Olympics are about athletics, not politics
In 1980, then-President Jimmy Carter, in all his infinite wisdom, decided that he was going to make a political statement on behalf of the United States, by boycotting the Moscow Olympic Games. What he really did was shatter the dreams of several hundred American athletes, most of whom missed out on a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Twenty-eight years later, presidential hopefuls Hillary Rodham Clinton and Hawaii's long-lost favorite son Barack Hussein Obama, want to take another once-in-a-lifetime experience away from our American Olympic athletes, by protesting the opening ceremonies of this year's summer Olympics in Beijing.
It scares me to think that one of these two individuals might end up becoming the president of the United States, when they are not even smart enough to know that the Olympics are about athletics, and not politics.
Airlines can do well with good management
The demise of Aloha Airlines, ATA, Skybus and others has resulted in the loss of jobs for many and a change of lifestyle. Having been in the industry myself but never been in that situation, I can only try to understand what they might be going through. The carrier I worked for, Continental Airlines, filed for Chapter 11 twice during my career. I was part of the management team. We survived. When profit sharing was distributed the "line" employees questioned why the executives got a higher share dollar. I explained to them that the CEO, when hired to turn the company around, could go to any other carrier that required his expertise for even a higher offer; we needed to make a substantial and attractive offer in order to make that necessary hire.
Today Continental Airlines is possibly the No. 1 profit-making carrier despite rising fuel costs and other factors. My question is, where was Aloha Airlines CEO David Banmiller and why is he using an excuse of "I contacted Gov. Linda Lingle two years ago"? What's his point? The state doesn't control fuel cost, nor is it in the business of bailing out private sector businesses that, in fact, have hired the big bucks CEOs. What is Banmiller walking away with? $$$$$$$
Aloha Air is gone, and so is the noise
The Hawaiian Home Land community of Keaukaha is now much quieter. Until this month, nine flights per day of noisy stage 2 aircraft plagued the residential community.
The Hilo "International" Airport was built on lands set aside for the benefit of Hawaiians pursuant to the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act. Hawaiian families were evicted to make room for the airport's expansion. The airport sits directly adjacent to the Hawaiian Home Lands residential community of Keaukaha. State government records reveal that hundreds of homes have been exposed to excessive noise levels generated by the airport.
In 1990, Congress exempted Aloha Airlines from having to fly the quieter stage 3 aircraft that every other airline in the country (except those in Alaska) is required to fly.
Now that Aloha Airlines is bankrupt, bidders for Aloha Airlines' cargo route should not expect that they will be allowed to continue to fly stage 2 aircraft. Bidders for Aloha's cargo unit should factor into their bids that they will need to acquire stage 3 aircraft. Doing so will save them fuel costs as well as allow Hawaiians in Keaukaha to live without exposure to excessive noise levels.
Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation
Join OHA in working for Hawaiian rights
Mahalo to Laura Kahaialii (Letters, April 5),
who wrote that the Hawaiian community should work together on ceded lands and other important issues. We agree. We also agree that "Hawaiians must know their lawful rights and be able to apply them," whether they are in regard to kuleana lands, ceded lands or any other rights they have. It is a good suggestion to hold workshops on this.
However, we also must address two issues she raised where we do not completely agree. First, in the proposed settlement for past-due amounts on ceded lands, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs was not "selling" ceded lands. OHA strenuously opposes the sale of ceded lands, and in fact we were the successful plaintiff in the recent Supreme Court case she praised (OHA v. HCDCH).
Second, we do recognize that some in the Hawaiian community have lost their faith in OHA. We are committed to trying to regain that trust. However, we also know that the majority of Hawaiians supported OHA negotiating and reaching the proposed settlement.
We hope the writer and others will join us and we can work together for the betterment of conditions of Hawaiians. We encourage people to stay informed and educated on native rights, ceded lands, and other issues by visiting www.oha.org.
Clyde W. Namuo
Office of Hawaiian Affairs
Keiki need seatbelts on school buses
We are all thankful that the recent school bus roll-over crash of Kahuku's water polo team left no one seriously injured or killed. This accident should be a wake-up call for Hawaii to put seatbelts on school buses. So far this year, several children have already died in school bus crashes in the United States. Six states have already passed laws regarding this issue. Hawaii's legislators did not have the public support they needed to pass any of the several bills relating to seatbelts on school buses this year. We need to show our legislators our support for House Resolution 62, which urges the Board of Education to put seatbelts on school buses.
We also should ask our legislators to pass a bill next year that mandates seatbelts on new school buses to give our keiki added protection. Seatbelts for a new school bus costs just pennies a day over the life of the bus. Aren't our keiki worth this small investment? If you want to get on board and help, contact your legislator today or visit www.keikisafebus.org