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Young golfer brings joy to golf world

Michelle Wie is not only a great golfer, but she is also a great persona. Her radiant and charismatic personality compounds her shot-making skills. Also, consider that all the good things about Michelle are a plus for Hawaii.

So let's shout: Go Michelle, go, and bring joy the world!

Tetsuji Ono

Use incentives to get people out of cars

Regarding the transportation woes that are making the news lately, perhaps the state can kill a few birds with one stone. Why can't the state "drive" the way our citizens travel by using a package of transportation tax incentives?

First, we need to reduce the number of cars on our roads during the peak commute. Why not put more people on TheBus by making auto registration free to people holding annual bus passes? The military contributes greatly to our traffic. Why not remove the tax exemption from their registration and encourage the local bases to improve public transit inside the gates? Pearl Harbor is a particularly good candidate: With only two major roads needed to get from one end to the other and all points in between, frequent bus service could encourage more sailors to leave their cars at home.

Second, we need to lower gas prices. Let's give incentives, such as not having to pay the gas tax, to people who drive highly efficient cars such as the hybrid models or anything with better than 35 highway mpg. At the same time, why not make it less desirable for people to own large vehicles with an increased weight tax?

Of course we need to get reckless drivers off the highways. How about a higher cost and unique inspection decals for "modified" vehicles and an extra tax added for vehicles inspectors determine to be race cars?

Van cams, new unenforceable laws and gas price caps are not the way to fix our problems. Our citizens' habits make the problems. The state should encourage our citizens to make decisions that correct those problems.

Jeffrey Tillson

Bicyclist feels 'robbed' by cops

I am new to Hawaii. I haven't ridden a bicycle for more than 30 years. My son gave me one this past Christmas. I know I can't ride a bike on a sidewalk that is posted "No Bicycles," but I had no idea that pertained to the whole city. I always stay on a bike route if there is one.

One afternoon, I left my house on Dole Street and took a bike route toward the beach. The bike route ended beside the library. I didn't know I could not ride on the sidewalk there. Three cops on bicycles gave me a $57 ticket. If I knew it was illegal to ride there, I sure would not be riding there in front of cops.

I have been obeying traffic laws all of my life. I have been driving a car for more than 30 years and have never received a ticket. This is a new place with new laws and I am still trying to adapt.

Instead of just standing there, what those three cops should have been doing was getting the tag numbers of people running red lights and using a radio to call for a patrol car to pull over the red-light runners.

I think I'm risking my life if I ride my bike on the road. I think the city should have "No bicycles on this sidewalk" clearly posted everywhere and make more bicycle routes. If bicycles are encouraged, there will be less traffic, less consumption of fossil fuel and a quieter city. I feel like I have been robbed by a cop.

Joan Venters

BOE members protect status quo

State Board of Education Chairman Breene Harimoto's decision to decline an offer to debate education reform issues with Board of Education member Laura Thielen is no surprise (Star-Bulletin, March 23). Harimoto and the majority of BOE members and state legislators have failed miserably to create and maintain an acceptable public education system. The central bureaucracy that manages the public school system is inefficient, unresponsive and fiscally wasteful.

True educational reform in Hawaii will come only if the system that has failed for decades is effectively replaced. Government itself is organized in a manner that brings decision-making on local issues closer to each community. If the rationale employed by certain BOE and legislative members were applied to the government as a whole, there would be no county governments, no city councils, no neighborhood boards and no genuine input from Hawaii's citizens.

Harimoto and other BOE members have shown incredible arrogance by choosing to protect the status quo. Stop, look, and listen to the people of Hawaii on the issue of local school boards. We can ill afford to wait any longer for improvements in education.

Grant Johnston

Iraq invasion violated our Bill of Rights

Michael Olsen's March 2 letter to the editor says Saddam Hussein had to go regardless if WMD are ever found.

President Bush stood before the American people in his "State of the Union" address and mentioned several major inaccuracies.

Secretary of State Colin Powell stood before the U.N. Security Council and had surveillance photos, intercepts and "proof" of WMD. Then the United States, via the CIA and Hans Blix, recapitulates and says, "All of our intelligence was wrong."

There is something in the Bill of Rights called "probable cause" and "illegal search and seizure." The police cannot pull over, much less arrest, someone based on a gut feeling or profiling. Many cases are thrown out of court based on the government violating these principles.

We invaded and killed the Iraqi leader's sons, other family members and innocent Iraqis based on false information and intelligence. If America wants to be the ruling emperor of Planet Earth, we'd better base all of our actions on being right the first time.

Paul D'Argent
Kihei, Maui




Hawaii is popularly known as "The Aloha State." What might be a better slogan?

To get started, think about what you might see around the islands -- rainbows, waves, sand, traffic jams, homeless orangutans ...

Send your ideas by April 21 to:

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

Or by fax:
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
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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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