You know the "other side" is being heard when the liberals start talking about resurrecting the "Fairness Doctrine," which should really be called the "Hush Rush" maneuver. Having had the media feed on themselves with the steady diet of left-wing reporting in the broadcast channels, CNN (Al Jazeera West), National Public Radio, the major national newspapers and news magazines and our two local newspapers, they are amazed that there is another way of looking at political issues.
Right-wing talk radio filled a need. Don't like Rush Limbaugh? Start your own liberal talk radio programs. Oh wait ... that's been tried. Remember Al Franken and the much-hyped (in the same liberal media) and now bankrupt Air America?
Thomas J. Freitas
Exactly what are one's 'aboriginal rights'?
Regarding Eric Po'ohina's July 29 letter to the editor, "How would patriots view sovereignty opponents?
": I have difficulty absorbing his declaration of "Hawaiian national, cultural and aboriginal rights."
Are these "rights" in addition to the rights of other U.S. citizens? By what means and where are they codified? Are there any obligations or responsibilities attached to those who have them? Do they constitute a claim of assets or spiritual strength from those who do not have them? And finally, what in the world is an aboriginal "right"? Does it include a "right" to return to primitive living standards? If so, how is he being impeded? By whom?
I am perplexed.
Richard O. Rowland
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
State needs to be fiscally responsible
Recent headlines focusing on funds being withheld from the Department of Education distract readers from the real issue -- that state tax revenues fell short of projections and this calls for increased fiscal discipline. Instead, media reports focus on how this cash shortfall will affect renovation projects
of one department, DOE, which has been consistently plagued by skepticism as to how it is spending the billions of dollars already entrusted to it. Let's put this into context.
The Legislature set aside $235 million for the DOE, assuming that money from tax revenues and the general fund could absorb the cost. Now, figures reveal there is a gap of $188 million between what was projected the state would receive and what was actually collected. As a result, the Lingle-Aiona administration is releasing only first-quarter funds to all departments until it gains a clearer picture of the state's economy at the upcoming Council on Revenue meeting. The administration also has directed the DOE to request from the legislature $110 million in bond financing rather than using cash from the General Fund.
I, for one, am thankful that the administration is being responsible with taxpayer money and has decided to curb spending until we know what is coming in.
Hawaii's reps back good energy policy
I would like to thank Reps. Neil Abercrombie and Mazie Hirono for voting in favor of an amendment to establish a national Renewable Electricity Standard. The amendment was passed as part of "The New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection Act" (HR 3221).
The passage of the RES along with the package of legislation included in HR 3221 will make significant steps toward reducing global warming and creating a cleaner and more secure energy future for the United States. The RES requires that utilities generate 15 percent of their electricity from renewable energy such as wind, solar or biomass, or through energy efficiency savings by 2020.
We thank Abercrombie and Hirono for standing up to massive opposition by coal-fired utility companies and their allies and joining a broad coalition of environmentalists, labor unions, farm groups and clean energy developers to pass this bipartisan legislation.
Hawaii field organizer
It's not too late to get combat award
Ten years ago, my dad wondered if he might have earned the Bronze Star medal for his combat World War II Army service in France. He was wounded several times in heavy battles. After learning that lots of paperwork was required, he decided not to pursue the request. He passed away a few years later.
Two years ago, I filled out a short form on the National Personnel Record Center's Web site (www.archives.gov/veterans/evetrecs/index.html). After they researched Dad's records, I received his Bronze Star with his name engraved on the back. I learned that his Combat Infantry Badge automatically qualified him for the medal.
My neighbor later received his Bronze Star in the 1960s for World War II service in France as a result of the same Combat Infantry Badge status.
It's worth filling out the application to see if you or your deceased relative earned this prestigious award.
Dad, thank you for your service! You indeed earned the Bronze Star Medal for your fighting spirit, and in memory of your close comrades who died for their country in a foreign land.
Don't call -- write to troops overseas
As a veteran, I don't think there is any mystery about the high number of GI suicides overseas.
