to the Editor

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Other cities merge civil and criminal

Your Feb. 9 editorial criticized a proposal before the City Council that would merge the offices of corporation counsel and the city prosecutor into one that would handle both criminal and civil cases. The editorial claims such a proposal lacks an understanding of how those offices now function and should be disregarded.

The idea is hardly unique. Columbus, Ohio, San Diego and Los Angeles County each has a "city solicitor" that handles both civil and criminal cases. Perhaps the editorial writers should completely research an issue before summarily dismissing the idea.

Keith Morrison
Formerly of San Diego

News media also breed public mistrust

Trust and confidence is a two-way street. The real problem that the two dailies' Feb. 12 editorials (about Governor Lingle's trip to Iraq) draw attention to is that the media generate no great trust and confidence from the top down in Hawaii.

If Lingle had chosen one media crab to accompany her on the secret mission to Iraq, all the other media crabs would have torn the offending participant to pieces -- just like in the KITV incident to Japan. Somebody surely would have found fault in the "whopper" -- "She's around doing something."

Never underestimate the local media's ability to make a mountain out of a molehill -- or to ask at the base of Mt. Everest, "What mountain?"

Mike Hu

Journalists should not be so self-righteous

Before the journalists get all self-righteous about the governor's "deception" (oops, too late) regarding her trip to Iraq, might I remind you that it was a journalist -- Robert Novak -- and not anyone at the White House who really was the person who leaked the identity of that undercover CIA agent.

Novak may have been given her name intentionally or by mistake, but regardless he could have made the decision not to reveal her name. (Or his editors could have chosen to do some, well, editing.) If it wasn't for a journalist, no secrets would have been revealed and this CIA agent would likely still be on the job.

Funny, isn't it, how journalists never skewer one of their own; instead, he likely is celebrated by his brethren for breaking a story (as opposed to breaking someone's career).

Isn't it also funny how journalists quickly forget recent history: A cargo plane was recently hit by an missile over Baghdad. Suppose some journalist wrote something that gave away information allowing the bad guys to shoot down the governor's plane? I suppose that is newsworthy, right?

James Ko

Legislator out of touch with schools' reality

I'm sure state schools Superintendent Pat Hamamoto would be more than willing to change her statement that all kids be able to read by third grade if every child, like Rep. Bud Stonebreaker's oldest girl (Letters, Feb. 4), could be home-schooled at age 4, or if every teacher had only one student to teach.

The sad truth is that not all kids enter school at the same level, and no public school teacher has just one student. Maybe Stonebreaker could visit his local public school and see how many students are in each classroom.

Patrick Choy
Public school teacher

Gabbard will find many who agree with him

In your Feb. 7 article, "Gabbard considers run against Rep. Case," Mike Gabbard is described as a "single-issue candidate." No one really believes that; Gabbard is just well known for a single issue.

But what if he is, and holds the correct and/or popular view of the voters while the other candidate does not? What if Gabbard would vote against partial-birth abortion or in favor of parents being told that their daughters -- for whom the parents are responsible -- were having elective surgery? That would give Gabbard an edge over Ed Case of 3-0 on issues that are popular with the public.

I would bet that Gabbard could find all sorts of issues that would help in a bid against Case. How many does he need?

Cary Mendes
Kula, Maui




Can you design a quarter that represents Hawaii??

Some states have issued collectible quarters that commemorate their entry into the union. The front of the coin looks the same but the eagle on the back has been replaced by something that represents that state. For example, Georgia's quarter has a peach on it. If you could design Hawaii's quarter, what would it look like?

Send your ideas and solutions by Feb. 17 to:

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

c/o Nancy Christenson


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

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