Sept. 11 isn't a day for fireworks
I read a small notice in the newspaper (Star-Bulletin, Sept. 8
) that there will be a private fireworks show tomorrow, Sept. 11, at Aloha Tower. Please consider the following:
1. The mayor will have his annual walk of remembrance for the 9/11 terrorist attacks from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. so there will be many people in the area near Aloha Tower in a quiet and somber march;
2. Most people will miss the small announcement and so will wonder about the loud explosions on 9/11. This would be unfortunate, especially if the event results in confusion and calls to 911; and
3. Congress has designated Sept. 11 of each year as "Patriot Day." Accordingly, citizens have been asked to fly the flag at half-staff.
So who would expect a fireworks gala on Sept. 11? Who would have even considered scheduling such an event?
The fireworks display should be moved to another evening out of respect for the 9/11 tragedy and for the general safety of residents.
Paul E. Smith
Women soared even when they couldn't fly
Happy 60th anniversary to the U.S. Air Force where I spent three years when it was less than 10 years old. They promised me I would see the world. Well, I had never been to Texas, Florida or Wyoming. I have now.
It was a great experience, especially cleaning the latrines and policing the area, among other memorable moments.
Never got to fly the planes. Women were not allowed to then. We are now, and I'd like to think I had something to do with that since I believe I was the first woman to apply for flight training in 1955. I think that's when I was transferred to Wyoming. Great state.
My lovely parents and I especially want to thank the U.S. government for my college education (I used up every penny and then some) and the opportunity to buy a house as part of the G.I. bill. Did I mention free health benefits for life?
It was a wonderful experience, especially since I met my best friend, Lyn, the first night in basic. She and I have had some great times remembering some not-so-great times. Wouldn't have missed it for the world.
Let's withdraw from land of fanaticism
In this modern, civilized world, I can't believe that there are people who worship intolerance and hatred towards other religious believers. Namely, the diehard Muslim fundamentalists. Their motto is convert others to believe in Allah or be destroyed. A little knowledge of religious history should indicate that we should gradually withdraw from a country dedicated to religious fanaticism.
Cronyism fueled Superferry fiasco
The Superferry fiasco
is the latest example of crony capitalism that is running amok both in this state and in the federal government. The Lingle administration made a sweetheart deal with some big-time ex-military investors (to access both state and federal tax monies to subsidize the Stryker-carrying "swift boat"), and tried to fast-track the deal with minimal concern toward environmental effects and opinions of neighbor island residents.
When the Supreme Court voted to require the Superferry to do an environmental assessment, both the Superferry execs and the Lingle administration -- instead of following the law -- went into a "surge" mode of purposely launching the ferry service immediately. And the governor even applied the Bush-type logic that the state's $40 million bond to finance the harbor improvements dedicated to the ferry is now in jeopardy. That's similar to the logic of a bank robber -- caught red-handed -- who protests that his jail sentence would put undue hardship on his family!
The so-called "black eye on business" in this Superfiasco episode -- if indeed there is one -- is due entirely to this increasing trend of crony capitalism's corruption, which is the defining feature of a failed state.
Almost everything comes by ship
Being a half-blooded Hawaiian who grew up in Hawaii for 23 years, I am upset and embarrassed about all the protesting and interference with the Superferry. I find it appalling to see this bad press in our local Sacramento newspaper mixed in with yesterday's murders, drug busts and robberies.
Adding a couple of ships to the ocean will not cause a so-called "environmental hazard," and to think that is just plain ignorance. Almost everything in Hawaii came there by ship, even your lifted 4x4 gas-guzzling and polluting trucks.
Isn't it a federal crime to deliberately interfere with a ship? I hope the Coast Guard will stop being nice to the protesters, arrest them and send them to prison on Oahu via the Superferry.
Protesters seem not to care about the facts
The black mark protesters are putting on our beautiful islands is selfishness at its worse. There is enough island to share.
I would say a large number of the protesters go off island to use our airports, roads and shopping centers. But I guess that is just fine.
The ferry is a wonderful alternative for travel and shipping. It is nice that the elderly can travel without discomfort. Shame on the protesters to deprive them of that.
The ferry passengers are shopping in neighbor island stores, eating in restaurants and buying gas. But I guess that is OK, too.
What part of the Superferry having advanced sonar warning for the whales, which are only here part of the year, did the protesters not understand? And what part of "jet-propelled," meaning no propellers, is confusing them?
The claims about the need for an environmental impact study are lame. The Superferry operators have jumped through hoops the past few years. And don't scream invasive species; have you seen what comes out of a shipping container? What is really behind all of this? Why single out the Superferry?
So, when neighbor islanders are being held hostage by another strike and they are running out of tissue, or airfares go sky high again, I hope they don't expect the Superferry or the passengers who were threatened by them to run to their aid. Oh, don't worry, we will, because we still have aloha.
Work on compromise while ferry operates
Someone said, "In every risk, there's an upside."
Then it follows that in every venture, there is both an upside and a downside. Therefore, whenever there is an improvement, progress or change of anything, something else most likely will have to give.
However, if we did not take a calculated risk, where might civilization be today?
Now, to get to the meat of the coconut, why won't the courts grant a 60- to 90-day grace period for Superferry to run on a trial basis, see what gives, and the "pros and cons" can get together and form a much more substantial and rational compromise? Mo' betta that way than to just grumble and criticize each other, spend time and money and get nowhere, no?