When I was stationed overseas, it took four to six weeks for a letter to reach us from home. Now it takes only four to six minutes for someone from home to call with the latest news. What that means is that GIs are not able to concentrate on their jobs or on staying alive, but their thoughts are occupied with up-to-the-minute news from home and what they should (or could) do about it.
My advice is simply this: If you love someone serving overseas, don't call -- write!
Being friendly to pets is good for business
The Hawaiian Humane Society hopes pet owners -- and developers -- take note of Mitch D'Olier's vision in "Transforming Kailua Town" (Star-Bulletin, Aug. 12
), specifically the pet-friendly addition of the doggie drinking fountain. He provides the community with a progressive solution and demonstrates sensitive insight about the role of animals as lifelong companions.
Americans spend an astonishing $41 billion a year on their furry friends, more than what Americans spend annually on movies, video games and music combined. D'Olier's redevelopment is not only good for Kailua and animal lovers, it's good for business. The Hawaiian Humane Society has long seen the value of creating pet-friendly spaces and places. We view the human-animal bond as beneficial and therapeutic, and believe that responsible owners should be allowed to have animals in apartments, condominiums, rental units, residential care facilities and in public places such as parks, beaches and even malls.
Planners and architects need to be more creative as they anticipate denser development within Honolulu's urban core. Pet-friendly accommodations should include doggie runs, off-leash dog parks and even restaurants with lanais where owners and pets can relax. Pet friendly communities are good for business as well as people.
Community relations director
Hawaiian Humane Society
Will Oahu get traffic relief?
Opponents of rail transit protested in front of Honolulu Hale on March 28.
Build toll roads, not expensive rail
Now, let me get this straight. We are just about to get contracts that eventually will build a railroad that doesn't start where it needs to, go where it needs to and or make stops where it needs to. This railroad will require about 20 stops, which will have 40 escalators, 20 elevators, 40 parking lots and perhaps that many bathrooms. It will not relieve any automotive traffic. It will take 10 years to build and will cost $5 billion to state residents after extras and delays.
Alternatively, we could build toll roads over our existing right of ways that serve roads starting where we live and end where we want to go. This could be built in half the time, half the money, relieve the traffic and virtually pay for itself along with a fraction of the maintenance, security and manpower required to run the railroad.
Of course the railroad makes more sense.
Build bus turnouts to relieve city traffic
Thank you for Friday's editorial "Small changes add up to relieve city traffic.
" At last, common sense might prevail. As for city traffic, once one gets off the freeway, rail will do nothing to relieve congestion. However, the small changes the editorial suggests would.
The single change that would free up an entire lane downtown would be to build bus turnouts. We all know from several years ago during the bus strike how smoothly traffic flowed downtown when there wasn't a bus taking up an entire lane stopping twice per block. The bus even blocks other buses that aren't stopping at the same stop. Sure, it would cost plenty to buy the right of way and to condemn property needed for the turnouts, but it would be far cheaper and will work. It's already been proven.
Public should know about viable alternatives
I am glad city Department of Transportation Services Director Melvin Kaku finally realized that the proposed bus fixed guideway is not a busway system ("Busways are not part of city transit plan
," Letters, Star-Bulletin, Aug. 13). He is correct in stating that I have always opposed a bus system, such as the Bus Rapid Transit system. The technology discussed at a recent City Council Transportation Committee meeting is a fixed-guideway system using rubber tires (buses), instead of rail, and I'm thankful Kaku clarified this misconception.
At this meeting, committee members discussed alternative technology for the mass transit project; however, I was disappointed that DTS went into great detail about alternatives that do not work. Shouldn't the public be informed of other alternatives that do work and are acceptable to the Federal Transit Authority?
I hope Kaku -- in stating that I am delaying the project by merely discussing this topic -- is not implying that he does not want us to discuss the project and sidestep the public's right to know, especially when it involves 5 billion taxpayer dollars.
City Council, District 5