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POSTED: Friday, March 20, 2009

It's all about money, not environment

I find it rather amazing that on the same day we are told the Superferry will shut down because it has failed to complete the environmental paperwork, we learn that the Navy will not even have to pay a fine for dumping 7,000 gallons of raw sewage onto the reef after it was rammed by the USS Port Royal.

It appears that environmentalism is being selectively enforced here and that the real reason for driving the Superferry away is to protect the profits of the interisland airlines and outer-island car rental companies.

Michael Rivero
Aiea

Whale-watching tours should stop, too

Congratulations to the Sierra Club, Maui Tomorrow and the Kahului Harbor Coalition, who sued to have Act 2 overturned with respect to the Hawaii Superferry. Your efforts have been victorious to shut down this high-speed vehicle. Humpback whales can rejoice that this evil piece of machinery no longer endangers them, even though there are no documented incidents of collisions. The same cannot be said about the tour boats, which resulted in injury to whale and human earlier this year.

Additionally, as the economic situation worsens, I am sure that the several hundred employees, small businessmen using the services, the tax collectors and our valuable tourists who enjoy the scenic route when traveling to Maui are rejoicing your victory as well. Great job on your contribution to the economy and deepening the misery with information based on unfounded fear and not fact.

With that said, in compliance with your no tolerance to whale collisions, I call upon you to suspend all whale-watching tours until guidelines can be put in place to stop these horrific collisions with the sea mammals. I request that you not be hypocritical in the application of your policies and be true stewards of the environment.

Paul W. Theisen
Aiea

Sacred Hearts inspires young students

The Science Symposium for Girls, hosted for the last 15 years by Sacred Hearts Academy, was another winner. Last Saturday, keynote speaker Helen Turner from Chaminade University quickly convinced approximately 400 girls and 250 parents that girls can compute, calculate and navigate.

My daughter and her friends left the symposium not only excited, but empowered. They attended workshop sessions that addressed robotics, physical therapy, pharmacy, DNA and veterinary medicine, to name just a few. The proof of the symposium's value was in the busy and excited chatter that filled the car on our trek home. The girls tried to impress me with their new-found knowledge of the STEM careers in science, technology, engineering and math that are sure to be in their future. Dare I tell them I was unfamiliar with the acronym!

Mahalo, Sacred Hearts Academy, for offering such a great program for our daughters.

Sheryl Chun
Kaneohe

'Urban outdoorsmen' create lots of trash

You know that little triangle of land by the H-2's exit 8, just before the bridge going into Wahiawa? On Tuesday there was a large work crew, heavy equipment and a bunch of sheriff's officers cleaning out the area just before the bridge. One lane was closed.

From what I could see from the water, it will take weeks and many truckloads to remove all the trash. Now that the shacks are torn down you can really see what a trash dump the urban outdoorsmen have created.

I saw one pile of filled garbage bags the size of an SUV ... and that hadn't made a dent in the garbage pile it was standing next to. I wonder if that place can ever be cleaned up.

Workers I spoke with were not even aware of the homeless camp over by the North Wahiawa bridge.

Stan Wright
Kaneohe

DLNR park fees will hurt tourism, residents

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is working on a plan to increase revenue. Deceptively called “;Recreational Renaissance,”; DLNR plans to charge nonresidents admission to several state parks: Nuuanu Pali and Ka Iwi (Oahu); Iao and Makena (Maui); Kekaha Kai and Akaka Falls (Hawaii); Kokee/Waimea and Haena (Kauai). It's a bad plan.

At some sites, admission fees might not offset the cost of building, maintaining and staffing facilities. Tour companies will lose revenue to fees. Tourists will resent being “;nickel and dollared”; (again) and will become frustrated waiting to park and pay (in Pali wind and rain?) at short viewing stops. Being ripped off, tourists might stay away - from Hawaii.

The plan currently allows residents free admission. But residents now pay to enter Diamond Head and stand in long, hot lines to enter Hanauma Bay. This gives reason to believe residents will have to wait in line and pay to enter parks our taxes already pay for before we can enjoy our own home.

The plan will not substantially increase revenue, and might drive tourists away and discourage Hawaii's residents from enjoying culturally significant, ecologically important and valued recreational lands.

Bob Kern
Honolulu

               

     

 

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