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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ignition interlock

SEEKING HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WHO WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

From the quality of our schools to the economy to politics to Hawai'i's job market: When it comes to these issues and more, there's no shortage of opinions among our high school students.

The Advertiser is looking for its next Teen Editorial Board a top-notch team of high school students who want to learn firsthand how their opinions can make a difference.

The Teen Editorial Board meets monthly to offer its views on key issues and news of the day throughout the 2009-10 school year.

Our Teen Editorial Board members meet with Hawai'i's key decision-makers, with the mission of making a difference through civic engagement.

To apply, send us an e-mail with your name, phone number, address, age, the name of your school, and a paragraph on why you would like to be on the board. It's competitive, so apply promptly.

Send your e-mail to our editorial assistant, Stacy Berry, at sberry@honoluluadvertiser.com, or call us at 535-2414.

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MOST CASES WILL NOT TRIGGER EXTRA COSTS

On behalf of the Hawai'i members of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, mahalo for a timely and informative front-page story on ignition interlock (May 13) and its proven ability to save lives on the Mainland and abroad.

The article suggests that interlock will cause substantial additional costs for probation and public defender staffing. In fact, since probation only applies to repeat offenders, the majority of cases will trigger no such additional cost.

In any event, the current task force will incorporate such cost issues in its recommendations to next year's Legislature. MADD and its fellow task force members will work hard to keep costs manageable, even with the possibility of continued budget constraints in 2011, when ignition interlock will take effect.

It is also worth noting that each life lost in a crash costs the state more than $1.5 million, not to mention the terrible burden on families who lose a loved one in a crash that could have been prevented by interlock.

Arkie Koehl and Carol McNamee | MADD-Hawaii Public Policy Committee

MAN, LAND & SEA

SILT AND EFFLUENT, NOT FISHERS, HARM REEFS

The most accurate thing Dr. Richard Grigg points out in his letter (May 14) is the "analysis strains the statistics" method of Rob Perez's reporting.

It appears to us that the information and advocacy presented in Perez's reporting seem to be effortlessly disseminating from the same (limited) source.

The least accurate thing Dr. Grigg points out is his proclamation that "pollution and land runoff is only a problem in confined waters."

Most reef areas around O'ahu, outside of confined waters, that are no longer living are because of decades of siltation and effluent outfall due to land-based and harbor developments encircling the island.

In spite of this, fishermen continue to report remarkable and consistently stable catches year after year.

Seventy-five percent of coral reef in the Hawaiian archipelago now makes up the largest protected marine reserve in the nation the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

No, we don't need more marine life conservation districts. Yes, the state DLNR should be our coral reef stewards but they need better direction they should engage the fishing community in a sincere and genuine manner instead of alienating them at the direction of outside forces.

Tony Costa | Hawai'i Nearshore Fishermen

FOOD DRIVE

LETTER CARRIERS WENT BEYOND THE CALL

Mahalo to the people of Hawai'i for their demonstrated generosity of food donations to help stamp out hunger, reinforcing the aloha spirit that is so unique here whether in good times and bad. We would like to thank our community for the overwhelming outpouring of food donations we've received for the national letter carriers annual food drive.

We would like to recognize the hard-working, dedicated letter carriers who went beyond the call on May 9 to not only deliver the mail but to contribute their efforts to collect the tons of food. And let us not forget the many volunteers who gave unselfishly to help unload, sort and pack the truckloads of food.

The aloha spirit prevails here in Hawai'i.

Delaine Ige | Mililani

TORTURE

BUSH, CHENEY MUST BE TRIED FOR CRIMES

"Enhanced interrogation" sounds like something dreamed up by a public relations firm because "state-sponsored sadism" sounds so bad. Either way, it broke our laws, it broke our treaties and it broke our hearts for the damage it has done to our beloved American ideals and our reputation in the world.

This atrocity was authorized by President Bush and Vice President Cheney. How do I know? VP Cheney has said so repeatedly; and, with a great deal of pride.

All my life I've heard that "no man is above the law." We are in the process of finding out if that is true or is just another empty platitude. For it to be true, Bush and Cheney must be tried for the laws that they violated. It must be done for our ideals to be restored and for America to be made whole again.

Rick Lloyd | Honolulu

TAIWAN

CHINA NOT ONLY FACTOR BEHIND PROGRESS

Regarding Richard Halloran's "China warms to Taiwan, but cooling toward U.S." (May 10): Halloran notes that Taiwan's attendance in the 2009 World Health Assembly as an observer was a way to show some Chinese goodwill toward Taiwan.

However, China is not the only key factor behind the unprecedented event, but also Taiwan's relentless efforts and the collaborative support of the international community, especially the United States.

The U.S. is the leading country, along with the European Union and Japan, to publicly support Taiwan's participation to the World Health Organization. While the swine flu is on the verge of an epidemic, we welcome the timely invitation of the WHO for Taiwan to participate in this year's World Health Assembly.

At the same time, we are grateful to the United States for assisting Taiwan over the past decade to achieve the goal.

Eric Chiang | Director, Press Division, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles