Letters to the Editor
Voter apathy a result of negative campaigning
I am greatly disappointed in the current gubernatorial campaign ads being run by the Democratic Party. As is the case with most Hawai'i voters, I've been voting Democratic all my life. However, the recent ad campaign bashing Linda Lingle is disturbing and hypocritical, to say the least.
Instead of campaigning on their own candidate's strengths, positive contributions and experience, we see TV ads that distort truth, twist perception and bash the Republican opponent.
It's no wonder so many people have lost faith in the system and choose not to vote when all you see and hear is trash-talk.
I don't believe in party politics; either you can do the job or you can't. If this is how Mazie Hirono and her supporters aim to campaign, it indicates lack of confidence and desperate measures being taken to win at any and all costs.
I was coming into the general election undecided, but after seeing the onslaught of negative advertising by the Democrats, I'm voting for Lingle.
Hirono, Democrats offer us best chance
I have been privileged to have lived in Hawai'i for about 40 years. It is the best place to live in the world, not just lovely weather and health-wise, but in most ways. There are problems that must be corrected and change is always needed, hence the annual state Legislature and regular City Council sessions.
We owe much to the people-oriented elected officials, mainly of the Democratic Party, who have passed laws to make Hawai'i a better place in which to live and work. Each legislative session and City Council meeting is a new beginning, building on their good work of the past.
We should not return to the old days where the Republican-elected officials' primary goal appeared too often to be to protect business and the rich, as it seems to be the mission too often of President Bush and his team in Washington.
Mazie Hirono and the Democratic candidates offer us the best option to continue to make Hawai'i even better and become a more ideal place to live and work.
D. Richard Neill
Lingle's actions show she won't protect water
Linda Lingle has said that land development should dictate water development, not vice versa. One of her first actions as mayor was to lift a moratorium on water meters for new developments in central Maui.
Three years later, when the Board of Water Supply attempted to give the Department of Water Supply some limited power to restrict new hookups in central Maui, Lingle vetoed the idea.
Lingle also wants to disband the Commission on Water Resource Management.
These actions indicate that Lingle is more concerned about helping developers than about protecting one of our most important natural resources.
Sierra Club Executive Committee
Participants at rally exercising their rights
Unless they were well hidden, there were no armed guards forcing the more than "1,200 people (who) turned out to talk story" with Linda Lingle into Waipahu High School recently. Rather, they were exercising one of our most fundamental freedoms.
Consequently, one has to wonder if the rally's being "the largest event of the 2002 campaign in what is considered a traditional Democratic stronghold" is not the main driving force behind the Democratic Party's assertion that free-thinking Americans, of any ethnic origin, "can be bought" by a good meal and some good fun.
Such an assertion can only have its real roots in one of two facts: One, the Democratic Party has now assumed the responsibility for protecting Hawai'i's people from themselves by assuming we are too weak to make up our own minds. Or, two, the Democratic Party is projecting a significant aspect of its own continuing political strategy: Promise them anything but give them the same thing as they've gotten for the last 40 years.
The real rally is coming up soon. The really "expensive prize" being offered on Election Day is the one so many have died protecting: our right to make up our own minds. We can only hope that will be sufficient to motivate a record number of us to make "it the largest (such) event of (any) campaign."
Information charging is good for community
Do antiquated government laws waste our tax dollars? Is crime out of control?
Like me, you probably said both are true. Well, it's time for us to do something about it, and each and every one of us can. In fact, we will really make an impact on both crime reduction and tax savings when we vote "yes" on Constitutional Amendment Question No. 3.
Our yes vote on this amendment would help to move Hawai'i into the 21st century, along with the 36 other jurisdictions that have similar laws. Question No. 3, "information charging," would free up our police, allowing them more time and resources to tackle street crime. It would create savings in the Prosecutor's Office to the tune of $600,000 a year. It would reduce "victim trauma" by not making victims relive the crime over and over, and it would help us put many more hard-core criminals behind bars and out of our community.
There are those who are fighting this amendment mainly defense lawyers. You will hear them say that it is unconstitutional and takes away from due process. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Information charging is constitutional and is a part of due process.
Remember, information charging is the rule and not the exception in most of America. Now is the time for Hawai'i to catch up. This amendment is good for everyone, with the exception of the criminals and their lawyers.
Private schools are not about winning sports
Going to a private school my whole life, I have only one side of the spectrum with the education system. The Oct. 22 letter by Jeffery Nishimura stated that " ... those who can barely read at the fifth- or sixth-grade level ... stay in the private school system as long as they can throw a baseball 90 mph ... " I strongly disagree with the statement; it is not true.
Private schools are not about winning sports or being the best schools in the state. They are about producing young men and women who will excel in all things that they do, whether in sports, music, school, etc.
He goes on to say, "Don't be begging and whining to the state about getting lower interest bonds ... "
Tuition is the only stable source of income (with occasional donations). Private school families pay thousands of dollars a year to schools, and on top of that, they still fund-raise, trying to provide equipment, classrooms and other essential needs for students.
So please, with that said, vote "yes" on Constitutional Amendment Question No. 2 to encourage the education of all children of Hawai'i and not just a favored few.
Plant column great
Your readers are fortunate to have Heidi Bornhorst writing about Hawai'i's plants on a regular basis. She is not only a professional, dedicated promoter of our botanical gardens, but an enthusiast who speaks to all of us who want to know more about our trees and flowers. We learn new features of native and introduced species growing in our gardens and around town.
Betsy P. Weiner