Let Bush finish his job, too
President Bush has given Gen. David Petraeus "all the time he needs" to decide when to reduce troop levels in Iraq.
The next President should give President Bush and his team "all the time they need" to bring the Iraq war to an end.
Bush is sincere in his quest for a democratic Iraq. He should be allowed to finish the job. The Iraq war is his legacy. The next president should allow Bush and his team (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Powell, Rice and Tenet) to settle in the Green Zone and bring peace to Iraq. Let them bear some of the burden of this tragic war and make some sacrifices for their cause.
Let President Bush fulfill his legacy. In fact, he should have the Iraqi constitution changed so he could become prime minister. That would be a legacy I could applaud.
GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Wallace Theaters Laie Cinemas patrons Sherrain Reber, Kanaina Kaleo, China Au and Judy Keys took their message to the streets Thursday as they encouraged passersby to do what they could to keep the area theater open for business. Despite their efforts, the theater closed its doors for the last time that night.
A better operator could raise the curtain again
The closure of the Laie movie theatres was a shock and disappointment to many in the area (Star-Bulletin, April 18).
Hollywood Theaters' President Wallace's Scott claim that it was not economically viable is due to his own mismanagement. Had the movies been changed more than once every two to three weeks, there would have been more business. Further, several movies could have been rotated on the two screens on the same day and the theatres could have been opened earlier in the day to bring in more business.
Why didn't they bring out some of the second-run movies showing at the Restaurant Row area? People who missed them the first time would attend, and if they had already viewed and enjoyed them, would have gone again.
The timing of the movies themselves was poor, in that you had to attend the later evening screening if you wished to have dinner at a nearby restaurant, as several close by 9 p.m. Screenings at 9:30 and 9:45 are just too late for some folks.
The movies were usually as cold as a meat locker and the sound sometimes far too loud, not to mention the outrageous cost of refreshments, which is the case at most local theatres, unfortunately.
One would hope another operator will take over the theatres and offer a better product. Only that will improve audience attendance overall. I suspect that, otherwise, the public will just get used to home entertainment via DVD rentals or purchase, especially considering the high cost of gas and the prices at the multiplex theatres.
Ban on electric bikes defies common sense
After many years of trying to get a electric bike bill back on the books, from what I understand this year's bill is dead now. With gas prices hitting more than $4 a gallon and streets clogged with traffic, our state is not doing everything it can to help our residents and visitors. Matter of fact, Hawaii and New York are the only states in the nation where electric bikes are illegal! Go figure?
The world record elevation climb was set on an electric bike in 2003 on Haleakala, in the "Cycle to the Sun" race. Now even trying to set a new world record on an electric bicycle is illegal, and might be for some time to come.
More studies of gay couples are needed
I was glad to read about the new study on gay couples in Hawaii (Star-Bulletin, April 16).
As a member of the Ohana O Ke Anuenue, the local group for LGBT parents and their children, I know we need such studies.
I was surprised however by the part of the article that mentions "the popular stereotype that only well-to-do gay and lesbian couples raise children." I personally had never heard this before and it is something that is dramatically at odds with what I've learned about LGBT families here during my three decades living in Hawaii. This strange notion is clearly something that needs investigation. Another study please!
On a final note, this report is based on census data from 2000 and 2005. My family did not participate in either the 2000 census, before we had children or the 2005 census after we became parents. I'm certain that there are many more of both kinds of LGBT families in Hawaii than those numbered in this report.
We should recycle without being bribed
Hawaii was once occupied by people who lived totally independently, and yet thrived. The land was treated with the same kind of respect a family member was given. People and technology have changed a lot since then, but maybe we need to look back to learn how to be sustainable again.
Hawaii is too dependent on others when we have a lot here. We should be the leaders in recycling programs and "green" initiatives and technology. We need to learn how to care for and make use of the land and unique natural resources.
Why do people need to lose six cents per can/bottle before they start recycling? Also, there was an "Earth Hour" recently, where people unite and turn off electricity for just one hour. Sadly, lights were on everywhere in Honolulu. It either wasn't publicized enough or people did not care to participate.
