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Toughen the laws, even for juveniles

With the horrifying daytime robbery resulting in the shooting of the owner of the house, the suspect should be tried as an adult even if he is only 17 years old. We deal harshly with offenders who commit crimes against tourists, and we should continue that fight in support of our island residents.

City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle's game plan is right on. Our courts need to back up that plan and send a clear message that crime of any sort will be dealt with severely.

Efre Williams

Give poor Mr. Carlisle what we all need

Poor Peter Carlisle, Honolulu prosecuting attorney. No one listens to him.

Put the bad guys in prison, he says.

No, says everyone else. They are not bad. They just need help. Bad guys need rehabilitation and understanding, not punishment, they say.

We need more prisons, says Mr. Carlisle.

No, says everyone else. We need laptop computers for legislators. Besides, we don't want a prison in our neighborhood, cry the people.

Mr. Carlisle says it will get worse.

That's OK, as long as nothing happens to me, shout the people, as Mr. Kawamoto lies in his hospital bed with a gunshot wound to his chest. The misguided child is only 17 and has only 10 prior arrests. Give him a chance. He's just a boy. He really is a nice kid. All he needs is another chance. We need to show him we care, the people reason.

Poor Mr. Carlisle. No one listens to him.

Mark Middleton

Street vendors bring back competition

Why are people arguing against the sidewalk vendors in Chinatown? It's not true that they do not leave enough room for pedestrians. Go to the plaza in Chinatown and see for yourself: There is lots of room to walk. Shame on those who speak untruths about this!

As to the shop owners who must pay rent, I have no sympathy for them. Before the sidewalk vendors came, you would find fruit prices the same, or nearly so, at every Chinatown store. Now you see some price competition. If the store managers don't want to compete, let them suffer. New store operators might benefit the public with more price competition.

The sidewalk vendors have few options. Do not destroy their attempts to earn a few dollars. Do not destroy their American dream!

Mark Terry

Misuse of HVCB funds is serious matter

I see that Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau chief Tony Vericella has apologized for his misuse of funds. Why is he still on the job?

This type of misjudgment should not be tolerated at any level with taxpayers' money. There should be an absolute zero tolerance for this behavior!

Officials will continue to take the chance of misusing funds if they know that the worst penalty they will have to endure is a little bit of public embarrassment when they are discovered.

Shame on board chairman Tony Guerrero for treating this as just a misjudgment, and shame on our legislators if they let the HVCB get off with a just a slap on the wrist.

John Proud

Au Wie! Junior golf needs more support

Congratulations to 13-year-old Punahou student Michelle Wie on her history-making victory as the U.S. Golf Association's youngest national amateur champion! She is one of Hawaii's most promising sports figures of the 21st century.

While Wie has had the benefit of supportive, involved parents and prestigious private schooling, many young golfers depend on the Hawaii State Junior Golf Association, the Aloha Section PGA junior golf program and individual island organizations. Many would-be champions are left out for lack of funding for these nonprofit organizations.

Hawaii businesses should recognize the important role that golf plays in our economy and support junior golfers more fully so that other Michelle Wies can reach their potential. With a wealth of great courses and a century of legendary champions such as David Ishii, Lori Castillo-Planos, Jackie Pung and many others, Hawaii should be producing more national golf champions, and it can -- if we all work together.

Rob Sandler,
Author and publisher
"Legends of Hawaii Golf: The First Century"

How many students harmed by asbestos?

I have been a Spanish teacher at Waianae High School for 14 years. Last year we were moved out of our classrooms two weeks before school ended so our rooms could be painted and the old tile floors replaced with beautiful, new red tiles.

Toward the end of this school year, we again were forced to move out of our classrooms, this time to replace the beautiful new red tile in two buildings.

The original tiles had been replaced because they had asbestos, which was discovered when workers removed them. But they failed to scrape off all the asbestos that was underneath. So now they had to remove all of the new tile, scrape off all the asbestos under the old tile and lay new tile again.

I was told that there was only a little asbestos. In other words, only a little bit of poison.

