Letters to the Editor

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Mesa Air could have unintended effect here

Contrary to what Aloha and Hawaiian Airlines say, I do believe Mesa Air will have an immediate impact on the interisland market. Mesa already has code-share agreements with America West Express; United Express; US Airways Express; and Delta Connection (starting next month).

With the recent merger of America West and US Airways, I'm sure Mesa will get their passengers once America West begins to fly to Hawaii again. I wonder if America West will seek to terminate its code-share agreement with Hawaiian Air once this takes place? Just wondering.

Gary Hisaoka

We're not saving, so let's fix this mess

The gas cap is a bigger blunder than the traffic cam. The weekend's TV news reported that since the start of the nation's only gas cap, Hawaii's gas price has risen 28 cents while the nation's has dropped 18 cents.

Where is the 40 cents per gallon savings we were promised? This is exactly what experts had predicted from the beginning. Tell me, why did our legislators ignore them? Is this their idea of "fair gas cap"? And why doesn't Governor Lingle do something? And tell me, when are legislators going to fix the mess they made? Why, why, why? When, when, when?

Shonn Hirota

Just use president's simple solution

The suggestion by President Bush that the way to save gas is to drive less (Star-Bulletin, Sept. 26) should be taken to all our hearts.

His opposition to legislation for more fuel-efficient cars has nothing to do with the current rapid rise in gas prices; nor does his involvement in a war that sees the daily destruction of oil fields; nor does his association with oil executives who are reaping an enormous profit from every move upwards in gas prices.

Nope, it's not his fault. Just drive less, and that will solve the problem.

John A. Broussard
Kamuela, Hawaii

Even in death, wealthy can't let go their greed

Greedy, greedy, greedy. This seems to be the mindset of those wealthy enough to have the estate tax applied to them after they die (those with estates worth more than $1.5 million). It also seems to be the mindset of the Republicans, who wish to ram through legislation that will deny our federal coffers billions of dollars. Yes, please take more money away from our national resources, especially now that we are trying to rebuild after hurricane season, and are trying to diminish a rising national debt.

Let me shed a tear for you and your well-invested money while we ponder how we will ever own a home in Hawaii instead of getting soaked by rent every month. Let me shed a tear while we worry about trying to save money while paying our rent and utilities. Let me shed a tear for you while we worry about what would happen if catastrophic events struck our islands.

So yes, thank you for contributing what our country has determined you owe to it for enabling you to become incredibly successful. Please don't forget about the other 98 percent of citizens to whom the estate tax does not apply.

Alissa Schneider

UH-West campus could solve problems

It isn't often a few political decisions could be made simultaneously, merging private, city, state and several kinds of federal monies to address five major problems at once. We have such an opportunity now.

These issues include increasing jobs in the second city of Kapolei, reducing traffic jams (especially on University of Hawaii game days) and maximizing the benefit of mass transit, addressing long-term stadium needs for UH and Oahu events, providing additional hurricane shelter capability and adding college educational opportunities for the Ewa Plain.

The plan would be to move forward with the construction of the UH-West Oahu campus, with a 60,000-seat reinforced stadium with ample parking, several automobile access entries and a connection to the light-rail system. All campus buildings and the stadium would be constructed to maximize the emergency shelter capabilities. The stadium could include corporate sky-boxes and other amenities that would benefit UH and the NFL during the Pro Bowl.

Perhaps the moons have aligned for just such a grand step forward.

Kent Youel

Endangered species are threatened by House measure

On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on the Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act (HR 3824). Despite its title, the bill would gut the Endangered Species Act. The honu, silversword, and nene are a few of the many species that could lose ground if the bill passes.

» HR 3824 eliminates critical habitat protections. Experience in Hawaii and elsewhere has shown that one of the most effective ways to protect and recover endangered species is to protect the places where they live. Rather than eliminate protection for essential recovery habitat, Congress should require the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service to eliminate the listing and critical habitat backlog and provide the necessary funding to do so.

» HR 3824 undermines the scientific validity of recovery plans by stacking recovery teams with industry representatives and others who have a direct interest in the economic and social impacts of recovering endangered species.

» HR 3824 repeals all ESA provisions that protect endangered species from the harmful effects of pesticides. Pesticides are implicated in the decline of an array of species including sea turtles and Pacific salmon.

» HR 3824 ignores the importance of scientific modeling and creates a new set of hurdles scientists must surmount to list and recover endangered species.

» HR 3824 allows the administration to exempt categories of federal agency actions from the requirement to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service before actions are taken that could undermine the survival or recovery of endangered species.

» HR 3824 requires the federal government to use taxpayer dollars to pay developers and corporations for complying with the ESA's prohibition on killing or injuring listed species, and sets no limits on these payments. This provision would quickly drain funding needed to recover endangered species. We should not pay developers to follow the law.

» HR 3824 places endangered species at risk whenever the federal government fails to meet a 180-day deadline for telling developers whether their actions would harm or kill endangered species. If the government misses the deadline -- no matter what the reason -- developers are permanently exempted from the ESA.

As a member of the House Resources Committee, Rep. Neil Abercrombie voted for HR 3824 last week. We hope citizens will express their concerns about the bill and that he will reverse his position. We urge both Abercrombie and Rep. Ed Case to oppose the bill on Thursday.

Those who signed this letter are listed below.

Hannah Bernard
President, Hawaii Wildlife Fund

Dr. Charles Burrows
President, Ahahui Malama I ka Lokahi

Moira Chapin
Hawaii field organizer, U.S. PIRG

Henry Curtis
Executive director, Life of the Land

David Henkin
Staff attorney, Earthjustice

Matt Little
Hawaii representative, National Wildlife Federation

Jeff Mikulina
Director, Sierra Club, Hawaii Chapter

Dr. Steven Lee Montgomery
Treasurer, Hawaii Coalition of Conservation Voters

Linda Paul
Executive director, Aquatics, Hawaii Audubon Society

Cha Smith
Executive director, KAHEA: The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance

Ellyn Tong
Outreach coordinator, Pacific Fisheries Coalition

Don White
President, Earthtrust

Sharon Sue White
President, Greenpeace Foundation

Donna Wong
Executive director, Hawaii's Thousand Friends

Marjorie Ziegler
Executive director, Conservation Council for Hawaii

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