Letters to the Editor

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Random testing would improve isle drivers

Regarding your June 9 story "Honolulu drivers cited as less safe than the U.S. average": I could have told you that. On average I'd say I witness five to 10 traffic violations during a 15-minute commute. These include drivers crossing solid lines, making illegal turns and blocking intersections. There should be stricter licensing requirements for drivers in Hawaii and periodic random testing of drivers.

Ken Adams

Case didn't see the real Guantanamo

I am gravely disappointed and find it difficult to believe that Rep. Ed Case fell for the staged presentation of the conditions at Guantanamo prison (Star-Bulletin, June 27). Surely he knew that the conditions would be set up for the visiting members of Congress. Did he even remotely believe that he would see the actual conditions of the prison? The cages have been changed, gourmet food flown in and rehearsed interrogations were performed like a high school pageant.

Congress could have saved a bundle of money by having Hollywood stage a flowers and candlelight production of the lovely conditions at Guantanamo at Kennedy Center.

Roger D. Van Cleve

Buses and trains should work together

I must express my concurrence with Brian Palkki (Letters, June 28) on lowering bus fares. When I lived in Honolulu, I frequently rode the bus. Nearly every day, I would walk from two to five miles and take the bus back.

Here in Bangkok, the buses are nearly always full, even late at night. Fares are cheap. We also have the SkyTrain and subway. These trains are usually full and run every few minutes.

Until it becomes more economical and convenient to ride the bus, people will stay in their cars. How many of the people who manage TheBus ride the bus to work? If they were required to commute by bus, you can bet service and costs would improve.

Another way the city and state can encourage people to use public transport would be to eliminate subsidized parking for all government employees. If these people had to pay the real cost of their commutes, they would soon change.

Lanny Williams
Bangkok, Thailand

Get ready for those nasty clouds of smoke

I sympathize with the Honolulu Fire Department as it prepares for July Fourth fireworks. This year, I will fortunately be on the mainland and so will escape the choking clouds of smoke that exacerbate my asthma, which then turns into bronchitis after every July Fourth and New Year's celebration.

I am not fortunate enough to have air conditioning where I live, nor can I afford to hole up in a hotel room until the smoke clears. I have no choice about breathing this dangerous smoke. It is no longer enough to cry "cultural tradition" when those traditions make people ill and cause property damage with numerous fires every year. Let us have community celebrations with controlled fireworks that people can choose to attend -- or not.

Kristine Woodall

This is a bad way to reinvent education

So the Legislature's Reinventing Education Act has cut millions of dollars from East Honolulu schools (Star-Bulletin, June 30). For example, Kaiser High and Niu Valley Middle will each lose more than $700,000 a year. This amount, which represents 15 percent and 27 percent, respectively, of each school's entire operating budget, will be sent to other schools under the new "weighted student formula."

I find it outrageous that this new law strips millions of dollars from our schools. Thousands of East Honolulu public school students will face larger classes and fewer extracurricular activities.

Only in Hawaii would the Legislature's heralded attempt to "reinvent education" result in stripping money from our classrooms.

Nolan Kido

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.

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E-mail: letters@starbulletin.com
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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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