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    Kalanianaole Highway in Waimanalo, near where an 11-year-old boy was killed in a traffic incident last month, is a long straightaway that tempts young drivers.

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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 Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published.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-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

Cable package fee is outrageous

In regards to University of Hawaii Athletic Director Jim Donovan’s statement that he has heard only a few complaints about Oceanic Cable’s sports package: Let me join the few, as I find the package outrageous — $500 for a new subscription and only Oceanic customers can purchase it. This is not right for a university supported by taxpayers’ money.

You will have no new fans as we can’t afford it. I can receive Direct TV’s NFL package for less.

Daniel Hurstak


Highway needs calming devices

Isn’t it about time that the state installed traffic-calming devices along Kalanianaole Highway?

The long, inviting stretch between Makapuu and Castle Junction has claimed so many lives in the past 25 years that I have lost count. This stretch is catnip to teenage and/or drunken drivers in the wee hours. It is the only long stretch of relatively straight road in East Oahu. It appears to be safe as pie.

Research now shows that teenagers do not yet have the mature brain development to assess risk. Thus it is futile to expect all young people to resist the temptation of apparent safety along this stretch of road. They see the apparent safety of the road, use their immature judgment and crash. In too many cases, the penalty for an immature brain is the death penalty.

It is past time to install speed bumps, raised traffic dots and traffic circles on this highway. They have been used in other cities and add greatly to the peace of neighborhoods and the safety of residents.

Beverly Kai


Football is rough on the body

I really enjoyed the article on brain injuries ("Brain matters," Star-Advertiser, Aug. 1). It is truly scary to think of the long-term effects playing football will have on us, even for those who stopped after college.

Football is rough on the body. At 39, my knees and shoulders are arthritic and I still suffer the effects of a "stinger" I got in 1991. I prided myself on hitting as hard as I could with the front of my helmet, and my scarred and gouged helmet was a badge of honor.

I am now a father of a soon-to-be 4-year-old boy and I don’t think I ever want him to step on the football field. I still love the game but don’t think it is worth the suffering we do later.

Brandon T. Ito


Group grateful for Helen Altonn

Helen Altonn is retiring? Can it be true?

As director of a local AIDS organization, I want to thank Helen Altonn for her careful and unrelenting coverage of HIV/AIDS and its impact on the people of Hawaii.

Over the years, whenever something was happening locally or nationally that involved HIV/AIDS, I could always count on Helen to be the first (and often the only) reporter to call me and my colleagues for information and comment.

AIDS remains a very real health threat. People in Hawaii continue to become infected with HIV. People continue to die as a result of AIDS.

The big change has been the lessening of emotional urgency associated with the issue in the media. Helen Altonn knew this tragedy was in no way nearing its end and made sure that HIV/AIDS stories received the attention they needed to alert and protect her readers. For that, we are all profoundly grateful.

Paul S. Groesbeck
Executive director, Life Foundation


The point of tax cuts is to boost investment, not consumption

Christina Romer states that tax cuts on "the rich" have failed to stimulate the economy because rich people don’t spend enough of the money saved in taxes ("Tax cuts for the rich?," Star-Advertiser, Aug. 3).

This repeats the oft-argued idea that our national prosperity is linked to high levels of consumer spending. Keynesians go on to argue that lower private sector spending should be made up in recessions by more government spending to "stimulate" the economy.

So all any Third World country need do is spend more money and it will become prosperous?

Tax cuts on higher incomes do stimulate the economy, but chiefly to the extent the money is invested, not spent on consumption. The Bush tax cuts were unfortunately more than offset by increases in federal spending that sucked money out of the private sector.

These policies have deepened and lengthened the recession just as classical economists have predicted. Blaming the rich, the Republicans, "greedy" corporations or consumers who have become reasonably more careful with their money, is nonsense when it comes from people who are working with a fundamentally flawed paradigm of economics.

Tracy Ryan
Oahu chairwoman, Libertarian Party of Hawaii

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