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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

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Letter form: Online form, click here
E-mail: letters@staradvertiser.com
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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peanutgallery wrote:
IRT Dave Beers: Dave you make far too much sense for the liberal progressives. If they can't destroy something, they just feel depressed.
on December 20,2012 | 03:06AM
bender wrote:
I fail to see Beers' point. He affirms his belief in the separation of church and state. And he says "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", again affirming that government should not endorse any religion. Fast forward to 2012 and we find a state agency endorsing a specific religion through the use of that agency's school choir. I think Beers would have to agree that the choir arrangement is in contradiction to his belief that goernment shouldn't be "picking a religion". With that in mind, I would ask exactly what religious freedoms is it that Beers wishes to reassert?
on December 20,2012 | 05:52AM
hawaiikone wrote:
By permitting a particular religion the use of a public facility, with appropriate fees charged for utilities and maintenance, in no way can be considered an "endorsement" unless the same privilege was denied others. In fact, if other secular organizations are allowed the same use that is being denied to a church, then discrimination is occurring. In the event several different faiths or organizations applied for the same consideration simultaneously then denial would be justified, based on the obvious concern regarding favoring one over another. Such a simple concept clearly would satisfy the intent of our constitutional mandate against repressing religious expression while also not supporting any one individually.
on December 20,2012 | 06:53AM
Malani wrote:
hawaiikone, I agree with your post. Spot on.
on December 20,2012 | 07:48AM
Pacej001 wrote:
Pretty good point, but why should competing religious organizations be denied. Why not Baptists, Catholic, and atheist groups in the same city facility for whatever purpose. Religion, or lack of it, should not be the grounds for denial. As you first said, in no way does the mere presence of an organization represent "endorsement" of a set of beliefs any more than does permitting a secular (atheist) group to use the public forum "endorse" atheism.
on December 20,2012 | 07:53AM
hawaiikone wrote:
No distinction between a faith or an organization. Simultaneous applications would be returned, offering a chance for sharing or rescheduling. Otherwise, first come, first served. If Mr Kahle's group was willing to share the facility as well as the cost with a religious organization, then so be it. No preferential treatment combined with no repression would eliminate perceived discrimination.
on December 20,2012 | 03:01PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Mr. Beers is already free to practice his religion. As are you bender and as am I. Thank goodness that in this country, Mr. Beers is not "free" to make the rest of us pay for his religion, subsidize his religion, or be subjected to hhis religion if we choose not to.
on December 20,2012 | 06:54AM
kainalu wrote:
on December 20,2012 | 07:13AM
OldDiver wrote:
I'll drink a beer to that.
on December 20,2012 | 08:19AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Interestingly enough, a Gallup poll at the end of 2011 shows the a whopping 78% of adults in the US self-identify as Christian. yet the right wing meme is that Christians are being persecuted in this country. Go figure.
on December 20,2012 | 08:23AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Here's the link: http://www.gallup.com/poll/151760/christianity-remains-dominant-religion-united-states.aspx
on December 20,2012 | 08:51AM
Pacej001 wrote:
Why "go figure" while you can try thinking? Power, political power, is is not now and never has been proportionate. In the case of religion, certain organizations, the ACLU, for one, and political factions, such as the secular/liberal/progressive judiciary, and our instutions of "higher" education, secular/liberal/anti-religious to the core, have assembled disproportionate political influence on the matter of religion, using the courts, the media, and academe to expunge religion, especially, if not only, Christianity from public view. Not saying there's a grand conspiracy to do so. However, this is one of the themes of the current brand of leftism which seems to be in revolt against pretty much anything that originates in our traditional culture.
on December 20,2012 | 09:02AM
wiliki wrote:
These are civil rights organizations... I'm glad that they are influential. We need a healthy respect for everyone's civil rights including atheists.
on December 20,2012 | 03:08PM
dontbelieveinmyths wrote:
Wow, we have that many hypocrites in the US.
on December 20,2012 | 01:54PM
Imagen wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on December 20,2012 | 10:08AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Thanks for your thoughtful advice. I'll choose to give it the value it is worth.
