Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Saturday, March 28, 2009

It wasn't protesters who stopped the ferry

Otto Cleveland, in his letter to the editor yesterday, writes that PANE (People Against Nearly Everything) has stopped the Superferry. Let's set the record straight: The Hawaii Supreme Court, upholding Hawaii law, has stopped the Superferry. Ferry executives and the administration, by circumventing our environmental laws, have stopped the ferry from operating.

Rike Weiss

Use existing laws to punish excess

The attempt to restore equity and justice by using punitive tax laws to punish AIG employees who got taxpayer bonuses despite the company's failure demonstrates that the Congress of the United States has never read the Constitution. It is an emotional response without insight or legality.

The Constitution says “;there shall be no ex-post facto laws passed”;; that is, a law that is designed to punish someone after they have committed an unfavorable act when no such law existed. This is not how we restore justice under the Constitution.

My suggestion: Former New York attorney general and governor, Eliot Spitzer, who recently moved to Washington, D.C., should be hired to head a division to recoup the excesses of Wall Street brokers who floated faux paper to make commissions and huge bonuses for themselves and their firms, and to recoup those riches under existing fraud laws.

If the banks/hedge funds for which they worked have destroyed the evidence, they become co-conspirators under an obstruction of justice charge (remember the Nixon years?).

We face a problem of ethics in business and government, we have the laws to deal with it, we cannot and do not need to create new laws to punish that which is fraudulent in the first place.

Robert Tellander

On AIG, be careful what you wish for

Stephen Burns' letter of March 23 cannot go unchallenged. First he proposes a 100 percent tax on the AIG bonuses. I propose a 100 percent tax on his income. I would not defend the taking of my tax dollars to fund bonuses for failed institutions; however, I would never endorse the government taxing with discriminatory practice any income - it might be yours they come for next at 100 percent.

Regarding the two “;failed”; wars: Iraq is now a success. Before you try to argue that it is not a success, I will admit it is not Eden but we are not, either. It is much better than it was before we had to enforce that failure-of-an-institution the United Nations' resolutions to protect our security. As for the second war, your president obviously doesn't see it as a failure because he is continuing and escalating it.

Robert Thurston

Bravo to senators who did the right thing

On Wednesday, the Senate couldn't muster the strength to put HB 444 HD1, the civil unions bill, to a full discussion and vote. However, six brave senators did not give in to the threats and nasty communications they have received over this important bill, which guarantees equal rights to all of Hawaii's citizens. These rights are enshrined in our Constitution along with another clause that allows for a bill to be pulled from committee and discussed with the full body at a floor session. That is what was to take place Wednesday.

Bills that affirm the rights of our people should be discussed by the full body. Three individuals should not have the power to deny equality to anyone.

Mahalo nui to Sen. Gary Hooser, who made the motion to pull the bill out of committee for a full floor discussion, to Sen. Les Ihara for seconding the motion and to Sens. Rosalyn Baker, Suzanne Chun-Oakland, Carol Fukunaga and Michelle Kidani for supporting a full discussion on the floor. Your constituents can rest assured that your votes are not about self-interest, but are aligned with the principles and values enshrined in our Constitution.

Kat Brady

Turn natatorium into showcase for Hawaii

While any one solution undoubtedly won't suit every person or agenda, the one most workable situation toward utilizing the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium in a worthwhile and respectable manner is to do away with the never-ending complications of a pool and simply build a large, storm-proof concrete platform in its place with a grassy top and maybe a few grass shacks and palm trees, where a top-rate stage presentation could be held. The show could combine the styles of two longtime great Hawaiian shows, the Kodak Hula Show and Hawaii Calls, which could be done daily for tourists and locals alike. The natatorium's seating stands are still usable, the dramatic backdrop of Waikiki and the beautiful Pacific Ocean are perfectly positioned, and a live-feed camera could broadcast the events and spectacular view via the Internet to worldwide exposure.

It could all be done with essentially the same amount of money it would take to remove the pool and build groins, or build a new pool, neither of which benefits Hawaii like the plan suggested here.

The natatorium is a big part of Waikiki's great history, and putting it to such a worthwhile use would be a fine way of respecting those fallen soldiers whom it is meant to honor, providing a superb historic document and promoting Hawaiian music and dance, and Hawaii itself, all in one beautiful package.

Ron Whitfield




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