Police refusal of help shows incompetence
I find it truly amazing that the counties of Hawaii and Honolulu have turned down a federal grant to help solve old, unresolved homicide cases ("2 counties reject offer of help on 'cold cases,'" Star-Bulletin, June 23). Only 7 percent of the murders committed in the state annually are solved as compared to the national average of 15 percent.
As a family member of a murder victim, I can assure you that we don't care who gets credit for solving a crime or how much so-called duplication of effort is involved, especially when it is costing no state taxpayer money whatever.
With 93 percent of the murders still unresolved in Hawaii, a charge of police incompetence is certainly not out of line. It is hard to understand how the Honolulu Police Department can develop an ego big enough to turn down help when it consistently proves its ability to achieve a murder conviction rate which is not even 50 percent of the almost equally horrendous national average.
Don't relax rules against nepotism
Your June 25 story on an effort to relax rules against nepotism in city hiring says in part: "(City Councilwoman Barbara) Marshall said that it is 'overkill' not to allow a Council member or officers from hiring each other's relatives."
How stupid do they think we are? That's just another way to put cross-obligations into heavy play. No wonder politicians are at the bottom of the "trusted people" list. Soon the idea will spread to the outer islands.
Ocean View, Hawaii
Finally, sound ideas on city planning
According to June 17's Honolulu Star-Bulletin -- and courtesy a forum held by the Urban Land Institute of Hawaii, a nonprofit research and education group -- our island mayors came to the momentous conclusion that "it is a mistake to build communities around automobiles." Apocalypse now!
Thanks to our county executives, we got a sneak preview of what it could/will be like when we've been through "auto detox." We shall be fortunate indeed when our governments negotiate with developers to provide "residential communities with all the trappings of a self-sufficient city," joined to other neighborhoods by the Bus Rapid Transit of course, and including -- in lieu of monolithic parking garages and massive new highways -- offices, restaurants, shops and theaters within walking/cycling distance.
With some intelligent, nonprofit-motivated planning, accommodations where space and affordable housing are not critical issues, folks will have the luxury of being slimmer and living longer. Can't beat that payback incentive for getting out of a jam.
Fight against war profiteers must go on
I commend Senators Akaka and Inouye for recently voting in favor of the war profiteering prevention amendment proposed by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), which was defeated along party lines. If passed, this measure would have subjected contractors working abroad to stiff penalties if they overcharged or cheated the U.S. government. In a time when America is spending billions of dollars in Iraq this amendment would have put in place much-needed taxpayer protections.
In light of recent news that companies such as Halliburton have continuously overcharged the government, contractors could have been held to new criminal penalties under the proposed amendment. This amendment should not have been about party politics, but about holding accountable the contractors who are spending America's tax dollars.
While I am disappointed that the Senate did not pass the amendment and hope it will be reconsidered, I thank Akaka and Inouye for their votes and hope they they will continue to raise their voices against war profiteering.
Economic imbalances are getting worse
Just a year ago, TIKKUN magazine published a well-documented and very critical report by Jeff Gates about then-current economic trends in the United States. The conditions that he described are even more serious today. The first paragraph of the Gates analysis contains a disturbing and very long sentence: "The nation now faces record-breaking debt, record-breaking trade deficits, record-breaking reductions in public services, record-breaking rates of incarceration ..."
His explanation for those disasters along with many others can be summed up in a single word: "neoliberalism." That term refers to policies favored by economists and the very affluent that reduce taxes on the highest incomes by reducing funding for medical, educational, employment, transportation and communication opportunities for the rest of us.
Subtitles of the Gates article reveal his judgment of neoliberalism:
"Making the rich richer while sending you the bill" and "At every turn, neoliberals piled on more and more debt to build wealth for fewer and fewer Americans." Isn't that quite evident?
Jerome G. Manis
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[ BRAINSTORM! ]
The city owns a large, underground facility at Fort Barrette in Kapolei that is sitting empty. What could it be used for? Some sort of archive? A place to stash gigantic holiday decorations? A temporary storage site for Evan Dobelle’s ego?
Send your ideas -- include your name, address and phone number -- by July 16 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