Fly go! or watch prices rise out of sight
Mesa Air Group Inc.'s go! reported a load factor of 82.5 percent in June during the three weeks following its debut, which fell to 73.9 percent in July and was down to 63.7 percent in November.
Once again, in as many years, another airline has entered the Hawaii market and caused interisland fares to decrease substantially, however with falling load factors, its appears there is no support and appreciation for what go! has done. Do you think Hawaiian and Aloha would have ever offered $19 fares? Not on your life.
We'd better support go!, for if it leaves, it won't be long before interisland fares skyrocket to new highs.
Kamehameha Schools will persevere
Last week, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled
that our 120-year old admissions preference policy is a permissible remedy for the "severe socio-economic disadvantages" to the indigenous people of Hawaii that began with Western contact more than 200 years ago. The ruling is an important affirmation of our mission and recognition of our schools' unique history and purpose.
We are grateful to our legal team for their superb representation. We extend our gratitude as well to the groups and individuals who stepped forward to support our legal arguments. More than 40 organizations participated in filing 12 amicus briefs on our behalf, including our Kamehameha alumni, parents and staff -- through the 'Ohana Council -- numerous Hawaiian organizations, our Hawaii congressional delegation, state Attorney General Mark Bennett, Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann and the City Council, the Hawaii Business Roundtable and the National and Hawaii Associations of Independent Schools. Governor Linda Lingle and former Gov. George Ariyoshi were among the community and business leaders who submitted declarations of support.
Many more individuals provided their expertise and guidance as we pulled our case together. Thousands spoke publicly on our behalf, wrote letters to the editor, helped organize and attended rallies of support here and on the continent. Our faculty and staff kept focused on their work and our students continued to make us proud. The unity displayed -- from Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians alike -- sent a message that resonated powerfully: Our policy helps thousands and harms none.
We know our fight is not over, but together we will persevere. Mahalo to all for your steadfast kokua.
I mua Kamehameha!
Robert K.U. Kihune
J. Douglas Ing
Constance H. Lau
Diane J. Plotts
Kamehameha Schools Board of Trustees
Dee Jay Mailer
Chief Executive Officer
Rail is price of keeping Windward rural
I support Bill 79, CD1. As a resident of Windward Oahu, I have a special reason for supporting the proposed rail system
. In the 1960s and '70s, both the state and city designated more growth and development for the Windward side. It was envisioned to be a secondary growth area after Honolulu. A power plant and deep draft harbor was planned for Heeia to accommodate housing and commerce. Kahaluu was to have as many homes as Hawaii Kai. Traffic to and from this new growth area would be fed by the H-3.
But after the battles to keep the area rural by protecting Kahaluu, Heeia and Waiahole-Waikane from development, growth was redirected to Ewa. And now that major growth is under way in Ewa, we Windward residents should strongly support giving them the infrastructure improvements they deserve, including a rapid transit rail system. This way, we can keep the country country.
Rail will burden Oahu with ever-rising tax
Effective Jan. 1, the general excise tax will be raised
by a half percent. As a result, all goods and services will cost more. It is estimated that an additional $150 million will be generated annually from the increase of this regressive tax. This revenue will be earmarked toward planning and eventual construction of a fixed-rail transit system
from Kapolei to who knows where. This colossal economic and environmental blunder will become a black hole of unprecedented cost.
Future increases of the GET will be necessary to help cover the projected costs of this multibillion-dollar white elephant.
Too may questions remain unanswered. What is the impact of this system on the environment? Construction of the rail will result in an unending traffic nightmare of epic proportions. There has been no discussion regarding the use of eminent domain to clear a right of way for the rail. It is unknown how many businesses and residences will be affected. Many might be forced to give up their property. This pet project of the politicians will cost all of us in one way or another.
Oahu residents should vote on rail issue
Now cometh the rail system
, a system which might serve 6 percent of Oahu's population, but will secure super wealth for selected politicians who approve contracts.
Who will pay the $6 billion cost? Answer: 94 percent of all Hawaii residents who will never ever step foot on the rail. The neighbor islands and tourists also are required to pay the "county surcharge," even though they will never ride rail.
Those who want a New York City in Hawaii should just simply move to New York. This is Hawaii and should forever be Hawaii.
The Hawaiian gods and Madame Pele are saying the rail just doesn't pass the common-sense rule and is destined to be a bankrupting disaster.
Let people vote on this issue.
Max H. Watson
Banning Spam might save more lives
It's so disgusting that people want to impose their right to clean air on us smokers. Just because of a little second-hand smoke that doesn't hurt anybody, they want to ban us. Hey, while you're at it, why don't they ban the other things that really kill people? Hawaii has one of the highest percentages of diabetes. Why don't they ban Spam musubi? We have the biggest ice problem in the United States. Why don't they ban Sudafed? Look at all the people getting killed by drunken drivers. Why don't they ban Heineken?
At least we smokers help support the economy in Hawaii with all the taxes we pay. If it weren't for us, the state would be thinking about how to get more money, maybe from gambling. I'm sure we wouldn't like that, now would we? So repeal this stupid smoking law and no one gets hurt. If you can't stand it, just hold your breath.
David Lee Parker