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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 Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published.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.

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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813


Waimanalo death a triple tragedy

The recent death of a young man on Kalanianaole Highway is a tragedy.

The possible criminal record of the driver responsible for the accident is a tragedy.

The fact that the death may have been prevented if seat belts had been worn by all involved is the third tragedy.

Click it or ticket!

Judy Guffey
Ewa Beach


We need to build a raceway park

I was upset to read that 11-year-old Samuel Kassebeer was killed in an automobile accident involving racing.

Indisputably, there is an increasing number of traffic fatalities, many involving teenage drivers speeding or racing.

Although the circumstances of Samuel’s death are tragic, it seems that no one has focused on the correlation between the closure of Hawaii Raceway Park in 2006 and this increase in illegal racing activity on public streets. It is time for the county and state governments to be responsible and develop a motorsports complex.

There are many public and private facilities for tennis, soccer and basketball players, yet there isn’t a single racetrack.

It’s my hope that providing a safe and legal place to race would reduce or eliminate street racing.

Scott Schulte
Hawaii Kai


Interisland ferry should be a goal

King Kamehameha was a chief who conquered the islands with a war club and the island of Kauai with diplomacy, uniting the islands into a Hawaiian kingdom.

The next governor should use a different tactic but the same strategy to unite the islands, by bringing back the interisland ferry. Use the ferry to connect and unite all the islands with an interstate ocean transportation system.

That governor will go down as the most far-sighted leader in Hawaiian history.

Satoru Hijirida


Hotel workers protesting greed

The only intelligent thing said in Kris Schwengel’s letter ("Union was wrong to block traffic," July 26) was that, "I have no idea what rights the hotel workers are fighting for …"

If you don’t know the facts, don’t put down the workers.

Unite Here Local 5 did everyone a favor by drawing a line in the sand. The workers told Wall Street giants that they are not going to take it anymore.

The newcomers to Waikiki and the Hyatt cut 300 staff and yet demanded the same amount of work. Downsizing ups Hyatt’s profit but creates overworked, stressed employees.

Hyatt’s actions were pure and simple intimidation and greed. It’s immoral to work people like slaves in order to increase profits. If a company can’t be profitable and treat its employees with respect and dignity, it needs to find another line of business.

Rev. Carolyn Martinez


Hotel owners get big bonuses

On July 22, the day of the Waikiki sit-in by Unite Here Local 5, The New York Times reported that Goldman Sachs (the majority stakeholder in the Waikiki Hyatt hotel) is on pace to hand out an average of $544,000 per worker in salary and bonuses, though many could earn several times that amount.

How does that compare with the salary of a hotel worker in expensive Hawaii, at whose expense the investments funds are seeking to maximize their profits?

The goal of these Wall Street firms, such as Goldman Sachs, Cerberus and others who have majority ownership of Waikiki’s major hotels, is not the welfare of our hotel workers, nor that of our city. It is to secure quick and high returns for their investors. In that pursuit they squeeze benefits and wages and reduce the hours of our hotel workers. And by converting hotel rooms to multimillion-dollar residential units, they eliminate hotel jobs.

Their labor practices will inevitably push more and more hotel workers and their families onto the public welfare rolls.

Ursula Retherford


Isle GOP playing by the rules

A reader criticized the Hawaii Republican Party’s "pathetic desperate attempt" to field a Republican for House District 14 after another Republican withdrew to run for state Senate ("Isle GOP plays tricks with system," Letters, July 26).

How soon the reader forgets the shenanigans of 2008.

Now-mayoral candidate Kirk Caldwell withdrew from his state House race and majority leader position to run for Ann Kobayashi’s City Council seat on the last day of filing.

Democrats tried to coerce the Office of Elections into accepting another Democrat for Caldwell’s vacated seat after the 4:30 p.m. filing deadline. This candidate was declared ineligible because her paperwork was incomplete. Nonetheless, per Office of Elections rules, Democrats were given three days to field another candidate—the same number of days Republicans received this year.

What is more "pathetic" and "desperate" are individuals who continue to perpetuate misconceptions about Hawaii Republicans and fight against a balanced, two-party system that would truly benefit Hawaii and its people more than the unbalanced, unchecked government we have today.

Erin Kealoha
Communications director, Hawaii Republican Party


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