Let Tam pay as a free man
It is almost impossible to extract restitution from a prisoner behind bars with no source of income. I have noticed of late judges sentencing the accused to probation with an opportunity to make restitution judgments.
I am reminded of a line from Shakespeare’s "The Merchant of Venice": "The quality of mercy is not strain’d, it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath. It is twice blest: It blesseth him that gives and him that takes."
Former Councilman Rod Tam is being sentenced on Aug. 16. I voted for him in the 2010 mayoral race. Let’s give Tam an opportunity to redeem himself as a free man to provide restitution.
Arvid T. Youngquist
Blame Norquist for debt woes
A major factor in the debt limit impasse is the allegiance of many Republicans to Grover Norquist’s philosophy of never raising taxes at any time or for any reason. And Norquist considers even tax expenditures, like tax rebates for hugely profitable oil corporations, to be tax increases.
Many Republicans, having signed Norquist’s so-called "Taxpayer Protection Pledge," feel bound by that no-tax-increases-ever pledge, no matter what the consequences for the country.
I don’t believe we elect our representatives to pledge allegiance to Grover Norquist or any other ideological absolutist; I believe we elect them to be faithful only to the Constitution — and to their country.
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Expand wireless broadband
Washington should take a cue from the new state law reducing red tape for companies who expand high-speed Internet access, which our state desperately needs, as Brysen Poulton pointed out in his commentary ("Hawaii needs satellite broadband service," Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, June 30).
But some innovative new wireless companies get red-lighted by regulators because older wireless companies can’t adapt to the new technology. Case in point: A company called LightSquared wants to bring fast broadband wireless to every Hawaii resident by 2015, but the GPS industry is fighting it because 0.5 percent of its receivers could be affected by LightSquared’s signal — even though the GPS receivers could easily be modernized.
Broadband is no longer optional. It has become essential for workers, businesses and states to compete in the modern global economy. And wireless broadband is rapidly becoming the new standard. Without robust wireless broadband, Hawaii will fall behind.
Analyst, Workforce Development Council, Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations
Sandbar looked like police state
I sailed out to Kaneohe’s recently made-notorious sandbar on the Fourth of July, as I have many times before, and the only difference from the dozens of nice days I’ve enjoyed there before was the attendance of at least seven patrol boats, plus four personal watercraft, staffed by no fewer than 25 law-enforcement types, plus police helicopter fly-bys. It was like a watery police state. Even the young children we had aboard commented on all the police presence.
We did see four armed, uniformed officers retrieve a blue inflatable whale, so I suppose some people got their money’s worth.
Seriously, a patrol car at Heeia Kea pier and one or two boats would have sufficed. The rest looked like holiday overtime pay being milked for all it was worth.
Don’t connect bullying, suicide
Mahalo for providing information about bullying prevention ("Anti-bullying measure awaits governor’s OK," Star-Advertiser, July 3). In addition to describing an awareness-raising event and the anti-bullying House Bill 688, the article explains "bullycide," a concept used to describe suicides completed by teens who had experienced bullying.
While bullying prevention efforts aim to avoid the negative outcomes of bullying, it is not appropriate to make a direct connection between bullying and suicide. There are countless survivors of bullying who have not considered suicide, and it is essential to emphasize this fact as we work to develop resilience in our youth.
I would also like to clarify that Mental Health America of Hawaii provides training about bullying and suicide prevention not only to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender youth, but to all youth, members of faith-based organizations, social service providers, teachers and parents throughout the state. To learn more, call our office at 521-1846.
Mental Health America of Hawaii