Letters to the editor


POSTED: Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Majority decision is minority threat

In his May 12 letter to the editor, Bob Bretschneider argued that the majority should dictate how society is run. However, John Adams, the second president of the United States, clearly stated that “;the desires of the majority of the people are often for injustice and inhumanity against the minority.”; This illustrates the need for constitutional protections against the tyranny of the majority.

Dehumanizing practices such as racism, the unequal treatment of women and enactment of anti-gay laws and policies arose because ignorance and prejudice found comfortable homes in the minds and hearts of the majority. Giving the majority unlimited power to set the rules by which minorities must live, work, love and raise their families guarantees that injustice against minorities will sooner or later rear its ugly head.

An America that allows the majority to inflict injustice on minorities is an America that has turned its back on its highest ideals. This would be a cause for shame, not pride.

Kent Hirata


UH upkeep numbers well under $1 billion

The article “;UH upkeep to reach $1 billion”; (Star-Bulletin, May 4) misleads readers by suggesting that a recent study estimated that University of Hawaii repair and maintenance costs will ultimately reach $1 billion over the next 10 years.

The $1 billion figure would only be accurate if UH was to receive no money over the next decade from the Legislature for repair and maintenance projects and if UH was not proactively seeking solutions to address funding challenges. The most recent figures show our current backlog to be $368 million, up 5 percent from last year's estimated level. It is our goal to get it down to a manageable level of $126 million by 2015.

Maintenance challenges are not new, nor are they unique to our state. In Hawaii and across the nation, the higher education needs triggered by the maturing of the postwar baby boom led legislatures everywhere to build many new public university buildings in the late 1960s and 1970s. As these buildings have aged, resources for preventive maintenance have not kept pace. Here in Hawaii, the situation was further exacerbated by the stagnant economic conditions of the '90s.

Our Board of Regents last year made reducing the backlog to manageable levels by 2015 one of 10 key strategic outcomes of our strategic plan. Working with the governor, the Legislature and with private donors via our Centennial Campaign—which last November surpassed its goal of $250 million and now stands at $271 million—we are continuing to address the upkeep and renewal of our campuses.

Carolyn Tanaka

University of Hawaii

Associate vice president, University Relations

What you wish for might just come true

To the Chinatown residents who complained about the drug and crime problems in Chinatown: The police department alleviated the situation. You asked for added police protection and you got it.

Now, some of you are complaining about too many citations being issued. Here's a simple solution: Don't break the law.

Learn how to park between the lines, feed the meters, wear seat belts and don't jaywalk. What you're asking for is to “;just get rid of the bad guys”; but give a wink and a smile to those of you who are “;just a little bit bad.”; It don't work that way, folks. If you talk the talk, then walk the walk!

Jimmy Borges

Former police commissioner Honolulu

Judge made correct call over Aloha name

To many of Aloha Airlines' former employees and to the many who loyally flew with the former local carrier, it was some sort of redemption when Judge Lloyd King made the decision to prevent Mesa's subsidiary, go! the use of the demised carrier's name.

It has been a little over a year since Aloha Air was driven out of business by go!'s unethical business practices that affected thousands of employees and their families. For my wife who had been an employee of 48 years with Aloha and her fellow employees, it was a moral victory. They hailed Judge King as a hero who saw wrong and gave them a sense of justice at least for now.

Many are still struggling since they became unemployed but at least this latest ruling by Judge King has given them a lift in their spirits to go on. It was disheartening enough to lose their jobs, especially in the dire economic climate we are in now, but to steal a company's hard-earned reputation of the true “;aloha”; spirit is classless. A big mahalo to Judge King for his wisdom and compassion!

Gary Takashima


Don't let Oahu's trains go the way of the ferry

The trains are coming, and I hope to live to see them. We need them badly. Michael Rethman (Letters, Star-Bulletin, May 17) in Kaneohe may not need them, but those of us on this side surely do, and have for a long time.

The Luddites destroyed our ferry, which many used, needed and enjoyed, and it was a crying shame to see it leave. The naysayers should not have such destructive power over progress.

Nancy Bey Little





How to write us

        The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (~175 words). The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include a daytime telephone number.

Letter form: Online form, click here
        E-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
        Fax: (808) 529-4750
        Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210,  Honolulu, HI 96813