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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, April 5, 2010

Bicyclists

BIKE RIDERS POSING DANGER IN WAIKK

We have been coming to Hawai'i for 28 years, and this is the first time we have felt threatened from bicycles while walking on the sidewalks.

The cyclists normally do not ring their bells or let you know they are going to pass and we have nearly been hit several times. There are a few courteous people who go slow and do give pedestrians some warning that they are there.

But some cyclists go really fast and this is a huge hazard to pedestrians. Last year a friend of ours was hit by a bicycle and broke his arm, meaning that he had to spend his entire six-week vacation with a cast on his arm.

We enjoy walking everywhere we go in Waikk. We have met lots of really nice people and we would really like to keep this up. We know riding bicycles on the sidewalk is against the law in Waikk, and are wondering why this law is not being enforced.

Rick And Carol Stonehouse
Niagara Falls, Ontario

NO BUTTS ABOUT IT

CLEANING UP LITTER OF CIGARETTES IS COSTLY

Cigarettes are not just costly to society when they are smoked. As litter they cost taxpayers millions every year.

Local governments are particularly hard hit by the costs of cleaning up cigarette litter. Efforts to reduce and clean up cigarette pollution and litter are resulting in significant new costs for public agencies and taxpayers. Public agencies are already spending hundreds of millions of dollars annually on litter cleanup.

The lesser-known story of cigarette butts is just as menacing: cigarette butts are actually tiny packets of toxins that, once littered, enter our marine ecosystems and wreak havoc and wildlife and water quality.

Time to place a 5-cent tax on each cigarette. This tax will be similar to the bottle and can recycling laws. If smokers don't like this tax, than they can save their cigarette butts and get the dollar back per each pack.

Joe Gerarden
Honolulu

JOURNALISM CONTENT

MERGED TV STATIONSJUST REHASH OLD NEWS

Chris Archer's letter to the editor on March 31 comments that David Shapiro's recent article on local television news is "stuck in the past of the so-called glory days of news."

Archer states that combining two local TV stations offers "profound new reach for all of us" and better programming. Actually, the newly merged local TV stations present a rehash of the old format news read by new personalties without a trace of any meaningful content.

Yes, there are budget constraints, but what is the need for three weather reports in a half-hour segment? This air time could be used to develop more in-depthlocal news reporting instead of one-minute sound bites. It may be more productive to concentrate on journalism instead of show business and personalities.

Tony Locascio
Honolulu

POPE BENEDICT XVI

CHURCH SHOULD CONDEMN ACTIONS

The religious right should get it right and condemn the actions of Pope Benedict XVI in the role he played in concealing the sexual molestation of more than 200 deaf children. These heinous acts, repeated over and over, should never be condoned no matter what your beliefs are. Is it not our obligation to protect the innocent?

What is outrageous is that these actions can be ignored, and at the same time, a "moral" crusade can be waged to deny gays and lesbians the love they wish to share with their soul mates. It is absurd for anyone to claim moral authority and disregard sins of this severity.

I am sad. I am angry. I am gay, and I believe in a loving God.

Van Law
Honolulu

BEACH PARK CLEANUP

DRUG COURT CLIENTS GIVE BACK TO KAUA'I

On March 19, the Kaua'i Drug Court clients, staff and alumni cleaned and painted the Kapa'a Beach Park restroom, picked up trash on the beach in the surrounding area, painted four picnic tables and a beach pavilion.

Thanks to the County of Kaua'i, Lenny Rapozo and Eddie Sarita for supplies and George Algren. Thanks also to the county workers who actually clean the beach parks. Having observed them personally at Hanama'ulu and Kapa'a Beach parks, I can say that they are dedicated, professional and have pride in their work.

Thanks also to the Drug Court staff: Tammy, Jack, Jen, Araceli and Tori; the Friends of the Kaua'i Drug Court (a Kaua'i United Way agency) for refreshments, lunch and supplies.

Thanks also to the clients, and especially the alumni, who helped. We try to help the clients and the community that they once harmed by engaging in community service projects.

This concept of "restorative justice" is a win-win for everyone. Thanks to all those that support us. It is sincerely appreciated.

Alton G. Amimoto
Drug Court administrator, Fifth Judicial Circuit

FURLOUGH FRIDAYS

TOTAL MISSED DAYS IS COUNT THAT MATTERS

To me, it isn't nearly as important how many days it has been since the first furlough Friday, as how many furlough days there have been.

Barbara Grimes
Wai'anae

CIVICS LESSON

TESTIMONY WASN'T ALLOWED AT HEARING

On March 29, I — along with more than 100 children, teens, and adults — was disappointed by the actions of Sen. J. Kalani English, D-6th (E. Maui, Molokai, Lanai).

English, chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation, International Affairs and Intergovernmental Affairs, discouraged a score of individuals (mostly minors) from presenting oral testimony in support of Senate Concurrent Resolution 74 and Senate Resolution 30, citing "a lack of time."

SCR 74 and SR 30 are identical measures that would support the right of parents to rear their children. I — and many of my friends — arrived at the Capitol early for the 1:20 p.m. hearing, dressed in suits and ties, prepared to testify on an issue that is extremely important to us.

We waited our turn in a packed room, only to be told to stand on our written testimony. Had we wanted to stand on our written testimony, we would not have taken time out of our busy schedules to show up.

The irony of it all was that while there was "not enough time" for teens to make their voices heard — some of whom were participating at their Legislature for the first time — Sen. English capped off the hearing by telling us, "I hope this has been a good civics lesson for everyone."

Indeed, a lesson that teaches us that our voices are not welcomed by some lawmakers.

Drake Boyer
Age 15, Honolulu