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Letters to the Editor

For Thursday, December 20, 2012


City should rescind tow firm's contract

First, Hans Tandal of Leeward Auto Wreckers claims it's a misunderstanding that his company is gouging clients, not six weeks from becoming the vendor for handling police-initiated tows on Oahu.

"We're not going to step into doing something wrong right from the beginning," he claimed ("City towing vendor inflated its fees," Star-Advertiser, Dec. 16).

Second,if it was a written bid, why would he feel the need to defend it and say the company had decided to charge the higher rates to make the contract financially more viable? He should have thought of that before making the bid.Instead, it wasn't until he was found out and questioned, that he said the company had "misinterpreted" the documents.

Who is he kidding? The city should rescind his contract and give it to someone who is more pono in their dealings.

Linda Carlson

Atheist government was not intended

I agree with Mitch Kahle that the church and state should be separate: The church should not have authority over the state, or vice versa ("Name in the News," Star-Advertiser, Dec. 14).

We have a wondrous gift of freedom of religion, and I respect his right to practice whatever he cares to believe.

However, I take exception with his opinion that the government has a mandate to purge itself of any semblance of religion. This is equivalent to making atheism our new state-sponsored religion. From the First Amendment, this is clearly unconstitutional.

In 1803, within a year of penning his infamous "separation of church and state" letter, President Thomas Jefferson approved a federal grant of $100 to a priest, and $300 to build a church. There are numerous other such early federal government examples. Far from desiring to expel religion, our Founding Fathers wanted to encourage it — and they gave us protection from the federal government picking which one. It is time to reassert our rights to religious freedom.

Dave Beers

NRA could help foster less violence

There are 58,000 places to buy a gun in the U.S., more than all the world's Starbucks.

After the Kansas City Chiefs linebacker killed his girlfriend and himself, several NFL players voluntarily surrendered their firearms.

There has to be some way between the constitutional right to bear arms and the madness that led to the recent deaths in Newton, Conn. and elsewhere.

If, in particular, the National Rifle Association balanced its immense resources to try to curtail the abuses of gun use, it might help ease the current situation. Beyond its valuable hunter safety courses, that means lobbying through massive advertising to create a less violent culture.

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote that freedom of speech does not give someone the right to falsely yell fire in a crowded theater. These recent killings are like falsely yelling "fire." It's time for them to stop.

All of us, and not just the NRA, need to challenge ourselves to work toward a solution.

Harry Palmer
Downtown Honolulu

Israelis know how to stop shootings

The security formula that works for stopping school shootings is doing what Israel does: Teachers are armed with a bigger gun. This policy has worked for the Israelis since their mass school shooting in 1974.

In America, times have changed. Our moral values in society are not like during the golden years. Many of our youth have no strong foundation in life: having strong father and mother figures plus religion.

Our society is filled with TV, movies, games of killing and shooting everyone down.Video shooting games plays with the minds of our youth. They are interactive, full of violence 24/7.

Even on their cellphones, they can access these violent games. These game will always affect certain type of individuals' subconscious mind, who in turn will carry out their fantasies in the real world.

Arsenio Ramirez Pelayo

Restore funds for Waianae services

The tragic events in Connecticut have highlighted the need for reforms in both gun laws and support for mental health.

I am honored to serve on the board of directors of the Waianae Coast Mental Health Center (Hale Na‘au Pono), the only accredited mental health facility in the state and the only source of mental health help to the largest community of Native Hawaiians, poor and homeless on the island.

A few years ago, the Lingle administration ended all state funding for the center, reassigning its clients to facilities in town. Hale Na‘au Pono has remained open, continuing to serve its clients — most of whom did not, or could not, go outside the community for help — only through the generosity, selflessness and heroism of its staff, who keep us thriving.

The Abercrombie administration has yet to restore funding for mental health service to Waianae Coast or to give it the serious attention it requires state-wide.

This needs to change.

Joan D. Peters

HOV lanes are working just fine

Clearly, letter writer Yucheng Pan uses the HOV lanes at different times than my wife and me ("Increase rider limit for HOV lanes," Star-Advertiser, Dec. 2).

Airport-bound, before 6 a.m., we're saving about 15 minutes each morning.Back when three riders were required, I almost expected to see tumbleweeds rolling down the Zipper lane. We did see lone parents in the HOV lanes withchildren way too young to drive, meaning no cars being taken off our roads, the reason HOV lanes exist.

Ewa-bound, about 5 p.m., the H-1 HOV lane is a little faster than the other lanes. Not a huge difference, but it helps. Changing to three riders would force most current HOV users out and create serious problems in all lanes.

What would help is getting slower drivers out of the left or "fast" lane, making highways more efficient and safer.As it is, "slower traffic keep right" are the four most ignored words in Hawaii.

Pat Smith

How to write us

The Star-Advertiser welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (~150 words). The Star-Advertiser reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include a daytime telephone number.

Letter form: Online form, click here
Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

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