Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Friday, April 03, 2009

Auto show had it all - even a transit booth

I attended the auto show over the weekend and it was so enjoyable. There were lots of sleek, shiny new cars of every make and model, a collection of vintage cars and even a car club with its members proudly displaying their German sports cars.

But I didn't expect to see an information booth on rail transit at a car show. I was curious, so I stopped by to talk to the engineers manning the booth. They were very informative and I got a better understanding of how rail will work with the bus and other forms of transportation, including automobiles.

I've got to wonder why people are grousing so much about monies spent on rail. I'm convinced we need it and it's a worthwhile investment in our future. The people voted for it and it should be built.

John Nakagawa

Let counties decide if they will allow gaming

The last I heard from our state legislative leaders and the state administration, all options were on the table to help get our state's economy back on track. But alas, all that talk of keeping all options open was a load of shibai. Many legislative bills that would greatly benefit our economy are being held in various committees due to a lack of votes to advance them to the House or Senate floor.

In regard to legalized gaming, the Legislature should pass enabling legislation permitting the counties to issue gaming permits if the legislators lack the intestinal fortitude necessary to give jurisdiction to the state. Let's get going on constructing a new prison in state and helping Hawaii's hotels to be more responsive to our kamaaina.

Now more than ever, we need creative and imaginative leaders as opposed to cowards worried about their next re-election. Much of the legislation in the news as of late does not save or generate jobs that are needed, and needed immediately.

Sharon Basmayor

Crime isn't acceptable in Samoan community

It is with a heavy heart that I submit this letter in response to the number of extremely disturbing violent crimes committed recently that involve individuals from our Samoan community. Imagine our shock and outrage every time a crime is reported and the suspects are identified as Samoan.

Our people experience a great deal of sorrow and anguish upon hearing these reports, and that pain is surpassed only by the devastating losses shared by the families of the victims. I hope and pray that the grief-stricken families will accept our heartfelt condolences and understand that our community takes offense to these unspeakable acts of violence.

These senseless attacks are an insult to our host culture, as well as every hardworking, law-abiding member of our Samoan community, and are adverse to the fa'a Samoa. Yet, the painful truth is that we are accountable for their actions. For that reason, there is an urgent need for our Samoan leadership to unite and address these issues before this erosion of culture leads to more lives lost. We must be reminded that the pillars of our culture are respect and obedience, whether we are interacting with the community at large or at the dinner table with our families.

I hope that, at this most difficult time, the citizens of Hawaii might accept and acknowledge the many positive contributions that our community has made to Hawaii and this great nation. We have a longstanding history of patriotism, community service, civic participation and a bold pioneering spirit that is a tremendous source of pride and dignity, and bestows honor to our ancestors. Our community has a responsibility to maintain and advance the legacy that has been imparted to us.

Vicki B. Higgins
Executive director
Friends of Samoa

Lingle's budget works without raising taxes

Appearing before the Senate Ways & Means Committee, Gov. Linda Lingle presented a budget that is both sensible and realistic. It balances the state budget without raising taxes or hurtful layoffs.

Increasing taxes on families and small business during a recession only compounds the pain people are already feeling and makes recovery more difficult.

Pay cuts rather than layoffs for state workers also make sense because layoffs just send people to the unemployment line. Temporary pay cuts are fair, asking all state workers (including the governor and her cabinet) to help us get through the recession by making sacrifices.

The governor has shown responsible leadership in addressing each need for budget reductions, always keeping the state's immediate needs in mind without hurting the opportunity for our economy to recover as soon as possible.

Willes K. Lee
Hawaii Republican Party chairman




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