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Wednesday, December 26, 2001

Gay activists lose Gabbard vendetta

It was great to read that Carol Gabbard has finally been cleared of the trumped-up charges brought against her by gay activists ("Commission rejects campaign complaint against BOE's Gabbard," Star-Bulletin, Dec. 19)

I am sure Gabbard has had to spend a lot of her time defending herself and that she is happy to return to life as a respected and hard-working Board of Education member.

Maybe homosexual activists will get the message that it is useless to try to destroy a loving and committed person like Gabbard. I also hope the Campaign Spending Commission gets the message that it shouldn't waste taxpayer money considering false and misleading claims made by people with personal vendettas.

Vanessa Birang

Convicted officials should lose benefits

Isn't it time to cut off convicted felons from feeding at the public trough? Day after day I read about former public officials convicted of felonies against the public trust who continue to get retirement benefits from the same public against which they committed these crimes.

Maybe they would think a little longer and a little harder before committing them if they knew they would lose their benefits. Military officers are subject to loss of benefits should they commit felonies. I would not be surprised if other states had similar laws.

Shouldn't all public servants who take an oath of office and have a high level of responsibility and public trust be held accountable? This would go a long way in restoring the public's trust.

Daniel Boucon


"If I had used that money, I would be bothered by what would happen to the person who lost the money."

Paul Gebauer

Homeless Maui man who returned $68,000 in savings bonds he found in a book at the Makawao Public Library. The bonds belonged to a Haiku women who had left them in an envelope tucked in the book.

"Is this part of a widespread deal, or is this guy acting alone? We don't know yet."

Sen. Richard C. Shelby

Ranking Republican on the Intelligence Committee, on the man who was subdued by flight attendants and passengers Saturday aboard an American Airlines jet en route from Paris to Miami. The man, who was identified as a British citizen, was subdued after he lit two matches and appeared to try to light his shoes on fire. Laboratory tests confirmed that explosives packed with wires had been hidden in his sneakers. The incident is under investigation.

Elected officials silent on effects of merger

I am astounded that a merger that will create a monopoly in an essential service to this state -- not any different from a public utility like electricity and the telephone -- does not elicit one murmur from any of our elected officials, from the governor on down, or from our congressional delegation.

Considering the history of Aloha Airlines, its founder, Sheridan Ing, who cared for the public and the employees in ways no other airline did, must be turning over in his grave.

Raymond L. Chuan

Government, cameras unfair to drivers

I agree with state Rep. Cynthia Thielen (Letters, Dec. 20) that the traffic camera system is dishonest mainly because the driver is not informed of his violation until days or weeks later.

I don't know about others, but I sure can't remember every road that I have traveled on, and certainly not weeks later. It is not fair that a driver has to deal with faded memories and the loss of potential witnesses. This is a step toward a police state.

I have a couple of suggestions. Don't make roads that are designed to handle traffic going 75 mph, then limit speed to 55 mph. On the mainland, speed limits are generally set where 75 percent of the drivers will obey the limits. It would be nice if Hawaii followed a similar system.

The state also should enforce other traffic laws. Following too closely is far more dangerous than going a little faster than the speed limit. But this would take some thought, which our law enforcement officials apparently are incapable of. They just want easy convictions, and safety is a secondary concern.

I have decided to strike back. I will go the speed limit even when it is dangerous. If government vehicles, including city buses, pass me in the right lane, I will call 911. I did this recently with TheBus and will continue to do so until speed limits are reasonable and the enforcement of the law is not done on a discriminatory basis. I urge others to do likewise.

Erick Ehrhorn

Let voters decide gambling issue

It appears that every time the subject of legalized gambling arises in Hawaii, the same old tired rhetoric surfaces. You hear it over and over again.

The vocal critics condescendingly say that the poor will suffer the most from the evils of gambling. Their efforts and energies instead should be directed at policies and regulations that keep the cost of living here in Hawaii high, such as the crushing rates of taxation that affect businesses, people and the low-wage earners the most.

Others say gambling is not the solution to our economic ills and I agree partly. There is no one solution that will solve all our economic woes, but viable alternatives can assist our state. Legalized gambling -- strictly controlled and regulated and drawing on the experience of successful enterprises in other states -- should be examined. I believe there are many responsible citizens in Hawaii who would welcome the opportunity to express their feelings via a referendum and decide if legalized gambling is appropriate.

Rodney Takahashi

Hawaii is too smart to accept gambling

A lot of us raised in Hawaii learn how to live in a culture where we don't usually make waves. But over time, some of us figure out that people with the bucks try to take advantage of us.

Now it's the gambling industry people trying to buy off our politicians to legalize gambling.

What makes them think that we are so dumb about the economics of gambling? It's one thing to go to Las Vegas or shell out a few bucks now and then in an office pool. But to position Hawaii's economy on gambling and tourism?

Do these people really think that we're so dumb as to build our island economy on chance? And spend our tax dollars on heavy-duty marketing and on ways to keep people from cheating?

We're way smarter than that. Better that we invest in truly community-based economic activities, close to where we live, not dependent on trickle-down.

June Shimokawa

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