Sunday, September 30, 2001
HOPES AND WORRIES OVER ECONOMY
Hawaii -- resilient, brave and full of aloha My mother called from the mainland and said, "I just saw your governor on the news. He was so depressing -- spouting off so much doom and gloom -- no one would want to go there. Tell him to lighten up."
She suggested that rather than complain, he should tell everyone of the beautiful beaches, the safe environment, the high military presence, the chance for respite, our safe haven for rest and relaxation to stay strong for the long fight, and our positive spirit.
Now is the time for those in power to recognize the power they really have. There is nothing as indomitable as the human spirit when rallied for a positive cause. And nothing more lethal than helplessness, pessimism and giving up.
Hawaii has a legacy of resiliency, courage and strength in the face of violent attack. We can hold that -- and ourselves -- up as an example to the rest of the nation. That given the choice to react in fear or respond in courage, we chose bravery, optimism and the power of aloha to overcome the forces of evil and fear. And we can invite the world to come share that choice with us.
First let's ease the fear of flyingAll the rhetoric coming out of the people in the hierarchy of government and the tourist industry which proposed freebies and discount prices after the tourists arrive here is not the answer to the problem. The fear of flying is the problem and we should address it.
Our company had plans to greet the tourists with free leis at the airport to support the state's effort to bolster the economy; however, when the tourists don't arrive, the gesture is innocuous.
Marketing pros should take message to JapanWhat makes Governor Cayetano think that he is the best person to go to Japan and persuade them to vacation in Hawaii? We already have a convention center that sits idle because of the lack of qualified people in charge of the bookings. Now we are going to send a politician to do a job best handled by skilled marketing professionals. And the taxpayers, are footing the bill.
All I can say is thank goodness he can't run for another term. Maybe the election will result in having someone in office who truly looks out for our best interests and insures that qualified personnel are put into the proper positions to do the best for the state.
We're flying home and won't be afraidI grew up in Aina Haina. My mother grew up on the plantation in Lahaina. Grandpa and Grandma both grew up on the Big Island. I haven't done much to contribute to the world, so far: I am a homemaker in Kobe, Japan, with two little boys -- I don't even teach English.
But this much I CAN do: We usually manage to come home to Hawaii once a year, in the summer. This year we are coming home for Christmas, too. On the airplane. Definitely.
When we get here, I am going shopping for Christmas presents and omiyage and local stuff to take back, although I hate crowds and I hate shopping, even for groceries. We will talk with Santa or his helpers. We will go "someplace" and pay full price because we can no longer pay kamaaina rates. But we will go anyway.
It is good for the airlines. It is good for the economy. It is good for Grandpa and the folks. It is good for me and for my sons. I will not be made afraid; I refuse to be terrorized.
Ann Masae Azuma
Rent holiday would help small businessesThere has been much talk about pulling together and fighting the effects of the Sept. 11 attack. Perhaps I can make a suggestion to those who rent business space in Hawaii, and particularly in Waikiki: Consider giving your tenants a rent holiday or reduction.
I recently visited the kiosks in Duke's Lane and the International Marketplace. The shopkeepers pay $1,600 per month and more to rent their little carts. Right now, their revenues are somewhere around $100 per day, from which they must pay rent, provide for their families and replenish stock.
It will do no good for landlords in the long run, if we have a massive failure of small businesses. It will only mean another victory for Osama bin Laden and his kind. Landlords, please show your patriotism right here at home, where it counts, by cutting your tenants whatever break you can afford.
Local businesses are suddenly so friendlyAfter the tragedy of Sept. 11, tourist trade all but died in Hawaii. Now businesses have banded together with commercials about supporting local businesses and hotels.
When the tourist trade was booming, very few big businesses gave a thought to the local resident, much like Liberty House. In fact, while visiting Waikiki, my wife and I felt rather like second-class citizens when entering numerous stores along Kalakaua and not even receiving a greeting. Because my wife is a local Asian, when we were greeted in Japanese and my wife started speaking English, the salesperson would suddenly disappear.
Now, they are literally begging for local residents to support their businesses. Well, that's all well and good, except these same businesses won't hesitate to start handing out pick slips to their loyal employees -- all to keep their profit margins high and their stock holders happy.
Do they really believe that a local resident buy a new washer and dryer on credit, not knowing if the next week, he'll be laid off?
I believe everyone should bite the bullet during this time of downturn. Big businesses could start by letting their stockholders know that they will be reducing profits to maintain their employees. CEOs, presidents, and chairman of the board should reduce salaries to help keep loyal employees.
It's the same old story. They want us to give, give, give, and all they do in return is take, take, take. The spirit of big business is alive and well and doing business as usual in Hawaii.
John L. Shupe
"There's a certain amount of anxiety on how long this is going to take and what is going to happen next. However, you get used to it after a while since that's what it means to be in the Guard." Capt. Chris Faurot
Hawaii Air National Guard F-15 pilot, who was in the air protecting Hawaii skies after the Sept. 11 terrorist hijacking attacks. Pacific Forces commander Adm. Dennis Blair now has the authority to order civilian aircraft to be shot down if they pose a terrorist threat to the islands.
