Pavilion ceremony was majestic occasion
My wife, Heather, and I attended the Royal Sala Thai Pavilion dedication ceremony held Saturday at the University of Hawaii-Manoa's East-West Center. We felt culturally immersed in this historic occasion involving East-West "ohana" understanding between Thailand and Hawaii. We were blessed to be in the company of her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and marveled at the performance not only of the Royal Thai dancers and musicians perform "Dream Island" but the Hawaiian Oli done by Halau i ka Wekiu.
Malama pono a hui hou kakou!
Turn Big Island into Hawaii's 'e-City'
Save Honolulu from strangulation by traffic. Postpone the selection of a fixed guideway system for Honolulu. Terminate the project as quickly as possible.
Authorize the planning of an e-City, an "environmental city," on the Big Island. Legally change the name from Hawaii County to Hawaii e-City and County. Re-dedicate the half-percent increase in excise tax from a fixed guideway system for Honolulu to Hawaii e-City and County. These funds would go to creating an environmentally tailored infrastructure on the Big Island to attract state growth away from Honolulu. The e-City would strive to be one-third renewably energy powered for urban use and sufficient water.
Some of the above action can be started now, in this Legislature. As tourism sags, Hawaii needs to become the e-State.
E. Alvey Wright
TheBoat seems to be used mainly by tourists
On Feb. 27, we took a delightful round-trip ride on TheBoat during the afternoon rush hour between Aloha Tower and Kalaeloa/Barbers Point Harbor. We're retired, live in Kakaako (we walked to Aloha Tower) and wanted to experience TheBoat and see Oahu from offshore. It was a beautiful, calm day and we saw several pods of humpback whales. TheBoat was efficiently operated by a competent and courteous crew and was right on time. One interesting observation: a large majority of the passengers were tourists, not rush-hour commuters! Our grand total for the two-hour afternoon "tour" was $8.
We understand that TheBoat is operating on a one-year, $1 million federal subsidy. And based on it's great "success," the mayor's city budget for 2009 proposes an additional $4 million for its continued operation. Do the residents of Honolulu want to continue to subsidize an operation that is meant to help Leeward Oahu commuters, but also appears to be a very cheap whale-watching ocean tour for many tourists?
Dave and Gloria Kern
Obama has same ideals as residents
Hawaii's Democrats have a one-in-a-billion opportunity to select one of its own to run for the U.S. presidency. One who cherishes the same ideals of its people. Malamalama Obama!
Richard Y. Will
GOP is employing its usual tactics
Here we go again. The mudslinging has started with the fear-mongering, name-calling and personal attacks. No matter who is the presidential candidate of the Democrats, the long knives are being sharpened by the Republicans where the means justifies the end. Would you believe these fellas call themselves "patriots"? What a waste of time focusing on superficialities, with so many crucial issues requiring attention, such as a bleeding war with no end, a tanking economy and emasculated federal consumer agencies incapable of effectively functioning.
The electorate should demand a civil discourse and condemn political gamesmanship after enduring eight years of a grossly incompetent and devious administration.
Rail construction should start downtown
I have to question the so-called logic of starting construction of the rail in Kapolei and then working into downtown. I was in Washington, D.C., when the Metro was being built. It started downtown and expanded outward. That way, at least some ridership was established and increased as the transit line moved out.
Wouldn't it make more sense to start at Ala Moana Center (bus transfer hub) and proceed from there? At least some could ride. A rationale given for the Kapolei start was it would displace fewer people and businesses. True, but what will be the costs of these properties/businesses in 10 or 15 years? Should construction even begin before the city has title to all the land along the route? Eminent domain proceedings can be stalled for years. If so, what good is a rail line from Kapolei to Waipahu? If the line has to be re-routed, how many more years will be spent on environmental impact studies as well as new eminent domain cases?
Maybe the proponents of the rail transit system need to re-examine their plans.