Your Views for December 29

‘Off the mark’

Mr. Robert Yamada’s letter to the editor (Tribune-Herald, Dec. 25), which commended ex-Mayor Harry Kim for his service and support of the Thirty Meter Telescope protesters, was off the mark.

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Mayor Kim’s actions during the TMT protests largely sided with the protesters.

He promised to let the protesters know in advance of any law enforcement action on Maunakea, and instructed the county highways division to grade a pad for the protesters’ sole use.

This not only violated state environmental protection laws, but also inappropriately used taxpayer-funded resources and manpower to benefit one group.

I’m pleased that the county Board of Ethics found ex-Mayor Kim guilty of ethics violations in this matter. It was a symbolic ruling, since the decision occurred after his term ended, but it is warning to future mayors not to act this way.

Aaron Stene

Kailua-Kona

Gambling is freedom

There is talk that Hawaii might be getting legalized gambling. That’s great news because it’s a bright light for individual freedom.

There are those people who bemoan the fact that “it will do irreparable harm to the community!”

How so? Perhaps more harm than a drunk driver maiming (or, worse yet, killing) an innocent bystander?

Think about this when, and if, you’re grieving over the loss of a loved one who was struck and killed by a driver who was impaired.

And exactly how will gambling impact me? I think that to gamble is just another way of throwing away your money. As for me, I’ll pass on gambling and let a few others reap the unlimited rewards of participating in games of chance, or maybe those innumerable others who lost their funds for the small chance of winning big.

These situations are best left to the willing participants.

I get real pleasure in seeing someone wearing an article of clothing depicting that they “hit it big in Las Vegas.” Yet, how many shirts does one see proclaiming they lost all their savings (and then some) at a casino?

I believe that to gamble is an individual freedom best left without the interference of government that should be enjoyed by all who want to partake. And it is best left to the individual to decide.

Michael L. Last

Naalehu

DUI deterrent

A recent letter suggested that more severe punishments for those convicted of DUI might result in fewer such cases and resultant accidents.

I believe if the law required the vehicle driven by someone convicted of DUI be seized and destroyed, the number of DUIs would drop dramatically.

Those people who graciously lend a vehicle to a possible DUI offender would be loathe to do so if they knew there was a chance their vehicle would be subject to destruction.

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Harry C. Davis

Keaau

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