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Letter to the Editor


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POSTED: Sunday, March 08, 2009

Isolated crime doesn't negate aloha

In the early morning cold of my apartment in Waikiki, I am suddenly awake asking myself, “;Where has aloha gone?”;

I ask this sobering question in light of Waianae High School teacher Asa Yamashita's senseless death, allegedly by a crazed stranger. “;Nowhere”; is my answer.

We live in the Aloha State and aloha is always around. This was an isolated incident and aloha still permeates throughout our islands.

I am a senior citizen visited by two Hawaii Pacific University students, Sherry and Andrea, sharing their aloha as volunteers from the Waikiki Friendly Neighbors Program, and in our apartment building, we will be starting a program celebrating our birthdays and being friendly aloha neighbors to each other.

Aloha in Hawaii has not gone anywhere. It is here each and every day. Aloha and mahalo!

 

Frankie Kam

Waikiki

 

Diverting rail funds would be disastrous

The Legislature is thinking about taking Honolulu's rail fund and using it to shore up the deficit in the state budget. Lawmakers need to be reminded that the Legislature approved the rail tax in 2005, the City Council approved the rail project in 2006 and Oahu's voters validated their support for rail in 2008. It is the will of the people that rail should proceed.

Changing the rules of the game now will only send a bad message to Congress that Honolulu is once again getting cold feet on rail. The Legislature should not risk losing the thousands of jobs and federal funding that comes with rail just to balance the state budget for one year. And the Legislature should not jeopardize the most important infrastructure project ever planned to address the future growth and transportation needs of our island.

 

Mike Chang

Honolulu

 

Don't let government keep you defenseless

How many more deaths and maimings do citizens of Hawaii have to endure before our lawmakers restore our right to protect ourselves? Asa Yamashita, Janel Tupuola, Karen Elise Ertell and the recent stabbing victims on Koko Head Crater are among the enormous number of citizens who have been attacked, killed or maimed by violent assailants on Oahu recently. Most of these assaults and murders could have been prevented if only law-abiding citizens were allowed to carry concealed firearms.

We can significantly reduce the senseless deaths and maimings by changing our concealed-carry laws from “;may issue”; to “;shall issue.”; “;Shall issue”; instructs the police department to issue concealed-carry permits to any law-biding citizen who requests a permit and can legally own a gun. Currently, our police chiefs have sole discretion over whether a person can obtain a concealed-carry permit; in practice, private citizens are not granted these permits.

Many of the women employees in the Ewa Town Center are afraid to go to the center's restrooms alone. They, wisely, go in groups. Law-abiding citizens are afraid to walk the streets, even their work places, freely, while criminals roam our streets, parks and malls at will, unhampered by laws. What kind of society have we created with anti-gun restrictions? Who are the imprisoned and who are the jailers?

Contact your local and state officials and demand the restoration of your natural right to self-protection.

 

T. M. Allard

Ewa Beach

 

Don't be rude — keep right except to pass

There is a simple test that everyone can take to determine whether he or she is responsible for causing road rage in other drivers.

First, without looking at your speedometer, look through your rearview mirror. Next, look through your windshield. If you have noticed a line of vehicles stacked up behind you and no vehicles in front of you, you can be assured you are causing road rage in some of the drivers to your rear.

Don't be a moron! Heed the non-speed-specific “;Slower Traffic Keep Right”; signs.

Those of us who have better things to do with our time than to plod along in an endless stream of unnecessarily slow-moving traffic will appreciate your courtesy and consideration.

 

Clifford Laughton

Honolulu

 

Cut huge upper-level salaries at UH

The University of Hawaii-Manoa campus is in the process of making tens of millions of dollars in cuts. Right now, the people slated to shoulder the sacrifice are the students (in terms of classes, programs and opportunity to graduate) and the faculty and staff (pay, conditions of work and layoffs). Meanwhile, UH-Manoa's overpaid coaches and administrators (e.g., a football coach making more than a million dollars per annum and a UH president making almost half a million with perks) are likely be asked to give up only a tiny amount of their bloated incomes. The same is true of the vice presidents and chancellor/vice chancellors at UH-Manoa.

This institution can no longer afford these huge salaries and they should be cut drastically. Let's immediately cut all UH administrative salaries by a third and put a cap on all UH salaries — say at an upper level of $250,000 (or five times the average household income in Hawaii). In this crisis, there should be no sacred cows.

 

Noel Jacob Kent

Professor, Ethnic Studies

University of Hawaii-Manoa

 

Too many liberals, lawyers in the system

I agree with Joseph Alexander (Letters, March 5) that “;Rapist's deal to go free is an outrage”; and that we need to boot out the city prosecutor.

The city prosecutor has major problems in not simplifying or helping the Honolulu Police Department's mission of crime reduction to a greater extent. For example, whether it be flagrant abuse of fireworks months before New Year's; or lenient liberal judges who are not convinced and free repeat major offenders or merely slap their hand; or even in our Legislature, where supposed judicial arguments paralyze our politicians into lengthy discussions or debates with nothing being done to solve the problem(s). Even the current House Bill 444 on civil unions was tied up by the attorneys on the judiciary committees trying to follow civil rights and equality despite what the clergy or the Bible has to say. And furthermore, who is going to pay for these spousal benefits once they win the right?

Overall, I think we have too many politicians who are lawyers. We need creativity and “;idea people”; who will help matters, not stifle progress with confusion. By the way, a few of my best friends are attorneys.

 

Donald Mack

Aiea

 

Civil unions would increase tax revenues

Legalizing same-sex civil unions in Hawaii is likely to increase tourism arrivals and state tax revenues. This is because some couples entering into same-sex civil unions in other states with civil unions (New Hampshire, Vermont, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Oregon and California) will decide to have their ceremonies and/or honeymoons in Hawaii. Family members and friends will accompany some of these couples. This new flow of visitors is likely to generate millions of dollars in spending.

Several letters have argued that legalizing same-sex civil unions would result in a large number of civil-union partners being added to existing private and public health insurance plans. This is unlikely for three reasons: fewer than 2,000 Hawaii couples are expected to enter into civil unions; more than 90 percent of Hawaii's population has private or public health coverage; and due to extra taxes paid by workers for non-spouse partners added to the worker's health care plan, only a small number of workers in other states have chosen to add same-sex partners to their health insurance plans. Passage of civil union legislation in Hawaii is unlikely to substantially increase expenditures on private and public health insurance in Hawaii.

 

Sumner La Croix

Honolulu

               

     

 

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