DEPARTING POLITICIAN SHOULD BEAR THE COST
In my opinion, when a serving politician arbitrarily quits their office in the middle of the term, they have been less than honest with their constituents. They surely knew that they never intended to complete their present term of office when they campaigned for it.
I have a suggestion to make the resulting special elections more honest and meaningful. Any time a serving politician quits office to run for another elective office, they must offset the cost of the special election with funds from their campaign chest.
Thus, the public would not have to pay for this politician's ambition, lack of honesty and foresight.F.a. Ritchey
JUDGE MADE BAD CALL
DUI DRIVER GIVEN TOO MANY CHANCES
When should a judge err on the side of public safety? When that judge is presiding over a three-time loser.
Albert Birmingham was arrested for DUI and put on probation. He was arrested again for DUI, but beat the rap. He was arrested for DUI a third time and did not show to answer the charges. While allegedly drunk on his fourth time, he killed an innocent victim.
How does a judge ignore four DUIs, driving without a license and insurance, and failure to show for trial? How does a judge who earlier put that person on probation and ordered him to abstain from alcohol now ignore the fact that he apparently still drives under the influence and has also killed someone? What are the chances that he will abide by the court ordered curfew having not abided by previous orders to abstain from alcohol?
How does a person get so drunk that he runs over someone in a restaurant drive-through? Oddsmakers would bet big money that this guy will reoffend. When should a judge retire?Kenneth L. Barker
FEEDING OF FERAL CATS NOT ALWAYS GOOD
Hawai'i is known for its hospitality and that is a good thing sometimes.
I am appalled at how hospitable some people are toward the feral cat population. I see these pests being regularly fed by well-meaning people, but are they aware of the consequences?
I have read numerous reports that feral cats can significantly impact island biodiversity, with devastating effects on other animal species.
These cats are infested with fleas and other parasites, carry transmissible diseases and can be of harm to domesticated pets who are properly taken care of by their owners. Feeding these cats falsely prolongs their violent and miserable lives.
It is time for action to be taken against the feral cat population and those who sustain it. An aggressive campaign must be launched to round up these cats and penalize those who feed them. Perhaps one day I can look out across my yard and actually smell the flowers instead of the fecal matter, or get a few nights of uninterrupted sleep.June Paraskevi
MUSICIANS SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN PLANNING
Three details in the article on the reorganization of the Honolulu Symphony trouble us ("Rival plans for symphony allowed," April 13).
First of all, no musician sits on the reorganizing committee. Why not? Wouldn't a musician with all that institutional knowledge as well as understanding of music provide valuable insight, such as what kind of music can or cannot be played with a smaller orchestra?
Second, the article detailed many cuts in symphony activities, yet the administrative staff, after reorganization, will be more than doubled. Why? Will they be working on fundraising?
Third and most disturbing were the words and tone of this phrase: "Expectations that the Society is an employment agency or welfare department responsible for the entire financial well-being of its part-time employees." If I were a symphony musician, I would be insulted. Such a statement cannot come from a music lover. The musicians earn their salaries. You hear this clearly in their music.
As one of many donors who made a sizeable gift when pleas were made on behalf of the musicians, we are dismayed that they are still owed money. Moreover, after much reassurance that the symphony was finally solvent, many of us purchased our season tickets. After one performance we learned in the papers that the whole season was canceled.
Should the symphony society be trusted again?Jean And Denis Toyama
WHAT ABOUT ALL THE NONBANK BAILOUTS?
I just received Colleen Hanabusa's costly mailer regarding the bank bailouts. "I'll demand the banks pay back every penny."
That's the easy part. The banks have already paid back 74 percent of what they were loaned, with $26 billion in profits to the Fed in interest and dividends, according to Pro Publica.
I'm the sure the American taxpayers will make money on the bank bailout. But what is she going to do about the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, auto industry and AIG bailouts?
Those are the tough questions she should be addressing, instead making her simplistic attacks on Wall Street and bankers.Jonathan Carr
HAWAI'I FOOD BANK
NONPROFIT LEADERSHOULD GET LESS PAY
This past Saturday was the 21st annual Hawai'i Food Bank drive, an event that I have always donated to and always encouraged others to donate to.
In this month's issue of Honolulu Magazine is an article that reports on the salaries that are earned by various individuals. For instance, Richard Grimm, president of the Hawai'i Food Bank, earns an annual salary of $130,369. He also earns an additional $19,169 in "other" compensation, for a grand total of $149,538. Nice work if you can get it.
Why an employee with a nonprofit organization needs to be earning that much money in a job where work and dedication is supposed to be its own reward is beyond me. I wonder, if Grimm was paid an even $100,000 a year, how much food could the Hawai'i Food Bank buy with the extra $50,000?David Taylor-garcia
LEGISLATURE TRIED TO SECOND-GUESS LINGLE
In his recent column, "Overall, legislators remained focused" (April 7), David Shapiro implies that House Speaker Calvin Say was right to "postpone indefinitely" the civil unions bill "if the votes weren't there."
But by Say's own admission, the votes were there. At least 26 House members, possibly more, were prepared to vote in favor of civil unions, yet the speaker refused to allow the up or down vote, citing a potential veto from the governor. But Gov. Lingle never said she would veto the bill — nor is it up to the Legislature to second-guess her.
Lesbian and gay couples are being denied their constitutional rights. They should not have to wait until the budget crisis is over to have their families recognized and treated equally before the law.Karen Kahn