Must bus stops also be Waikiki hot spots?
We have a wonderful bus system in Honolulu, so I hesitate to complain about the bare concrete benches basking in the hot sun across the street from the Waikiki Post Office and the Waikiki/Kapahulu Library, for fear that they will remove the stops. A bit of shade would be nice though.
James M. Walling
Akaka's seniority is not insignificant
Your editorial comment that Sen. Daniel Akaka's "seniority is not significant" (Star-Bulletin, July 20
) concerning a future Ed Case Senate bid is an insult to the thousands of veterans as well as current and retired federal employees in Hawaii. Akaka's seniority has resulted in him being chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee as well as chairman of the subcommittee responsible for oversight of the federal workforce.
Veterans Affairs becomes increasingly important due to the expanded needs of those returning home after serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. Akaka will assure that they receive the support they deserve.
With a push by the president to have Hawaii's Cost of Living Allowance transition into Locality Pay for federal employees, Akaka has sent two staff members to Hawaii to gather input as to the concerns of the employees and is encouraging those affected to send him their comments.
The bottom line is that Akaka's seniority has put him in a critical position to serve veterans and federal employees and that is hardly "not significant."
Hush up and keep everyone confused
Vice President Cheney's recent statement that "premature and public discussion of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq reinforces enemy propaganda" needs to be acted upon immediately.
No one should be allowed to publicly mention withdrawal of U.S. forces.
Remember -- the enemy is listening! They don't know that we may someday leave Iraq. Let's not let them find out that we have any intention of doing so.
John A. Broussard
Is there enough water for Kapolei?
As concerns this new development in Kapolei, what happened to the study when Ben Cayetano was governor that said we would run out of fresh water for new development in the year 2010? I do not think the city and state planners are properly checking our resources before approving these projects.
Kuliouou-Kalani-Iki Neighborhood Board
UH should seek fuel from native plants only
From the University of Hawaii, where one UH Web site lists the aalii as "native" and another UH Web site lists it as "invasive" because it takes up valuable pasture land for cattle, we're now faced with the prospects of more haole koa and castor bean because of their fuel potentials ("UH hopes to grow an isle biofuel source,"
Haole koa was first brought to the islands for cattle feed; the seeds are a good source of protein. But haole koa isn't easily controlled! Next time you drive up H-2 just past the H-1/H-2 split at Pearl City, take a look at the extensive haole koa forests on both sides of the H-2 freeway! Is this really what we want more of? Or see what haole koa and thorny kiawe (or mesquite, which, contrary to popular opinion, is NOT a native tree) have done to the former beautiful native dryland forests of the Leeward Coast.
As for castor bean, the seeds are highly toxic and are sometimes used in lei making. Just chewing one seed can kill a small child due to its ricin content.
From my perspective, UH needs to limit its search for fuel sources to native plants and grasses -- no exceptions. Furthermore, let it help clean up the results of the first failed endeavor before starting on a second round.
Perks make it easier for military to buy
How nice that deployed troops (most not born and raised here) are "getting the jump on the Hawaii housing market," as stated in a lead article July 15.
How sad that local people continue to be squeezed out to the point of steadily increasing homelessness. Many can barely afford rent. None have anything like the huge buying perks available to military members from outside Hawaii. It almost feels like another "inconvenient truth."
GOP must share blame for legislative gridlock
The Cagle cartoon in the July 29 paper perpetuates the false impression that ever since the 2006 elections when the Democrats gained power in the Congress they have done nothing with it. It is important to remember that they have a razor-thin majority in the Senate where any legislation that is objectionable to the Republicans can be stopped cold with a filibuster that takes 60 votes to terminate. The Democrats do not have 60 votes. Therefore, there is no action.
Rather than paint the Democrats as do-nothing legislators, it would be fairer to indicate that there is a gridlocked Senate, and unless enough Republicans join the Democrats to end debate and bring matters to an up or down vote, this situation will persist until there is another election and the composition of the Senate is changed.
Pig caretakers make world less violent
Thankfully, the world still has people in it like Su and Sharene Matsumoto ("Heated battle over pigs/One man's pets another man's food,"
Star-Bulletin, July 30).
People like the Matsumotos make our world better by reducing violence and recognizing the inherent worth of each individual, both human and nonhuman.
Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for their neighbor and the Hawaii County Council.
The frontpage photo of Su cradling his baby pig touched my heart. We should all be judged on who cares for the helpless and the innocent. The Matsumotos are ahead of their time. I am hopeful, however, that someday humanity will progress to the point where we can rid the earth of needless violence and cruelty.
To quote Thomas A. Edison: "Nonviolence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming ALL other living beings, we are still savages."