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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, March 7, 2010

Ethics probe


The commission investigating allegations of wrongdoing by Rod Tam said that "during a nine-year period, Tam failed to follow the law by not reporting 'significant financial information regarding businesses and nonprofits in which he was an officer or director.' " How many of us could keep our same job if we fail to follow the law for nine years?

When asked to comment, Tam, in true lying warlord fashion, states: "Basically it's all allegations."

It's not an allegation when "Each receipt submitted by Councilmember Tam differs from the restaurant receipt for the same meal."

Rod Tam may not be the epitome of a crooked politician, but he sure acts like one.

joe chavez | Honolulu



The Honolulu Advertiser is speaking out of two sides of its mouth.

A March 4 editorial said: "To hear Lingle tell it, Higa, who has been in the job for 18 years, has transformed from a figure of nonpartisan virtue to a manipulative political hack. We've been reading and writing about Higa's audits for years and we just don't buy it."

But in a March 3 post on his blog, columnist David Shapiro wrote: "But Higa, an appointee of the Democratic Legislature, knows where her bread is buttered and has used the competition between Lingle and the Legislature to grow her office and its authority as lawmakers have stripped power from the Republican governor and shifted it to the legislative branch The auditor has also gained administrative powers — over Lingle's objections — to manage traditional executive functions such as the Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Task Force."

In response to a comment, Shapiro also wrote: "During the 2050 task force flap, I got e-mails from the auditor's office rallying people to pressure Lingle to get on board. It was totally inappropriate for the auditor to be lobbying the administration it is charged with watchdogging on a matter of political controversy. A reasonable person could infer that there would be sore feelings if the administration didn't do what the auditor wanted. ... A reasonable person could also infer that such sore feelings could show up in future audits."

Instead of doing editorials about how Marion Higa's audits have helped The Advertiser do its homework, the paper should be digging up the facts and reporting them.

Marcia J. Klompus | Honolulu

Editor's note: The author is a member of the governor's staff.



Many gratefuls alohas to the civil defense folks for keeping a eye on the tsunami development, and our wonderful news reporters for keeping us up to informed all the major stories regarding the tsunami.

Despite what appeared to be an overabundance of smiling, joking and giggling, their reporting was right on the mark.

efram williams | Honolulu


Although the tsunami warning went well, the time factor was a key. At 4 a.m., two hours before the siren activation, I was driving into the Leeward coast.

East-bound Farrington Highway looked like rush-hour traffic with long lines at every gas station.

For the most part, people were orderly and calm, but should there be a tsunami- generating event in the main Hawaiian Islands, are we prepared on the Wai'anae coast for a mass exodus?

It will be a transportation nightmare with about a 20-30 minute window for evacuation. The emergency bypass road cannot relieve such traffic — if it opens at all — since it joins Farrington one and a quarter miles west of the Kahe power plant. A portion of the bypass road is closer to the ocean than Farrington, and there are only a few inland options that still require access via Farrington.

We on the Wai'anae side need to be better prepared, and our state and county should create a more viable exit solution or thousands of lives will be lost.

randy Iaea | Wai'anae



In response to the commentary regarding COFA benefits for Pacific Islanders ("Treatment of COFA residents intolerable," March 1), there are a few points to consider.

First, the various compacts (there are four) do not confer U.S. citizenship on the residents of these island groups. They do allow the citizens of these nations the right to travel to and seek employment in the United States.

Second, the compacts are between the government of the United States and the various Pacific Island nations, not between the individual states and the Pacific Island nations.

Finally, a part of this is an admission that the United States does have a responsibility for the health effects from nuclear testing. All of this was determined at the federal level, and, as such, all associated costs should be fully funded by the federal government.

It does not mean that Hawai'i lacks compassion; it is more a case that we should have demanded that the federal government fund these programs from inception.

jack arnest | Kaimukī



I am intrigued by the arrogance of Pat Magie and Oahu Aviation Initiative ("Obama visit costly to aviation firms," March 2). Maybe we should seek some compensation and/or retribution when their tour aircraft "buzz" our beachfront property, allowing their clients closer scrutiny and invading our privacy.

It would not break our hearts to see tighter restrictions when the president is not in town. They should be thankful that the FAA is lenient in regards to the low ceiling limits for such aircraft when flying over private property for the sake of "eye-balling" the area.

But considering the mindset of these vendors, I am not surprised at their propensity for pushing the safety envelope for the sake of financial gain.

PuU'Ala SING | Kāhala



The problems with sticking throttles on certain Toyota models has revealed many new contenders for the Darwin Award.

How can anyone with a driver's license be so stupid as to not know that when your throttle sticks wide open, you just reach down and turn off the ignition.

When you do this, your engine will quit. Sure, the power brakes and power steering won't work very well, but both systems have manual reversion which will allow you to slow down, pull to the side of the road and stop.

I've heard recorded conversations where hapless (and clueless) individuals are speeding along to their deaths, yammering about their predicaments on their cell phones.

Apparently the media, congressional politicians and even the Toyota CEO are in the same class of fools, since I haven't heard any of them suggest this simple remedy.

jack m. schmidt | Kailua



I am very disappointed on the issue of pay cuts for government workers and the DOE.

We have taken pay cuts in the private sector and we did not get extra time off. It was a straight pay cut and our days off, hours per day and vacation/sick leave did not change.

If all those in the public working sector just took the pay cut without added time off, we would not have all these issues about furlough Fridays and reduced services to the public.

If the workers are so dedicated to serve the public and the children, take the cut and report to work like the rest of us have been doing.

Leave the other funds alone, teach the kids and serve the public as usual. No one cried for us when we bit the bullet and I am not crying now. Be happy — you have a job, and lucky you live Hawai'i.

cy shimamoto | Kanē'ohe