Letters to the Editor

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$50,000 to find chief for HPD is too much

I am concerned about the upcoming cost for the selection of a new Honolulu Police Department chief. It was recently reported that a consultant was to be used to select the new chief at a cost of $50,000 (Star-Bulletin, April 22). Does the city & county really believe that this is a justifiable expense? The reason reported for the use of a consultant was to ensure that the selection was fair and impartial.

It it really necessary to use a consultant? Why can't the police commission, whose members have no police experience, just use the age-old selection process: pick the next most senior officer!

If the city & county wants to put the $50,000 to a better use, they can purchase a good lunch for each police officer (2,062) at the cost of $24.25.

Steve Shelby

It's Dems fault that teachers are shorted

The article "Democrats urge raises for teachers" (Star-Bulletin, April 24) is an astonishing account of Democratic lip service. Time has run out for Democratic legislators to help teachers this session, yet they could have done much.

They could have re-established the VEBA (Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Asso- ciation) Trust health fund, considered my House Bill 2557 setting minimum teacher pay at $38,000 and funded the increment pay schedule. This pattern of neglect and abuse of teachers by the Democrats in recent years includes the payroll lag (delaying their paychecks), eliminating the VEBA Trust and raiding their retirement fund.

The legislative branch controls the purse strings of the state. In 20 years, the Legislature has turned large surpluses into huge deficits funded by borrowing from the Employee Retirement System, Rainy Day Fund and others. It has failed to implement the constitutional mandate for regular and comprehensive management and performance audits of all state government.

The Legislature has put us in a financial crisis.

Our governor did not create our fiscal condition but must work with the deteriorated situation created by entrenched Democratic legislators. It is insincere for them now to proclaim themselves friends of teachers or of any taxpayers and blame the governor for our circumstances.

State Rep. Chris Halford
R, Makena-Kihei

Traffic cameras can't prevent car wrecks

Watching the antics of the same few elected officials trying to force traffic cameras on the people of Hawaii would be comedic if the truth were not so tragic. Cameras can't prevent accidents. People continue to be killed and maimed on our roadways while they ignore the tools capable of fixing this problem: driver education and police traffic enforcement.

Where are the Department of Transportation TV spots and public education materials about the dangers of tailgating, passing on the right, driving slowly in the left lanes and running red lights? Where is the support for police to catch reckless drivers and criminals before they cause carnage?

Unsafe, reckless and racing drivers can be controlled by traffic enforcement and investigative police, and repeat offenders should be required to have a tracking device installed to record vehicle location and speed, just like rental cars. If public safety is the goal, traffic cameras won't achieve it, even if Big Brother installs them everywhere.

Ed Aber-Song

One reason for wrecks lies under the tires

My concern is not with auto makers that produce test-proven quality products or with capable drivers who find themselves in accidents while in a hurry. My concern is that our roads might not be safe for travel in certain conditions such as rain, runoff after it rains and in the early morning when the air is filled with moisture. With any type of moisture comes the swelling of the ground, creating a changing condition of the earth beneath the road that destabilizes its surface.

Evidence of this is the plague of potholes, loose gravel accumulations, road slumping and creep. If water is on and under the road, then whatever is on the road may be in real trouble. If the ground is acting like a sponge, then wouldn't whatever is attached to it share the same unstable properties?

I think it's time the state investigates the use of new road compounds that will help minimize unstable conditions and take a serious look at how our roads are being constructed to make them safer. There is no way that the tragedies on our roads can be blamed totally on driver error or product misuse.

Raymond Feliciano

How is traditional marriage protected?

I am so tired of hearing so-called conservatives saying we need to protect traditional marriage by not allowing gays to marry. How exactly is traditional marriage protected? This needs to be explained to us poor heterosexuals who are not threatened by gays.

I challenge anyone to show me how traditional marriage would be protected. The only way it could be protected is to eliminate competition for whom one can marry so people with gay tendencies could only marry people of the opposite gender. I believe most people do not need this protection, but maybe some people do. Is this the case?

This movement to ban gay marriage reminds me of Hitler's Germany, where Jews were portrayed as second-class citizens and society had to be protected from them. I am tired of Big Daddy running my life. I urge everyone who is fed up with Big Daddy to vote Democrat in the next election, as Big Mommy is a lot better than Big Daddy. Big Mommy at least has shown herself more capable of balancing a budget.

Erick (Peter) Ehrhorn


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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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