"To me, everywhere is good. Everybody is close. Everybody watches each other. Nothing like this ever happened ... Now I can't even trust my neighbors anymore." George Tadeo
Big Island resident, on the murder of his 6-year-old daughter Kauilani, whose body was found in a vacant house Thursday night a block from her home.
Trade bowl games with New OrleansNeed something to help Hawaii's economy?
Since New Orleans is having a hard time rescheduling the Super Bowl, how about Governor Ben offering to have the game played here and the Pro Bowl in New Orleans this year.
That would be something that can attract people with money back to Hawaii.
We moved too slow on bin LadenI am a Japanese-American citizen by birth, born in 1915 and very proud of it. We lived through the depression and World War II. At age 86 I might not see the end of this attack but I am very confident we will win. I want the whole nation to do whatever each of us can do to help America.
On Dec. 7, 1941 I was married with two children. I remember the gas mask my children had to carry and the radio constantly asking for blood. The first week of war, without telling anyone, I donated blood. I weighed only 92 pounds. That's when I found out my blood type was AB. I don't think my children know about it; 60 years having passed by.
Now, at age 85, I hear the call for blood, and again my mind is saying go, but my body is saying "too old." I still feel, in my small way, that I want to help.
My biggest question is why the No. 1 nation in the world cannot smoke out Osama bin Laden. For years, our FBI and intelligence people knew where he was and that he was the mastermind behind terrorism. President Bush is saying dead or alive NOW! How come they didn't do anything THEN?
Betty K. Swenaga
This is no time to change anthemI was wondering when someone would suggest we get rid of the "Star-Spangled Banner," as Keith Haugen did.
My main argument in favor of keeping the "Star Spangled Banner" is tradition. Each time we hear the "Star-Spangled Banner" we recall the millions of Americans who also claimed that tune as theirs.
Over the years, my mind would wander during the anthem and I would think of soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen standing and saluting at Gettysburg, Belleau Wood, Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Bastogne, Beirut, Hue and Kuwait City. It is reassuring to know that Col. Joshua Chamberlain of the 20th Maine Infantry Regiment likely felt much as I did when he heard the "Star-Spangled Banner" played. On the second day of the battle of Gettysburg, Chamberlain's regiment was stationed on the extreme left of the Union line. His troops withheld several assaults, but ran out of ammunition. Chamberlain ordered his men to fix bayonets and charge. The approaching Confederate troops fled and the Union line held. Chamberlain received the Medal of Honor for his actions that day.
It is neither fitting nor proper that we abandon the "Star Spangled Banner." That song, like our Constitution, has withstood the test of time. And like our flag, it is a symbol of our country. This is not the time to give up our values, our principles, or our symbols.
Let pilots defend their airplanesAs a retired airline pilot and former Marine Corps and Hawaii Air National Guard fighter pilot, I take exception to your editorial comment that "pilots already have plenty to occupy their attention ... than to fend off terrorist with firearms."
Remember that foremost in any airline pilot's mind is the safety of his passengers, let alone the new reality that his aircraft is now feared as a missile of death. If the possibility exists that a terrorist intrusion into the cockpit will be met with lethal force, many things are achieved. For the hijacker it is another barrier he must consider to complete his mission. For the pilot he is allowed the means to maintain control of his cockpit and aircraft, his primary duty. For the passenger he may gain some sense of comfort that a survivable last line of defense exists.
If you weigh the option to arm pilots against the already authorized decree to shoot down suspect errant airliners, I think the flying public would prefer the pilots be given a chance to defend themselves and their passengers from certain death.
The qualification program should be voluntary and at no expense to the airline and at limited cost to the government. The pilots would submit to extensive background checks, psychological testing and successful completion of air marshal firearms training. Qual- ification should be rigorous.
To categorically deny this option is foolish. Whether one, 100 or a 1,000 pilots actually become qualified to carry weapons on board their aircraft is not important. What is important is that when you inform the public that a select number of pilots will be armed, you instill another level of confidence for the passenger that all means are being considered for their ultimate safety and you also provide another viable deterrent to potential hijackers.
The message that "unauthorized entrance into the cockpit will be met with lethal force" should be supported by the FAA, media and printed on the cockpit door.
Burgess insulted patriotic WaianaeRegarding Hayden Burgess' decision not to show the United States flag at the Waianae Comprehensive Health Center:
I am a resident of the Waianae community, my ancestors have been in Waianae for generations. How dare Burgess comment for the people of Waianae. I'm appalled and know many people that share my anger.
Along with my son, who is in the Marines, Waianae has many who have served or serving in the military services. We are Americans, and I am proud to be an American!
All Americans should have the right to fly our American flag anywhere on American soil ... especially a federally assisted place of business.
Hayden Burgess does not speak for the people of Waianae!
