Letters to the Editor

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Regents should justify actions or resign

The firing of President Evan Dobelle "for cause" and subsequent retraction of this firing by University of Hawaii regents in exchange for his resignation has harmed UH's reputation nationwide and will make it difficult to recruit a new president.

The damage is magnified by the secrecy surrounding the entire affair. Without information about the allegations of wrongdoing and evidence for those allegations, we -- the public whom both Dobelle and the regents serve -- can only conclude that these events are merely a nasty political fight.

Now that the regents have retracted their claim of "cause," they should make public their reasons for initiating these events. If there is no better reason than inability to work together, both the regents and Dobelle share the blame, and therefore the regents should add their resignations to that of Dobelle's so that the university can start fresh.

Dan Suthers

Senator doesn't deserve another term

While Sen. Cal Kawamoto has agreed to pay a $21,000 fine to the Campaign Spending Commission and reimburse his campaign $30,000 from his own pocket, his case should have been forwarded to the city prosecutor's office.

Kawamoto broke the public trust by misusing campaign contributions given to him to run for office. The big question: If he cannot handle his own campaign contributions in an ethical and legal manner, how can he be expected to handle the state's finances as a state legislator? It's time for the voters in Waipahu to throw him out.

Garry P. Smith
Ewa Beach

Makiki 'improvement' took a wrong turn

There have been several recent letters to the editor and articles about the Ala Wai improvement project. While I support the city in the goal to make Honolulu more beautiful, I question the judgment about what makes a project an "improvement."

As an example of an "improvement project" gone bad, take a look at the traffic circle in Makiki. Since it was completed, it has not had the intended effect of slowing down traffic. The speed-measuring device that displays vehicle speeds has been placed on Keeaumoku Street several times in the past year in a further attempt to slow traffic.

It has not made the intersection more beautiful. Two of the four palm trees had to be replaced, and there are now more than 20 additional traffic signs leading into the intersection. Even with the added signs there are numerous accidents at the intersection. There are ugly, black tire marks from vehicles forced to drive over the center section; the tiles around the older palm trees are being forced up by the tree roots. It's not a pretty sight.

I would like to see an accounting of the planning, design, construction and maintenance costs of the traffic circle vs. the extra two stop signs that were required to make this intersection a four-way stop. Maybe our new professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Hawaii will work with the mayor we soon will elect to design functional projects that really meet the needs of the people of Honolulu.

Bruce Fink

Convention center needs Ala Moana Hotel

The potential sale and conversion to a condominium of the Ala Moana Hotel is bad news for the Oahu convention business. It's the only major hotel located within one block of the Hawaii Convention Center.

Conventioneers spend more in our economy than the typical tourist. Today, Waikiki hotels are running at nearly full capacity, and we do not have a sufficient number of quality rooms for conventioneers.

Some argue that the conversion will not have a major impact because it will continue to operate as a "condo-hotel." But there are no guarantees that the new condominium owners will maintain their units in the rental program.

A conversion will result in a loss of jobs. The number of units will be reduced either by combining rooms to larger two-room suites, or by owners begging out of the rental pool. Employees in housekeeping, maintenance, administrative services and restaurant operations likely will be reduced. The hotel restaurants and shops also will be affected.

There are unresolved questions on the condominium conversion. The current hotel does not have sufficient parking for condominium use. Is the new owner going to build sufficient parking for the condominium? What will be the impact of the conversion to the surrounding community?

Cities across the country build convention centers, then struggle to attract major hotels to build on nearby sites. We are fortunate to have Ala Moana Hotel next to the convention center. We must not allow this hotel to be converted to a condominium.

Wenli Lin

There's no doubt Kerry did his duty

Fourteen of John Kerry's former Navy crewmates stood with him at the Democratic National Convention last week to verify the courageous leadership he demonstrated under combat conditions in Vietnam.

The Republicans are still trying to find even one person to verify that George W. Bush actually showed up for training exercises when he was supposed to be in the Alabama National Guard.

John Kawamoto

Support Bush because French favor Kerry

In a July 31 letter, Nancy Bey Little asked for one reason to vote for President Bush's re-election.

Here's one: French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac did everything he could to hinder the coalition that toppled Saddam and has done everything possible to hinder establishing a larger nation-building coalition for a liberated Iraq.

The French are thereby providing political underpinnings for Baathist remnants and others who are terrorizing those who seek to rebuild the country. According to a recent Le Figaro poll, 78 percent of French citizens support John Kerry, 9 percent want President Bush.

The French trust that a President Kerry will grovel at their feet -- and to hell with American soldiers and those brave Iraqis who risk their lives every day to rebuild a country systematically raped by Saddam Hussein (with the help of his friends in France) for more than 30 years.

Just one more reason to vote for Bush.

Mike Rethman

More than one good reason to back Bush

In her July 31 letter to the editor, Nancy Bey Little challenges anyone to name one reason to vote for President Bush. Actually, I have four reasons:

1. President Bush says what he means.

2. President Bush means what he says.

3. President Bush does what he says he is going to do.

4. President Bush has the moral courage to do what he thinks is right, even though it may not be popular.

Judging from everything I have seen so far, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry seems to be exactly the opposite in every point.

That is why I am proud to stand with President Bush.

Gary F. Anderson




Hawaii's police officers are forced to endure the tropical heat and humidity in dark blue uniforms. It must get pretty uncomfortable, especially for the solo-bike officers. So this month's question is: If you could design a new uniform for our hard-working public safety officers, what would it look like? (Be nice!) Think about material, color, footwear and the different departments (patrol, detectives, solo bike, bicycle ...). We'd love to hear from members of our police force for this one, too.

Send your ideas -- include your name, address and phone number -- by Aug. 20 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
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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