Nasa's budget loss is Mauna Kea's gain
Sometimes it takes a fluke in the budgeting process to stop an undesirable intrusion into a protected natural and cultural environment. Fortunately, this has happened to the much-contested proliferation of telescopes on Mauna Kea ("Budget ax looms over telescopes," Star-Bulletin, Feb. 9
Folks outside the astronomy community have said for years that there were enough telescopes on this mountain already, and that there are equally suitable, if not better and less environmentally fragile, sites around the world. All the pleas have been met with deafened scientific ears.
Let's hope this shift in NASA's budget will help the environmental and cultural communities in Hawaii put the lid on development on Mauna Kea. As a scientist who cares, I applaud groups like the Sierra Club and KAHEA for their unending efforts to protect Mauna Kea, and say to my colleagues: "Enough already!"
Raymond L. Chuan
Let's put Akaka Bill on the ballot
Rowena Akana made an excellent point in a letter published Feb. 1
, "Property tax relief should be left to voters." She is correct, of course. It is just one more step in the "chance to be heard" that she requests, to ask that the proposed Akaka Bill be subject to such a requirement.
The current proposition has the federal government imposing the Akaka Bill on Hawaii without asking our voters. We voted for statehood in 1959. Now a separate governing entity, including people and property, is proposed to be carved out of our state with no vote of Hawaii's people. That's even more wrong than the property tax issue.
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
Bottle bill hassle changed buying habits
The "stats" on bottle bill redemption
do NOT include the number of people who just stopped buying beverages in the size containers that require a deposit. Therefore, the numbers are not a reliable indicator of how well the law or the system works. These statistics are meaningless without additional input regarding retail sales figures impacted by the redemption law.
For instance, how did the redemption law change peoples' buying habits regarding small containers requiring a deposit vs. larger containers that do not require a deposit?
Until the state has a reliable redemption program in place, I will purchase beverages only in those containers that do not fall under the redemption law.
The stats only reflect the number of redemptions in relation to the number sold, not any reduction or change in retail sales due to the lack of convenient and reliable redemption.
Many of my neighbors also have stopped purchasing the containers that require redemption or are among the 30 percent who just don't bother.
Job rules discourage former residents, too
It is encouraging to see the Star-Bulletin agree with Gov. Linda Lingle's position that residency should not bar people from applying for positions in the public service ("Lift ban on nonresidents for county, state jobs," Editorial, Feb. 1
In fact, prior to Judge David Ezra's comments, Lingle had already proposed legislation to remove the requirement that job applicants must be residents at the time they apply for a job with the state. This bill (HB 2372 and SB 2335) would still require a person chosen for a job to be a resident at the time they accept.
The governor's proposal addresses the legal questions raised by Judge Ezra. But it does more. It recognizes that former Hawaii residents, many of whom were born here, may want to return now that our economy is doing better. In fact, we encourage former residents to do just that. They should not be barred from consideration just because they had to move away. And it also recognizes that there are other talented individuals who can serve the public well if given the opportunity to apply.
Department of Human Resources Development
It's no hardship to get warrant after the fact
The National Security Agency spying program is unfounded, since the president has the flexibility to wiretap suspected terrorists immediately and get a court order up to three days later. First there was the McCarthy hearings, then it was President Nixon's abuse of power, now President Bush's wiretaps. We know what history says about the former, now it is time to thoroughly and legally analyze President Bush's flagrant abuse of power.