on December 20,2012 | 10:12AM
Anonymous wrote:
you really don't get it, do you? you are subjected to religious dogma, icons, prayers and other ideologies, every day from different facets of society both consciously and subliminally; it is even written on the paper money you spend for your lunch, 'in god we trust!'
on December 20,2012 | 04:09PM
LittleEarl_01 wrote:
IRT Pat Smith's ltr in regard to his statement, "What would help is getting slower drivers out of the left or "fast" lane." I would ask, what is a "fast lane"? Does that mean that cars in the left lane can exceed the posted speed limit? I must agree that I've encountered drivers in the left lane driving anywhere from 45 mph to 50 mph, and they should move to the right, however, if I am driving at the posted speed limit in the left lane, I am within the law.
on December 20,2012 | 04:33AM
bender wrote:
Yeah, that czught my eye. Last time I checked the speed limit is the same for all the lanes.
on December 20,2012 | 05:15AM
kiragirl wrote:
Yes, you're within the law to drive in any lane you choose. However, a little road courtesy will help ease traffic. The mindset or attitude of those righteous drivers going the speed limit in the "fast" lane shows their lack aloha or road smartness or both.
on December 20,2012 | 05:47AM
bender wrote:
Which fast lane. If the speed limit is the same for all, then aren't they all fast (or all slow). I think what you are really saying is that people who obey the law should move right so those who chose not to obey the law can go about their business. Don't get me wrong, I travel over the speed limit but when I come up on someone who isn't going as fast I, I don't blow a gasket, I just tell myself that they are obeying the law and that maybe I should pay heed a little more often myself. Wherever I'm going will still be there when I get there.
on December 20,2012 | 05:58AM
kiragirl wrote:
Good for you but like I mentioned, lack of road smartness is one reason for driving in the "fast" lane.
on December 20,2012 | 06:09AM
Malani wrote:
Road smartness is obeying the speed limit. I'd like to think the that I can buy a plate lunch than paying for a SPEEDING ticket.
on December 20,2012 | 07:32AM
kiragirl wrote:
Road smartness means YOU don't have to speed but move to the right if someone wants to pass you!
on December 20,2012 | 08:26AM
Imagen wrote:
And get the big heavy commercial vehicles out of the "left" lane and keep on the right side. Unfortunately, try as they do, they are unable to keep up with the steady flow of traffic without ramming into the rear of some small Prius or similar.
on December 20,2012 | 10:11AM
ichiban wrote:
Hello, I thought the middle lanes were considered passing lanes. The right lane is for slower drivers going at the lower spectrum of the speed limit sign. Me, I say go with the flow of traffic but not way over the speed limit.
on December 20,2012 | 12:28PM
Imagen wrote:
More than that Malani; you could cater a dinner for 4 on the cost of a speeding ticket.
on December 20,2012 | 10:10AM
Wazdat wrote:
YUP, one of the many downsides to island life. LAME DRIVERS who have this POWER TRIP of driving in a PASSING LANE.
on December 20,2012 | 05:58AM
pcman wrote:
A basic rule is if you need/want to pass, do so on the left. If you are going the speed limit but someone wants/needs to pass, for whatever reason, give him the left lane on a multi-lane road. It is courtesy, but it is also safety. Another rule is, on a muliti-lane road, if you are not going faster than the car on the right, then follow behind or go ahead and get into the right lane. What you don't want is for a car to try to pass you on the right without your knowing it. That's dangerous because you have a larger blindspot on the right. By being courteous and safe, the life you save might be your own.
on December 20,2012 | 10:16AM
lowtone123 wrote:
The left lane is generally called the passing lane and although it is the same speed limit as the other lanes long time drivers remember the signs the read "slower traffic keep right". As a gesture of courtesy, I stay out of that lane unless I'm passing others.
on December 20,2012 | 06:20AM
kiragirl wrote:
Mahalo! I wish Bender and LittleEarl developed your attitude.
on December 20,2012 | 06:54AM
Malani wrote:
If the left lane says 45 or 50 miles and the right lane says 45 or 50 miles there is no such thing as "slower traffic keep right." We all pass other cars when there is an opening but that does not change the speed limits posted.
on December 20,2012 | 07:42AM
kiragirl wrote:
Yes Your Righteousness!
