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Not all teen drivers are negligent speed freaks

Regarding the letter "Parents, please don't let teenagers drive" (Star-Bulletin, July 10): The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety says teenagers have a higher automobile accident rate. I agree many young drivers lose their lives and take the lives of others because of speeding, racing and driving while under the influence. There also are adults who speed because they're late or also under the influence and don't obey traffic signs.

Not all teenagers are bad drivers. There are responsible, educated teenagers, the ones you don't read about. I am the proud mother of one of them.

Pamela Lamboley

Rumble strips won't slow anybody down

Whoever decided to install rumble strips on Pali Highway should be demoted for lack of competency. Why? Because rumble strips are completely useless in reducing vehicle speed. They are normally used only to alert sleepy and inattentive drivers for various other reasons. A car rumbles at 20 mph just as much as at 50 mph, so why would the strips make anybody slow down to whatever the speed limit is?

Only strict control and hefty fines by the authorities will do the trick. When I was in Oregon going slightly over the speed limit on Highway 101, almost everybody passed me. Then they introduced a mandatory $1,000 fine, and after that almost nobody passed me. Get it?

Volker Hildebrandt

Feeding turtles lures them to their deaths

In the story "Fishing gear kills sea turtle, snares another" (Star-Bulletin, June 25), a Save the Sea Turtles spokeswoman said there have been 10 sightings of a turtle caught in fishing line on the North Shore.

It is of no surprise that Save the Sea Turtles International manages to rescue so many green turtles (honu) snared in fishing line. Several photographs on STSTI's Web site show sea turtles behaving as if they're expecting to be fed.

One photo shows a young honu eating squid (the kind one can get in any supermarket). In another, a diver at the surface holds a child snorkeler in one arm while extending the other toward a green sea turtle. He appears to be offering it something, possibly squid.

If STSTI is feeding the honu, that is disgraceful. Developing a taste for squid entices these poor creatures into fishing areas, where they pluck bait from lures. The result is plenty of sea turtles tangled in fishing line, and plenty of opportunities for STSTI to "rescue" them when they may be creating the problem in the first place.

Ursula Keuper-Bennett
Mississauga, Ontario

Saving grocery money must pay pretty well

Please, someone, tell me the secret to the women who wear gold from wrist to armpits, diamonds on every finger and gold chains as big as cruise-ship anchor chains, drive new automobiles, and wear stylish clothes and shoes, but buy all their edible goods with food stamps. I have watched women take off all their gold and go into the food stamp office to cuss out case workers because they didn't get their food stamps and government money on time.

Jealousy? Envy? No, I just want to know their secret so I can get my hands on the money they spend and put it into my bank account.

Timothy Harper

A child's birthday party brings joy, reflection

Often we are so busy with our daily routine that we don't take time to think about this wondrous island on which we live. One recent weekend was a reawakening for me.

As I drove to various events with my family, including a birthday party for Elijah, a cute 1-year-old, I took time to look around -- at the vast central Oahu regional park and its ballfields, at the forests and grasslands above Mililani and Wahiawa, at the ocean shoreline. And as bad as traffic is here, it's so much worse in many other cities in the United States and in other countries. And arriving at Elijah's party, I loved seeing the faces of guests and their kids enjoying themselves. The mix of foods at the birthday party added to my joy at being a local resident.

We are blessed to live here. Though I have learned to eat and love almost every kind of island food, I think it is the island faces that I most treasure. It is such a joy to have friends and family of so many different ethnicities. This is one of the most amazing places on Earth, an island community that provides us a chance to respect and enjoy each others' cultures, beliefs and ways. Hawaii is truly a great place to raise children.

We may not always appreciate that we live in paradise, and often we don't realize it until it's gone or we move away, but we certainly are blessed to share this aina, to live in Hawaii. My hope is that we will do all we can to protect our environment and cherish all our people, and preserve this diversity and beauty for our children and their children.

Happy first birthday, Elijah! Your birthday helped me realize how blessed we are. You truly are a miracle baby!

Angie D. Santiago

It's never the fault of the guy at the top

Yes, it is OK to make mistakes as long as the consequences are yours alone. However, a refining of politics in our post-constitutional governance includes what can best be referred to as "no-fault leadership" or "How to Make Taxpayers Responsible and Government Unaccountable Without Really Trying"; thus the news media's frenzied features of George W. Bush eating crow over revelations of government deception. I'm shocked!

Now that the Iraqi WMD cat is out of the bag and is, after all, a paper tiger, the liberal media are poised to pounce on their nemesis in the White House with righteous outrage. Just another day in Washington, D.C. Ho hum.

Does anyone see a pattern here? A president gets caught with his pants down in the Oval Office. Burglars are caught at the Watergate. Weapons are sold to Iran and the proceeds secretly aid the Nicaraguan contras. The president knows nothing, denies everything and/or blames some junior executive. Then some other poor slob takes the rap. The news media spin the story. And the average taxpayer is still confused by his tax return and its implications.

The details change, but the conclusion is always the same: The public pays the bill. Yep, it's "no-fault leadership."

Guy Monahan
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

Bush's double-speak was meant to mislead

Here is what we should get indignant about: President Bush's State of the Union speechwriters worked hard to include a sentence that might have been technically correct ("British intelligence believes ...") but was intended to give an incorrect impression (that Iraq was trying to buy uranium in Africa). That is the trickiest kind of salesmanship.

Harold Loomis

Head-shaking Hillary is her own worst critic

In every television interview touting her new book, "Living History," Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is shown shaking her head from side to side as she speaks. Besides driving me dizzy having to watch this human windshield-wiper at work, I determined there must be a psychological explanation for all her negative head motions.

The news article "Study says head motions confirm personal feelings" (Star-Bulletin, July 13) offered this explanation from co-author and psychologist Richard Petty: "Shaking your head can serve as a kind of 'self-validation' that confirms to us how we feel about our own thoughts. ... When we shake our heads from side to side, we lose confidence in our own thoughts."

That being said, all I have to do now is muster up enough confidence to read the book the head-shaking Hillary may not feel so confident talking about.

Wanda Kulamanu Ellis Au


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