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Friday, February 12, 1999


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Statute of limitations should be abolished

Sen. Andy Levin has introduced a bill, SB 1254, which if passed would abolish the statute of limitations for class A felonies. The current statute of limitations for these felonies is six years. This means that the state must indict the perpetrator within six years of the commission, or he or she can never be brought to trial.

A law that prevents the prosecution of those responsible for violent crime because the statute of limitations has expired is unjust and adds to the trauma of the victim and victim's family.

I am asking your readers to contact their state senators and representatives, and urge them to support Levin's proposed legislation.

John Ireland
Springfield, Va.

Editor's note: John Ireland is the father of Dana Ireland,
who was kidnapped, raped and murdered on the Big Island
in 1991; no one has yet gone to trial in the case.

Public has right to question state budget surplus

State Budget Director Earl Anzai says that the Star-Bulletin is wasting space by printing letters from people who question his numbers (Star-Bulletin, Feb. 8). Here's some more wasted space.

There is a state budget surplus, but it's simply election-year juggling by an appointee who has to come up with the numbers to keep his job. Maybe the Star-Bulletin should screen all letters through the Earl of Budget to insure that no more space is wasted.

Michael Doggett
(Via the Internet)

Timing of surplus discovery was too convenient

There are many reasons why I find it hard to believe that the state government has a $154-million surplus. First, I find the timing much too convenient for Governor Cayetano. (The surplus was discovered just before the November elections.)

Then there is Hawaii's continued poor policies and spending in education. Our teachers may have their deserved raise, but they didn't get it easily. It took a teacher's strike and a battle of words between the teacher's union and the state before the raise was enacted.

If we have so much money, why are our teachers still compelled to supplement their classes by paying out of pocket for teaching supplies and equipment in order to educate our children?

There are other reasons why I have a difficulty in believing the surplus, but it is the perceived insult and rudeness of state budget director Earl Anzai's Feb. 8 letter that has me really upset.

Realize this, Mr. Anzai: neither I nor anyone who has a problem with the surplus or any policy/finding by OUR government is "wasting the newspaper's space."

We are writing because, so far, neither the budget director nor any state representative has the capacity or ability to explain the state's "surplus" well enough to satisfy me or anyone else

Mollie Ebersbach (Via the Internet)



bullet "Of course, I believe Rod Tam is the worst legislator over there. As you well know, he's a laughingstock, and I think it's unfortunate that we didn't get a Democratic candidate in there who was pro-business, articulate, to represent that district."

-- Mayor Jeremy Harris, responding to state Sen. Rod Tam's call for Harris' expulsion from the Democratic Party.

bullet "Writers are dangerous because they're free. They think for themselves, and in a repressive regime that's the most dangerous thing."

-- Writer Paul Auster on his friend Salman Rushdie, author of "The Satanic Verses."

bullet "I think if we believe in drug-free schools, we have to give kids some mechanism to turn kids in."

-- Adrian, Mich., Police Chief Robert Metzger on a police program offering $50 to middle and high school students for reporting illegal activity at school or work.

Sorry impeachment episode exposed GOP's true values

Republican politicians have exposed their party's true values to be as vile as we always suspected. The House managers' smoke-and-mirrors performance was an embarrassment. The leadership succeeded only in putting the party in the toilet.

Yet, the Republican "Evil Empire" is not dead. Republican hit man Ken Starr still stands. His activities and political alliances must be aggressively investigated and exposed. His party agenda to topple a presidency is unAmerican.

And the Republican propaganda machine also continues to rage. Hate radio and television superstars are still aggravating our Republican friends and neighbors into states of hysteria. Republican devotees invested heavily in this folly, only to find themselves following fools.

With the Republican leadership now fully exposed, it will not be difficult to get rid of the bad and bring in the good in upcoming elections.

John Rivers

Acquittal and censure will damage Constitution

In cases of impeachment, the Constitution should be taken as literally as possible. It should not be interpreted this way or that to suit the politics or opinions of whoever is doing the interpreting.

In my mind, the Constitution is clear. The House impeaches, the Senate tries; if the impeached officer is guilty, he/she is convicted. If convicted, the sole punishment prescribed is removal from office. Anything that goes outside this simple process is, to me, unconstitutional. Censure, finding of fact and "adjournment with a sting" fall outside this process.

On the other hand, I also believe that not voting to convict someone whom the facts show to be guilty is also unconstitutional. (To me, adjournment in such a case is equally unconstitutional.)

Senators now trying President Clinton can either follow the Constitution and vote to convict the president or choose an unconstitutional route and acquit, censure, adjourn or "find facts."

I truly believe that history will honor those who did everything they could to uphold this sacred document and condemn those who did not. I also believe that a country that has survived a civil war and two world wars will survive this and a way will be found to restore the Constitution to its full intent and purpose.

Deena King
Assistant Professor
Brigham Young University-Hawaii Laie
(Via the Internet)

'L' word no longer exists in America's language

Truth telling isn't what it used to be. The morality of Americans has shifted. Being less than truthful (it's impolite to use the "l" word) is acceptable behavior, especially if done to protect loved ones from unnecessary emotional harm.

People feel that little white lies can be used with discretion and shouldn't be viewed the same as "real lies." Otherwise, many innocent people will be hurt if the truth is always told.

This mentality is endorsed by people in high places. Their spin doctors have added the following questions: Don't we all sin but in different ways? Why can't someone's private life be separate from someone's public life? Why penalize someone who is doing a good job for the country?

And now a question about partisan politics: Would each senator's vote remain the same given the identical facts -- except that the president is a Republican?

Russell Stephen Pang

Secret Service didn't 'grill' local author

Contrary to your Feb. 6 headline, the Secret Service did not "grill" me about my commentary in the Honolulu Advertiser, nor did they come "knocking on my front door" on Monday morning (Star-Bulletin, "Secret Service grills author on Clinton 'threat'").

Special Agent Donna M. Miller telephoned me at midday and invited me down to the federal building to talk. Instead, I invited her up to my house. She came with another agent and the three of us talked in my library for 90 minutes.

I can't remember a more interesting, stimulating, enjoyable afternoon. By the time they left, I felt more American than ever.

Gardner McKay

Liberal Democrats have destroyed this state

With our nation in a free fall and with no morals at all, it was very sad to see our state legislators taking their oath of office and omitting the words "so help me God."

The liberal Democrats -- who have controlled this state for almost half a century -- even prevented a high school senior from mentioning God in her graduation speech a year or two ago. And remember the students on Molokai who wanted to sing a song at their graduation, but were prevented from doing so because the word "Lord" was in it?

Now our governor wants to offer domestic partnership to homosexual/lesbian couples, despite a resounding "yes" vote for traditional marriage between a man and woman in our last general election. Domestic partnership is just another name for same-sex marriage.

The Democrats have made the state motto, "The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness," into a joke.

Melvin Partido
Pearl City

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