Letters to the Editor

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Kim's values match those of Democrats

If he chooses to do so, Big Island Mayor Harry Kim will make a great addition to the Hawaii Democratic Party (Star-Bulletin, July 8). Harry's compassion and earthiness are consistent with our values. He'll make a great candidate and a great governor. While laptop pundits like the Star-Bulletin's Richard Borreca focus on power brokers and handlers, the real message about a possible Harry Kim candidacy is more exciting.

For grass roots Dems and those "Democrats at Heart" concerned about our community, the solution is not sitting out the governor's race or even voting for a Republican (revealed now with a capital "R" and "W"). Solutions, real changes and new beginnings remain with the Democratic Party. Where do I send my $10?

Gilbert Coloma-Agaran
Kahului, Maui

Bicycle laws need better enforcement

Reader Michael P. Augusta states that bicyclists on sidewalks are a hazard to seniors and others ("Bicyclists on sidewalk can hurt pedestrians," Letters, July 12). He suggests that the riders are demanding and that there should be laws controlling them. I could not agree more with his complaints.

There are laws. However, they are not being enforced, and the situation has been getting worse each year. As I understand it, bicycles are permitted on sidewalks in residential areas only and nowhere in Waikiki. And in any case, regardless of area, pedestrians have the right-of-way.

Charles Luce

Next ugliness target: billboards on wheels

The July 8 Star-Bulletin editorial explaining the new law to stop aerial advertising gives your readers valuable insights into the relentless pressure to spoil Hawaii's scenic beauty with inappropriate advertising. The new law was introduced at the urging of The Outdoor Circle, and championed by a number of citizen groups and government agencies. It bans any form of aerial advertising that can be viewed from a public place, in counties that already prohibit aerial advertising over their land.

In essence, the law closed a potential loophole that could have allowed advertisers to make an end-run around existing county ordinances that ban aerial advertising in all Hawaii counties except Maui. Now banner-towing airplanes cannot take off from Molokai airport and fly off shore, in full view of Oahu's beaches, as had been threatened.

The threat of this type of visual pollution is nothing new to the islands. Since 1948, The Outdoor Circle has battled aerial advertisers on four separate occasions, and we will do it again when the need arises. In the meantime, we will turn our attention to other immediate threats to our visual environment such as the growing scourge of mobile advertising on large trucks. These billboards on wheels are further evidence that some advertisers will never stop their efforts to circumvent Hawaii laws and spoil our beautiful islands with visual pollution.

The absence of billboards and ugly signs is one of the things that most distinguishes Hawaii from the rest of the nation and world. For nearly a hundred years The Outdoor Circle has led the charge to keep it that way, and we're determined to continue that role for a hundred more years ... and then some.

Kathy Whitmire
President, Board of Directors
The Outdoor Circle

Prime time becoming hotbed of nudity

I am struck by how far down the road we've gone toward "anything goes" with TV shows that are ostensibly dedicated to breast reconstruction for cosmetic and rehabilitative purposes; one must never underestimate the cynical lengths to which the networks will go to dress up the wolf of prurient interest in the sheepskin of compassionate curiosity.

But why beat around the bush? Instead of creeping up on it with nude shots of comely plastic surgery candidates, let's cut to the chase and give America what it's really pining for: live sex on prime-time network TV! After all, we've already pushed the obscenity envelope with George W. Bush, a far greater obscenity than anything the networks could dream up.

Terrence Monroe

You think Hawaii is bad? Try Washington

I read the very unflattering comments about Oahu from reader Ken Durbin (Gathering Place, June 23) and I have one thing to say to him: How would you like to be stationed in Port Angeles, Wash.? Just yesterday we went through another rainstorm, and the temperature in July is hovering in the low 60s, which will be the high for the month. Unless you are born here and go to school here, people act like you barely exist, and making friends is virtually impossible.

Durbin dislikes Oahu and says it is far from a paradise. I have visited it three times within the last several years and hope to return. The people are very friendly and the weather is wonderful. If not for the lack of jobs (which is the same everywhere), I would move there in an instant. I say, long live Hawaii!

Alan Cummings
Port Angeles, Wash.
Former Hawaii resident

If Kapolei had jobs, we wouldn't need rail

It's unfortunate for all of us on the Leeward Coast that our elected leaders continue to put public works projects above the need for traffic congestion relief. As a 28-year resident of the worst traffic location in the state, Ewa Beach, I think I can propose with some credibility that the solution to our traffic congestion is not the need to put more union members to work; the solution is to really make Kapolei a destination point instead of the bedroom community it has become.

Why would we need a $3 billion rail system to move people to downtown if, instead, their destination was Kapolei? A new University of Hawaii-West Oahu campus offering four-year degrees, new state and city services buildings, a new federal judiciary and office building, a new stadium, even maybe a new Wal-Mart would attract enough traffic to spread the current uneven direction that drivers are forced to travel. Instead of the morning west-to-east traffic, we would have a more even east-to-west flow and vice-versa in the afternoon.

We don't have an alternative transit problem, we have an alternative destination problem. Instead of digging a big hole in the ground to give union workers a guaranteed 15-year paycheck, let's put our tax money into changing the direction people travel instead of inventing new ways to move them downtown.

Garry P. Smith

Ewa Beach

Campaign contribution case spurs apology

We want to express our sincere apology to the people of Honolulu, the people of Hawaii, and our close friends and family for the mistakes made in the manner in which past contributions were made to campaigns. During the past few years, the newspaper headlines have been filled with stories concerning the investigation of improper campaign contributions made by employees of some engineering firms and their family members.

We are among those who have been investigated for such improprieties and have recently appeared in court to accept responsibility for having violated the Hawaii campaign spending laws. Our mistake has been most unfortunate, for not only have we embarrassed ourselves, our peers and those close to each of us, we have unfortunately brought dishonor upon our community. We recognize the seriousness of our conduct and its impact on the political system. Each of us can only assure our fellow citizens that we have learned lessons from these mistakes, and that we will give our best human effort not to ever violate the laws of our state again.

Edward K. Harada
Rudolph Mina, Jr.

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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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

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