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Letters to the editor


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POSTED: Monday, May 11, 2009

Equality for gays will come soon

Despite our Senate's inability to pass a civil-unions bill this session, there were a few senators who exhibited true courage and leadership in their efforts to bring equality to all of Hawaii's residents.

Though the “;Red Shirts”; might be ecstatic at the moment, history and current trends show the victory will be fleeting. Forgive the mixing of metaphors, but the genie can't be put back into the closet. Take a look around and you'll see that courts and legislative bodies (and yes, even congregations) across our nation are now conceding that withholding equality from gays and lesbians is, indeed, tantamount to discrimination and cannot continue to be condoned.

Fair-minded people in our Aloha State will not allow the continued delay of justice for its residents. And years from now, children of the “;Red Shirts”; will be asking their parents how in the world they could have supported a cause that would marginalize loving, committed couples and deny them equal treatment under the law, regardless of their orientation.

Dean Calistro

Honolulu

               

     

 

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Chief lauds gun laws for low death rate

Hawaii should be very proud to have the lowest gun death rate in the nation. In the 1990s, community groups, government agencies, concerned individuals, the media, legislators and survivors of firearms violence banded together to improve the existing firearms laws. The debates were intense, but we collectively made choices that have kept our islands safe. It's no coincidence that Honolulu is the safest major city in the U.S.

We in Hawaii have learned what some parts of the country still have not: Strict gun laws save lives, prevent injuries, and lessen gun violence on the streets and in our homes.

Boisse Correa

Chief, Honolulu Police Department

Easier to get Hawaii ID than official admits

It is not nearly as “;difficult”; to get a Hawaii driver's license as Dennis Kamimura would have us believe (Kokua Line, Star-Bulletin, May 7).

Instead of asking the bureaucrat in charge, ask any front-line worker at the DMV or the Social Security office how big a problem this is, and you will get a very different answer. (The Social Security office is affected because the DMV requires a letter from SSA certifying that a foreign tourist is not eligible for a Social Security card.)

It is a problem for bona fide Hawaii residents because tourists with no legitimate need for a license clog the offices and increase the wait time for local residents, and it costs taxpayers much more to process these applications and inquiries than the nominal amount that is collected in fees.

There are tour guides who charge up to several hundreds of dollars to help tourists get their licenses. Tourists are willing to pay a lot of money to get a Hawaii driver's license because they can save several hundred dollars on golf fees at both public and private golf courses over the course of a golfing vacation.

Have you ever wondered why

kamaaina discounts are not as widespread as they were 20 years ago? It has to do in large part with the fact that many businesses know that it is laughably easy for any tourist to get a Hawaii driver's license or state ID.

J.L. Mancillas

Kaneohe

City's rail transit plan wrong for isles' future

The rail issue has become a war of words, and it looks like it is time for some constructive action.

Yes, we were most assuredly duped into this steel wheel, steel rail issue - most definitely a slick maneuver for personal, political gains by those who are unwilling to discuss this project further.

Times have changed drastically since “;We've been talking about this for 30 years and let's just build it already.”; We do not have enough money to build or maintain it.

Yes, our state needs construction to put people to work, but we also need tourism and we have an obligation to maintain a basic quality of life standard for our residents and future generations.

We need to put some intelligent heads together and start putting people to work on green construction for a change. We are a finite island. We are not the mainland, which has more space to negotiate with.

Our city administration should be listening to some of the experts we have right here in Hawaii.

There can be a better solution, but if the city refuses to address the concerns of the AIA, Outdoor Circle, Kamehameha Schools, U.S. EPA, the federal court and countless other concerned groups and individuals, we will all rue the day.

MJ Culvyhouse

Kaneohe

Equality and justice no match for senators

Good news!!! The civil-unions bill is dead for this year (and probably for 2010 as well). We, in Hawaii, can be proud, and are most certainly blessed to have a Senate with the extraordinary courage to affirm discrimination based on sexual orientation. Let's not be led astray by the inconvenient equal rights provisions of constitutional law or, while we're at it, by the spirit of aloha, either.

Don Hallock

Honolulu