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Letters to the Editor


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POSTED: Thursday, November 13, 2008

Don’t bet on lottery to fix our problems

Every so often someone comes up with the idea the state should start a lottery (Letters, Nov. 11). What we are really talking about is gambling. Can anyone now say “stock market”? As one of the few states that have resisted the temptation to legalize gambling, Hawaii stays on the right track.

Just who are the people who gamble? Well, it is mostly those who can least afford to plunk their money down on the off chance they’ll win more than they spend. We all know the house percentage is far greater than the occasional winners.

I started playing slot machines in Maryland at age 8 some 60 years ago. I watched people of limited means and their unkempt children standing beside their parents as they fed those machines in hopes of a jackpot. It was a sad sight and stays with me to this very day.

While a lottery might be a moneymaker for the state, it is a menace to society and does far greater harm than good. In Maryland, the lottery was passed because the money was to go to education. The state now says that is not true. They also don’t tell you about the damage to society gambling causes.

Lottery is no answer to our economic problems.

Robert Lloyd
Ewa Beach


Restrictions won’t boost rental housing

Ursula Retherford (Letters, Nov. 7) has every reason to complain about the lack of long-term affordable rentals. Retherford and others believe that restrictions on short-term rentals will cause residential homeowners to provide long-term affordable housing for low-income families and the homeless in places like Kailua. This has not happened.

Earnings and income make housing affordable. Restrictions on short-term rentals do not make affordable housing. Residential homeowners should not be expected to shoulder the responsibility of providing affordable long-term rentals.

More than 80 percent of Oahu’s neighborhood boards did not pass any resolution calling for a restriction on short-term rentals. An Hawaii Tourism Authority study in 2003 showed that more than 80 percent of Oahu residents are in favor of short-term rentals in neighborhoods where these rentals were welcomed.

The City Council is correct in listening to the 80 percent of Oahu that supports new licensing of short-term neighborhood rentals for locals and visitors, for business, for returning friends and relatives.

Will Page
Kailua


People must accept outcome of election

I am a recent reader of the Star-Bulletin, and I would like to comment on the Nov. 8 column by Betsy Hart. It is exactly what society needs to hear. Obviously, she didn’t vote for the president-elect, but Hart was able to honor and respect the peoples’ decision on the obvious outcome.

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and to hear about all these awful and very cruel things people are doing on both sides of this election; especially on the Proposition 8 that passed in California, we left it up to the people to decide, didn’t we? So why is everyone in such an uproar when the ballots are accounted for?

We argued as a people, we fought as a people, we voted for what we believed in as a people, and since some of us don’t like the outcome, we decide to hurt our own people? Does that make sense to anyone? Anyway, I just wanted to say we need more people like Hart, who may not like the outcome, but have come to grips with the fact that not everything is left up to one, two, five, ten people. There is a nation of people with different personalities, feelings and beliefs. That is why we put it to all of them to decide. By voting! Now grow up people, and deal with what the majority has decided.

Brandi Sobek
Wahiawa


Did race guide voting? Well, yes and no

“Did race alone guide American voters”? That was the headline of a letter to the editor written by Mike Brown (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 7).

Yes, in that sometimes the “underdog” is given more empathy because we assume that he has a more difficult effort to overcome. It is more difficult for the “oppressed” to surpass the “oppressor.”

Conversely, it could be an incentive for the oppressed to excel.

Yes, times are changing in that most Americans would like to show the world that we’ve come a long way since slavery.

No, because we saw in Barack Obama an intelligent, capable and a fair-minded person fit to be elected president of the greatest nation on Earth, the United States of America.

No, because Obama is the president-to-be in spite of and because of his racial background.

Tetsuji Ono
Hilo


Shinseki would make fine defense secretary

With Barack Obama’s transition team making a short list of possible appointees, I hope Gen. Eric Shinseki will be at the top for secretary of defense.v Shinseki has proved over the last 30 years what military leaders should be. He has balanced the needs of the soldiers with the need to get the job done.

If Shinseki had been in charge of Operation Iraqi Freedom III we would not have had the problems with the amount of troops and proper equipment for those troops.

I hope that President-elect Obama will consider Shinseki for secretary of defense.

George M. Waialeale
Honolulu


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