on December 20,2012 | 08:27AM
Malani wrote:
thank you
on December 20,2012 | 04:23PM
rhodesunit wrote:
Malani, "slower traffic keep right" signs are still posted. They must mean something. BTW, I pass people going 50 mph in the left lane in a 60 mph zone all the time. Pre-dawn half of them have their high-beams on to boot. There's no aloha in that kind of driving.
on December 20,2012 | 04:05PM
Malani wrote:
I understand rhodesunit but if the speed limit is not under the speed limit it can't be the slower lane.
on December 20,2012 | 04:24PM
rhodesunit wrote:
on December 20,2012 | 04:46PM
rhodesunit wrote:
Why the signs then? BTW, to those of you who don't get it, or don't care, you may want to stay off the Autobahn. Okay, a little snarkey, but slower drivers should keep right. It just works better.
on December 20,2012 | 05:01PM
Dolphin743 wrote:
If you're driving at the same speed as the person in the lane next to you and nobody can get around the two of you, YOU are causing traffic to needlessly pile up. YOU are causing everyone behind you who wants to switch lanes to have to hit the brakes to find an opening, causing traffic further back to slow even more as they react to the unexpected braking. YOU are costing your fellow travelers many man-hours of travel time due to your inconsiderate passive-aggressive habit. Formation driving, as some readers are espousing, is simply demonstrating contempt for the other drivers on the road and is recognized as just plain rude--the equivalent to waving your middle finger out the window for your entire trip. If you're not passing on a multi lane road when there's freedom to switch lanes, please stay to the right. It helps everyone on the road, it makes it easirr to switch lanes, it's just courteous.
on December 20,2012 | 08:34AM
bender wrote:
If Pat Smith were watching tumbleweeds in the HOV lane while he and his wife set in traffic then I'm wondering why they didn't ttry to team up with someone and add a rider so they could use the HOV lane. That was the real purpose of crerating a HOV lane, to encourage people to carpool, thus removing cars. Two riders works against that effort.
on December 20,2012 | 05:18AM
kiragirl wrote:
The last time I checked, all lanes of a highway are paid by all motorists so should be used by all motorists. Having an additional lane means more cars can move faster. The notion of HOV lanes will create car pooling is nonsense. People car pool for many reasons and the use of the HOV lane is not a priority.
on December 20,2012 | 05:55AM
dontbelieveinmyths wrote:
You're right, but it's the "pork" stupid. In order to secure fed money, the highways have to abide by certain rules. Why do you think states have seatbelt and drunk driving laws? Because of they are all for doing the right thing? No, its because it is tied to federal highway funds.
on December 20,2012 | 02:06PM
stef wrote:
IRT Linda Carlson: You are spot on! Hans says ""We're not going to step into doing something wrong right from the beginning." The follow-on question should have been "When were you planning to do something wrong?" How can you misunderstand your own bid? He's a cheater. Fire him.
on December 20,2012 | 05:25AM
whs1966 wrote:
IRT Dave Beers: Which religion or religions should the government favor? I suppose it's OK as long as it's a Christian religion, especially your version, but why not Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, or even a religion based on the gods of ancient Egypt, Greece, or Rome. Let's remember that one man's religion is another man's mythology.
on December 20,2012 | 05:41AM
Dolphin743 wrote:
Right now the government favors atheism. Is that they right answer?
on December 20,2012 | 08:36AM
pcman wrote:
Yes, if laws are passed to disallow any/all religious group from using government facilities. But if the rules allow use of government facilities by any religious group as any non-religious group, then it is not favoring atheism. If you include everybody, then it is okay. If you exclude anybody, then it is discriminatory.
on December 20,2012 | 10:36AM
Pacej001 wrote:
Well, for one, the country has an overwhelming religious tradition, from its founding and within its founding documents, which originates in Christianity. You can't separate the tree from its roots. Does this mean that a religion should be favored? No, but neither does it mean that it should be excluded from public view or public expression, even if done so by public officials. Right now, in the courts and in the media, the latter seems to be the trend.
on December 20,2012 | 09:14AM
loquaciousone wrote:
David Beers, I like your last name but I don't agree with you.
on December 20,2012 | 05:56AM
kiragirl wrote:
Like I said, you're always good for a few laughs. Keep at it!
on December 20,2012 | 06:13AM
Wazdat wrote:
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.

