Wednesday, May 9, 2001
Power finally shifts away from unionsThere is a saying, "What goes around, comes around." I find that to be true in life, especially right now with the new law passed by the Legislature to privatize some government services. There is no one else to blame but the unions. They got lazy and greedy. For years the unions have had too much power here, to a point that they have officials loyal to their wants. We have seen the unions run the state by bullying elected officials.
But now, when change is needed, the legislators took a chance to make good for the people. They stood up for what is right. I say it's about time that we had officials who have the guts to make the changes and withstand the unions' tactics. Maybe now we can put more money into education and not let the unions steal money from the people. Stop crying unions. It's your fault that all this happened. Now the power has shifted from the unions to the people, where it belongs.
View of Waikiki looks good even in FloridaFor several years the Honolulu traffic camera system has had one of its cameras at the corner of Kalakaua and Kapahulu pointed toward the beach. The camera has recently been repositioned so it no longer provides those of us who can visit Honolulu only infrequently a view of another beautiful day in paradise.
I realize that having the camera oriented toward the beach provided no practical traffic information, but it certainly created an enormous amount of goodwill for the city of Honolulu. I would be happy to contribute to a fund for the purchase of a new camera with which to view the beach, if such a fund were established.
Harold L. Murphy
[Quotables]"Would you tax the Sunday collection plate? Would you tax the payments government gives nonprofits for social services?"
Executive director of the Hawaii Tax Foundation, on the possibility that the state may seek to raise new sources of revenue from previously tax-exempt nonprofit organizations such as churches and social welfare organizations.
"This is simply a ruse to put these businesses out of business, and they're paying lip service to the First Amendment."
Attorney for about 15 businesses, some adult entertainment establishments, that will be displaced by the mayor's redevelopment plan for the parcel of land on Kapiolani Boulevard across the street from the Hawaii Convention Center
Governor's tax cuts damage the stateGovernor Cayetano claims that the cuts in public service "are all victims of giving pay raises" (Star-Bulletin, May 5). The real cause is his program of a 10 percent cut in taxes in 1998, another 10 percent currently, and an additional 20 percent in the next few years.
Meanwhile, the cost of living has been increasing at twice the rate of taxes. His cuts in taxes are damaging public education and other public needs -- all with the help of fellow Republicrat legislators.
Jerome G. Manis
Change Kaukonahua to one-way roadI was shocked and in deep sorrow when the three teen-agers lost their lives on Kaukonahua Road to Waialua. When my son Gabriel came home from the funeral services of Jeremy Tolentino, he handed me the funeral program with the victim's picture.
I saw the likeness of my other son, Damian, who also attended Mililani High School. Jeremy and Damian look almost exactly alike. I thought my heart stopped beating for awhile. With tears blurring my vision, I asked God, "Why are you taking people to heaven so early?"
Let me suggest how to stop such tragedies. I learned how to drive a car on this road back in the summer of 1953 when I was stationed at Schofield Barracks. The curves are very sharp and there's no way to safely negotiate these turns at 40 mph unless you are a very good driver and travel on that road everyday. Kaukonahua Road must be converted to a one-way route from Waialua to Honolulu. Going uphill discourages speeding. The road must be illuminated, and flashing orange lights must be installed before the curves.
This suggestion, if implemented, will halt unnecessary traffic deaths and a huge sum of money is not required.
Bernardo Pascua Benigno
In Hawaii, we know conservation worksVice President Dick Cheney doesn't think energy conservation makes sound policy ("Cheney energy plan," May 1), but what else should we expect from an oil tycoon? He clearly speaks for the oil industry.
We in Hawaii have a different perspective since our high cost of living is due in part to energy dependency. It just makes sense to reduce our wasteful fuel consumption and develop renewable and nonpolluting sources of energy.
Without any inconvenience I cut my electric bill in half ($78 to $39) and could do even better if the electric company promoted solar heating instead of scaring the public with warnings of black-outs. Every household and driver can reduce consumption substantially with a few changes.
Chairmen shouldn't have veto powerI followed the outcome of SB 864, which was intended to protect children from sexual exploitation. I was angered to hear that this bill died because Rep. Eric Hamakawa refused to hold a hearing for the bill.
In my opinion, Hamakawa's actions are irresponsible and bring up the question of why one representative has the power to kill an important bill like this one.
How could anyone not want to protect children from pimps who recruit them into the sex industry, through massage parlors, escort agencies and topless bars? These pimps make millions of dollars at the expense of these young girls and they face no criminal penalties. According to Sisters Offering Support, there are 10,000 minors who are involved in the sex industry on Oahu.
In a recent letter to the editor, Hamakawa claimed that this bill could possibly be unconstitutional. How could a bill that makes sexual exploitation of minors a Class B felony be unconstitutional? Does he think that pimps have an unalienable right to destroy the lives of innocent young girls?
Don't compare Cuban missile crisis to ChinaRegarding Mervyn Chang's May 1 letter on the collision of the U.S. reconnaissance plane and the Chinese jet: The Soviets providing weapons to Cuba in 1962 was not the problem. It was stationing Soviet-controlled nuclear missiles, which were an offensive threat, in Cuba. You may notice that the Cuban armed forces have non-nuclear weapons. Just as those weapons pose no military threat to the United States, the defensive weapons we provide Taiwan pose no threat to mainland China.
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