to the Editor

Write a Letter to the Editor

Waikiki improvements enrich residents' lives

As owners of a small business in Waikiki, we can not give enough praise to Mayor Harris, the City Council and anyone and everyone involved with the incredible improvements that have taken place in this beautiful part of Hawaii.

All one has to do is think back several years ago and remember the terrible state of sidewalks, beaches, the ugly bandstand and the crumbling Natatorium, to name a few of the ills that plagued Waikiki. This was a downgrading experience not only for our visitors, but also to our own residents.

Mahalo to all who have worked to provide these beautiful spaces for us all to share. Don't let the critics with no imagination deter you in your quest to make all our lives richer on a daily basis.

Tim Lawler
Ron Baumgartner
Makai Sales

Van cameras leave unanswered questions

Now that the van-camera program is dead, there are some important questions that must be answered.

>> Many of the legislators on both sides of the aisle are lawyers, so why didn't they think of the legal ramifications of the bill before approving it?

>> If the van-cam program was initiated as a trial, why did the Department of Transportation sign a three-year contract? A shorter contract would have been preferable.

>> According to a report, the $8 million contract settlement includes "the development of sophisticated technology used in the camera program." Why did the Department of Transportation sign a contract for untested and unproved technology?

>> If a legal settlement in excess of the $5 million van-cam revolving fund is reached, the DOT should be responsible for the excess. Let the director of the DOT look for the funds in existing DOT programs. Why go to the Legislature to ask for money that isn't there?

In these lean times it is unconscionable to waste any more money on an ill-conceived, poorly managed program.

Bill Doi

Unions should get back to business

Regarding the article by Rick Daysog "Public worker unions ordered to turn over health plan records" (Star-Bulletin, April 13): I applaud Circuit Court Judge Eden Elizabeth Hifo for judging on behalf of Attorney General Earl Anzai.

However, the executive director of the Hawaii Government Employees Association has already been on the record for several weeks now that HGEA records are available for audit.

As to the insurance company's record, that is another matter. Does the judge's order specify the company? I also understand that the judge did not specify a specific deadline for compliance, but that she was hoping the two unions would be in compliance within 10 days.

This is an important time for HGEA. The general assembly is on the horizon. The legislative session is almost over. I would hope that the unions can put all of this behind them, as have 11 of the 13 other public-sector unions already.

Arvid Youngquist

Fairness hasn't vanished from paper

This is very belated, but I wanted to thank you and tell you how impressed I was that the Star-Bulletin put the story about the innocence of Richard Wong and Henry Peters on the front page ("Court vindicates ex-trustees," Feb. 23). It says a lot about your reporting and fairness.

Ellen Solomon

$2 tax on smokes would save teenagers

Every pack of cigarettes purchased in Hawaii costs the state an estimated $7.18 in eventual medical expenses and lost productivity, according to an April 11 press release from the Centers for Disease Control.

This extraordinary figure underlines how important the work of the Hawaii Senate and House Conference Committee is this week, as the members try to arrive at a compromise figure between House and Senate recommendations on how high to raise the excise tax on cigarettes sold in Hawaii.

The current tax is $1 per pack. The Senate recommends $2, the House $1.20. We hope the final figure is $2, or close to it.

According to researchers, for every 10 percent increase in cigarette taxes, there is a 7 percent decrease in new teen smokers. That is, the higher the cost of cigarettes, the fewer children who begin smoking. Research demonstrates that the earlier a smoker begins, the more difficult it is to shake the addiction and the higher the likelihood of devastating health problems -- and costs -- later.

Raising the tax to $2 per pack also would generate much-needed revenue for the state -- at least $55 million per year, at current Hawaii smoking levels -- unless, of course, every citizen of Hawaii who currently smokes quits, which seems to us an even better development. A higher excise tax figure certainly encourages that, and we urge the committee to take that course.

Douglas Q. L. Yee
John N. Hunter, Ph.D.
Program Director
American Lung Association of Hawaii
Benjamin W. Berg, M.D.
Hawaii Thoracic Society

Kikaida brings back childhood in Hawaii

Darn it! Kikaida's back in Hawaii and I'm no longer a resident ("Kikaida Mania," Star-Bulletin, April 14).

I remember singing along with my Kikaida doll and jumping around doing all those Kikaida kung fu moves when I was 8 years old and living on 7th Street in Ft. Shafter. Those were the days, trading monster dolls and fighting Kikaida against Ultra Man against Rainbow Man (remember that superhero?).

I can still sing the theme, too.

Carol Banks Weber
Lynnwood, Wash.

How to write us

The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (150 to 200 words). 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 and include a daytime telephone number.

Letter form: Online form, click here
Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

E-mail to Editorial Editor


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2002 Honolulu Star-Bulletin