Ask bar owners how ban affects them
I can't sit back and take this anymore. Hye-ryeon Lee's letter in the Dec. 2 Star-Bulletin
just put the icing on the cake. She said that since its inception one year ago, the smoking ban has been good for Hawaii and for businesses. Where is she getting her information? Certainly not the bar owners. Why did 16 dispenser licenses and four cabaret licenses not get renewed? Because they went out of business. These figures are from the Liquor Commission.
Lee says a smoke-free Hawaii helps brand our state a desirable destination. If that is the case, then why is Japanese tourism down 2.6 percent from a year ago? International visitors are down 4.6 percent from a year ago, and this is with a favorable exchange rate.
We are all intelligent people who can make up our own minds about what is good for us and what is not. I don't have a problem with the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association or the American Cancer Society. I do, however, have a problem with the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Hawaii. Tobacco is a legal product in Hawaii. And as long as tobacco is a legal product, Hawaii will never be tobacco free.
Something is wrong with this legislation. I can sell tobacco in my bars and pubs, the state gets its much-needed taxes to fund its cancer research center, but my patrons have to go outside to enjoy a legal product.
E & J Lounge Operating Co.
Skip the firecrackers for sake of the troops
Would it be possible for the public to tone down the usage of firecrackers and other noisemakers this New Year's Eve to help our veterans back from Iraq and Afghanistan and other wars?
They need your kokua.
Roy E. Shigemura
Panel will erase politics from transit pick
Mayor Hannemann introduced a proposal to the City Council that creates an independent panel of mass transit experts to select the technology to be used in Honolulu's fixed guideway mass transit system. The Council already has determined the policy so this proposal should ensure a smart and sensible logic to the technology decision rather than partisan politics.
The proposal sets out specific requirements for panel membership, ensuring that only the top national and/or international experts may be considered. These are professional transit technology experts who specialize in technology evaluation and are independent of technology providers. The people of Honolulu deserve the best system chosen for technical merits and values, therefore choosing the fixed guideway technology should be left to those with the most experience and expertise.
This proposal also sets a firm deadline for making technology selections to ensure action will be taken and the project will continue to move forward so that Honolulu citizens get the integrated, multi-modal transportation system they so badly need and deserve.
Learn to respect Hawaiian way of life
In the ancient days of the Hawaiian nation, all of the Hawaiians used only one name. They used only one word to describe their thoughts or spoke to others.
Aloha. Mahalo. Pono. Malama. Hauole. Keiki. Plus many more Hawaiian words are being used adding an English sentence to complete their thoughts. However you use the English word, adding a Hawaiian word should be carefully thought out before you complete your sentence.
The Hawaiian families have been taught by their kupuna of tolerance respecting the lands, the ocean and its people.
Today's world, which has interrupted the Hawaiian way of life, has brought in disrespect from others who want to change the way of life in the islands. The Superferry, sports, bed and breakfasts, and many more are supported by people who have no understanding of the Hawaiians' way of life.
We need to count our many blessings in this land of aloha. We all need to learn to understand this culture, and tolerance is what one needs to live with others with respect. Words, words, words.
Lucy M. Akau
George Will is correct about the Akaka Bill
George F. Will's Nov. 30 column, was introduced with "I decide who is a Jew around hear," a quote from Hermann Goering in 1934 when told that a favorite Munich art dealer was Jewish.
What a thought-provoking quotation that applies to the Akaka Bill in its selection and separation of the people by race in Hawaii.
The response to Will's column has been immediate as expected. But all the responses are based on the 1993 Apology Bill that is full of half-truths and statements from individual interpretation of Hawaiian history.
Those in opposition to Will's column sidestepped the findings of the U.S. Senate Report No. 227 (The Morgan Report) based on sworn testimony (including James Blount's) and notarized statements presented at the Senate hearing.
The hearing began on Dec. 27, 1893 and continued through Feb. 13, 1894, with its finding submitted to Congress with debate on the floor on Feb. 26, 1894.
The U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations found that Ambassador John L. Stevens and the United States were not complicit in the "overthrow" by the subjects of a Kingdom of a corrupt government (the monarchy) and in the establishment of the Provisional Government later to become the Republic of Hawaii.
'Staying the course' has been a disaster
Theodore Taba (Letters, Nov. 23
) said the American people need to be made aware of the developments in Iraq and ended his letter by saying we should "stay the course" (a phrase even the Bush administration has abandoned). Mr. Taba needs to remember how we got on the course to begin with, all the lies we were told to justify invading a sovereign nation that had done nothing to us (there were no weapons of mass destruction and Osama Bin Laden was behind 9/11, not Saddam Hussein). Mr. Taba spoke of how Iraqis can now return home, but fails to realize they would not have been displaced to begin with if not for Mr. Bush's personal vendetta against Saddam. We were not told we needed to invade so Iraqis could return home, and who even heard of an insurgent in Iraq until after we invaded?
Some people believe the rhetoric, but how do you gauge success or failure on a catchphrase like "the war on terror"? It's just as ambiguous as the "war on drugs." So instead of "staying the course," how about admitting we were wrong and mitigating the damage as much as possible by bringing our troops home. Impeach Bush and Cheney now!