Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Thursday, July 02, 2009

Handheld ban will save lives

The new handheld device ban while driving is a very effective measure in protecting public safety. It has taken too long for a law like this to be recognized as useful in the city and county of Honolulu. In the U.S., all but three states have some form of handheld device ban or a “;hands-free”; act. According to the Harvard Center of Risk Analysis, at least 6 percent of all accidents are related to people using handheld devices while driving.

Measures to ban handheld devices are already active on our island military bases and those across the country. These bans are heavily enforced and have cut back on accidents in military bases that were related to cellular and handheld devices.

A very infamous accident that occurred on Sept. 12, 2008, is a strong point in the battle against handheld devices. The incident was a train crash that killed at least 25 people and was attributed to the operator texting while operating the train. Accidents like this and many auto accidents across the U.S. are all related to cell phones and are key reasons why this ban will be useful.

Reasons such as the train accident and many traffic accidents a year show the danger of handheld device use while in a vehicle of any form. A properly enforced ban on handheld devices while driving is a needed measure in advancing public safety.

Damien Chun





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Government must live within its means

The government workers say not on their backs. They don't have backs, we have the backs. We are the ones carrying the load. We, the private sector, pay all taxes — their so-called revenue. Businesses have to have income before they can pay any income tax or any payroll where the balance of the taxes come from.

We have reduced staff by 25 percent. Our remaining employees are on a 32-hour work week as it is (a 20 percent pay reduction). Our property tax, vehicle tax, gas tax, income tax and all the other increases you have forced on us have risen. And now you want to raise the general excise tax? Why don't you do the hard work and legislate within your means, not take the easy way out and just raise taxes and go home on vacation?

Gary Feyerisen


Make education priority in flu crisis

The Health Department appears to be unresponsive to our current flu crisis.

Signs on the bus, articles in the news and brief reminders in 15-second ads on TV and radio reminding people to cover coughs, wash hands and stay home would do much to decrease the spread of, and contain, the current flu pandemic here in Hawaii.

We should be very vocal in our criticism of the lack of leadership and education from the Health Department of our state. If the state isn't going to take the lead in this education, perhaps some of our well-funded health insurance companies could sponsor such ads.

Joy Marshall, RN


Cover photograph lacked thought

What a poor choice — putting a strange picture of Gov. Linda Lingle on the front page of your paper (”;Veto power,”; Star-Bulletin, July 1). Your choice showed no respect. If you want to be mean, try being mean to everyone.

You could have offset the bad picture of our governor with a picture of the state workers leaving their offices early to go demonstrate in favor of keeping their pay and bennies. A picture of a state worker walking by a clock showing the time to be 3:30 or 4, for example.

Paul E. Smith


Indigenous sports belong in Olympics

Shame on the Lords of the Rings. The Olympics have become tainted with performance-enhanced records, tricks and stunts that are not sports and a loss of the Olympian ideals.

The Olympics repeatedly keep out indigenous cultural sports like outrigger canoe racing and surfing. These are high art forms that are culture at its core for all Hawaiians and Hawaii. Surfing is also a winter sport and should be held only in Hawaii with a waiting period over the course of the games. Easy in a digital age.

The Olympics include snowboarding stunts, which, of course, grew from surfing. Let us see outrigger canoes paddle down the Thames and under the London Bridge in 2012. Give Hawaii, Tonga, Samoa, Tahiti, Cook Islands as well as American Indian, Chinese and African paddling cultures a chance to excel and show the power of indigenous culture to be one with nature, body, mind and spirit.

Kimo Kekahuna


Deal with N. Korea to quell nuke threat

Sooner or later President Barack Obama is personally going to have to deal with the ever-growing nuclear threat that has materialized in North Korea. The longer he waits to address this threat, the more dangerous it will become. The stall tactics being followed by Russia and China only serve to magnify the danger we are confronted with daily.

Essentially what is occurring is that while we are having our very lives threatened, we are being held at gunpoint and told to hand over our money, and/or our goods, or we are going to be killed. This isn't a political move; it is an attempt at an outright armed robbery, and must be dealt with accordingly before someone really does get hurt.

Jack Telaneus