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.
Hannemann did a way better job on the issues than the other two candidates. That's the bottom line here. Panos is a one-issue candidate, and amazingly he believes that engineering can solve all of our city's problem. Dah!!! Now that's a no brainer. Ann's last-minute decision to run for mayor is somewhat questionable. There's probably more to her decision to run for mayor than we know. Most of Honolulu's people approve of Mufi's job, so I don't know what's the problem. I guess when you are doing a better job and you are knowledgeable about all of this city's issues, other people think you are "bully."
I watched the debate and felt Prevedouros did a good job in explaining why steel-on-steel rail is not the right solution for Honolulu. My vote goes to Panos.
It's easy to attack and criticize the current administration, Panos and Ann took full advantage of this. Panos has lots of ideas, but can he pull it off? Ann has no direction on mass transit other than "we need to look at newer technology." I'm voting for Mufi!
Kobayashi was babbling all over the place trying to explain the blatant giveaway of her City Council seat to carpetbagger Duke Bainum. That act alone should disqualify her from ever going near an elected office again. Disgraceful!
In two years, Mufi will depart City Hall and run for Congress. If the rail passes, he will leave that in a mess and everything else, such as the landfill and the sewer plant at Sand Island. But he will be highly compensated by all the unions and private companies that are making billions of dollars by his construction projects.
I was very much impressed by Panos last night. He was well-versed on Hawaii issues, respect for the land, and sympathetic to cultural differences. Mufi did an excellent job of proving Kobayashi's point that he was a bully. And a whining bully at that. Poor Kobayashi seems to shrink under his withering direct personal attack. I was more impressed with Kobayashi than I had been previously, though I still think Panos has the edge as to who would be the best and smartest for Honolulu, our infrastructure problems and our traffic and development problems. Mufi didn't change my mind about anything.
Folks have been calling for government spending cuts since early this year. The DOE certainly offers fertile ground for cuts. So does the HTA, a profile of failure in terms of proactive direction of Hawaii's major economic engine. DBEDT could use some trimming too. But for a start, get rid of the $100 million tax credits given away to movie and TV companies and other "hi-tech" companies. In fact, let's recognize that we cannot give tax credits away. We need tax revenue.
Hooray for correct, bold, courageous actions to live within our means. Amount used for Honolulu rail should be zero. Kill Superferry support; it's a good idea but hated. Good time to ask neighborhoods and alumni to volunteer support for public schools in their area. In short, reset priorities and ask public to make sacrifices.
Come on folks this is not a Republican or a Democratic issue. It's much bigger than that, so big that it should scare everyone. We are facing the ultimate economic storm. We are going to need leadership that will make sacrifices beyond 2009 and well into the next decade. We will need union leadership that has the good of it members, but more importantly the good of the state, in their hands. Layoffs may be needed and wages need to be frozen. We will need our leadership to have the (courage) to say no to the unions. We will need visionaries that get it and politicians that are willing to tell the people of Hawaii that sacrifices need to be made. We need the economists to stop BSing by painting more than half full glasses and get real. We need a governor and mayors to stop running for higher offices and get on the streets and ease the fear of the public with real solutions and sacrifices that need to be made. This is not a political issue, this is statewide issue where we need to come together for the good of all.