We shouldn't accept any form of racism
City Councilman Rod Tam's words cannot be excused with an apology ("Tam sorry for saying 'wetbacks,'" June 3).
When someone uses his words to keep another group oppressed, that is racism. Mexicans in Hawaii have not yet been allowed a voice, so they are easy targets. If Tam had used an ethnic slur against any of the more represented groups here, there would certainly be more repercussions than a gentle suggestion that maybe he shouldn't say that in the future.
If we as a society let this one slide by, what are we saying about our own racism? Shame on him, shame on us.
Domestic violence educator
Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Get socialist policies out of the marketplace
The article "City might let taxis raise mileage rates" (Star-Bulletin, June 2)
reports that the City Council is mulling over raising the socialistic price caps on taxi fares, or maybe adding a fuel surcharge, because the prices dictated by the city don't reflect the reality of $4 a gallon gas. Here's a radical idea -- how about abolishing the price caps, and let the taxis charge the market price?
Yeah, yeah, some liberals with a shaky grasp of economics are undoubtedly sputtering at this point, "But ... but ... if we don't force them to charge prices set by bureaucrats, they will gouge consumers."
Just like grocery stores, with their razor-thin profit margins due to fierce competition? Maybe we should cap their prices too, so they don't earn their lavish 1 percent or so profit margin?
Or ... or ... gasoline! Yes, let's reintroduce the hastily repealed gas cap that caused chaos and no savings.
The city itself, by its own actions and words, admits that there is a competitive marketplace. According to the story, city licensing administrator Dennis Kamimura "did not raise meter fares on the biennial mark last November because a majority of cabs still charged below the maximum, he said."
Enough with this tinkering with failed socialistic policies. End the price cap and let a competitive, free market set prices.
Grant money was set aside in state budget
Predictably, the governor's chief of staff, Barry Fukunaga, makes much ado about last week's legislative Grants-in-Aid press conference in his commentary "Lingle strives to release needed funds sensibly" (Star-Bulletin, June 3).
The truth is, any "striving" was self-imposed and unnecessary as the $10 million already was accounted for in a balanced state budget approved by the governor in 2007 and we're dealing with a very small fraction, less than one-tenth of 1 percent, of our $10 billion general fund budget. So if grandstanding and politics gets the monies released, so be it. My constituents would ask no less of me.
And if speaking up for "don't bite the hand that feeds you" nonprofit providers and advocating for the politically powerless beneficiaries raises the governor's ire and criticism, all I can say is e komo mai.
Rep. Marcus R. Oshiro
House Committee on Finance
Casinos would be a big boon for Hawaii
In disagreement with Grace Furukawa's May 27 letter, I would point out that bringing casinos to the Hawaiian Islands would be a gift to the today's ailing economy and a blessing in disguise.
As a frequent visitor to Hawaii, I feel deprived that I cannot go to a casino and play the slots while on my annual vacation in paradise. Casinos are a great form of entertainment. I unfortunately happen to live in Maryland, where we have been trying to bring slot machines and casinos for five years now.
As a alternative, I travel monthly to Charlestown, W. Va., 60 miles away or to Dover Downs, Del., 100 miles away to pursue my entertainment to play the slots, and so do thousands and thousands of other people.
The results of having legalized gambling in just those two states is that taxes have been lowered and the infrastructure, schools and social services reap a benefit from those great casinos.
So after you look at the whole picture, casinos would be a great blessing for Hawaii and give the ailing economy a boost.
Let's bring casinos to Hawaii as soon as possible and stimulate the economy.
Wheaton, Silver Spring, Md.
Frequent Hawaii visitor
Lawmakers show they care on Memorial Day
I would like to express my appreciation to some of our legislators and our City Councilman for coming to the Memorial Day celebration that was held at the Herbert K. Pililaau Army Recreation Center (Waianae Army Rest Camp) last Monday. State Sen. Colleen Hanabusa, Rep. Karen Awana, Rep. Maili Shimabukuro and City Councilman Todd Apo have been coming to this celebration for a number of years and always give inspiring speeches.
Although our gatherings are generally small, our legislators come and give speeches that you can tell are well thought out and sincere. I would like to say thank you to those legislators.