Were cannons really necessary at 5 a.m.?
It was an unpleasant wake-up call at 5 a.m. Sunday
with 21 cannons blowing into the air and striking a silent morning. Do we really need the military forces to start a marathon? Are we a militarized state?
Mayor Mufi Hannemann could simply wave a checkered flag from a platform if his six feet seven inches is not high enough. What about a giant green light if the mayor cannot make it that early?
Every year we are getting the same abuse. There is enough noise pollution between unnecessary paramedic and police sirens, modified mufflers and barking dogs. We really don't need more violations of the city code, especially from the authors. Perhaps the City Council already knows that police officers are not considering noise pollution a violation worth spending time on anyway.
Book 'em, Danno, they're blocking traffic
I was in Honolulu for the Oregon State -- University of Hawaii football game
. Being a Beaver, the game was especially enjoyable for me. I commend the UH fans for treating us well and making us feel welcome.
However, we did have a very negative experience. We left Waikiki at 2 p.m. and finally got parked (not in the stadium) at 5:30 p.m. I believe the big problem was the ineptitude of the Honolulu police. We took the Kamehameha Highway exit from the H-1. We had to limp through several intersections because there were no police to help with the traffic flow. Once we neared the stadium, we were instructed by the police to get into this lane or that lane. Each time we moved, we ended up in the wrong lane as stadium exits closed. There was obviously no communication between the police and stadium entrance personnel. The police department obviously knew the game was a sellout and really bungled the traffic situation.
It's too bad Steve McGarrett isn't around. He certainly would not have tolerated this mess.
Inouye's fisheries bill is a step forward
Regarding "U.S. angles to cut overfishing" (Star-Bulletin, Dec. 11
): We applaud Sen. Daniel Inouye and other ocean champions for passing a bill last week that is critical to maintaining healthy fish populations, marine life and oceans.
The Magnuson-Stevens Act mandates an end to overfishing, which is the first important step toward rebuilding our own depleted fisheries. The bill also mandates that decisions by regional fishery management councils be based on the findings of their science advisers, rather than on the self-interest of members of the councils. These are major steps forward built on a decent framework that has been in place since 1996.
While the bill does not contain everything that the fishery conservation community had hoped for, the bill's sponsors resisted attempts to roll back important provisions, and took several significant steps forward on conservation.
We look forward to the president's signature on the bill.
Hawaii field organizer
Isles should embrace non-auto alternatives
While advocates of the petrocratic automobile-centered paradigm use exploitive fear-mongering, trying to convince us that alternatives to roads are just bad, we should be aware of their deceit. As we evolve as a culture, it's time to stop, look at the gooey mess that we've learned to accept as our means of transportation, realize that we're choking ourselves out of existence with noxious emissions, understand how we're polluting our precious water with petroleum and heavy metal detritus found flowing into the water after each rain and look at the amount of priceless land we sacrifice to roads and parking lots already.
The future of oil obviously has an end in sight as well. As we approach this end, prices for the mucky stuff are going to climb rapidly. If we choose to invest in that future, we will be saddling ourselves with huge expenses. Doesn't it just make plain sense to start planning for a future that reduces these problems now?
Perhaps rail isn't a solitary answer, but it is part of a future of a cleaner Hawaii that embraces smart alternatives.
Planning, people made concert even better
A heartfelt mahalo goes out to the people of Oahu who played host to scores of fans in town for Saturday's U2/Pearl Jam show
. We found the entire experience very pleasant, especially in relation to the planning, preparation and execution of the concert activities. Local radio stations kept concert-goers informed of pre-concert events, traffic, weather conditions and stadium policies and restrictions. Stadium parking was inexpensive, the security check and admission were efficient and staff was wonderful.
While we came to town for the concert, we will return for the people. Thank you, Hawaii!
Salt Lake City, Utah
Hilo medical workers took aloha to Burma
Thank you for covering the Aloha Medical Mission to Burma (Star-Bulletin, Dec. 4
). I am so proud and honored that members of the Hilo Medical Center were a part of this mission to treat Burma's rural poor.
Nurses Mary Uyeda and Shon Magsalin, Ken Kuwahara of employee health and anesthesiologist Dr. Steve Garon are invaluable contributors to our staff. Their participation in this mission exemplifies the type of care they provide the East Hawaii community. I look forward to our staff's participation in future missions.
East Hawaii Regional CEO at Hilo Medical Center
Hawaii Health Systems Corporation
Maui hospital denial doesn't make sense
The State Health Planning and Development Agency recently denied a Certificate of Need to build a new, privately funded hospital on Maui. This decision is difficult to understand for the following reasons:
» Maui is the only island with one hospital. In the event of a catastrophe such as an earthquake, serious problems could occur.
» Doctors and nurses are leaving Maui Memorial Hospital due to inadequate care facilities. Many have left and many are considering leaving if we don't get a second hospital on Maui.
» The new Maui hospital, Malulani, would be built with private financing and would be available to care for all patients regardless of the ability to pay.
A new, state-of-the-art hospital would attract additional medical specialists to the island. The Certificate of Need process is flawed. The SHDPA's decision to deny a second hospital on Maui smells of politics, not common sense.
Gerald T. Olson
Developer's drainage plan won't hurt limu
I don't understand all this fuss about developer Haseko's Papipi Road drainage proposal ("Ocean Pointe drainage plan under attack," Star-Bulletin, Dec. 4
The fact is that Haseko's proposal to drain the runoff into the ocean is no different from the way storm water runoff is handled throughout the state. What is different is that Haseko's plan includes sediment traps and grassed swales to reduce debris and pollution from reaching the ocean.
And the limu will be safe, according to two leading limu scientists -- including Hawaii's own internationally recognized limu expert Dr. Isabella Abbott. Their study found no difference in the amounts or types of limu in front of the three largest 30-year-old drain sites along the neighborhood's shoreline and areas without any drains.
Haseko's drainage proposal solves a long-standing problem we've been having with ponding. My kids have had to walk through puddles of storm water ankle deep to get to school -- so count me as one of the many Ewa Beach residents who are eager for Haseko to get on with it.