Letters to the editor


POSTED: Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Airport storm troopers scare away tourists

The fastest way to stop the loss of tourism is to stop Homeland (In)security and the Transportation Security Administration from treating our tourists like they are prisoners of war as they arrive at and leave our islands.

Survey after survey after survey shows that U.S. tourism is in decline because of the police-state atmosphere of the airports and shipping terminals. All this fondling and groping and peeking through our clothes is just a pretend show that the U.S. government cares about us all as it makes enemies of the rest of the world attacking country after country in a failed bid to convince itself it is not an empire in decline. Enough already!

In the last six months, the U.S. government has dumped $40,000 in added tax debt onto every living American in order to shower bailouts onto Wall Street. It is time they stop impeding our businesses so that we have a small chance to pay it all off.


Michael Rivero



Overflowing sewage had to go someplace

Jack Telaneus' claim that “;our aging and badly deteriorated sewer system has been mostly ignored”; since the 2006 Ala Wai Canal spill was simply preposterous (”;Letters,”; April 5).

Mayor Mufi Hannemann has made repairs and upgrades to Honolulu's waste-water collection system a top infrastructure priority, and the city has invested more time, money and effort in the system under his administration than ever before. In fact, the city has appropriated $1.2 billion for collection system work during the past five years, and the results include a significant reduction in waste-water spills.

Telaneus' flippant remark that the 2006 spill amounted to “;dumping the poop from a nearby broken sewer main into the Ala Wai Canal where it could be distributed among our world-famous Waikiki Beach so everyone could swim in it”; was uninformed and, frankly, childish. If the flow had not been diverted following the pipe's rupture, waste water would have backed up in every household, hotel and business in the neighborhood, creating a public health disaster. This was no laughing matter.


Markus Owens

Public communication officer

Honolulu Department of Environmental Services


Obama achieved much because he left Hawaii

After seeing some criticism about Ed Case running for Congress, one thing occurred to me: Barack Obama's best political move was to move away from Hawaii.

In Hawaii politics there is a mentality that you have to wait your turn before you can run for a seat. Case was criticized when he ran against U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka for that very reason; it wasn't his “;turn,”; and challenging Akaka was an insult to the junior senator. Likewise, had he stayed in Hawaii, Obama would have been buried and probably would have had to wait behind Case or even Neil Abercrombie, Mazie Hirono or whoever else is older than he is before he could even consider running.

He would have never become a senator and would have never been elected president.

So ironically, our “;island son's”; best political move was to leave the islands.


Fletcher Young



Pay attention, voters, to lawmakers' excess

I hope that all Hawaii voters read Richard Borreca's Sunday “;On Politics”; column exposing the greed and public disregard of our state legislators who have accepted a 36 percent pay increase. Legislators seem not to have noticed, but many state workers have taken pay cuts, many of their fellow citizens have lost their jobs and unemployment is rising at the state and national levels. We have noted the crass and selfish behavior of this crop of legislators and will remember — come election time — the names of those who failed to share the losses, failed to pull together during this economic downturn.

We might be losing our jobs and paychecks, but we can still vote.


Suzanne Kosanke



Lingle wisely spending stimulus on schools

Your Sunday editorial correctly recognized that investing more money in the status quo education system will not help improve student achievement. That is why Gov. Linda Lingle and her administration have been working to ensure that almost $115 million in additional federal stimulus money for education programs will be wisely spent. Unfortunately, your editorial left an inaccurate impression that Lingle was considering more cuts in education spending.

Let's look at what Hawaii is getting in federal dollars and how it will be applied. First, the state Department of Education will receive almost $80 million in new federal funds to help students from economically disadvantaged families and students with special education needs. Second, the governor has pledged to use up to $35 million in federal discretionary funds to improve teacher quality, educational data collection, student assessment tests and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and reading skills. This totals nearly $115 million in new financial support for our public school system this year.

Third, $90 million in federal stabilization funds will be used this year and $22 million next year to shore up the DOE's budget to help avoid further cuts in the state portion of the department's finances. The same will be done for the University of Hawaii.

Hawaii is faced with a projected decline in tax revenues of almost $2 billion between now and June 30, 2011. Despite this large gap, the Lingle administration has committed to using available federal and state resources to meet the bold federal objectives of overhauling our failing schools. We invite the Board of Education, the DOE staff, parents, teachers and members of the community to join us in this effort.


Linda L. Smith

Gov. Linda Lingle's senior policy adviser




How to write us

        The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (~175 words). The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include a daytime telephone number.

Letter form: Online form, click here
        E-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
        Fax: (808) 529-4750
        Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210,  Honolulu, HI 96813