Let the Broadway show play at the arena
If the Blaisdell Center Arena was good enough for "Cats" and "Jesus Christ Superstar," how come they can't put "The Lion King" there and free up the concert hall for its original purpose -- the symphony?
Anna Derby Blackwell
Fallon is sensible pick to replace Abizaid
Guess you heard that Navy Adm. William J. Fallon is replacing Army Gen. John Abizaid at Central Command in the Mideast (Star-Bulletin, Jan. 5). Why will a sailor be in charge of two ground wars, you ask?
Well, the aircraft carrier USS Eisenhower strike group, already in waters off of Iran, is to be joined by the carrier USS Stennis. So Fallon also would be directing naval and ground forces plus the 40,000-troop surge that President Bush plans to send to the Middle East.
It's reported that Vice President Cheney ordered the Pentagon to prepare to attack Iran if the United States was hit by any terrorist attack, even if Iran wasn't responsible for the attack. Can we say, "We have a president we trust not to fake an attack"?
If these new dots have you concerned that the Decider is about to attack Iran, here's the plan: Verify this information, then ask your congressional representative to stop this aggression before the generals that Bush fired lead a coup and we end up with an Iraq-style democracy or World War III begins!
Bush isn't following his generals' advice
Earlier President Bush said that he would go along with what the generals in the field in Iraq recommend. They recommended that he should not increase the troops in Iraq as he wants. Then he replaces them since they do not recommend what he wants. I bet the replacements are already in his mold to do what he wants, not what is the right thing to do. Wonder if everyone knows what he is up to? He says one thing and does another. Is this a trustful president we should be following?
Another thing I found, President Bush and his administration have drafted an agreement with Mexico offering their citizens our Social Security. What is going on?
He has two more years to run down our country, and he is doing a good job of it. Our Congress is not helping either; its members are just going to work and collecting a day's pay!
Francis K. Ibara
Law could protect 'Kona' coffee quality
As a longtime Kona coffee farmer, I would like to thank you for your Dec. 27 editorial on the Kona coffee blend issue.
Currently, coffee companies need only 10 percent of Kona coffee in their products to sell them as "Kona blends." Many of the blends do not even list where the remaining 90 percent of the coffee comes from. This labeling is intentionally misleading and uses the Kona name to sell an inferior coffee.
For more than 14 years, Kona coffee farmers have tried to increase the required percentage of Kona coffee in blends from 10 percent to 75 percent in order to call it Kona. A similar California law requires that named regional wines, such as Napa, must have a minimum of 75 percent of Napa Valley grapes in order to call it Napa. We consider Kona as valuable a brand name as Napa.
The Hawaii Island County Council recently passed a resolution to increase the minimum amount of Kona coffee in Kona blends from 10 percent to 75 percent. To make this a legal requirement, the state Legislature will have to pass similar legislation. We believe that this legislative action is needed to protect Kona coffee's international reputation as a world-class coffee.
Cecelia Burns Smith
Kona Coffee Farmers Association
While transit fight ensues, make bus free
The new half-percent general excise tax increase is supposed to bring in about $200 million a year. Meanwhile, we don't have a route selected or a final decision on whether it will be rail or bus or some mix. It will take years of lawsuits, consultants and environmental surveys before the first shovel hits the ground. I'm no fan of the train given the chaos it will create before, during and after its construction, not to mention the cost to run it. But we still have that $200 million coming in starting this month.
How about if we made TheBus free? The new tax increase would about make up for the revenue TheBus takes in and the rest is subsidized already in the city and county budget.
Say we just try it for six months or a year? They're doing it on the Big Island already without the tax increase.
In the meantime, the city could finish its plans for the train, and people would get used to riding mass transit. Who wouldn't ride for free?
Maybe it would be so successful we could forget about the train and keep subsidizing the newly christened TheFreeBus. Operating costs for TheBus are primarily fixed costs: maintenance and salaries. There are some variables with the cost of fuel, oil and repair parts, but those are budgeted for already. Has the City Council even examined this option? If not, maybe it should!
Beach restoration covers up problem
In response to "Bringing back the beach" (Star-Bulletin, Jan. 3): I'm not all that pleased about this construction project.
Sure, it's nice to have more sand on the beach, but at what price? Is it worth the perpetuation of ignorance about our ocean ecosystem? Is it worth our disconnection from the ocean and the land?
Locals and tourists alike need to know that the beach is shrinking because of overdevelopment and pumping more sand will not change that. We all need to realize that we can't just fake nature.
We need to stop ignoring our aina, but this project simply covers up the reminders.