Why do Abercrombie's comments not offend?
In 2003, while working as a football commentator for ESPN, conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh raised the question as to whether it was possible that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was overrated because the media wanted to see a black quarterback succeed.
Limbaugh resigned from his ESPN position three days later under circumstances described by CNN as being "amid a storm of controversy over his racially charged comments."
In the Jan. 9 Star-Bulletin, Hawaii Rep. Neil Abercrombie is quoted as describing U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as being "the most overrated, underperforming individual in executive authority that I have ever seen. ... She constantly gets a pass. Who knows if the whole question of race and gender come into it, but ... I can't account for it, except to say she isn't up to the mark."
What's the difference between these two comments? The difference is that Limbaugh's comment created a "storm of controversy over his racially charged comments" that forced him to resign as an ESPN football commentator.
Abercrombie, on the other hand, "gets a pass." I wonder why?
Don't raise height limit for Hawaii Kai
The public needs to be aware of a recent request by developers to get a zoning change to build to 90 feet high in Hawaii Kai at Hawaii Kai Drive and Keahole Street, instead of the 60-feet maximum now permitted.
In the past few years, Hawaii Kai has had a number of high-occupancy housing units built, losing much of our open space and making our roads and community more and more congested. Allowing this new building to be 50 percent taller than zoning allows will bring 50 percent more people and their cars than it would if we held them to the current limit.
It will squeeze more people into an already overcrowded section of our community. It also sets a dangerous precedent, potentially allowing more changes to our zoning, making it easier to displace the farmers, build on conservation or preservation land, or tear down existing housing and build taller. The public has until Jan. 23 to submit comments to Henry Eng, director of the Department of Permitting & Planning, City and County of Honolulu, 650 South King St., Honolulu, HI 96813.
I urge you to let Eng know how you feel about this matter, especially if you agree with me and oppose it.
Wayne David Levy
Member, Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board
UH asteroid tracker is a good compromise
While astronomy is an esoteric subject for many, the proposed Pan-STARRS (Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System) project is of vital concern for the safety of not only our aina, but the entire world from rogue asteroids with resulting monster tsunamis (Star-Bulletin, Jan. 8).
By replacing the existing University of Hawaii 88-inch telescope on Mauna Kea, the asteroid tracker will be a logical compromise by not adding further structures to the summit.
UH science faculty, students and the community should be proud of Hawaii's leading role in protecting our planet.
Finally, Bush takes Shinseki's advice
I fully agree and support President Bush's decision to send 21,500 more troops to Iraq to win the war on terror.
This is a long overdue decision; the former chief of staff of the Army, Gen. Eric Shinseki, made that assessment prior to his retirement in June 2004.
I urge the Democratic-dominated House and Senate to approve the funds for the troop increase without delay. It's high time liberals and Democrats realize what is at stake here. We must defeat the terrorists now in Iraq and Afghanistan while we have them at bay. If not, we will have to eventually confront them on our homeland and fight them over here. Let's support the president.
Silver Spring, Md.
Frequent Hawaii visitor
Democrats must stop Bush's war plan
President Bush's plan to escalate the war by sending more troops into the Iraq civil war ignores the American people who voted for change in November, and who continue to demand we bring our troops home. Over the past few weeks, the military, the generals and the independent panels appointed by the president have said that increasing the number of troops will not help the situation. Why then would the president go against the recommendations of his top advisers?
This war must be stopped before more American lives are lost. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid should continue to question the president over this foolish plan, and do whatever needs to be done to stop it in Congress. It is their constitutional duty to do so as a co-equal branch of government that was deluded into giving Bush the authority to go to this illegal war. The people made their voice heard, and if the president isn't going to listen, the Democratic Congress will.
Iraqi leader might be headed for bad end
How much longer will Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki last? If al-Maliki's idea of independence from the United States is having Saddam Hussein rushed to execution, will the prime minister meet a violent end like President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam (1955-1963)?
Vincent K. Pollard
Mauians are dying for lack of hospital
Hey, Oahu. Can you hear us? The residents of Maui are desperately crying out for a second hospital. We are the only major Hawaiian island with only one.
By now it is no secret that Maui's health care services are inadequate. Strangely enough, it is the policymakers on Oahu who control our destiny, and they do not seem to be listening. There is a state-of-the-art medical facility called Malulani ready to be built with private dollars. It will not cost Hawaii taxpayers a cent but will serve everyone regardless of their ability to pay. Not only will Malulani save lives, it will improve our quality of life. How would you like to have to take an expensive flight to another island to receive critical emergency services? Most of the time it takes many hours, and if the weather is bad, people cannot even go. Lots of folks die. No beds are available at our one hospital now. Can you imagine our situation if there is a catastrophic earthquake, airplane crash or tsunami?
But, we have a ray of hope ... Malulani. Please spread the word that Maui is in a medical crisis. The Legislature convenes this week and there is an important hearing on Jan. 22. Mahalo for listening and supporting Maui in any way possible.