Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Sunday, May 03, 2009

State should cut in hard times

I have operated a business in Waikiki for 41 years and every time there is a slowdown in our state's No. 1 asset — tourism — all the businesses in Waikiki as well as in the local market make unpopular cuts in whatever areas that they decide is prudent.

This is a must for every business to do to survive, or file bankruptcy. I ask this question to the union leaders and to our Legislature: “;What makes you above everyone else?”;

Why can't the state workers take a cut in hours or pay or both to help their employer, the state of Hawaii, to be a financially viable entity?

The state is broke with no light at the end of the tunnel and it is no secret. We should all do our part, including the unions, in helping our state survive this economic tragedy that we are all experiencing.

Steven G. Norstrom






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No 'culture' in killing of helpless pet pig

This is in response to the incident of the pet pig that was stabbed by a hunter. How in the world can releasing a pack of dogs on a blind pet pig be called, “;hunting”; or “;cultural?”;

I have watched more than 25 videos on YouTube of pig hunting in Hawaii, and what I see is nothing more than animal fighting. I do not see anything that resembles a “;hunting”; or “;cultural”; event.

The look of bloodlust on the hunters' faces is obvious as they watch a fight between a pig and a pack of dogs. The pig is obviously fighting to save its life and the dogs are fighting to please the hunters who are shouting out words of encouragement. In the end, the dogs always win, but many times with injury.

In ancient Hawaii, domesticated pigs were honored with prayer before they were killed. This is very different from the way pig hunting is done today.

Many good citizens of Hawaii who used to be avid hikers are no longer hiking for fear of being a witness to the fights between the dogs and the pigs that are taking place right next to public hiking trails.

Linda Vannatta


Partisan differences can cloud our freedom

Changes that go nowhere, and people's inexperience in our Washington government make my head spin.

In the past, we Americans have trusted our future to a few elected individuals, but hopefully no more. People need to wake up and realize that Washington has but one agenda and that is its own.

Those who run the present-day government in Washington have the audacity to tell us that only they know what is good for us as they change rules to fit their agenda. We should remember that being an American comes before being a Republican or Democrat.

We may like our political differences but love our freedom more. Daniel Webster was aware of this when he wrote about America and its freedom.

If we don't wake up to those differences, we will lose the freedom for which our forefathers fought and died. Americans should read up on Webster's ideas and use these to bring our country back to “;the people.”;

Jewel Conboy


Banning bags helps, but at what cost?

The Sierra Club, Maui Tomorrow and other organizations have good intentions.

Sure, everyone wants to keep our environment clean as possible but do we have to sacrifice convenience, not to mention added costs, to everyone? Especially now when our economy is very bad, people are losing their jobs, companies have to cut back on their services and employees.

They mention that plastic bags are bad and that we should use paper bags. They never mention anything about the costs of companies changing over to paper bags. Then they mention that we should bring our own paper bags. Do you know how many to bring? Do you keep these paper bags with you all the time?

Let's weigh how much our environment will be damaged versus the costs to everyone and the convenience. Consider everything before making a judgment.

Francis K. Ibara

Kahului, Maui

Ride a bike or walk on those little trips

Lack of physical activity, particularly among children, has raised concerns about the health of young and old alike.

In addition, we have traffic problems in many places on Oahu. People think nothing of driving a mile or two to drop their children off at school. Approximately 82 percent of trips five miles or less are made by car. Imagine the impact on traffic if those trips were made by bike or on foot.

On May 12, Hawaii will have its first-ever Bike and Walk to School Day. All schools are encouraged to participate in this event by asking parents, students and teachers to bike or walk to school. Participants can register at http://www.hawaiipedalpower.com to be eligible to win a commuter bicycle.

As a long-term solution to inactivity and traffic congestion, we need to look at how we design our communities and motivate people to travel from one location to another.

Natalie Iwasa

Hawaii Kai