Honolulu Star-Advertiser

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Letters to the Editor

City safety laws are redundant

If I’m in the crosswalk and the street signal indicates it’s OK to walk and I look at my phone/iPod and get hit by a car, I get the ticket and sue myself for damages? What is the purpose of this law, unless I’m jaywalking and looking at my phone? Do I then get two tickets? Isn’t there a law already about jaywalking? Why do we need two laws? Do the people in favor of this law actually believe it will save lives, considering that the victim was crossing in a crosswalk legally? Doesn’t the City Council have better things to do than passing redundent laws?

This is what it’s about: It’s not the driver’s fault for hitting you while you were obeying the law; it’s your fault for not anticipating them breaking the law and jumping out of the way.

Erik Smith


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Why not ban all reading?

The Honolulu City Council’s Bill 43 banning the use of electronic devices while crossing the street is nothing but a filler. None of the pedestrians were killed or injured to date as a result of using an electronic device while crossing the street.

If it is about public safety, why doesn’t it include people reading the paper copy of a newspaper or a paper book? What’s the difference between this and an electronic device?

We need to take personal responsibility for our actions and be aware of our surroundings, whether it be walking or driving on our roadways.

Steven Loretero

Molokai doesn’t want wind farm

Jay Fidell’s article encourages condemnation of Molokai Ranch lands if the big wind parties fail on an agreed-upon plan ("Governor must ensure wind farm moves forward," Think Tech, Star-Advertiser, May 10).

Recorded public testimony and a recent voting survey revealed residents on Molokai are strongly and overwhelmingly opposed to the idea of developing a 200-megawatt industrial-scale wind farm on 11,000 acres to serve the energy needs of Oahu.

Influenced by community opposition, First Wind did the pono thing and nixed its plans to build an industrial scale wind farm on Hawaiian Homelands.

Shouldn’t the governor agree that the "pono way" is to empower and allow the people of Molokai to ultimately decide the fate of the project?

Kanohowailuku Helm
Hoolehua, Molokai

Diagnoses not a waste of money

The recent commentary by Dr. H. Gilbert Welch is a severe disservice to everyone in the health care industry and the general public ("Too much health care?" Star-Advertiser, May 11). His message is that our health care costs are too high; we have rogue physicians doing tests for money; and that the solutions are more damaging than the progress of disease, so we need to cut back on needless diagnoses.

I thought the work of physicians is prevent debilitating and deadly disease. As in any industry and occupation, we have individuals who are misguided or have excesses in their work, but this can be handled through financial and ethics examinations, not through a public campaign to denigrate and minimize diagnoses and early warning signs. Otherwise, why have any check-ups? All anyone has to do is go to the emergency room for any ailment (by the way needlessly driving up costs).

Paul Mizue

Some seniors OK with paying

A recent column by Richard Borreca indicated that opposition by AARP Hawaii was a major reason why the Legislature failed to pass a bill that would have taxed the pensions of relatively wealthy retirees.

Borreca seemed to indicate that AARP’s position against any tax on pensions was representative of the feelings of older people generally. Not so! Both the Policy Advisory Board for Elder Affairs (PABEA) and the Hawaii Alliance of Retired Americans (HARA) strongly support the principle that retirees with high pension incomes should have some of that income taxed.

PABEA and HARA believe that it is fair to tax that part of pension income above a certain threshold, for persons with large pension incomes. They believe that retirees, like everyone else, must help our state deal with its financial crisis, if they can afford to do so.

Anthony Lenzer
Member, PABEA legislative committee and HARA board of directors

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