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Article on rail poll was misleading

I found the Hawaii Poll story on the rail system to be misleading ("Concern grows over rail’s cost," Star-Advertiser, May 16).

On the question of whether work should proceed on the system, the pie chart showed a virtual toss-up, especially when you take into consideration the 4.7 percent margin of error.

The subhead misleads by saying, "Most residents surveyed want to see the project completed …"

Finally, to compound the problem, the body of the story says "… about half of Honolulu residents remain in favor of … completing the rail transit system."

If half are in favor, why not just say that about half are against rail?

I think your coverage should have said that the rail question is a toss-up and those against it are not necessarily in the minority. I would like to see more leadership from your newspaper in how this issue is portrayed to our public. The people who just scan the headlines and subheads will not have gotten a clear picture.

Brad Shields
Honolulu

How to write us

The Star-Advertiser welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (~150 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 Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published.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 your area of residence and a daytime telephone number.

Letter form: Online form, click here
E-mail: letters@staradvertiser.com
Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

New OIP director not doing her job

While I believe that Cheryl Kakazu Park has been doing a good job, her position that a ruling by the Office of Information Practices would be "futile" in the case of our governor refusing to list the names of judicial candidates is outrageous.

The governor argues that a previous ruling in 2003 did not set precedence. That being the case, no ruling ever issued by OIP would be precedence.

This indecision flies directly in the face of openness and transparency which our governor so highly touts.

To say that potential candidates would be deterred from applying for a position if they knew their names would be made public, is absurd. Are these attorneys and judges fearful of the limelight in their quest for a position to our highest court? Of course not.

Further, using Park’s logic, the OIP would not render an opinion on any issue if it presented a potential challenge in court.

Daniel Saragosa
Wahiawa

Medical pot policy here is inhumane

David Shapiro’s column on tightening up medical marijuana rules was mean-spirited and ill-informed ("Green on right track to make medicinal pot rules more rigid," Volcanic Ash, Star-Advertiser, May 4).

Rather than our state law being "loosey goosey," we are the only place, besides Vermont, where the program is housed in a law enforcement agency.

And Shapiro’s comparison to California is way off base, since our law is far more tightly written. We should emulate the dispensary systems in Colorado, Rhode Island, and New Mexico, which are stringent and well controlled.

Doctors are appropriately the gatekeepers for determining what conditions warrant use of marijuana. We also deplore the out-of-state physicians looking to cash in. But they’re coming to Hawaii because most local physicians are intimidated by a program run by the Narcotics Enforcement Division.

Right now, despite an 11-year-old law, patients must obtain their marijuana on the black market. This is dangerous, inhumane and inconsistent with the compassionate intent of the law. Surely this cannot be what Mr. Shapiro intends?

Pamela G. Lichty
President, Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii

9/11 terror victims did not get any trial

I have read all the bleeding-heart comments by readers about Osama bin Laden’s death "without trial."

Fine. When was the trial for all the people in the World Trade Center?

Please realize, folks, that given a chance, your innocent fellow would have liked nothing better than for all Americans to be dead.

No trial, no justice.

John Burke
Waianae

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