Labors leaders greedy but not stupid
I believe what the union leaders -- Russell Okata, Ron Taketa, Guy Fujimura, Dayton Nakanelua and Randy Perreira -- are doing is not stupid at all ("Labor chiefs urge Dems to override gov's vetoes," Star-Bulletin, July 7
It just shows how blind they are to reality in the work force. You might rightly state they are ignorant, or uncaring, or not in touch with the financial climate we live in. Stupid? No. Greedy, definitely.
Sounds like delusion and collusion to me.
Unions are trying to extort lawmakers
What the labor unions have done with their letter to legislators
is nothing more than legal extortion. The implied threat is there for all to see.
OHA should not take prime Kakaako space
I believe Hawaiians deserve a center to call their own. But building the Office of Hawaiian Affairs headquarters next to Pier 1 in Kakaako makai is, to borrow Mayor Hannemann's buzzword, a "nice-to-have" ("OHA reaches agreement on new cultural center," Star-Bulletin, July 6
). That parcel next to Honolulu Harbor is vital to Hawaii's future "need-to-have" infrastructure.
Honolulu Harbor is the main port of entry for the necessary goods that all people in Hawaii use. A permanent building will keep the harbor from expanding, as our growing and thriving population will inevitably need it to. According to the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, the Foreign Trade Zone at Pier 2 handled $4.7 billion in imports and exports in 2004 alone. If the harbor cannot grow with our economy, we are essentially choking ourselves.
A few months ago, Honolulu residents cursed our last mayor for ignoring the "need-to-have" infrastructure improvements in favor of spending on excessive "nice-to-have" projects. Let's not make the same mistake twice.
Spreading Christianity is akin to tyranny
Every now and then the Star-Bulletin zings us with a letter to the editor so outrageous that it is funny, rivaling Charley Memminger's "Honolulu Lite" column. This time it was the July 5 letter
from Clifford Ishii in which he objects to the court ruling against the Navy's use of whale-killing sonar in its exercises.
Ishii says he is going to counter that "judicial tyranny" by spreading "biblical Christianity." After we catch our breath and wipe our eyes, we can reflect that more people have been tortured and killed and families destroyed by religious tyranny than in all the secular wars since the evolution (yes, evolution) of our species. This is why the Founding Fathers prohibited the establishment of religion in government as the very first item in the Bill of Rights of our Constitution.
News article omitted real story about panel
If I had not been in the audience, I never would have known that former Bishop Estate trustee Henry Peters was not part of the panel discussion of "Broken Trust" last Wednesday
The news story in the Thursday edition of the Star-Bulletin featured only Peters' five-minute speech during the question period while mentioning nothing about the 90 minutes of other commentary given by an impressive collection of panel personalities.
Peters can get away with his claim of innocence since all the papers concerning the Bishop Estate broken trust are sealed and therefore no trustee can ever be held accountable for the breaches in trust responsibility. This is called healing.
The real story is the failure of the state courts and legal officers to enforce trust law and hold violators accountable.
Paul E. Smith
Intelligence not faulty, we just ignored it
Your editorial premise "Timetable for withdrawal would risk Iraq's collapse" (June 29
) is logical enough. However, you incorrectly state that Iraq's absence of WMD and connection to Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists were based on "faulty intelligence." In fact, prior to the invasion and after pressure had been applied, we had the best possible current intelligence available to us, via weapons inspectors with complete and unfettered access to Iraq. (This simple fact has been distorted recently by our president.) Our allies proposed increasing the numbers and aggressiveness of weapons inspectors.
As to Saddam Hussein's 9/11 nonconnection, the true failure was due to paying a very few, willing-to-tell itchy ears what they needed to hear. Put in another way by the Downing Street Memo, President Bush "wanted to remove Saddam through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."
Hero or not, Watada a man of convictions
Right or wrong, I don't know. But it is said that there are two sides to every story, so it depends on your perspective.
I will say one thing for sure about Lt. Ehren Watada's stance: He has a lot of guts to stand up with the courage of his conviction to buck the system.
He knows his conviction of conscience will bring about another kind of conviction in that he might be sent to prison and be given a dishonorable discharge. And he's only 28 years old!
In retrospect, would we have done what Lt. Watada has done when we were just 28 years old?
Congressmen should back missile defense
Now that we know the North Korean missile had its sights set on Hawaii
, our local media should set their sights on our congressional delegation, which has been opposed to missile defense since the Cold War, when it was Soviet missiles aimed at Hawaii.
Now that an even more evil empire led by a certifiable maniac is marshaling his country's precious resources into killing Hawaii residents (rather than feeding North Korea's own starving citizens), Rep. Neil Abercrombie, Sen. Dan Inouye and the rest have a voting record that's even more appalling now than it ever has been during the past 25 years. Anything less than full support for missile defense is the equivalent of providing aid and comfort to our enemies. Residents should be very concerned.
Abercrombie supports energy alternatives
The nation's manufacturers owe a big thank-you to Rep. Neil Abercrombie for his leadership and vote supporting the Deep Ocean Energy Resources Act, passed recently by the House of Representatives. Manufacturers are heavily dependent on oil and natural gas as both a feedstock and a fuel. High prices have put U.S. manufacturers at a disadvantage to our foreign competitors, and if we do nothing, it will only get worse.
We can and should develop more of our domestic energy supply, and we need to get started if we don't want to see more good manufacturing jobs moving offshore. This legislation will go a long way toward alleviating energy price pressures if we can get it through the Senate and to the president's desk. I urge readers to show their appreciation to Abercrombie and to let their senators know we need this legislation and we need it now.
President and CEO, National Association of Manufacturers
Rail opponents ask same old questions
Traffic is getting worse each day, and more homes are being built, especially on the Leeward side of Oahu. The city is planning a mass transit rail project for the third time in 30 years.
We are closer than ever to actually building a rail line to link downtown Honolulu to Kapolei. But the naysayers are at it again, asking the same old questions: "Will it work, will it cost too much, who will ride it?"
The only guarantee you get is if you do nothing, things will only get worse, as they have over the last three decades.
We don't need more studies and debate. Just try to get from downtown to Ewa at 4 p.m. any day of the week, and you'll agree it's time for action, not talk.
We need a first-class rail transit system to address our traffic problem. And we needed to build it yesterday.
The logical solution to traffic is rail
I've been reading your letters on mass transit, and thought I'd weigh in with my two cents' worth.
We've tried all the other things like express buses, highway widening, high-occupancy lanes, van pools and ride sharing, and while these measures help, they do little to get to the core of the problem: There are just too many cars on the road.
Buses, taxis, vans or what have you need to travel on the same streets as automobiles and are subject to the same traffic jams, accidents, stalled vehicles, rubbernecking drivers and so forth. Our H-1 Zipper Lanes just move the traffic choke points farther up the line until they merge with regular traffic, and so will the so-called "managed lanes" or HOT lanes alternatives.
The answer is a grade separated rail system that is not hampered by the regular flow of cars and can offer the traveling public a dependable way to get around. People will only get out of their cars if they are offered a reasonable, efficient and dependable option.
Turnout low because voting is too hard
Instead of complaining about the low voter turnout, don't you think it might be wise to think about why it is so low? Could it just be because we do not make it very easy for people to fulfill their constitutional responsibilities?
I seem to recall that some other state tried an experiment where you could cast your vote from home via computer or something like that, and the turnout rate was something like 80 percent. Certainly there must be a way to make it a whole lot easier for people to vote.