to the Editor

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Monday, November 19, 2001

Hirono's 'style' lacking at city or state level

I have read a number of articles regarding Mazie Hirono's decision to run for mayor of Honolulu rather than embarrass herself by running for the governor's office next year. Although each preceding lieutenant governor had stepped up to the top state office, we all know that this has been due to the "good old boy" Democratic political machine and its relationship with most of Hawaii's biggest unions. Actual talent and ability to put forth any form of intelligent political agenda or plan has always been unnecessary if you were in the right spot at the right time, as we have seen with George Ariyoshi, John Waihee and Ben Cayetano.

I assume that Hirono ascertained that this free ride had come to an end and decided to go for a less powerful position. Or perhaps she is just doing what she is being told to do by the power brokers who see a much better chance of electing Democrat Jeremy Harris, and defeating the Linda Lingle-John Carroll Republican types, in order to perpetuate their long-standing dominance, if she is out of the way.

I am disgusted with the suggestion that her "style of leadership" was perceived to have more utility at the city level than at the state level. She has no such discernable leadership style and was just one of a string of pawns that Hawaii has had to suffer through because the voters are so lazy and uninvolved with the issues.

Michael J. Reilly

Fight terrorism by conserving energy

Recent events have highlighted the need to break our addiction to Middle Eastern oil. If we weren't afraid of losing this precious fluid, we wouldn't have to kowtow to the Saudis and their support of violent Muslim radicals, we wouldn't have to pussyfoot around with Saddam Hussein, and we wouldn't have to go begging corrupt governments like Iran and Pakistan to help us bring Osama bin Laden to justice.

There is a great unity of desire among Americans to do something to help stop terrorism. It seems clear that the best thing people can do is reduce their use of Middle Eastern oil.

This will accomplish two important things: It will reduce the cash flow to countries like Saudi Arabia that fund terrorism, and it will take the handcuffs off our foreign policy in the region by removing the threat of another oil embargo by the oil cartel.

Hawaii residents can do two simple things to help in this great patriotic effort: conserve energy and use home-grown energy like wind and solar. Drying your clothes outside is almost as fast as using an energy-guzzling clothes dryer, and saves a lot of money too. Not having a solar water heater here is just plain dumb, considering that, with all the rebates and tax credits, an investment in solar has a higher rate of return than Microsoft stock had in the middle of the 1990s.

Matt Binder
Na Makani Solar Rebate Program
Kealakekua, Hawaii


"He couldn't possibly have provided that."

Marion Higa

State auditor, describing overcharges related to the Felix consent decree and citing the case of a therapist who billed the state for 127 hours for one day of his services.

"With federal employees, it's hard to get rid of somebody if they screw up."

Kenneth Mayo

Georgia resident, on the possible drawbacks of federalizing airport security.

'Public' library should be open on holidays

During the years I have been frustrated about how inaccessible the libraries are. The libraries should be open when the taxpayers have time to use their facilities. Yet whenever holidays occur the libraries are closed -- not just for the holiday, but in many instances for the whole weekend.

The library system should change its hours of operation to be more accessible to the working public. While the libraries should close on the holiday, whether it falls on Friday, Saturday or Monday, they should remain open on other days for the taxpayers, whom the libraries serve.

Isn't that why it's a "public" library?

Evelyn Sugihara

Reconciliation -- not hate, not war

We grieve for those several thousand unique, precious and irreplaceable people who were lost in the Sept. 11 disaster. We mourn with all those who have lost loved ones and give thanks for the heroic efforts of rescuers.

For more than 300 years Quakers (the Religious Society of Friends) have endeavored to build a just and nonviolent society. We have a profound belief that every human being is a creature of God and has been put here for a very special purpose. We encourage a focus on people as well as politics and on peaceful ways of including all groups and hearing their needs. In the wake of this tragedy, we will continue to strive for increased international understanding and cooperation.

We cannot overemphasize the importance of a humane and rational response. The security of nations and peoples must be based on human well-being, strengthened international cooperation and norms and respect for the rule of law. We call on all individuals and decision makers to work with the global community to prevent further violence.

In the short term, the focus should be on securing the arrest and trial of those responsible and assuring fair judicial process in collaboration with the international community. Governments, communities and individuals should take the responsibility not to scapegoat any nation, faith or ethnic group.

In the long term, the difficult process of addressing the anger, resentment and hatred that fueled the attack must begin. Non-state terrorism is not simply aberrant attacks of fanatics when such incidents have become commonplace in much of the world and often enjoy popular support from aggrieved peoples.

A clearer understanding of the roots of such violence is needed, including recognition of the extent to which national and international policies have contributed to the despair and frustration behind these extreme acts.

Finally, we agree with Martin Luther King Jr. that violence is "a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy ... adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

We pray that the citizens and leaders of the world will rise to this challenge and move with generosity toward healing and reconciliation.

Marjorie L. Cox
Clerk, Honolulu Friends Meeting

Maui needs freedom of Little Beach

I'm a resident of California who frequently visits Maui. A day without a visit to Little Beach would alter my view and feelings of my beloved island ("Maui beach debate seeks naked truth," Star-Bulletin, Nov. 8). Please let Little Beach provide a small piece of freedom.

Jeffrey Thurnher

Letter guidelines

The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point on issues of public interest. 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, must include a mailing address and daytime telephone number.

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