Column shows extent of coqui hysteria
Richard Sullivan's column calling for an escalation of the ongoing war on coqui frogs ("Gathering Place," Star-Bulletin, Jan. 7
) is just one more example of the hysteria that has taken hold on these islands against so-called invasive species. This misguided assault is about real estate.
These "tiny shrieking monsters" will destroy property values and keep people from buying on the Big Island, according to Sullivan. He wants to increase the citric acid attacks on the coquis. This means burning these beautiful little animals to death. It takes about 45 minutes for each of these frogs to burn to death.
The coquis do nothing but eat insects and make the sounds that frogs make. For that we kill them. Is that the aloha spirit?
Animal Rights Hawaii
Marine life needs isle lawmakers' help
I was pleased to learn of Gov. Linda Lingle's request to boost the budget for enforcement of the state's natural resource regulations (Star-Bulletin, Jan. 2
). As a marine scientist, I have been particularly concerned about the decline in our fish populations. Better enforcement of the rules to protect our marine life is needed.
As a recreational fisher and former commercial fisher, I've witnessed a significant decline in our reef fish populations, including such important native food fishes as moi, kumu, ulua and oio. According to commercial catch data, the biomass of our reef fish populations has declined more than 75 percent in the past century. I hope we can reverse that trend.
I commend the governor and Department of Land and Natural Resources Director Peter Young for making a major commitment to protecting our environment. I urge the Legislature to pass the increased budget for more enforcement officers, and I hope that many of those officers will be dedicated to protecting our ocean resources. I also hope that our society will realize that fishing is a privilege that comes with the responsibility to care for the reefs and ocean.
Those of us who fish our local waters can and should lead the way in responsible use of our marine resources.
Taxing tourism won't increase business
The lead editorial in the Dec. 26 Star-Bulletin
, "Tourism needs constant freshening to keep them coming," apparently sees a desired bottom line of promoting/encouraging tourism. The industry's "frangible nature" is noted. (I looked that up -- it means "easily breakable"). But then the editorial concludes with a call for higher taxes (actually calls such a "revenue stream") on tourists.
To tax is to punish the customer. If you want less tourist business, raise prices (or taxes).
One is left to wonder, what is freshening about that?
Confused? Me, too.
Richard O. Rowland
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
Contra-flow major roads into Honolulu
Imagine this: an immediate, near-term, lower-cost solution to the daily traffic mess endured by thousands of people daily. At a fraction of the cost of the proposed rail line, the "thinking out of the box" solution is this simple: Contra-flow the H-1, H-2, Pali, Likelike, Kalanianaole and Farrington highways, and Fort Weaver Road in Ewa. Add two to three lanes inbound to Honolulu from 5:30 to 8:30 a.m. on each of these highways. The cost of coning would be sizable, no doubt, but the results would be well worth the cost.
As an example, Pali Highway in the morning has two lanes the entire way from Kailua to Waokanaka intersection, the first stoplight from Castle Junction. Meanwhile, going the other direction, three lanes are lightly used by Kailua-bound traffic. Viola! Contra-flow a third lane of the Kailua-bound traffic lanes for Honolulu-bound traffic. Repeat this magic at all of the other highways mentioned above.
A test run of one highway, say Pali Highway, might produce amazing results. Traffic engineers would need to coordinate the roads as they reach the city center, but that can be figured out. How about that!
Minimum wage raise will improve America
This week, Congress is expected to address the issue of raising the federal minimum wage to $7.25 from $5.15 an hour. With the growing poverty in our nation, this would seem to be a nonissue. However, it appears to be a bone of contention. Big Business doesn't want it. Business leaders, like our last few terms of Congress, don't really care about the average -- or less than average -- American. All they care about is themselves. To make America a better country, raising the minimum wage is one of many things that need to be done.
If Congress fails to pass this legislation, at the very least its members should rescind the numerous raises they've given themselves since the last increase to the minimum wage.