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The Star-Advertiser welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (~175 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 Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published.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
Keep watchful eye on agencies
Mahalo to the Star-Advertiser for the editorial ("Ethics agency harmed by Mollway dismissal," Star-Advertiser, June 19) which pointed out the flaws and unanswered questions regarding the Ethics Commission’s process in investiga-
ting and terminating its executive director.
The Ethics Commission is one of several agencies responsible for keeping our democracy functioning in a fair, open and representative manner. Other key agencies include the Office of Elections, the Campaign Spending Commission and the Office of Information Practices.
Right now we are seeing a great deal of transition at these agencies. The elections director was replaced earlier this year, the ethics director was terminated last week and the Campaign Spending Commission director will be retiring this fall. The Office of Information Practices has been without a director for more than seven months.
With these transitions in leadership, there is heightened responsibility for the commission members and the public. The commission members must carry out their duties and complete their work openly, efficiently and effectively.
We citizens must keep an eye on these agencies by attending meetings and asking questions. Especially in this highly charged election year, we need strong agencies and a watchful public to protect the integrity of our democratic process.
Homeless need drug treatment
I was shocked to read the letter from Mark Thomas ("Homeless here is a disgrace," Letters, June 24). Although I’ve lived in Hawaii for 10 years, I am from New York where Mayor Rudy Giuliani quickly cleaned up the streets. I have always found it amazing that people here are so passive about this problem. We know endemic poverty is largely attributable to drugs. The government supports them with handouts so the homeless have no incentive to get jobs and quit drugs.
Despite the horrendous impact on our economic future, there does not seem to be any outrage or desire to force people off the streets and beaches into shelters and treatment, which is the only solution.
Majority doesn’t support HB 444
The Star-Advertiser should register as a lobbyist for its daily drumbeat in support of the civil unions bill. The editorial ("Let HB 444 become state law," Star-Advertiser, June 24) opined that the governor "should respect the wide support for HB 444 in both legislative houses and allow the measure to become law, with or without her signature."
Clearly, the ones to be respected should be the voters. Instead of honoring and respecting the will of nearly 70 percent of Hawaii’s voters, legislators disenfranchised them. Massive rallies and recent polling data reaffirmed the voters have not changed their minds. They do not support same-sex marriage/civil unions.
The governor can override the Legislature’s contempt for the people by vetoing HB 444.
Withdraw from Afghanistan now
When an empire embarks on a protracted colonial war that cannot be won, inevitably both the generals and the politicians wind up blaming each other for the debacle. The U.S. war on Afghanistan is already more than twice as long as the American effort in World War II, yet the Obama administration can only promise that next year’s withdrawal deadline is only an iffy "maybe." Washington’s increased bootprints on that infamous Graveyard of Empires cannot succeed because the Afghan people—justifiably—won’t accept foreign domination, no matter what the cost. Do we need to sacrifice thousands more GI and Afghan lives before giving up on Operation Enduring Fiefdom?