Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Sunday, March 01, 2009

Let youth learn from accident scenes

We are all saddened by the 17 fatal tragic accidents on Oahu in less than two months this year. Pictures on the front page of the Star-Bulletin last week of the deadly crash on Likelike Highway remind us all how fragile life is.

Many of the accidents involve younger people; therefore, I recommend that police departments coordinate with high schools and colleges whereby students accompany law enforcement personnel to various crash scenes.

The fatal accidents normally require several hours of investigation, so time would permit these students to arrive at the site and gain firsthand knowledge of the investigation process and view the horrific scene of crumpled metal resulting in the tragic loss of life.

I can assure you that if pictures and description are taken back to the high schools and colleges it will affect more young people because it will be coming directly from their peers. Even if it only saves one life it will be worth the effort!


Charles Stennes



Tourism agency wrong to spurn Pro Bowl offer

Regarding “;HTA scorned for not making Pro Bowl deal”; (Star-Bulletin, Feb. 27): Thank you Hawaii Tourism Authority for:

» taking away our only opportunity to watch professional football in Hawaii, and for our kids to meet professional football players;

» taking away our children's opportunity to watch and learn from professional athletes who promote education and drug-free lifestyles;

» taking away the numerous youth camps, put on by the Pro Bowl athletes, from our children throughout the state;

» taking away 24,230 visitors to Hawaii and $28.6 million in spending.

Thanks for taking more money out of our local economy.

Our tourism industry is suffering right now. The Pro Bowl has proven to be successful, year after year. Why would we end a successful event when we need all the help we can get? Governor, lieutenant governor, mayors and council members, please don't let this happen. For the keiki! Let's keep the Pro Bowl here in Hawaii!


Mel Rapozo

Lihue, Kauai


Think about the kids when making DOE cuts

I am Madison, a fourth-grader at Ma'ema'e Elementary School.

We children are now the kids, but one day we will be leaders and adults. We want to be smart, but if there are budget cuts our school will have less money, so they will cut jobs. If they cut a job and that person is a teacher, we can't learn what they had to teach.

Please think about what I said, and thank you for reading my letter!


Madison Seto

Ma'ema'e Elementary School



'Will of the people' can trample others' rights

Using “;the will of the people”; as justification for opposing the civil unions bill is a specious argument. Just because a majority of the people favor something does not make it right. If “;majority rules”; always had the final say, in some states, blacks would still not have the right to vote, and interracial marriages would still be outlawed.

Likewise, using the argument that something is ungodly has no place in law-making in our constitutional democracy. That would make our system a theocracy, like Saudi Arabia's, which most Americans find repugnant. So why is it all right for us to have Christianity-based laws and not Islam-based laws? Oh, that's right. Majority rules.


Roy H. Tsumoto



Do lawmakers know better than Almighty?

Regarding the civil unions bill: Sen. Gary Hooser last week was quoted as saying, “;People throughout history have suffered discrimination at the hands of a well-intentioned majority.”; With regard to homosexuals, is Hooser concluding that God discriminates as well, or does God react to activities he feels should not be engaged in? And if God imposes some penalties for engaging in certain activities, does Hooser feel that he and other politicians know better than God?


Hesh Goldstein



Public improvements will heal economy

The list of five major shopping centers that have halted construction is a grim reminder that our economy isn't just cooling, it's becoming ice-cold (”;Economy slows retail development,”; Star-Bulletin, Feb. 27). While I am a free-market capitalist, I recognize that in this recession, the private sector lacks the horsepower to create a significant number of new jobs.

It will take a long-term infrastructure investment by government to create new jobs to bring our economy back to life. On the federal level, the stimulus package is our best hope. Locally, I look to infrastructure projects like school repairs, roadwork and the building of the city's rail line as our job-creating economic engines.

Let's get them moving forward and start heating up our economy.


Jonn Serikawa



Democrats' tactics scare away visitors

Wells Fargo's cancellation of a lucrative corporate meeting in Hawaii is a predictable result of President Barack Obama's Democratic Congress intimidating banks and other corporations for spending money in a way that Congress doesn't approve of. Get ready for more cancellations, and the resulting loss of jobs, income and tax base.

Congratulations, Hawaii voters! You're getting a taste of the Obama socialist government you voted for.


Kenneth Stewart



How can state claim title to stolen lands?

If the state of Hawaii has perfect title to ceded lands, then the ceded lands is the perfect crime.

At the outset of the oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court in the ceded lands case (Star-Bulletin, Feb. 25), the state declared that it had “;perfect title”; over those lands and that this is an indisputable fact.

Then the state proceeded to say that the lands in this dispute were from the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom! Apparently the illegality of the overthrow is also indisputable because it was parroted by the other two presenters and the justices. Hello!? Isn't illegally gotten property called stolen property, not perfect title?

So the lands were stolen, but somehow the title is perfect? Oh, I get it! Yes, we all agree the lands were stolen, but it's OK because the thief made a detailed (but nonbinding) “;to whom it may concern”; apology, and the thief is a nice guy (not to mention dangerously powerful). So now if we all recite the mantra, perfect title, perfect title, perfect title, all will be ... well ... perfect! No pesky claimants, no encumbrances, no injunction, no need to answer to anyone. Best of all, no rule of law.

In essence, the state is saying to the court, “;We have a perfect right to ignore the 116-year-long annoyance of 'Hawaiian children lamenting for their homes.' After all, our title is perfect!


Leon Siu

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Ke Aupuni O Hawaii

The Hawaiian Kingdom


Don't believe them - Hawaiian is profitable

The Star-Bulletin missed the mark when lumping Hawaiian Airlines with other island airlines: Hawaiian operates under a proven business model, while others are operating under questionable marketing schemes (”;Airlines totter amid tough competition,”; Our Opinion, Feb. 23).

A strong airline with smart management and dedicated employees, Hawaiian dominates the interisland market, with nearly 80 percent of the flying. The airline's own data show that this flying is very profitable.

Nevertheless, Hawaiian management reported a year's worth of fuel-hedging losses and taxes, along with a write-down on securities, in the fourth quarter- unlike prior-year reports that spread these expenses over the year. Had it followed past practice, Hawaiian could have shown a significant fourth-quarter net profit.

A fourth-quarter operating profit of $38 million and a net profit of $24.6 million are far more accurate indicators of Hawaiian's robust financial health, as Wall Street and other investors have recognized.

So why would Hawaiian management report a loss? Do they believe downplaying its success will prove an advantage in contract negotiations with the airline's pilots, flight attendants and mechanics?


Eric Sampson

Chairman Hawaiian Airlines Unit

Air Line Pilots Association




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