Whales are hit by ships every day
It's a fact of life that a whale is hit by a ship every day on this planet, and I can attest to a few during my seagoing career.
Sometimes we are left to gaze in awe at whales that swim ashore and die, doing something we simply do not understand.
So what do the fanatical environmentalists on their various bandwagons know that we don't, even if a whale is hit by one of the many ships that sail around these islands on a daily basis? We should be sorry, but the damage has already been accomplished, all over the planet. A species disappears as often as a child is born.
I'm pretty sure the humpback whales knew a ferry was heading their way, and they adjusted their lifestyle accordingly. Without a judge.
John L Werrill
Persuade feds, state to defer ferry loans
When I was in college, I took out government loans, and got deferred payments until I graduated. No money was due until I started earning my money. Let's bring in the feds who guaranteed the Superferry loan. With them and/or the help of Congress a bill can be passed to defer loan payments for the Superferry. Do the same thing for the state loans.
Superferry then can sit idle while the very lawful EA/EIS is done, and no harm is done to the neighbor islands. Oahu will practice aloha and be patient, not grumble about missing a possible "convenience" at the risk of irreparable harm to its neighbors. Sounds simple; it is. Not political, just simple.
A federal and state deferral of loan payments answers all, and takes the pressure off.
Law must apply to Superferry as well
As a legislator, Sen. Espero ("Let's find a compromise on Hawaii Superferry,"
Capitol Viewpoint, Oct. 11) should know that there is no compromise with the law, whether it regulates speeding on the highways or restricts potentially dangerous traffic in our environmentally sensitive waters.
The Legislature passes laws and the courts reminded us that the Superferry has to obey them, just like the rest of us.
The principles that guided the Legislature to pass those laws are still valid. They require that the Superferry not sail until it is cleared by an environmental assessment, and if necessary, an environmental impact statement. This all could have been done years ago, but it still needs to be done now.
The senator's suggestions of reduced vehicle capacity and reduced speed are not compromises either. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's guideline is 13 knots or less, not 20. The ferry might not be viable as a business if its speed and capacity are reduced. Nor is the addition of a second vessel to "guide" the ferry in shallow waters sensible; we would have two ships to endanger whales instead of one. And, of course, his suggestion could trigger the need to complete yet another EA.
We should be open to any new ideas, however they need to relate to the facts on the ground to be of use in unscrambling this growing fiasco.
Will they also protest new housing?
I read in the Oct. 10 paper that A&B Properties is going to build 600 homes in Maui.
I'd really like to know if the Superferry protesters are going to protest the building of these homes in their precious "aina." If anything, that is the really big issue that they should be protesting against instead of the Superferry. They complain about the amount of traffic coming to their island. When the 600 homes are built, multiply that by two or three cars and what happens then?
We can find balance in all the controversy
The Superferry controversy has stimulated a healthy community discussion. Perhaps it's time to separate the surface issues from the primary question that needs our attention; that is, finding the right balance between economic stability and sustainability.
Most of the surface issues raise questions that need to be addressed. Our state government needs to be held accountable for its inconsistency in requiring an EIS from all businesses and new developments. Our environmental concerns need to be equally focused on all intra-state commerce and traffic. These are critical issues that deserve a close analysis by our political leadership.
However, if we become distracted by questions of blame, by the inappropriate behavior of a few Kauai residents, by the lobbying of business interests, and by the sometimes misplaced fear of invasive species, we can easily miss an opportunity to restore or create proper balance between growth and malama aina. The Superferry has become the scapegoat for some who believe our islands are being overdeveloped. While Hawaii is suffering from uncontrolled growth, I'm not convinced that stopping the Superferry is the answer.
We can enjoy the freedom of travel between the islands if we also accept the moral responsibility of distinguishing between need and desire.
There can be economic stability with controlled growth. We can protect our freedoms while enjoying the beauty and culture of this island paradise. We can build sustainable communities where everyone can experience healthfulness, happiness and affordable housing.
Protesting rudely isn't the Hawaiian way
Regarding Lloyd Yamasaki's letter Oct. 6 about the Superferry, "Don't let wealthy malihinis sway you"
: How right you are, but the rich have taken over and there are not too many kamaainas left. They are the endangered species. They wouldn't boycott or boo the governor, but have respect for authority.
There are other ways to show displeasure, and boycotting and name-calling are not the Hawaiian way.
U.S. should hold Turkey accountable
Recently the Committee on Foreign Affairs passed House Resolution 106, introduced by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) to ask the president "to ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the United States record relating to the Armenian genocide."
Co-sponsored by our own Reps. Neil Abercrombie and Mazie Hirono, HR 106 is a resolution that all Hawaii residents should read because it is a bold declaration against genocide and the trampling of humanity.
It is quite a shame that the White House and the Turkish government have put up so much resistance to the passage of the measure. I was extremely disappointed that not only did Turkey recall its ambassador but also that our White House warned that the resolution could affect Turkey's participation in Iraq. My response is this: Genocide is genocide. If Turkey is so ashamed to be accountable for it, then we don't need its help in Iraq.
Rev. Daniel P. de Gracia II
Smoking bans gain popularity in Japan
After reading a resident's concern that Japanese visitors will stop coming to Hawaii because they may not smoke in our restaurants and bars, it was encouraging to see the number of smoke-free hotels, restaurants and other public and private facilities in Japan.
We just returned from Tokyo and Yokohama and found there are even places where smoking is prohibited on the streets, and violators are fined 50,000 yen, the same amount as if they threw a cigarette butt on the street, sidewalk, or in a gutter.
We noticed "smoking room" signs in some facilities, such as the smoke-free Tokyo City Air Terminal. JAL was the first international air carrier to ban smoking on flights between Japan and Hawaii, even before our new health laws went into effect.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if Hawaii could be thought of all over the world as the "health destination" where no one smoked? Think of all the people who would vacation here just to get away from an unhealthy situation where they live or where they used to visit -- places without laws to protect the health of the public.
Wouldn't it be grand if we didn't need such laws? What if everyone cared about others?
Add another tool to health care system
I appreciated Ira Zunin's Oct. 7 article concerning the health care crisis Hawaiians face
-- the decline in available services and spiraling costs. Zunin says the public needs "access to a bigger tool set in health care." I agree. We must, however, acquaint the public with the varied systems the tool set includes -- their methodologies, costs and availability.
My nonconventional method of treating diseases and injuries has been Christian Science. I've practiced it successfully to meet a wide variety of problems for more than 40 years, and I've chosen it over any other system available. It's low cost. It's effective. It's integrative in that it treats the whole person. Admittedly, no one is passively fixed here; it calls for taking responsibility and participating in the healing process.
Christian Science Committee on Publication for Hawaii