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Letters to the Editor

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Waikiki boulevard stinks like a bathroom

I walk the boulevard along Kuhio Beach most mornings and use the beaches to swim in the afternoons. Since the bathrooms are locked all night, those who need to urinate and defecate use the bushes along the sidewalk and beach.

The good news is we don’t have to maintain the bathrooms during the evenings. Of course, the bad news is that the beach from the Duke Kahanamoku statue to the zoo smells like a bathroom.

I’m sure it makes a lasting impact on the tourists we want to return here. It is unacceptable and a serious health hazard.

Bill Maxson
Waikiki

End fight for crumbs by taxing corporations

An article in your Tuesday edition stated that "several senators said they are hearing from constituents that lawmakers should cut or reduce state programs before considering new tax increases" ("Panel wants promise kept," Star-Advertiser, March 29).

Why should this be, when corporations make huge profits without paying their fair share — both nationwide and locally as well?

These state programs that are under attack support our children’s educations, the health and well-being of our families and elderly, and the protection of our environmental resources. They attempt to make up for the huge gaps in social welfare when corporations making tons of profit leave working families struggling to get by.

While some programs can be restructured, many of them are functioning at a minimal level and are not even supported enough to fill the actual need for services.

General Electric recently made billions in profits in the U.S. and paid no taxes on any of it.

We need to stop arguing over cutting up crumbs and take a courageous stand against corporate tax exemptions and loopholes.

Alicia Yang
Honolulu

Article on Wikileaks was seriously confused

Jaron Lanier’s commentary is as confusing as it is misapplied ("Keeping secrets from Wikileaks," Star-Advertiser, Insight, March 29).

Lanier conflates Wikileaks, Facebook, Che Guevara and Fidel Castro.

What?

The utter nonsense of Julian Assange coming out of the jungle and becoming a dictator and somehow impinging our rights of privacy is illogical and bizarre.

Mr. Lanier fails to make two obvious points: that Facebook played an integral role in the democratization of Egypt and that lies exposed by revealing the truth are a necessary ingredient to the hopes of a free democratic society.

Frank T. Lockwood
Kailua

Waikiki could benefit from a peace museum

What is needed in Waikiki is not Richard Borreca’s casino ("Waikiki casino could help relieve pressure to tax other resources," Star-Advertiser, March 29), but a Hawaii Aloha East-West Peace Museum.

It would share Hawaii’s own story combined with those from the Asia-Pacific and the world. The Peace Museum would educate and contribute to the quality of life in these blessed islands and the world for generations to come.

With future visitors to Hawaii expected to exceed 10 million annually, the museum should be able, for a modest entrance fee, to sustain itself in the nonprofit world and benefit its for-profit partners. As Dole Co. president Herb Cornuelle testified at a Sparky Matsunaga hearing in Honolulu for a U.S. Academy of Peace: "Peace is good for business."

Glenn D. Paige
Tantalus

Gambling not solution to Hawaii’s problems

Legalizing poker would be the beginning of legalizing gambling.

Some years ago I was in Winnipeg, Canada, where they had a conference on how to pay for the unexpected effects of legal gambling. They had set aside 6 percent of the profits to deal with addiction and other social problems, but had found that they would need at least 15 percent to treat addiction, support increased welfare rolls and pay for augmented policing.

Prior to then, people there had to fly or drive to the U.S. in order to gamble. Now people who couldn’t afford to travel could gamble at will. Welfare applications were up. A once very safe city was beginning to have more theft and even organized crime.

Nevada and New Jersey, two states with major gambling industries, are among the top three states with budgetary shortfalls, 32 percent and 26 percent, respectively.

Clearly gambling is not a solution to Hawaii’s budgetary problems.

Caroline Oda
Honolulu

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