Neighbor isles too late to become 'pristine'
This fuss about the Superferry -- what's the big deal? Imagine if the same fuss had been made over other modes of transportation introduced to the islands these past decades.
Rural lifestyle? Now that they're here, some Johnny-come-latelys want to keep the outside islands "pristine" by closing the gate. Want pristine? Simple solution: Everyone who came to these islands after 1970 leave. Voila, "pristine" again.
I am 65 and grew up in Waikiki in the late '40s and '50s. I experienced the outside islands in the '60 and '70s. Give me a break! "Pristine?" When I compare the outside islands now to back then, "pristine" isn't the word that I would use. "Pristine" was Waikiki in 1949 at 6 a.m. when I was 7, walking the beach in front of the only two hotels.
When my family moved from Waikiki to Kailua in 1954, Kailua had 25,000 people. Talk about pristine! The Pali Tunnels changed that. Today, there are 10 times that.
We should have demanded an environmental impact statement and closed the gate, too.
Does Senate have guts to pull plug on ferry?
Sunday, I happily sat through six hours of nonstop testimony by the people of Kauai, 98 percent of whom vociferously opposed the Superferry until a proper environmental assessment can be done. This democracy in action, chicken skin kine, was inspirational. The voice of the people rang bell-clear.
The meeting ended because the senators had to catch the last plane out. Many of us didn't get a chance to testify.
So here goes a tiny something: Sad truth, the infrastructure of Kauai is maxed out at this time, the usual tunnel-vision bad planning.
Go to the Superferry Web site, check out its board of directors and you will see some very powerful D.C. brokers of a militaristic/business persuasion running the show. Please remember that the Superferry concept was created at the height of neocon ram-it-can-do war swagger.
Poor Gov. Linda Lingle embarrassingly continues to dance barefoot over hot lava attempting to please her overlord's commands. Previously the governor admitted to us that Superferry people contributed a substantial sum of money to her re-election campaign -- at which point I was among the many who booed.
According to the panel, we learned that the Senate has the power to immediately adjourn the special session. Do the senators have the guts to righteously pull the plug? Oh, probably not. Stay tuned.
Hawaii residents have sold out of aloha
I can't help but notice the similarities between what is happening with the Superferry and the situation simmering in Kailua, Oahu. With the exception of the environmental overtones, it's really about the same thing. The ferry had to deal with protesters in the water, and the Windward residents had to deal with gates, rocks, bushes and trash bins, but the intent and message is the same "Keep them out!"
All globe manufacturers should modify their newest model globes by stamping in big, bold, red letters onto the Hawaiian Island chain the words "SOLD OUT."
If we must pay, let it be for high definition
I don't object to the University of Hawaii selling its football coverage on a pay-per-view basis. What upsets me is having to pay $380 for the football season and then watching the games broadcast with such a poor signal. I'm not sure who is at fault -- Oceanic or KFVE -- but anyone watching the games on a current flat-screen TV is getting a very unsatisfying experience.
You can really notice the difference in quality when the UH games are broadcast on ESPN. As far as I am concerned, the more UH games are carried on ESPN or other national cable channels, the better.
UH should require that all its pay-per-view games be broadcast in high definition. If they were being shown for free on commercial TV, then I could understand the lousy quality. But anything less than HD when you are paying those rates is unacceptable.
Roland Van Owen
Guard's Iraq tour makes isles vulnerable
President Bush bet the city of New Orleans on his war in Iraq. He diverted flood control money into the war budget, stripped the Louisiana National Guard and sent them to Iraq, along with their heavy equipment and material that was supposed to be left ready to deal with flooding.
And now we see a repeat in Southern California. Federal funds for wildfire prevention were slashed to pay for the war. The National Guard was sent to Iraq, along with their heavy equipment that could be used to fight a wildfire.
Take a look around Hawaii. Our National Guard has been put on alert to deploy. Federal funds have been slashed to pay for the war. Is Hawaii now wide open for the next natural disaster that hits?