Letters to the Editor
Lingle must do more than recite platitudes
My, my! R. Carolyn Wilcox's recent letter criticizing David Shapiro's failure to deal with Linda Lingle's questionable qualifications compared to those of the announced Democratic gubernatorial candidates really struck a nerve.
It's odd that more of the overly defensive loyalists like Richard W. Baker (Letters, June 24) deny the past charges of nepotism or environmental insensitivity, but simply attack the messenger.
As for Lingle's "platitudes," it doesn't seem very original to talk about "fundamental restructuring," the "ethical atmosphere" or the state's "fixable (financial) problems" without specific, doable answers.
Ms. Lingle should be prepared to do more than say "Everything is not fine" if she hopes to be taken seriously by Hawai'i's akamai voters.
Hemmings criticism wasn't deserved
I am perplexed by A. Clifton's June 26 letter responding to Sen. Fred Hemmings' June 14 letter.
The bill to cap Hawai'i's gasoline prices, based on California prices, is laughable. I've been on the East Coast, in some Southern states and in the West this year. California gas prices were 20 to 30 cents higher than every other place, including Hawai'i. The price-fix gas bill is a farce, and I'm betting it will never become reality.
Clifton seems to be confusing national and state issues, and Sen. Hemmings' letter was strictly addressing the sad condition of our state after 40 years of a one-party government. As long as the issues have been confused, I would like to ask if Clifton thinks our dependence on foreign oil is safe, either for national security or the consumer?
Maligning the senator's quoting Todd Beamer is ludicrous. Everyone in the United States has proudly adopted his indelible "Let's roll" remark, and I hope it will be remembered and used for generations to come.
I, for one, am ready "to roll" to help elect ethical people who will get our beautiful state out of the bottom ranking in education and the economy and make it as great as it should be.
Freedom to choose, but wear a helmet
The recent surge of letters concerning helmets has been of special interest to me. A week ago a good friend went down on his Harley and suffered serious head injuries, despite the fact that he did not break a single bone in his body. Since then, he has been unconscious and in intensive care, and we are all hoping for his eventual recovery.
Despite this, I am not in favor of mandatory helmet laws. We are a free society (although less of one every day that passes), and it is not government's role to restrict an individual's behavior simply for the safety of that individual. Once a person reaches adulthood and moves away from mom and dad, he should be free to make his own personal decisions concerning his safety and welfare.
Having said all of this, though, I feel those who claim a helmet is not an effective means of greatly reducing head injuries are in serious denial. I've heard all the arguments against helmets over the years and don't buy them. Sure, a helmet is no guarantee that you will survive a serious head slam, but there is a wide range of less-brutal head impacts where a helmet will make the difference between seeing stars and seeing the Pearly Gates.
Still, I respect my friend's decision to not wear a helmet on that ride a week ago. But, oh, how I wish he had chosen to wear one. If not for himself, then for all of us who are anxiously hoping and praying for his speedy recovery.
G. Michael Gawley
Mansho's sentence isn't that surprising
While reading some of the comments made by Rene Mansho regarding how she treated and talked to people in a negative way, it doesn't surprise me that the judge awarded her only one year in jail. Corruption and payoffs are rampant in Hawai'i.
It goes without saying that if it had it been a nonpolitician, the judge would have buried him under the jail.
All one has to do is look at the financial situation of the state of Hawai'i, the inept politicians who are charge of the flow of money in and out of Hawai'i, look at how prostitution, gambling and street crime are out of control, and then you will see that nobody really cares about preserving the beauty and richness of Hawai'i.
It's all about how much money these public officials can steal and not get caught.
Forget estate tax, focus on spending
Your editorial calling for the retention of the estate tax confused the issue. The economic question isn't who is taxed but what is taxed.
The larger the estate, the lower the percentage of assets that is devoted to personal uses. Multimillion-dollar estates consist of mostly stocks, bonds, rental property and other investments. Personal-use items such as residencies, yachts, etc., may be 5 percent or less of the total estate subject to tax.
The tax creates a forced liquidation of the capital business and industry needed to promote economic growth. The actual effect on the lifestyles of the rich is minimal. Money is merely diverted from private industry to government bureaucrats.
A direct tax on luxuries or other consumptive-based taxes makes better sense in addressing the emotional reaction people have to wealthy heirs who never need to work. Taxing their productive assets harms the whole community.
We do not need the estate tax revenue. Our federal government is the most profligate waster of resources in history. Cutting government spending should be the priority, not taxing capital assets.
Tracy A. Ryan
Libertarian candidate for governor
Access aisles aren't a new requirement
In a recent editorial, The Advertiser urged a grace period for businesses' compliance with the requirement for new accessible parking signage. Because everyone agrees the word of this new requirement has been slow in spreading, I am sure the police and interested individuals will allow a reasonable grace period. I do not foresee an avalanche of fines for noncompliance.
But to clarify the facts, one should realize the requirement for an access aisle next to every accessible parking space is not new. The ADA has required such access aisles for more than 10 years.
Isn't that enough time to do something as simple and inexpensive as designating proper accessible parking?
Lunsford Dole Phillips
Don't let 'The Rock' play Kamehameha I
I had to respond to the idea of having a King Kamehameha I movie with "The Rock" portraying this great king.
I feel I must say some pilau words in protest to this idea because King Kamehameha I was of great mana and deserves respect. The idea of having the "The Rock" play this role is, well ... He does not have the mana or mana'o to play this very important role.
Also, every time Hollywood gets involved with doing Hawai'i films, it makes a mockery out of the people. Don't let this happen.
Tucson, Ariz.(formerly of Pahoa)