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Let parents make decisions for their kids

Charles Memminger's "Honolulu Lite" column Jan. 20 -- "Remember to lock House (And Senate)" -- was right on the mark.

Most of our "lawgivers" are totally focused on telling everyone else how to behave. They demand, by law, that our child- ren be confined to school at certain times each day to get educated. When it turns out that they cannot be accountable for good education, safety or keeping harmful drugs out of the facilities the children are compelled to attend, then they want to require tests for illicit substances. Why?

Here's a question for them: Why not let parents freely decide the where, when, how, why and how much schooling for their kids? Then if there is a drug use problem at least we know where to point for genuine accountability. It's for darn sure those legislators will never be held accountable for the messes they made and will continue to make unless some radical change is made to make them accountable.

Richard Rowland
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

Gambling is an issue that won't die

State Sen. Willie Espero (D, Ewa-Kapolei-Ewa Beach) joined state Sen. Cal Kawamoto (D, Waipahu) in introducing the bill that calls for a nonbinding ballot question on gambling in the next general election.

During the last 40 or so years, the people of Hawaii have said over and over again: "No casinos, no horse race betting, no lottery!" Who's being paid by whom to try to get this through, again? Are we going to change our Constitution over this?

Robert G. Devine
Ocean View, Hawaii

Gambling opponents must maintain resolve

Hawaii Senate Bill 83 "Relating to an Advisory Referendum on Gambling" was introduced Jan. 16 by Sens. Cal Kawamoto, Willie Espero and Robert Bunda. Your editorial omitted one individual.

The advisory referendum would take place during the 2004 general election. In order for this measure to pass the Legislature this year, 11 House members and four senators who are otherwise opposed to gambling in Hawaii will have to lend their support.

If that happens, and the non-binding referendum indicates that the residents of Hawaii support some form of gambling, the 2005 Legislature will definitely introduce some serious proposals to institute legalized gambling in the state.

I hope and pray that the governor is prepared to veto any such legislation, and that our Legislature fails to override her veto.

I hope and pray that your newspaper and your readers continue to resist the introduction of legalized gambling in our state as long as it takes, until such measures cease being introduced in our Capitol.

Arvid Tadao Youngquist

Remarks about HPD were out of line

The Honolulu Police Department takes exception to recent comments made by Deputy Public Defender Debra Loy. Perhaps Loy was not in Hawaii in October 1987 when HPD undercover officer Troy Barboza was gunned down by a drug dealer while he slept at his home. Another officer was attacked at his home twice by a suspect.

How many officers do we have to lose to show that the threat to our officers is real? The state's open records law protects employees' home addresses for reasons of privacy.

We also take issue with Loy's accusations that "Honolulu police officers are notorious for destroying notes" before they are subpoenaed by the public defender. If Loy feels that any officer has purposely destroyed notes upon learning of a potential subpoena, then I encourage her to provide the pertinent information to Internal Affairs so that appropriate action can be taken.

As an officer of the court, Loy's disparaging remarks about police officers only serve to erode public confidence in government and the criminal justice system and harm our officers' morale.

Lee D. Donohue
Honolulu Chief of Police

Court should reverse 'under God' decision

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is censoring the voice of the majority of Americans on the Pledge of Allegiance issue and must be held accountable. It has been months since the court issued its ruling banning the use of the words "under God" when reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in schools. Despite overwhelming public support for the pledge in its current form, the 9th Circuit has conducted a series of lengthy delays to avoid re-hearing this case.

Also, the same three-judge panel that issued the original ruling has proceeded to reject "friend of the court" briefs from several leading conservative organizations, including: American Legion, American Center for Law and Justice, Christian Legal Society, Claremont Institute Center, Wallbuilders, Alliance Defense Fund and

Interestingly,'s brief was filed on behalf of more than 50,000 citizens who co-signed it. Nonetheless, the court refused to even hear the voice of more than 50,000 citizens who care deeply about this case and our nation.

Last summer, this case was headline news. But now, it has dropped off the media's radar. The court -- and specifically this three-judge panel -- have succeeded in diffusing public opinion through delay tactics and by rejecting input from conservative organizations like This type of biased conduct should not be allowed in our judicial system.

Grace T. Fujii

Kalihi's bumpy streets have been neglected

More effort and money should be put into fixing the roads in Kalihi. Dillingham Boulevard, from Waikamilo Road to Liliha Street, is a prime example. The lines dividing the road into lanes have disappeared over the years, making it very hard to judge who's in which lane. I've seen many near accidents in this area because motorists don't realize it's actually two lanes.

For as long as I can remember, this road has been a bumpy ride. Many of the roads in Kalihi are unevenly paced and filled with potholes. As much as possible, I try to avoid these places, but I can't because the majority of the roads are in this condition. The state is really good at starting road projects in Kalihi and not finishing them, and that explains why our roads are made up of metal plates.

Something needs to be done to improve the streets to ensure the safety of all motorists and pedestrians.

Darryln Sasano

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.

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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

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