HOW IS STATE PAYING FOR PROJECT STUDY?
Interesting. Per the governor, we have furlough Fridays, so no school, no education for our keiki, since no money. And state income tax refund checks have to be delayed, since no money.
But we have money to spend on an independent assessment on the rail project?
This is surely not politically or personally motivated, even though the feds are perplexed with her decision on this, and of course the feds have no clue on transportation projects, right?
What was Lingle's stand on rail when we had the money in good times?
When she is out of office, she should try commuting at rush hour from the Leeward side to town and back. Then she can say rail will not help alleviate or reduce traffic.
brian chong | Honolulu
AUDITOR'S POSITIONMUST BE IMPARTIAL
The auditor's office was created by the state constitution to be independent and impartial. That's why each auditor is appointed for an eight-year term.
I'd like to remind readers that Marion Higa was approved by a bipartisan, unanimous vote of the Legislature for a first eight-year term and then again for a second eight-year term. The auditor's job is to examine the legality and effectiveness of government expenditures and to make recommendations for improvement.
Lingle liked her reports well enough when the auditor was critical of previous Democratic administrations. Now that the shoe is on the other foot and the deficiencies of her administration are being made public, she cries that the auditor is being partisan and unfair.
diana chang | Honolulu
COUNCILMAN LUCKY HE LIVES HAWAI'I
Rod Tam is so lucky to live in Hawai'i and be a politician. If he was a politician in China and charged with the same actions, we all know what his sentence would be: He'd be a target on the firing line.
He is also lucky if he goes to jail here because he would be eating and sleeping off us taxpayers with no bills to pay. No matter what the outcome is, he will be a winner — like all the other politicians who rip off the state for their own agendas.
But who cares? We keep putting these same clowns back in office over and over. Auw[0xeb]!
eugene cordero | Pearl City
EASING PAIN WORTH MAKING SYSTEM LEGAL
In regard to the unsigned editorial taking pot shots at marijuana pharmacies: I hope you're never in a situation where you're in so much pain and you've endured epidurals, pain pills and patches and try to find relief with marijuana. You have to wait months to get your (marijuana) medicine because the only way you can legally get it is to grow it yourself or have someone else to grow it for you.
Can you imagine if all prescription drugs were that way? Here's your cholesterol prescription; it's garlic, but you have to grow it.
The alternative is to turn to illegal means, and a person in pain does not need to invite more trouble into their life.
Learn from California's mistakes and make a system that works for Hawaii. And if a doctor prescribes it legally, why can't one buy it legally? Answer that, nameless editorialist.
R. J. BRAKEL | 'O'okala, Big Island
CONFISCATE PERSONAL ITEMS FROM OFFENDERS
Regarding your editorial, "Take back Honolulu" (March 8), I have a suggestion for an immediate and somewhat harmless solution to the problem.
Several years ago many Rocky Mountain states were faced with big game (deer and elk, etc.) poaching.
Minor control laws were enacted with no effect. Legislators finally passed laws that brought poaching to a halt almost overnight. Basically, the law gave the fish and game officers the authority to confiscate on the spot anything the poachers had with them in the field. That meant everything — from their rifles to their campers and pickup trucks. The confiscations were final with no legal recourse. Poaching stopped.
Perhaps our city and state government should consider similar measures with the "squatters" in restricted areas. Warning signs would be posted and one warning issued. If offenders fail to adhere to the warnings, their personal items (tents, sleeping bags, bicycles, etc.) would be confiscated on the spot with no legal recourse.
Their alternatives would be to either leave the area or the state or move into homeless shelters provided for them.
Jaren A. hancock | Honolulu
RETAIN WRITERS WHO PROVIDE LOCAL FLAVOR
I subscribe to both papers. It seems that about 85 percent of the news is identical — taken off the wire and slapped onto the page.
So from a news perspective, I'm not sure that consolidating to one paper will be that much of a loss.
However, I am a real political junkie. And I can't image life without Lee Cataluna, Derrick DePledge and even David Shapiro (though we rarely agree politically).
I hope that if the papers are consolidated that prime consideration will be given to preserving those talented writers who provide that wonderful local perspective.
Jo-ann m. adams | Honolulu
REASONABLE VOICES MAKE SMART CHOICES
The consolidation of the Star Bulletin and Advertiser (I subscribe to both) can be successful if it has reasonable editorial voices that make smart choices of local, Mainland and international news.
There are dangers when people get their news from only one source. The loyal viewers of "fair and balanced" Fox News still believe that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Publishing an ultra left-wing columnist next to an ultra right-wing columnist only inflames the discourse. Everyone needs a voice, and there should be a place for the disturbed letter writer and the megalomaniacal columnist.
Most important, we need quality reporting of our most newsworthy topics: business, culture and entertainment, education, environment, government and sports. We will still need the pork-gathering politicians and the local corruption stories just to help pay the bills and keep us amused.
I hope the newspaper employees, unlike the owners, don't have to sell their souls to make the bottom line. What should the motto be for a print newspaper that survives in a digital age?
Jim Wolfe | Nu'uanu
UH RICH ENOUGH TO PAY FOR 2 COACHES?
So let me get this straight. The University of Hawai'i has cut salaries and laid off people because of a lack of funds, but it apparently thinks it has enough money to pay from $400,000 to $600,000 next year for two coaches (Nash, who has been fired, plus his replacement).
Not only that, but it thinks it can offset $100,000 of that by getting money from private contributions from people who apparently are not willing to contribute any money toward running the university system.
Oh, and we get to pay back all the money withheld from the faculty (plus interest) in a few years when we will have a new governor and lots of new legislators.
What is wrong with this picture?
Bob Gould | Kan[0xeb]'ohe