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 Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published.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


Campaign sign limits are unconstitutional

The Star-Advertiser’s editorial, "Rein in political campaign signs," (Star-Advertiser, Aug. 18) apparently was not run by your legal staff.

It is a violation of the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech ("Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech") to pass a law telling homeowners that they must abridge their political speech by limiting the size of campaign signs posted on their private property, or limit signs to a 150-day window around an election date.

Shame on all the mayoral candidates for knuckling under to the demands of the Outdoor Circle to abridge these inalienable rights. Shame on the Outdoor Circle for continuing to knowingly push for unconstitutional laws.

If you don’t like huge and numerous campaign signs, the constitutional remedy is simple — circulate a petition, get a lot of signatures on it, and then send copies to the offending candidates telling them that the petitioners won’t vote for them if they don’t show some consideration and voluntarily comply with reasonable limits.

Jim Henshaw


We already know that elected BOE is a failure

Defenders of the status quo in public education want voters to reject the constitutional amendment that would change the state Board of Education from an elected body to one appointed by the governor. They want us to believe the implausible — that an appointed BOE would cause the quality of public education to deteriorate even further than it is now.

The elected BOE has been given more than enough opportunity to prove itself, and it has failed. The only chance to improve our schools is to approve the appointed BOE and to rely on the next governor to name forward-thinking, courageous people to it.

It should be noted that, at this point, no guarantees can be made. The only guarantee is that the continuation of the elected BOE will continue the dismal quality of public education.

John Kawamoto


Hannemann brochure belittled Abercrombie

The defense of Mufi Hanneman’s "Compare and Decide" mail-out by Seanna Peiper-Jordan ("Brochure did not spin facts," Letters, Aug. 19) shows that negative campaigning really does work, but only if the targets of the ads are uninformed or, perhaps, already biased toward Hannemann to believe that its content is true and accurate.

Aside from the blatant appeal to race, its shameless effort to divide the community between locals and all others and belittling my University of Hawaii diploma, Hannemann also failed to fairly list Neil Abercrombie’s significant awards, such as the Truman Award from the National Guard Association of the United States (2009), Lifetime Friends Award by Hawaii’s Friend of Civil Rights (2008), and the Patsy Mink PAC award recognizing his long support of women’s issues.

Hannemann would prefer that his supporters believe that Abercrombie’s sole achievement in his remarkable 20-year congressional career was to win a beard contest. That mind-set poorly reflects on Hannemann’s character and should give the undecided pause.

Francis M. Nakamoto


Economy will suffer if pension funds fail

I read recently that the pension funds could dry up by 2020 in seven states, including Hawaii. An additional 31 more states could be in trouble by 2030.

By 2012 most of the money from the Recovery Act will be gone. States and cities will need to consider how best to resolve the potential significant cutbacks to public services.

We need to elect people who are willing to tackle this difficult situation. We need to look at the core services that the state and city should be providing; everything else is expendable. For instance, do we need a train or so many parks?

Lawson Teshima
Pearl City

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