Tax hot-tub owners to save Maui's reefs
Maui's reefs are declining and studies suggest nitrogen from sewage injection wells is a likely contributing factor. Upcountry has been plagued by water shortages. More and more new developments will compound these problems, unless we take action now to prevent more building or at least stop granting permits until adequate infrastructure is in place. A good West Maui reclaimed water system might cost as much as $40 million, which seems an impossible figure to work with, but might be the best long-term solution. In the last 20-30 years, Maui experienced tremendous growth and now we are facing a crisis.
Please use county, state and federal money, tax developers of luxury homes with jacuzzi tubs, golf courses and take whatever steps necessary to fix this problem before the damage is irreversible.
FDA can't handle tobacco responsibility
While some believe that giving the Food and Drug Administration regulatory authority over tobacco is necessary (Our Opinion
, Star-Bulletin, July 18), Senate Bill 625
could have a deadly effect on the FDA, which, based on its recent performance, isn't capable of managing its current responsibilities.
Despite a clear mandate to ensure the safety of the nation's food and drug supply, the FDA has proven itself unable to avoid or quickly correct nationwide outbreaks of e. coli contamination of lettuce and spinach; chemical poisoning of pet food; and deaths due to dangerous drugs previously approved by this very same agency.
The FDA told Congress it needs more funding, more personnel and more authority to fulfill the currently defined mission. David Kessler, who led the agency from 1990-1997, testified, "Simply put, our food safety system in this country is broken. We have no structure for preventing food borne illnesses."
With the FDA in such obvious crisis, we don't believe it is in the best interest of seniors to promote legislation that would further burden the agency with regulatory responsibility for the massive tobacco industry. Congress should leave the FDA charter as is and find a way to make the FDA an effective guarantor of food and drug safety.
The 60 Plus Association
Socialism not the way to get good health care
How can anyone take "Sicko" filmmaker Michael Moore seriously on health care? Anyone who carries that much fat with such unexercised muscles obviously doesn't get it.
If you make me king, I can restore affordable medical costs. I would just outlaw medicine, medical equipment and procedures developed after 1950.
Or I can deliver today's magical medical care to anyone who invests as much of their youth in study, as much of their money in equipment, and who works as long and hard as the physicians and scientists who deliver that care.
But no one can deliver today's medical care to those who waste their youth avoiding education by surfing (Web, mall, ocean), cell-phoning, watching reality TV and YouTubing -- and in adulthood rely on work rules to minimize effort and maximize their claim on benefits instead of on continued education and training.
So just beware the Moorelocks' bait-and-switch! Promise the last option; deliver the first. Note how the state denies Maui a new hospital, and the stories of doctors leaving Hawaii.
Education makes the value of what each person contributes to society equal to what they want from it. Not like socialism that takes from producers until it kills them.
George L. Berish
Democrats shouldn't try to restrict speech
Looks like congressional Democrats are trying to initiate the Fairness Doctrine in order to shut up conservative radio. Also MoveOn.Org is trying to persuade advertisers not to advertise on Fox. Whatever happened to the First Amendment? I don't know if they are jealous or can't stand anyone with a different opinion.
Unions would benefit with or without rail
Dale Brouker (Letters, July 15
) makes some unseemly accusations against Mayor Mufi Hannemann, rail and the unions, implying that rail is simply a tool for the mayor to get union support in future races.
For starters, in 2004, both mayoral candidates supported rail, but Mufi was the one who received the majority of the business and labor endorsements. Second, everyone agrees that something must be done about the traffic situation, and many feel that rail is the most environmentally, efficiency- and urban-planning-friendly option.
But the kicker is, even if we build a second highway, or HOT lanes, or double-deck the H-1, who do you suppose would be building these? The unions. Who will ship and off-load thousands of cars to drive on these new roads, and fill the potholes and repave the asphalt? The unions. The unions will make out well no matter what transportation options we go with. They support Mufi due to his efforts to give them fair pay increases while budgeting for such raises as to not hamstring the next administration, and because they feel he is concerned with their members' quality of life. Rail has little to do with it.