Letters to the Editor

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Young drivers should get hip, get hybrid

Regarding the "dream cars" of the three young ladies interviewed for the "Barometer of Cool" item in the July 2 Today section: All of the cars desired are expensive, gas-guzzling, polluters (Cadillac Escalade, Infiniti or Hummer, and a Ford Excursion). It's a bit of an irony when on the very same day more than a million people gathered throughout the world to call attention to the famine and desperate conditions in Africa brought about by poverty.

The trend of the truly cool in progressive cities such as Portland, Seattle and San Francisco is to purchase moderately priced environmentally conscious hybrid vehicles -- not glaring statements of conspicuous consumption. Get hip.

Eleanor Thurber

U.S. can't afford more foreign aid

The push is on for the United States to give more aid to Africa. In view of the federal budget, who will aid the U.S.A.? We have no extra money. Our government borrows money from foreign countries simply to run along, and runs a deficit at the same time. So we clearly are unable to aid Africa. Forgiveness of debts -- one of the oldest con jobs to disguise huge amounts of foreign aid -- would hurt us and would not help Africa much.

Africa needs less corruption and to develop business to fight poverty. What will help Africa depends not on what we do, but on what Africa does. Africa also needs to combat its overpopulation problem. We should urge Africa to do those things that will help Africa, and develop trade that will help both Africans and Americans. If Africans depend on us, it diminishes their pride. If Africans depend on themselves, their pride can grow strong.

Mark Terry

Closing shipyard would be hard on sailors

I am recently retired after serving 39 years as a civilian employee of Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. Shutting down the shipyard (Star-Bulletin, July 1) would have a significant impact on the quality of life for the sailors and their families serving on Pearl Harbor-homeported ships and submarines.

Any major shipyard availability would necessitate a move to the servicing shipyard followed by another move at completion when the ship returns to Pearl. This means moving children in and out of school twice in a one- to two-year period. Having maintenance done at the homeport eliminates the need to relocate.

Portsmouth is a highly effective, innovative and efficient repairer of submarines, but it is not a homeport. Pearl repairs both submarines and surface ships and is a homeport to the ships it services. The members of the Base Closure Commission should take the entire picture into account and keep both naval shipyards open.

John Priolo
Pearl City

Don't use racism to right past wrongs

The Akaka bill, as I read the Republican Senate Report, is pretty much a race-based government.

As a biblical Christian, I find racism, in whatever form, as both evil and a sin against the God I worship, a God who made man in his image and made us all equal to one another.

I admit that the Hawaiians were wronged. But why are Sen. Daniel Akaka and the Democrats trying to punish people who had no part in the crime?

For me, biblical Christianity and its doctrines and precepts are the perfect way to live. And racism, in whatever form, has no place in it.

Clifford Ishii
Waimea, Kauai

In boom economy taxes should go down

When Hawaii was in a recession, city and state governments raised taxes, licenses and fees and invented a slew of new ones to make up for the revenue shortfall. Now that our economy has recovered and real estate prices are at an all-time high, filling city and state coffers to the brim, why haven't we cancelled the recession emergency revenue measures? Why haven't we lowered the property tax rate to accommodate skyrocketing property assessments?

Perhaps a monstrous surplus is needed to pay the enormous debt incurred by years of eye-catching but frivolous spending on frills and fancies and the resultant backlog of neglected infrastructure maintenance. Or worse, perhaps another big batch of ill-conceived and ill-considered laws and projects is about to be foisted upon the hapless and jaded taxpayers.

Richard Y. Will

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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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