Our civil liberties make us who we areToday, as in other times of crisis and hysteria in our nation's history, constitutional rights and freedoms are at risk.
We see the Bush administration expanding the government's right to wiretap residences and detain people; dark-skinned males are removed from airplanes with no proper cause.
If American freedoms are diminished or lost in the days ahead, the terrorists will have won their greatest victory.
Noel Jacob Kent
Americans represent hope for the worldSo now war is waged against us on our own soil. Our brothers and sisters in arms are preparing to defend our nation and strike back against this enemy abroad while our police-officer neighbors and FBI agents try to protect us from the enemy in our midst.
We know precious little about this enemy. What does this mean? For starters, if our government needs to keep secret what it learns about the enemy's operations and our countermeasures so be it. Loose lips sink ships.
And we citizens can no longer afford to overlook suspicious activity on the part of others because we don't want to be thought of as intolerant. None of us want to see another life sacrificed because somebody neglected to raise a red flag.
Hopefully, the events of Sept. 11 will spur the people of the world and especially those in the Middle East to re-examine their hatred and pressure their leaders to restart the peace process.
This would go a long way toward drying up the fertile fields from whence terrorists reap their recruits. As most religions will tell you, peace on earth is not achievable by mankind's actions alone. There will always be evil in the world trying to divide mankind and make us give up in despair. In this endeavor it will ultimately fail.
My favorite president called America "the last great hope of man on Earth." At this dark hour in history, I believe this is our role as individuals and as a nation: to reach out to our brothers and sisters and face adversity with courage; to resume the struggle anew after every setback, and there will be many; to never lose hope even in the face of unspeakable evil.
This we will do. Let us begin.
President's speech will make historyNot everything that is written for President Bush is memorable, and certainly not everything President Bush says is worth remembering, but I believe future textbooks will show that, like President Lincoln's Gettysburg address, George W. Bush's address at the Washington National Cathedral will stand the test of time.
Love begets love; retaliation hateRetaliation? Only by love is love awakened.
U.S. should quit the United NationsPresident Bush gave one of the greatest speeches in the history of the country when he announced to the world that the "terrorist" organization of al-Qaida has declared war on the terrorists. President Bush has demanded the complete surrender of Osama bin Laden and all his cohorts by the Taliban regime.
The best thing President Bush did in his speech was to completely ignore the U.N. Apparently the United States has finally come to the conclusion that the U.N. is "not friendly" to the United States.
Now is the opportunity for the United States to quit the United Nations. The next logical step is to inform the U.N. that it must now move its headquarters elsewhere.
Let us not forget that U.N. ambassadors have "diplomatic immunity" and are not subject to U.S. law. The terrorists of the world have declared war on the United States, so it is only prudent that we shut down the U.N. building. God Bless America.
Robert M. Lowe
Isles missed chance to show supportCBS Television has showed highlights of the Aloha Week Parade for 30 years on Thanksgiving Day through the efforts of CBS Executive Producer Michael Gargiulo. He has single-handedly supported Hawaii and the Aloha Week Parade all these years only because he loves Hawaii.
After the tragedy of Sept. 11, Gargiulo had asked repeatedly whether the parade would be canceled. He was assured that it wouldn't be. It wasn't until Friday afternoon, less than 24 hours before the parade was to start, that Aloha Festivals decided to cancel the parade.
As Gargiulo had spent considerable time and money already, he was not happy with the late decision. He perfectly understands why it was canceled but said that it should have been canceled days before, not less than 24 hours before the event.
He didn't care about himself or CBS. He felt that the decision to cancel would hurt the Aloha Festivals in the future. Hawaii blew it because the Aloha Festivals should have converted the parade into a show of support for the New York police and fire departments, rescue workers, emergency crews and the military. It could have been a Red Cross drive, a patriotic rally, and a show of support to those that continue to do their jobs and risk their lives for us.
What a fine example it would have set, that Hawaii -- so far away -- was the first in the nation to show our support. Veterans, military bands, ROTC marching units, senior groups, schools, displays of patriotism, all could have been seen across America.
With Pearl Harbor as a reference, we should have done something. We would have made positive news. We could have been the first; instead we did nothing. Will CBS come back? We don't know. We missed our chance, again.
National Mobile Television-Hawaii
Americans must be united and patientI must say that I have been ashamed of the letters laying blame or wanting a "quick fix" to this terrible and horrendous act of evil on Sept. 11.
As a life-long local of Honolulu, I feel if anyone should be tolerant of each others differences it should be the people of Hawaii. Wasn't it us who suffered through the events of Dec. 7, 1941 and the terrible outcomes of innocent Americans of Asian descent being put in camps simply for their ethnic background?
We should not condemn all Middle Easterners for the wrongs of a few. Remember we are the United States of America. Allowing difference and believing in tolerance, isn't that what we stand for?
Do not get me wrong, I too, would like justice to prevail. I believe that the president of the United States is doing what needs to be done to achieve this outcome.
Stand tall, Americans; love those you care about today -- for no one promised us a tomorrow.
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