Feeding sharks raises risk for all ocean users
I paddle canoe on the North Shore; my husband and son surf at Alii Beach; my family enjoys spending time in the ocean, but in the last few years we do so cautiously. We have all seen more sharks in the water. The shark tour operators claim they have no impact, but we who use the water know better. Officials say that sightings haven't increased, but we know better. We see it all the time, but because sharks belong in the water, we don't think to report sightings.
Tour companies are now banned from feeding the sharks, but who monitors them two miles out in the ocean? Apparently no one because I have witnessed crew members feeding sharks during a tour. The cage was in the water and when the shark activity slowed down, crew members would throw pieces into the water to create the feeding frenzy that makes them money.
Beamer cultivated her music, friendships
The McDiarmid ohana wishes to add our aloha to those of all Hawaii in the passing of Nona Beamer. Not "Aunty Nona," because years ago I dated her as the beautiful young girl she was. Over the years we became fast friends with a note here and an e-mail there, always with the love of our families and Hawaii's music as the connection between us. Her notes to me about how proud she was of my efforts on behalf of Hawaiian music always urged me on, and mine to her about her efforts in preserving the culture of Hawaii, and the good of Hawaii's music and her people, and for that I will be eternally grateful to her.
To have been part of the Beamer family with our Hula Records recordings of Mahi and others in the Beamer family gives my ohana the wonderful feeling that as haoles, we were able to be part of the start of the great Hawaiian Renaissance in music over the years and to know that our love for Hawaii has been well placed and that it will continue through our family, in generations to come.
Don McDiarmid Jr.
Hula Records Inc./Hawaii Calls Inc.
DLNR didn't block UH-West rail line
Your April 9 article "Rail shift upsets chancellor
" quotes the mayor as laying the blame upon the Department of Land and Natural Resources for UH-West Oahu's failure to meet a city timetable for establishing a rail transit route through adjacent state lands.
This is absolutely incorrect. Apparently the mayor was unaware that DLNR has been working with the UHWO chancellor since November 2007 to develop ancillary/support facilities and accommodate a rail transit route through the DLNR parcels.
UHWO and DLNR agreed to pursue possible joint development alternatives for the DLNR parcels, and UHWO has been preparing a proposal to submit to DLNR for consideration. We have been anxiously awaiting UHWO's proposal and look forward to reviewing it.
At the November 2007 meeting, we also learned the city had informed UHWO the rail line could not cross through DLNR lands. We were surprised to hear this since it is common for various county and state agencies to request, and for DLNR to provide, lands or easements for roadways and highways, as well as for other government functions such as schools, utilities and recreational facilities.
Curiously, the city has never contacted DLNR to discuss or propose a transit line through the DLNR parcels. I welcome the mayor to work directly with my office so we can provide him with accurate information.
Laura H. Thielen
State Department of Land and Natural Resources
Wayfaring workshop keeps culture alive
On behalf of Ohana Wa'a, an association of Hawaiian deep-sea voyaging organizations, we would like to thank the Alexander & Baldwin Foundation and the Matson Navigation Co. for their generous grant that sponsored Imi Nauao 2008, the second annual Wayfinding Skills Workshop. We would also like to recognize collaborating sponsors: the Institute for Astronomy, Aha Punana Leo Inc. and the University of Hawaii-Hilo Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii.
This year's workshop attracted more than 150 male and female voyagers, educators and future wayfinders of all ages. The Imiloa Astronomy Center's thematic exhibits and mandated educational activities allow for both scientific and cultural astronomy to coexist in a dynamic and engaging venue that honors the legacy of exploration, culture, science and the indigenous language of the islands.
We thank director Peter Giles, associate director Ka'iu Kimura, the Imiloa staff, and the many crew members of the Hilo-based voyaging canoe, Hokualaka'i, for their tremendous support in organizing and volunteering to make this year's event such a success.
The lesson of our wayfinding master, teacher and navigator, Mau Piailug, is to be a steward to the community and work to ensure the survival of his people. His example is that whether navigating the many miles that separate island communities or the seas of deep space, humanity will have to travel generations and light years, and each voyager has only a lifetime to give to that effort.
Chad Kalepa Baybayan
Captain and navigator, Hokualaka'i
Aha Punana Leo Inc.
Tax day hurts more in Hawaii
April 15 is always particularly painful in paradise. The governor and lieutenant governor have worked to lower Hawaii's regressive and punitive taxes where state tax on a single mother with one child kicks in if she makes more than only $215 a week.
Last year the Legislature blocked significant tax reform and passed only one-third of the tax relief proposed by Gov. Linda Lingle. The governor's proposal would have refunded $780 to a family of four with income of less than $50,000. Go look in your wallet. Wouldn't it be nice to have that $780?
This year the governor proposed tax relief totaling $132 million, but, as of today the Legislature is passing $0. Zero! It is interesting that the Democrats in Washington, D.C., know that a tax rebate is the best way to keep the economy stimulated, but in Hawaii the Democrat-dominated Legislature still does not get the message.
As long as Democrats prevail in our Legislature, the pain of high taxes will continue, on April 15 and every other day.
This November reduce your pain. Vote Republican.
Willes K. Lee
Hawaii Republican Party