Reuse shopping bags, recycle whatever possible (whether you get money back or not), buy local and natural products, don't waste water, turn off the light when leaving a room. It's time to step up and take care of Hawaii. Or do you want to pay a fee for shopping bags, too?
Djou doesn't know how to compromise
One of the things I learned in my public administration courses is that in order for any large group or organization to function, compromises have to be made. This can best be expressed as "lead, follow or get out of the way." Even though City Councilman Charles Djou is rarely in the lead, he still refuses to follow or get out of the way. In fact, much of his grandstanding usually results in getting in the way of any action by the Council. He is required to represent the welfare of his constituents, but apparently he does not recognize any obligation to represent the welfare of the entire City and County of Honolulu.
Has everyone thought about what Honolulu will be like 25 to 50 years from now? Does anyone expect that we will be able to accommodate all the additional people and their cars on just highways and roads? What about the traffic and parking in the downtown and urban areas? There are no perfect solutions that everyone will support. Any further delay in the construction of a fixed guideway will ultimately require more dislocation and expenses for development along the planned route. Sixteen years ago, there was concern that the project cost was about $1 billion. Now the projected cost will be about $4 billion. It is ironic that Djou's latest complaint about the cost of PR consultants for the transit project is largely because of the resistance generated by people like Djou.
Let the ocean be our transit system
On an international visit to a port city, I was amazed by the large numbers of passenger boats arriving from all directions, and the rows of tandem parked buses whisking passengers away to their destinations. It is perfect that we are surrounded by water. And near every harbor terminal, we can construct large parking facilities and commercial/tourist centers. By contrast, rail exists to satisfy the needs of labor, with years of two-lane tie ups followed by noisy rail service. The choice is so clear.
Dennis W. Noe
Lawmakers should have skipped Manila
There's an old saying, "just because it's legal doesn't mean that it's right." Democratic lawmakers who traveled to Manila on state time and Hawaiian Airlines' dime are hiding behind a ruling by the State Ethics Commission that stated it was in no violation of ethics laws (Star-Bulletin, April 18).
However, anyone with a basic sense of right and wrong knows that this was not the appropriate time for our state leaders to indulge themselves, especially in light of the closing of Aloha and ATA airlines, which could have been saved by these same lawmakers if they had taken action sooner.
I'm sure that Aloha employees and their families will take comfort in the $1 tax rebate that the Legislature approved, which they feel should more than make up for the lack of action. It's time that voters wake up and let our leaders know that we the people will hold them accountable for their actions (and inactions).
Christopher Pascual Wong
Elected officials forget who they work for
The City Council members and the Superferry protesters sound very similar - a small minority of inept people making decisions for the vast majority of people on all the islands. I say bring all these issues up for vote so that the actual taxpayers who are paying for all of this have a say. Most of the Council members forget who they work for.
I guess the trips that were taken at our expense didn't do anything to bring any kind of decision on the rail. I think the city and state officials who took all those trips (except for Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who is doing his best and a good job at that) should reimburse the city and state for the money that was used for those trips. Over the years, that adds up to a lot of money for no decisions. We taxpayers should have the last say on anything that costs us a lot of money. These Council and Legislature members are not doing their jobs. All they do is bicker and get stuck on one issue. They forget who they work for. If they can't do what is best for all of us, then it's way past time for a change. They have become too comfortable in their positions.
Lloyd Y. Yamasaki
Aloha Air keiki aren't the only needy ones
It's heartwarming to hear that the state, HMSA and Kaiser are attempting to help the former employees of Aloha Airlines and have focused efforts specifically aimed at keiki left uninsured. I now wonder if there are any people recently laid off from other companies that might be wondering, "Hey, what about my kids?"
Can the folks who worked at Molokai Ranch get help? Hawaiian Telcom laid off a few. ATA? Weyerhaeuser employees are on deck.
In a way this reminds me of when I read that many families of 9/11 victims were generously compensated. I can remember thinking, what about all of the families of our citizens who died when the USS Cole was attacked? Two hundred and twenty-four people were killed during the attacks on our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Oklahoma City 1995 is another. It is uncomfortable to know that these decisions can be selective.
If we help one keiki, let's help them all.