Regardless of how little the amount was, it has had its affect. I have since contracted asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia twice and the flu several times. Many of my students are often absent due to chronic asthma and upper respiratory infections, some so severe that hospitalization was needed. Thousands of dollars have been wasted on new tiles.

Why has this been allowed? How has the asbestos really affected the health of my "sweetie pies"? How many other schools have asbestos?

Mary Esther Correa
Waianae High School

Many perspectives lead to the same end

As a mother, I mourn the loss of young lives in an unjustified war. As a grandmother, I fear the long-term effect of that war for generations to come.

As a Japanese American, I know what nationalistic fervor, under the guise of patriotism or homeland security, can do to those who happen to look like the enemy. As a lifelong resident of Hawaii, I see the erosion of tolerance and respect for diversity, and a growing fear and distrust of those who differ, defiling them as evil or perverted.

As a citizen of the world, I grieve over the lost opportunity that our nation had to be a bulwark for peace and humanitarianism, and chose instead to be an arrogant bully of war and destruction.

Milly Tanabe

Hotel employees saved costly camera, photos

Fifty weeks of each year we spend on the mainland, looking forward to the two we get to spend in Hawaii. Our vacations here keep us going.

This trip, when I brought our daughter up to the room from the pool, I absentmindedly left my wife's $1,200 digital camera on the counter at the towel stand at the Sheraton Waikiki, where we always stay. It was the middle of the night before we realized it was missing, lost and found was closed for the night, and we figured our vacation just got a lot more expensive than we'd planned.

But come morning, there the camera was in the hotel safe. A pool attendant had turned it in to a housekeeper, who placed it in lost and found.

What a relief! And what a pleasure it is to know that Hawaiian hospitality comes with such honesty. Why would anyone vacation anyplace else?

Devallis Rutledge
Guest, Sheraton Waikiki
Orange County, Calif.

Security checks seem to make little sense

I would like to share my experiences at three airports, Honolulu International, and JFK and La Guardia in New York. At Hawaii International last December and in May, my luggage got an agriculture check. At the ticket counter, my luggage was opened, looked at and swabbed. After I got my boarding pass and went to the security checkpoint, I was asked for my identification and boarding pass. Security personnel also asked me to take off my shoes. When I boarded the aircraft, I was asked for my ID again. This was 5,200 miles from New York's Ground Zero.

At JFK in January, when I was leaving New York, I got my boarding pass; my luggage wasn't opened; my shoes weren't looked at; and I wasn't asked for ID after I got my boarding pass. This was 15 miles from Ground Zero.

Last week at La Guardia; I got my boarding pass; my luggage wasn't opened, my shoes weren't looked at; and I didn't have to show my ID at all, 7 miles from Ground Zero.

There were at least twice as many people at both JFK and La Guardia, but the lines moved a lot quicker than in Hawaii.

Now Brig. Gen. Robert Lee wants cruise ship passengers checked (Star-Bulletin, June 27). Weren't these people checked at the airports whence they came? This has crippled the airline industry; do we want to do the same to the cruise line industry?

Fred Cavaiuolo

'Traditional' family comes in many forms

The Interfaith Alliance Hawaii, which celebrates diversity and confronts intolerance in keeping with its mission "to provide a positive and healing role in Hawaii with people of faith, good will and aloha," strongly objects to recent language used by the Hawaii Christian Coalition relating to "traditional families."

HCC does not speak for all Christians when using the phrase "traditional family." Their concept flies in the face of the Hawaiian understanding of ohana, and denies the reality of highly functional gay and straight families that do not fit HCC's narrow definition.

Such rhetoric is divisive within Christian and other faith communities, and perpetuates the fear and hatred that is tearing apart the social fabric of our nation.

Rev. Vaughn F. Beckman
The Interfaith Alliance Hawaii



What should be done about those triangle-shaped concrete islands created when the city makes two-way streets one way?

Send your ideas and solutions by July 14 to:

Or mail them to:
c/o Burl Burlingame
500 Ala Moana
7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

c/o Burl Burlingame


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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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