Airline employees acting like Klansmen
After reading the front-page story "go! chief receives offensive T-shirt" (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 15
), I felt like I was back in the Deep South of the 1950s. Did the rallying members of "Hawaii's airline Employees Repelling Ornstein," or H.E.R.O. (what a strange name for a group like that), have on their pointed white hoods and robes? Racism and hatred are alive in the land of aloha! Now it's out there for all the world to see.
Since the members of H.E.R.O are afraid of losing their jobs, did they stop to think how this might affect potential tourists making a decision to visit Hawaii? Auwe!
Speeding crackdown will make roads safer
I think it is great what the police are doing to curb speeding. In the past week, I've seen at least four or five vehicles stopped on the H-3, which I suspect was for speeding, since Chief Boisse Correa announced the Honolulu Police Department's holiday season deterrence. The H-3 goes from 45 mph up to 60 mph and yet I have seen many cars commuting faster than that. Just yesterday morning there was a four-car accident in the tunnel.
I think 60 mph is a pretty good speed. Even if I mainly drive in the right lane, I still feel rushed to drive faster by those behind me. Sometimes I wish that the police were there to catch those speeders in that moment, but for the most part I am so grateful that I arrive at my destination in one piece.
Keep up the good work, HPD, I think it's working.
Christine A. Kalahiki
Ala Wai boaters might lose fuel dock next
The Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation are again up to no good. Last August they tried to evict 171 boaters from their docks in the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor and Gov. Linda Lingle had to step in to save them. Now they want to drive the fuel dock out of business by eliminating their 16 perfectly good private moorings.
The fuel dock survives on the income from the little convenience store and laundry, fuel sales and mooring fees. By eliminating and evicting the current moorings the entire business will be forced to close. This will be a huge adverse impact on the local boating community. Many who live in the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor depend on the store and all it has to offer. This is not some big commercial operation, but a small mom 'n' pop operation that caters to the local community.
Two years ago the dock was in shambles, the store disgustingly dirty, the fuel dock constantly running out of fuel and the moorings were horrible. The current managers, Russ and Lea Wells, brought the operation back to what it is today, a clean, safe and friendly operation. The fuel dock facility is a valuable asset to the harbor and the hard work of Russ and Lea Wells does not deserve to be cast aside for what I can see as no good reason.
Smoking isn't as bad as drinking alcohol
Smokers, I'm one of you. I'm so upset that no more can we smoke whenever and wherever we please (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 12
). When we go to the bars to have a drink, when we go outside our offices and everywhere else we converge, we will feel like we are being looked at under a microscope, everyone watching to see if we obey the law or not.
I don't know of any other place that makes smokers feel like such criminals. It doesn't make sense -- you can drink alcohol in the bars and restaurants, in the stadium and other venues, but you can't smoke.
Hawaii depends on tourism, yet our legislators make a law that'll make it harder for our tourists to feel comfortable. The Japanese tourists smoke more than anyone I've seen before, and I can see down the line, they will be spending their time elsewhere.
Everyone talks about second-hand smoke killing others, but no one mentions how drinking and driving kills, too. The smoking law is stricter than the drinking law. Most of this new law is so demeaning, we, as smokers, should just jump off the roof that they have designated as a place we can go to smoke. I want to see how much business is lost because of this new law. I see more people spending more time at home, where they can do as they please, and for the businesses that lose revenue because of this new law, sorry, but that's just the way it is. What next, no smoking in our personal cars, because the person in the next lane might not like it? Where does this all end?
People must keep striving for utopia
These days phrases such as zero tolerance, no child left behind, eliminate hunger and homelessness, and other such absolutes are commonly heard from citizens and politicians alike. The truth of the matter is that these catchy lines presuppose that perfection is achievable. The question is, is perfection possible in any human endeavor? Therein lies the rub, as not all human beings share the same philosophy.
Those who are religious, regardless of kind, generally do not believe that perfection in man is possible, whereas atheists and those who separate church/religion and state generally believe that man is capable of perfection.
History shows us that despite man's best efforts, the perfect society, a utopia or paradise on Earth has not happened. The United States of America is the most powerful and free country in the world, but its citizens, regardless of political affiliation, would be the first to say that it is not perfect. Today the Founding Fathers' statement in the Constitution "to form a more perfect union" would be seen by Americans as out of reach. The desire for perfection is not a bad thing; the presentation and subsequent expectation of perfection is.
We will never be completely free of drunk drivers, rapists, murderers, terrorists and pedophiles. We will never be able to eliminate poverty, hunger, disease and starvation. We should strive to combat these things, but with eyes wide open, accepting that it will be a never-ending battle. Our ancestors fought, we are fighting and our descendants will have no choice but to continue the fight until time immemorial.
Viewers should boycott O.J. show sponsors
Concerning O.J. Simpson's TV interview on the Fox network Nov. 27 and 29: I urge everyone to watch it and, with pen in hand, write down the names of all of the sponsors ... and then boycott them.
You can bet that O.J. and Fox will never use us as commercial pawns again.
Labels are still a problem in America
As ground breaks for a Martin Luther King Jr. memorial alongside presidential monuments in Washington, D.C., my hope is that future generations be reminded of America's history of inequality. Although we've made strides in racial and sexual equality, discrimination still exists:
» Anti-smoking laws punish smokers for their unhealthy habit. Though motor vehicles and factories produce more pollution, smokers are blamed for high medical costs associated with lung cancer.
» Overweight people are viewed as lazy and self-hating. Obesity may increase health risks, but studies show even skinny people have diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
» Sexual preference is a personal matter that should be respected and kept private between consenting mature individuals. However, homosexuals are bullied in school and at work.
» Many with untreated mental illness are destined for homelessness, drug addiction and incarceration. Perhaps more people would receive the necessary help to live better lives once stigmas cease to exist.
Please remember Rev. King's dream that individuals be judged by the content of their hearts rather than by the labels imposed by society.
Matthew Kaopio Jr.
Of course car and bus groups oppose rail
Recently, I've read letters critical to the city's proposed rail transit project and have noticed that they recommend so-called HOT lanes, or elevated toll roads as an alternative. Never mind that tolls would tax Leeward drivers the most and only add more cars to our congested streets. And never mind that our urban street system is already overburdened, and there are far too few parking stalls in the city to accommodate more cars.
But I have also noticed that the moving force behind this effort is the Hawaii Highway Users Alliance, or HHUA as they like to call themselves. If I understand this correctly, this group mainly consists of taxi companies, tour bus operators, road paving companies and automobile dealers. Well, of course they don't want rail. They don't want any public transit project that affects their bottom line and their profits. They want more cars on the road, and they don't want competition.
Thank goodness this group is looking out for the public's best interest.
45 percent response isn't a mandate
The mayor and the city transportation service conducted a poll of 905 Oahu residents for only $15,000. A bargain for sure, that is only about $15 per opinion. Only 45 percent of those expensive votes were in favor of the mayor's plan to build this money drain, and the mayor is calling it a mandate! Imagine the percentage of "no" votes he would get if we voters were allowed to express our opinions.
If the mayor wants this so much, let him write his own check. I am sure there is money from all the groups that are out to make a financial killing.
I hope that City Council members Charles Djou and Donovan Dela Cruz can rein in this rush to waste money on a rail system until taxpayers have a vote.
Djou doing right thing for the taxpayers
Kudos to City Councilman Charles Djou for having the guts to fight to delay a tax hike to pay for rail. If the tax is collected and then the rail system is not approved, there is no way for the taxpayers to get back their money. In other words, the people get screwed again.