Letters to the Editor

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Monday, March 14, 2005

Urgency missing to warn of tsunami

Regarding "Isle tsunami center is sued over deaths" (Star-Bulletin, March 12):

I can't forget the picture I saw on TV last December of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center worker showing up to work, after being notified of the major earthquake, on his bicycle!

Seems I recall a film depiction of the Dec. 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor bombing with the messenger carrying a warning of possible attack arriving on a bicycle.

Maybe in December 1941 a bike may have been appropriate, but December 2004?

Jay Trennoche
Kapaa, Kauai

Bush budget cuts aid for those in need

With President Bush's budget submitted to Congress, the conservative ideology of "starving the beast" is enjoying its day in the sun. For many years organizations like the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation, influential conservative think tanks, and individuals like Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, have passionately advocated divesting the federal government of its social welfare role.

Within this ideology, deficit spending is acceptable for favored conservative causes (namely defense and, in true trickle-down fashion, corporate and wealthy interests). However, when it comes time to tame the resulting monstrous debt, we are presented with a fabricated dilemma: trim spending by dismantling "the welfare state" or saddle our children and grandchildren with the burden.

Predictably, Bush's current budget puts items like vocational education, housing assistance, Medicaid, student loans, home-heating assistance, child care, community development block grants and food stamps on the federal chopping block. There has to be a more open and honest way of crafting the role of government in our lives.

Patrick DeBusca Jr.

Stories of old Hawaii give valuable insight

Having grown up in New York City and recently moved to Hawaii, stories about old Hawaii provide not only a sense of history, but also beautiful and incredibly valuable moments of nostalgia for me ("Under the Sun," March 9).

I thank columnist Cynthia Oi for providing a backdrop for Hawaii that I would otherwise not know. There is nothing about the recent gray, repetitive and uninspiring development that will ever trump the dramatic green and blue that make these islands invaluable.

I hope that Hawaii's Legislature will try to match that value by setting aside the funding that the land deserves.

In the meantime, I thank Oi for giving context and meaning to our shared legacy, whether keiki o ka aina or malihini.

Maxine Burkett

Statute requires EIS if public money involved

"Officials with Hawaii Superferry Inc. told lawmakers earlier this year that unless the state funds the harbor upgrades, the project would likely sink" (Star-Bulletin, March 10).

Hawaii Revised Statute 343-5(a) says that "Except as otherwise provided, an environ- mental assessment shall be required for actions that: (1) Propose the use of state or county lands or the use of state or county funds."

Clearly, this is a different situation than upgrading facilities for transportation companies in existence before the state adopted the EIS law in 1973.

Henry Curtis
Life of the Land

Hawaii showed aloha to fallen heroes

I was very moved to see the people of Hawaii open their hearts to the families of our Kaneohe Marines and Pearl Harbor Navy corpsman who died in a helicopter crash during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Last Monday's memorial ceremony held in the Capitol Rotunda to honor these brave young men was dignified, eloquent and sincere. I thank the Marines Corps and the state of Hawaii for doing such a wonderful job of accommodating the hundreds of people in attendance, including many grieving family members who traveled from the mainland.

However, I was disappointed that not many Senate Demo-crats attended. Their noticeable absence showed a lack of respect for the men who sacrificed their lives, for their families and to all the men and women serving in our military.

Albert Schafer

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