State agency can't fix lousy attitudes
Regarding the July 21 letter
advocating a state-created racism commission: I doubt that such an agency would solve much of anything.
There are people who blame other people for their lot in life, glare at and call other people names, and act like irrational idiots wherever you go, and no bureaucratic organization issuing daily reminders, public service announcements and fancy brochures is likely to change any of that. I've encountered a lot of nice folks and a few not so nice during my times in Hawaii, and I can say the same for most places I've been. Unfortunately, you can't change people's attitudes simply by creating yet another government agency.
Democratic gloating driven by partisanship
It's apparent that Democratic legislators are playing politics with our economy. Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, House Speaker Calvin Say and House Majority Leader Kirk Caldwell couldn't get to the microphones quickly enough to point out how the economy is declining.
Why would they gloat about something like that? They claim this is the reason they wouldn't work aside Gov. Linda Lingle to provide real tax relief and fund innovation programs to diversify and strengthen Hawaii's financial state.
If you look at the numbers, our economy is still very strong. True, it isn't as red hot as it was a few years ago, but this is a common trend across the nation. Talking so negatively about our economy only has a sour effect on business. These Democrats didn't deposit the funds into the state treasury in the first place -- they chose to spend tax money on their pork projects. Voters should remember this most recent example of the Democrats' abhorrent leadership when the 2008 election rolls around.
Flamingo owners, staff deserve blessings
A few years ago, when we were looking for a place for breakfast, we went to Flamingo Restaurant in Kaneohe. From the very first morning, we were warmly welcomed by Anne (hostess at that time), who had a hug and good word for each patron. We gradually got to know the friendly and efficient staff ... and soon had breakfast at Flamingo every Sunday.
When we met manager-owner Sandy, we realized that the relaxed family atmosphere was influenced by her outgoing, happy and respectful nature.
The news of their closing shocked us. How could this be? We expected Flamingo to be a fixture in Kaneohe forever. It's sad that we'll no longer see the "kids" we got to know so well -- Brenda, Diane, Fred, Mickie, Patience, Robin, Stacey, Tamra and, of course, the big kid, Sandy, and her friend Joy. Even the cooks related to us with smiles.
On top of the exceptional service we received, the food was great, especially the Japanese breakfast, which we'll have to get at Flamingo on Kapiolani Boulevard or in Pearl City. The closure of Flamingo is a real loss to Kaneohe.
We thank Sandy and her "kids" for all the enjoyable Sunday breakfasts in a setting of lots of love. May God bless each one of them and their future.
Brian and Eloise Yano
Clean up islands with fees on plastic bags
Littering is a blight to any landscape, but it is especially sad to see here in Hawaii nei. I see a lot of plastic bags as litter. And I'm sure many more end up in our landfills, taking up space there. So why do we still allow the unregulated use of plastic bags in our beautiful islands?
Plastic bags are dangerous for our birds and marine life because they cause starvation and other forms of suffering when these animals get tangled up in them. Plastic bags are not biodegradable. They just break down into smaller and smaller particles that are still toxic contaminants in our water supply and agricultural soil. Making plastic bags produces greenhouse gases and uses up petroleum, an expensive and nonrenewable resource.
Let's wise up and either stop the use of plastic bags entirely or place fees on them (as many other countries already do). In Germany, for instance, consumers pay about $1 for a plastic bag that is available in stores here for free.
Former locals can't afford Hawaii, either
I agree with Joyce Russell (Letters, July 23
) about Hawaii pricing itself out of visitors. I grew up in Hawaii. Coming back for a visit costs between $2,000 and $3,000. A lot of people from this area would love to visit Hawaii, but it is more to their benefit (pocketbook) to go to Mexico, Florida or elsewhere. The only reason I still come is because of family and friends.
I love the way the hotels say occupancy is down -- so they raise the rates! The Hawaii Visitors Bureau needs to work with the airlines and hotels to offer better packages and quit nickel-and-diming tourists to death -- $1 for coffee packets! Parking fees have really gotten ridiculous. I no longer rent a car -- I ride the bus everywhere as I did before I left the islands. Have you stood in a car-rental line after traveling 13 to 15 hours to get to Hawaii? It really sucks! Especially if you have kids. Hawaii, you are hurting the "locals" and visitors alike!
Kalani High School, Class of '62
Grand Rapids, Minn.
Tourists create injustice to Hawaiians
A tourist is a settler fetus and a miscarriage of justice for indigenous peoples of the earth including Hawaiians.