Letters to the Editor
POSTED: Wednesday, April 29, 2009
'Pork' isn't being shared equally
The Citizens Against Public Waste reports the following 2008 "pork" project amounts attributed to Hawaii's U.S. senators and representatives: Sen. Dan Inouye, $385.5 million; Sen. Dan Akaka, $185 million; Rep. Neil Abercrombie, $153.6 million; Rep. Mazie Hirono, $58.9 million.
That is a total of $782 million, or three-quarters of a billion dollars! Do you see the results of any of this vast sum? Remember that this is for only one year! Where does that money go? The average person in Hawaii has to struggle with the bloated costs of a heavily protected, unionized economy, yet we still get "nickeled and dimed" ad nauseam.
Don't you think that some of that three-quarters of a billion dollars would be visibly used to benefit all citizens rather than big firms or individuals in the "good ole boy" network? Why aren't these elected individuals accountable for these vast sums rather than allowed to wallow in the mud of pork projects?
Donald D. Graber
Hawaii needs more to entertain the visitors
The world's best tourism destination in the world in 1989, just 20 years ago, has declined not because of the economic downturn, but because the people running the state tourism department are not doing their job.
Last weekend, as I was in Waikiki at a well-known hotel for dinner, I happened to have a friendly conversation with some Japanese tourists to whom I mentioned the upcoming "Golden Week" holidays, which usually meant quite a bit of tourists to Hawaii.
I asked them about the reason for such a drastic decline to the visitors to Hawaii from Japan. One of the leaders of the group replied that on a six-day tour to Hawaii the days were fine spent swimming or touring the island. However, it was boring during the evening. A hula show one night was enough, but maybe some slot machines in the lobby would be entertaining.
The bottom line is that some more interesting entertainment is needed to lure tourists to Hawaii. Tourism industry brains should wake up and get the industry turned around.
Keep options open for Oahu's rail system
Thank you, Duke Bainum, for voicing what I am sure many of us in Honolulu have been thinking.
I had just moved to Honolulu a year and a half ago when I met an architect who was working on the stations for the proposed elevated rail system. He expressed his dismay that the city did not seem to be interested in the more financially practical solution of a ground-level system. He had designed these systems all over the world, and was distraught at the closed-minded attitudes of the city.
He eventually resigned from the project and moved on to another area where attitudes were more in line with practicality and not reflective of a mayor's ideals seemingly run amok.
I am aghast at the near-sighted attitudes especially after our recent economic downturn. Mayor Hannemann's mantra is, "The people voted for it."
I bet if the people were given a chance to take a closer look at this new suggestion expressed by Mr. Bainum, they would opt for a more efficient and financially feasible mode of rail, especially now that we are desperately digging for money just to keep the city and state afloat.
Current call to arms is a macho fantasy
During the entire eight years of President George W. Bush's disastrous leadership, I can't recall a time when media pundits advocated armed resistance to the government. But that is exactly what is happening now.
Conservative commentators are saying it is OK for private individuals to stockpile military-grade weapons for possible use against their own government. Is this not treason?
America's leniency with (dare I say "liberalization of") gun ownership is coming back to bite it in the butt. Not only are assault weapons legally purchased in the U.S. being traded to the Mexican drug cartels for drugs, the weapons are also being used by these cartels to fight U.S. and Mexican police.
The notion that we can defend ourselves from all this by purchasing our own weapons sounds appealing and is very macho, but it is more fantasy than reality. People trained for combat say they have to continually practice under simulated combat conditions to be effective with their weapons. Without proper combat training, a weapon can be more a liability than an asset.
J. B. Young
Museum stands strong but needs your help
The stone walls of Bishop Museum's original buildings stand strong. Those walls—the great effort of Portuguese stone workers—and the institution survived a revolution, two world wars, cholera and bubonic plague. They survived three forms of government and redirection by successive directors. What the museum cannot survive is indifference by the public.
You don't need to be rich to help. Become a member of the Bishop Museum Association. Think first of the Shop Pacifica or Bishop Museum Press when you need a gift.
The staff will push forward protecting the collections and providing service. They will do this because, like the stone walls, they are strong. They will do this because they are dedicated to the mission. Show that you are strong. Do something to help.
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