That is funny and so true.

on December 20,2012 | 05:57AM
loquaciousone wrote:
You mean us slow drivers can't use the left lane? Besides, why do Hawaii drivers think that a 55 mph speed limit mean that you have to go over 55 mph and not stay under that speed? Besides, I like to weave all over the place and watch the red faces of the drivers trying to get past me. I never could understand why they kept signaling me as NUMBA ONE though.
on December 20,2012 | 06:38AM
loquaciousone wrote:
I own a couple of hand guns that I haven't fired for almost thirty years. That day, thirty years ago, as a young and stupid person, I almost shot my foot off practicing quick draw from a holster. Today, I am an old and stupid person so I need the government to protect me from myself and other young and stupid person(s).
on December 20,2012 | 06:00AM
ichiban wrote:
IRT Linda Carlson. Yes maybe they could rescind the contract if they had a breach clause. But a cautionary note; if the city used the same attorneys that wrote the hiring contract up at UH-Manoa, we may see another GOLDEN PARACHUTE deal for the towing company. They should at least have had a probationary or trial period written into the contract.
on December 20,2012 | 06:46AM
kukui_nut wrote:
@ Dave Beers & Harry Palmer: Agreed.
on December 20,2012 | 06:47AM
DABLACK wrote:
Guns: Will the president will come up with another "Executive Order" to remove all guns from the citizens ?
on December 20,2012 | 07:07AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
"Another"? I must have missed the first one.
on December 20,2012 | 07:32AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Market them as iGuns with iBullets and people will be lining up to pre-order them.
on December 20,2012 | 07:37AM
pcman wrote:
The President does not have the right to overide the Constitution. Executive orders are basically administrative rules that implement existing laws or lack thereof. For example, gun registration does not override the Constitution but it imposes some restrictions and delays in the registration process.
on December 20,2012 | 10:26AM
ichiban wrote:
Here's a thought. Prevent the selling of assault weapons. Killing game with an assault weapon is not considered sportsmanship. Assault weapons are used for one thing only. ASSAULT.
on December 20,2012 | 12:43PM
thos wrote:
Pretty sloppy. DEFINE the term "assault weapon". As things now stand, an ax is an assault weapon. So is an automobile.
on December 20,2012 | 12:51PM
Dolphin743 wrote:
Anyone who claims to want to ban "assault weapons" displays his/her ignorance through the use of a meaningless term. There is no real functional difference between most rifles used for hunting or other sport and those that look more like military weapons. There really is no reasonable middle ground to this argument despite what people are saying. You either favor a person's right to have guns or you don't. Pretty much any gun could have been used in Newtown with the same results. Wishing that we lived in an age where no guns exist is a pointless fantasy and not a starting point for a meaningful dialogue.
on December 20,2012 | 02:33PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
If your premise is that there is no middle ground, what do you propose as a starting point for the meaningful dialogue?
on December 20,2012 | 02:42PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
I don't see a weapons ban debate as worthless. For example, banning the so called "cop killer" rounds which penetrate protective vests makes sense to me. There's a lot of stuff out there that truly has no place among the civilian population. It would be great if law enforcement had better ways to track real automatic weapons - they are illegal already but all the gangs and criminals have them. Plenty of stuff can be put on the table to talk about. But banning specific weapons just because they look scary, well that's not gonna work.
on December 20,2012 | 02:56PM
MrMusubi wrote:
20 6 year-old kids were shot & killed in their classrooms on friday & U clowns are splitting hairs over the term "assault weapon". get a life.
on December 20,2012 | 05:06PM
dontbelieveinmyths wrote:
Pat Smith, You stated, "We did see lone parents in the HOV lanes withchildren way too young to drive, meaning no cars being taken off our roads," I agreed with most of your letter except that statement. Suppose it was a parent bringing friend's or neighbor's kids to wherever. That takes car or cars off the road.
on December 20,2012 | 01:51PM
rhodesunit wrote:
For that to be true, under the three rider rule, they'd have to have the kids from 2 other families along with their own, eliminating two other cars from the road. Odds are that's not usually the case.
on December 20,2012 | 03:45PM
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