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POSTED: Saturday, December 05, 2009

Good journalism serves the public

The news media is sometimes vilified by the public for misrepresenting facts and putting too much spin and too little information. Journalism done right, however, can enlighten the public to problems otherwise unknown and spur a complacent government to action. The story by Rosemarie Bernardo on ugly vandalism in my City Council district at Wailupe Valley School is such an example (”;Vandals make mark on Wailupe's walls,”; Star-Bulletin, Dec. 2).

Bernardo revealed the failure by the city to police and secure this property owned by the city. This failure led to dreadful vandalism on this site. The Star-Bulletin pushed the Hannemann administration into cleaning up the graffiti and vandalism the very same afternoon the story ran. The story triggered the mayor to finally initiate action on the issue of what should be done.

Journalists (like politicians) have a bad rap that is not always undeserved. Every once in a while, however, something happens like this story that reminds all of us of the importance of an aggressive, strong and inquisitive press.

 

Charles K. Djou

Honolulu city councilman

 

Gambling's good outweighs its bad

After reading a recent article about gambling in Deadwood, S.D., I am once again of the opinion that Hawaii needs to take a serious look at gambling as a source of revenue. Briefly, gambling brought 2,000 jobs, millions of dollars in profits, and money for infrastructure”; to Deadwood. Specifically, gamblers waged $12.7 billion; they won back $11.6 billion, leaving $1.1 billion in gross revenue for the casinos. The casinos paid $208 million in taxes and fees, some going to the state coffers, while Deadwood realized more than $123 million for local improvements.

These figures are stunning. Especially since Deadwood is not a major tourist area, has a very dismal weather pattern and does not even come close to matching Hawaii as a travel destination.

Let's face it: Hawaii residents love to gamble. Many do gamble (illegally). Many take their money and leave it in Vegas. Many more would gamble in Hawaii, if legal, and with no air travel involved. The majority of tourists gamble. Is there no one willing to bring gambling up for serious consideration? Are we not in the midst of a severe economic crisis? Don't we need a source of funding for our schools, our roads, our growing homeless population? The benefits would far outweigh any downside.

 

Robert B. Mac Evitt

Waianae

 

UH Warriors still have a chance

In his column following Hawaii's road victory over San Jose State, Dave Reardon implied that the UH Warrior football team's modest three-game winning streak meant little in the grand scheme of collegiate football (”;Streak means nothing with 8-3 Navy heading in,”; Star-Bulletin, Nov. 23). With Navy arriving in the islands the following week, Hawaii's streak and ultimately season would end without a bowl game.

As Mr. Reardon thoughtfully wrote, “;Hawaii has not beaten anyone with a winning record all season. Barely squeaking by the last-place team in the WAC doesn't mean that will change against 8-3 Navy.”; I hope Mr. Reardon is not a betting man, because after last week's thrilling 24-17 victory over the Midshipmen, UH is still alive.

So yes, Hawaii's streak meant and still means something. It means they've won four games in a row, their longest winning streak since the undefeated 2007 Sugar Bowl team. It means they're now one win away from the Hawaii Bowl. It means they've got momentum. It means they've got belief. It means they've got a chance.

 

Sean Corpuz

Honolulu

 

AG deserves furlough blame

If there is a person to blame for the school furloughs, I would blame Mark Bennett, our state attorney general. Although there may or not be a law specifying the amount of school days, it should have been grandfathered in at 180, plus or minus. He should have advised the parties that it is not an option to take away children's right to an education and at the same time wreak havoc on the general public. Had he stepped up, he would have headed off this debacle. The Legislature would have been forced to make hard decisions, like doing just that now, after much egg on the face. As it is, teachers will get 17 free paid days extra to do nothing while Rome burns.

 

Ken Chang

Kaneohe

 

Obama's Afghan strategy a ruse

After watching the president speak at West Point, it is clear he is proposing what he believes to be a cleverly packaged policy of surrender in two stages.

Stage one: We ostensibly beef up our forces in Afghanistan beginning next summer as a means of quelling domestic unrest here in the U.S., during which time the Taliban agree to lie low and refrain from attacking our forces while quietly building up their war stockpiles.

Stage two: Eighteen months from now the president declares “;mission complete,”; pulls out our fighting forces; the Taliban take over the country as their safe haven to begin planning their next attack on our homeland.

Are we the people going to let ourselves be scammed by this fellow ... again?

 

Thomas E. Stuart

Kapaau

               

     

 

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