Authorities let 'protesters' break law
The confrontation over the Superferry
in Nawiliwili harbor has shown how ill-prepared we are for public safety and enforcing the laws of both state and federal governments. The behavior of the so-called "protesters" on land crossed the line to "criminal assault" when they pounded on cars and let air out of tires.
As far as the "protesters" in the water, be it on surfboards, canoes, or swimming, they were engaged in an act of terrorism. Authorities should have acted to enforce our Homeland Security Act. How can the U.S. Coast Guard say it cannot ensure safety to the Superferry, and the ferry should cease operations until further notice? The Coast Guard should be ashamed to fly the American flag when it cannot subdue a small-scale incident in its home waters. Auwe.
Radicals were impolite to our neighbors
It is unfortunate that a company that spends millions of dollars to improve the lives of all the people of Hawaii, by providing an alternate means of transportation and much-needed jobs, is stopped by a few radicals who do not know how to protest properly. The people working or traveling on the Superferry
could be our neighbors who just found a decent job working on the boat or who are traveling to see a sick relative. I wonder if those protesters ever considered that possibility.
It was a sad sight to see those protesters banging on car windows and letting air out of tires, not to mention splashing water on the Coast Guard crew. I find it unimaginable that the very people we all rely on for our security were disrespected in such a way. I also wonder if those protesters realized that those images were probably broadcast worldwide, and may have caused immeasurable damage to our image as the "Aloha State."
Henry K. Konno
No way of knowing if they'll be violent
It sure would be nice if the TSA took the same perspective on security that the Coast Guard did in its recent confrontation with locals in the water at Nawiliwili Harbor. Imagine how fast airline travelers could clear security if the screeners could just tell who was a terrorist and who wasn't. With that kind of terror-sensing talent, clearly there is an opportunity for interagency training.
On the other hand, I guess it's easy to say that the protesters did not pose a threat to the Superferry, as long as there is no ship on the bottom of the harbor with a hole in its side.
Violence is no way to win people over
Watching the recent media coverage of the Superferry on Kauai was kind of scary. It was like a combination of a Sixties protest march and a zombie horror movie. I can't believe that our law enforcement allowed these protesters to go as far as they did by letting them encroach the ship's safety buffer zone and by assaulting the people in the cars. Just seeing the screaming mob yelling threats and hitting the cars with such violence and rage, I couldn't bear to imagine what was going through minds of those sitting inside. What about those who had little children with them?
I am all for freedom of speech but acts of terrorism is going too far. These kinds of acts of intimidation and violence should never be tolerated. Our dictionaries and our government agencies definition of terrorism kind of describe what happened on Kauai.
The people I know on Kauai represent the overwhelming majority, who want the Superferry service. To those who expressed their freedom of speech in opposition, I applaud you.
Those few who expressed acts of violence and terrorism should be arrested and prosecuted. You do not represent Kauai and you do not represent Hawaii.
Mopeds ease traffic but worsen pollution
Regarding "Put mo-ped trailers on city buses"
(Letters, Aug. 28): Mopeds on buses is an interesting idea, but I don't see it as a workable solution to Honolulu's traffic problem. Mopeds and scooters certainly take up less space than a car in traffic, but I can't imagine how it could be more environmentally friendly. As a bicycle commuter, I know firsthand that most of the scooters that use the bicycle/moped license are of the two-stroke type, which really leave a trail of smoke. Even the four-stroke type produce exhaust, just less than the two-stoke scooters.
Bicycle commuting in combination with mass transit solves a multitude of problems, including traffic congestion, the obesity epidemic, limited parking, dependency on foreign oil. We are blessed with perfect weather, and natural beauty surrounds us. Perfect for bicycle commuting! If more resources were dedicated to making bicycle commuting an option (in the form of more safe bikeways and bike lanes to the city core from outlying areas), more would do it. If 500 people commuted by bicycle, 500 cars would not be on the road. That's a huge impact when you think of 500 cars lined up! The Hawaii Bicycle League is the perfect resource for information about bicycle commuting.
I am originally from Portland, Ore., and visit my family in Portland twice a year. I have watched that city change from one of major traffic/congestion problems to a city with commuting options. Light rail, buses and bicycle commuting thrive in Portland and can thrive here as well. Let's shoot for that model of commuting options rather than Honolulu becoming a smaller version of car-centric Southern California.
Report on vets' care deserves attention
Last week President Bush addressed the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Amazingly, he failed to even mention the Dole-Shalala commission, which just two weeks ago released the most comprehensive recommendations on fixing veterans care to date.
Problems like those exposed at Walter Reed linger on, and our veterans continue to wait in a system that is broken and desperately in need of repair. That the young men and women who have served so bravely abroad must now fight to receive the care they need is a national disgrace.
Isle Democrats need shining GOP values
The state Democratic Party is to be congratulated for opening its tent to Mike Gabbard (Star-Bulletin, Aug. 31
The time long ago arrived for local Democrats to become the defenders of family values and high standards of morality, as have national Republicans such as Sens. Larry Craig, David Vetter and Rep. Mark Foley.
John A. Broussard