Lingle stepped up after dam tragedy
I've been paying close attention to the daily unfolding events of the Ka Loko Dam tragedy
and I must say, though some might think it brought to light certain deficiencies of "government," I think it highlighted the efficiencies of the current administration.
I was impressed to read how quickly and effectively the governor took control of the situation. She wasted no time in signing an emergency proclamation, coordinating efforts with her various department heads, reaching out to the Kauai community in a town hall meeting and getting engineers on the ground to inspect every one of Kauai's reservoir dams.
Her honesty and openness about the situation has been refreshing, compared to the "blame game" that so many politicians engage in. And she has remained focused on real priorities, like helping those who have suffered from the flooding, repairing damaged roads and infrastructure and working to prevent future dam breaches.
Instead of pointing fingers, I want to give a hand to Governor Lingle for showing true leadership.
Yes, Hannemann does communicate well
I'm still not sure what was the point of Jason Kokaaina's March 17 letter
about the Hannemann administration's excellent press relations and communications skills.
The Hannemann administration hit the ground running and is much more pro-active than the previous administration. The Harris administration had no press secretary. Mayor Hannemann realized this was a shortcoming and created the position in his administration, and, to a reporter, the press is pleased with our timely and open responses to their inquiries. They express their appreciation for the facts and information our press releases contain.
In addition, the mayor is quick to share credit with community groups, City Council members and the business community in his releases and press conferences. He views Council members as co-leaders of city government and has included them in more public announcements and press conferences than his predecessor ever did. He also has championed the benefits of public-private partnerships and believes the public should be made aware of the good deeds Honolulu's business and nonprofit communities bring to the table for the city's benefit.
An accurately informed citizenry is what makes democracy work best, and we in the Hannemann administration are proud to do our part toward that worthwhile end.
Press secretary to Mayor Hannemann
Dinna ye fall for that smoking ban nonsense
The following is a quote from your March 22 editorial
on smoking bans: "Concerns that smoking bans would cause a drop in customers have proven unfounded. Even in Ireland, where the ban took effect in pubs two years ago, revenues have increased."
Here is a quote from Tadg O'Sullivan, chief executive of the Vintners Association of Ireland: "The smoking ban has been an absolute disaster for the pub and hospitality industry. We have lost 600 pubs and around 12,000 jobs in the sector have disappeared. We also have health professionals voicing concerns about hospital admissions from alcohol-related problems as a consequence of the uncontrolled environment of home drinking."
Never mind, just so long as revenues have increased!
Poor Filipinos unfairly labeled 'terrorists'
I recently returned from the Philippines. We are involved in an adopt-a-classroom project in a high school in the province of Bataan. So far, we provided two tables, eight chairs, a clock, books, maps and a globe of the Earth to the library. While there I contemplated the poverty in the Philippines. In the Sulus, south of Mindanao, 88.8 percent of the people live on less than $1 a day; in Mindanao, 63.2 percent live on less than $1 a day; and in most of the rest of the country this level of poverty is at least 30 percent.
The reaction against this poverty spawns organizations like the New Peoples Army, Abu Sayeff and so-called communists. These are the names of the poor in desperation fighting a system that keeps them in poverty. The United States labels them as terrorists.
I would like all those fat cats in Congress and the White House to be forced to live on less than $1 a day for a year and I'll bet there would be an organized violent reaction that then we could also label as terrorism.
This is not a war against terrorists. It is a war by the rich against the desperately poor. Aristotle said, "There will always be a war between the rich and the poor," so don't call them terrorists.
Abortion works for self-centered women
Lois Raynor (Letters, March 19
) is correct in her assertion that celibacy and sterilization are some methods of preventing unwanted pregnancies; there are a few other approved methods also. Abortion is not one of them. Abortion is the destruction (read: murder) of a human being, otherwise known as a nondescript fetus by the state of Hawaii.
However, if the unborn are not deserving of the "human being" label, why did doctors just a few months ago keep a brain-dead woman on life support so they could deliver her baby, and why is Scott Peterson serving two sentences for manslaughter?
I praise South Dakota and the men and women of its legislature for having the fortitude to stand up for the unborn. Unwanted pregnancies can be prevented. Other than in cases of incest or rape, which is provided for in the South Dakota restrictions, abortion is not and should not be used as a form of birth control. Our society has cheapened life to the point where women can choose to dispose of their children growing within them, just as they choose their career, their car, the man they marry or the clothes they wear.
It's not all about you, Ms. Raynor.
State rep has success in his crosshairs
I'd like to compliment your paper on the article about FWF Yard Service and the Ramos family (Star-Bulletin, Feb. 26
). I hope Rep. Jerry Chang didn't read it, since it might give him another successful business to target once he pushes the "Ultimate Fighting" tax through.
Chang might not be aware there's a petition being circulated to put tax measures on the ballot for all of us to vote on. With seating capacity of 8,000 at NBC, I'd be willing to collect signatures at the next Ultimate Fighting event.
It's time we had a voice in how and when we are taxed.
Kevin J. Mulkern
Eating meat isn't only environmental issue
Aliaska Brozen's letter of March 3
has a lot of merit for a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Yet the environmental issue is more than just being a carnivore or not.
Silverswords ring a bell? What about feral animals like goats, and cattle that harm the land? Or visitors to Haleakala harming its ecosystem by going off trails and just by visiting in record numbers.
Land speculation greatly affects the local people with escalating housing and land taxes. Too many people sardined on an island places too much stress on natural resources.
Or how about the coqui frogs who sneaked into the islands with imported landscape plants? I don't need to even mention what they do -- coqui is like a bad five-letter word. Watch out for the brown tree snakes, too.
Yes, I worry about the effect of our carnivorous appetites on the environment, but I'm more worried about our choices and actions causing consistent, irreparable harm to the unique ecosystem of Hawaii. Malama the aina, carnivorous or not.
Lisa Noelani Robbins
Newport News, Va.
Former Hawaii resident