Letters to the Editor
MANDATORY RETIREMENT FOR JUDGES IS WRONG
A proposed amendment to the state Constitution would ask voters to eliminate mandatory retirement at age 70 for all state judges. Anyone who has known Judges C. Nils Tavares, Wilfred Tsukiyama, Martin Pence or Alan Kay would realize that an age-70 retirement requirement is stupid. Hastings Law School, one of the best law schools in this country, routinely hired retired deans and scholars such as professors Prosser (on torts), Wigmore (on evidence) and many more. I have never heard a single graduate of Hastings say a condemnatory word about these greats. The point is that age is a variable, not a benchmark.
As a commercial pilot, I was forced at age 60 to retire. Today, given my health and skill level, I could "legally" fly a Boeing 747 with 500 passengers on board. I cannot "legally" fly a Boeing 717 with one passenger on board for Hawaiian Airlines, my beloved company. Idiotic law, at best.
Our court system as well as the general public stands to gain much by eliminating this Draconian requirement. In my 42 years in the practice of law, I have been before judges of various philosophies, persuasions and political affiliations. For the most part, they dispense justice, are diligent and do not let their personal ideologies drive their decisions. What really counts is their judgment, integrity, devotion to the law and temperament. The wisdom of our elders, gained through hard work and service to their families and the community, is a treasure we should not discard.John S. Carroll
DON'T JUST COMPLAIN, TAKE THE TIME TO VOTE
Why is it that those who scream the loudest about high taxes, traffic, schools and social ills are the very ones who do not take the time to vote?
We are all busy these days but as responsible citizens, we must take the time to study the issues and make our voices heard.
Take the time, as our future is at stake!Roy M. Chee
HAWAIIAN VOTE HAS MADE A DIFFERENCE
Hawaiian Vote 2006 is a non-partisan campaign to encourage Hawaiians to vote. It is not associated with any candidate, nor is it the brainchild of any one individual. Our effort simply attempts to build upon the momentum created by groups such as the Native Hawaiian Civic Clubs, the Hawaiian Homestead Associations, OHA, CNHA, Kamehameha Schools, the Pa'i Foundation, Partners In Development and other organizations that have supported similar programs.
Hawaiians have historically felt their vote made little difference and, as a result, voter turnout in our communities has been low. However, one only needs to look back at the last mayoral election to recognize that the Hawaiian vote can have a significant impact. From a Hawaiian perspective, the distinction between the mayoral candidates was clear: One supported the continued condemnation of Hawaiian trust lands, the other did not.
On Election Day, heavier-than-normal turnout in Hawaiian communities helped carry the new mayor to victory, and the City and County of Honolulu no longer condemns the lands of the Hawaiian people.
Our message is very clear: Voting does make a difference, and we encourage all Hawaiians to register and cast their ballot in the upcoming election.Joe Pickard
Hawaiian Vote 2006, Kane'ohe
POLITICAL LETTERS JUST AMOUNT TO FREE ADS
The letters to the editor on politics are ridiculous. Case campaign workers are writing on his behalf and criticizing Akaka, and Akaka workers are writing on his behalf criticizing Case. So we have nothing but free advertising.
As we get closer to the election, the dialogue will very likely reach the level of being libelous and consist of nothing but mud-slinging. The end result is that the voters stay away from the polls.
Please adopt a policy of not publishing any more political letters until after the election. You will be doing the citizens of Hawai'i a service. Thank you.Bob Stengle
ACT 268 WILL FUND DRUG TREATMENT PROGRAMS
Recognizing the value and effectiveness of having a drug and alcohol treatment program in every public high school in the state, Act 268 was passed in this legislative session and signed into law by Gov. Linda Lingle on July 4 to fund treatment programs in every public middle and intermediate school in Hawai'i. The Legislature appropriated $1,817,500 to fund the remaining 28 middle schools in Hawai'i that do not yet have a treatment program.
The first school-based student treatment program began over 20 years ago. Through the years, more high schools requested treatment services as they heard about the value and effectiveness of the program. Since 2003, every public high school in the state had a treatment program that has been effectively reducing the drug problems in those schools.
However, the problem has been moving to the middle schools.
Recognizing the growing problems, and that there is an effective solution, the Legislature, with support by the administration, acted fast to fund treatment programs in every middle school.
We applaud the efforts of all policymakers who rose to the challenge to act with compassion and conviction to help solve Hawai'i's drug problem for our youth.Alan Johnson
Chairman, Hawai'i Substance Abuse Coalition