this disorder, including bankruptcy, depression, imprisonment, insanity and even death.
The National Council on Problem Gambling is not for or against legalized gambling. Our mission is to advocate for programs and services to assist problem gamblers and their families. We strongly believe that public funds should be made available to prevent and treat gambling problems in every state, including Hawaii.
Keith S. Whyte
National Council on Problem Gambling
Law officers have reason to be proud
Regarding this week's National Police Week observance:
Lawman: Something to be proud of - chin high, chest out. Our brothers and sisters pin on the badge, strap on a gun and don't know if they'll return home. How unselfish, how sincere: heroes all! May God keep you safe!
Mark M. "Dutch" Hanohano
United States Marshal
District of Hawaii