Online readers are able to respond immediately to Star-Bulletin stories through our Web forum, which can be accessed at the end of stories, editorials and columns at starbulletin.com. Below is a selection of forum comments that appeared last week. Most forum contributors use pseudonyms; their "names" have been omitted here.
"$50M less in tax revenues predicted," Star-Bulletin, Aug. 1: Our liberal Legislature will see to it that any loss in revenue due to the tourism slowdown will be made up by increasing your taxes to offset the deficit. It's a typical Democratic way of business.
Wasn't it a few months ago that the governor and bank economists were predicting a mild slowdown? All they had to do was get off their lofty (perches) and walk the streets. Hawaii is facing the perfect economic storm and it will impact everyone on the streets.
The downturn in the economy started on the mainland about a year ago and has been moving west. Hawaii is going to go through difficult times. The governor should require an across-the-board budget cut to each department. Each household in Hawaii has rearranged its budget as well. Raising taxes won't help at all. The problem is that the state created more programs and employment when times were good and now when they are getting bad, the states want to keep those nice-to-have programs.
"Majority back mayor on transit," Star-Bulletin, July 28: How can 402 residents (polled) be what the majority of residents choose? I have a large family, a union working husband who will probably never use it, yet every time I purchase necessities for my family I have to pay for the transit system. I don't want it. Give us something that we all can use. Those who use the rail system will be the young, or single, or elderly who live near its route. Is that the majority of the island? Why not expand park and ride? This is really ridiculous. If Mufi Hannemann thinks that he has so much support, then simply place it on the ballot.
Please build the thing. Like H-3, it's "No, no, no," and once it is built, "Yes, yes, yes."
For those against rail, remember the center of commerce will shift to West Oahu, like it or not, and mass transit will benefit all in 10 to 20 years. Those against rail don't want development where they live, but it is OK on the Leeward side. Well, if you allow development, you need to allow mass transit.
It should be interesting if the question of rail gets to the voting booth. I have yet to meet anyone in support of rail or Mufi himself, some coworkers of mine from the Leeward coast tell me residents on that side are very upset about the landfill as well.
We live in Makaha. We now use the bus and would use the rail system, too. We drive only when we have to and that is maybe once a week. The Windward side of the island has H-3, Likelike and the Pali highways. Everyone else uses H-1 and H-2. If you live in Makaha you have 29 lights, and the bridge that goes no where, before you get to H-l. Give us the rail transit system.
"Governor criticizes candidacy confusion," Star-Bulletin, July 29: We are so lame -- why, why, why do we put up with this nonsense? We are an embarrassment to ourselves for voting for these donkeys. Wake up people and be careful who you vote for.
It's a clown show. Got to wonder what they've been smoking. It's not very funny when you look at the state of Hawaii. It takes the feds knocking heads to scare this machine.
The real embarrassment to our state is the 22 unchallenged seats that occurred this year in the House of representatives. Those people can't call themselves "elected" officials. They will be given the jobs because people are so disenchanted with the system that they no longer try to get involved, except for some real nuts I've seen over the last few years who aren't running to serve, but rather to be served.
As soon as people start worrying about getting good government and stop worrying about their party labels some progress can be made. Perhaps it's time to make our legislative positions non-partisan and add initiative, referendum and recall.
Con Con anyone?
"Tourism authority mulls $6.5M shot in arm," Star-Bulletin, July 30: The hotels have got to stop being so greedy and lower the price of the rooms. People who really love Hawaii will try their hardest to make the trip, but when the airlines are raising their prices and then the hotel raise their prices and lower their services you feel like you are being taken for a ride. Let's face it, a full hotel is better at lower prices than an empty hotel at higher prices. Full hotels mean that the tourists are going to spend money elsewhere on the islands.
What a joke and a waste of money! How about spending that on a "don't attack and kill our good samaritans and tourists" campaign. Everybody knows about Hawaii, so the money will not help, it is Hawaii's people who need their eyes opened and taught how to treat others. "Haole go home or die" is rarely uttered in more civilized and desirable destinations like Costa Rica or Belize.