Don't let military expand at Pohakuloa
The U.S. military is proposing to expand by 23,000 acres the Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island ("Stryker plans include Big Isle upgrade," Star-Bulletin, July17). Pohakuloa already includes 108,000 acres located in the Saddle area of the sacred mountains of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. Residents and tourists are regularly subjected to the danger of live artillery rounds fired across Saddle Road and the entire Saddle area has been desecrated by bombing and unexploded ordnance.
No one I know is in favor of an expanded military training area on the Big Island and in fact most, including myself, would like a greatly reduced military presence here. Militarism is the opposite of aloha.
As a resident of the Big Island, I would like to make a counter-proposal for the military to clean up, not enlarge, the dangerous ordnance dump it has created in the heart of our island.
Government running uphill on empty
Top-heavy Hawaii, balancing precariously on the spindly legs of its taxpayers, is ready to topple over. The public is constantly after the Department of Education to eliminate state-level administrative jobs and replace them with local-level teaching positions. University of Hawaii's President Evan Dobelle is being chastised for increasing administrative positions and salaries while many faculty members and programs go wanting. Taxpayers are asked to keep on subsidizing Hawaii's full-grown visitor industry and its marketing agencies while industry insiders divvy up self-serving executive positions and contracts.
Only UH football coach June Jones appears to understand that outrageous salaries demand superlative results. And apparently no one understands that Hawaii's local and state governments are running on the fumes of their promissory notes.
Richard Y. Will
Voters, don't forget Democrats' pandering
When the time comes to vote next year, I hope the people remember the shibai that the legislators just pulled on us. Two years ago, this very same group changed the law giving the unions the right to strike and discontinued binding arbitration. Yet they would now have us believe the Hawaii Government Employees Association should have binding arbitration restored. Does anyone truly believe this was done for any reason other than to garner the union vote in the next election?
Chita Caindec Stewart
Bus didn't move until horseshoe was kissed
Bringing up the story of Iolani's horseshoe that belonged to the racehorse Seabiscuit ("Iolani's lucky charm," Star-Bulletin, July 16) is a reminder of my days as an Iolani student and playing for Father Bray's 1950 Interscholastic Championship football team. Not only were the players, team managers and Father Bray required to kiss the horseshoe but so too was the bus driver. I recall on one of the trips to Honolulu Stadium when the horseshoe was passed around for appropriate "benedictions" when Father Bray took the horseshoe for the bus driver to kiss. The poor driver did not understand the ritual and started to laugh.
Father Bray, in a stern and loud voice, told the driver to take the horseshoe in both hands and kiss it. The bus driver, of course, was only too eager to comply. Yes, we won that game.
Robert K.L. Kam
San Jose, Calif.
Public should demand answers from Bush
I was delighted to see the letters in your July 1 publication by Brian Daniel ("Bush had 3 bad reasons to attack Iraq") and C.W. Griffin ("Wolfowitz wrong man to guide foreign policy").
Both letter writers impressed me as clear thinkers who are able to formulate perceptive opinions. Their opinions are clearly above the daily dose of Washington rhetoric dished out to a vulnerable public. America is indeed the better for having such citizens who can rise above the fray and hold our elected leaders accountable for their actions.
In this instance, without the discovery of WMD, the reasons for invading Iraq are increasingly bordering on outright deception. The more frequent the administration's public pronouncements on reasons other than WMD for invading Iraq, the less confidence I sense they exude in the discovery of such weapons.
Iraq's possession of WMD, we were told, threatened the very security of the United States. This was most convincing in the aftermath of 9/11, which in turn, we are now aware absolves Iraq.
Perhaps the Europeans, mainly the British, may help us through this potential web of deceit. They seem to have the freedom and the will to more openly confront their prime minister for what appears to them to have been a grand deception over the Iraq invasion, in concert with the United States.
Whatever the outcome, I firmly believe the American public needs to know the truth of the matter before the next election rolls around.
Larry T. Hayashida
We need more families like the Takeifangas
I was so moved by your story on the Takeifanga Family ("Parents' effort gives Kuhio Elementary new play gear," Star-Bulletin, July 13). They exemplify what life is all about-- not just here in Hawaii but all over.
Growing up we never waited for someone else to help with projects or expected anyone else to do them.
I remember my parents "rallying the troops" and we all gathered together and got a job done.
If we had more families like the Takeifangas in Hawaii maybe the city and the state wouldn't be broke, cutting budgets left and right, and our playgrounds, schools and parks would be top-notch.
Great job, Takeifangas! Maybe more folks can learn from your shining example.
Hawaii needs good, low-cost air carrier
This letter to the editor is my open invitation for Southwest Airlines to come to Hawaii with its lower fares and efficiency.
The two major interisland airlines in Hawaii offer no kamaaina rates, have been bailed out by the state and their new high rates hurt locals who want to go off island. It's their bottom line, not ours, that is of interest to them.
A bit of good competition would be good for them ... and they might even learn how to run an airline following the lead of Southwest.
So bring on Southwest with its $39 fares and watch interisland travel boom!