Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Thursday, May 07, 2009

Seed companies help agriculture

Agriculture sustainability is directly related to farmer viability, a fact often missed by some environmental groups (”;Dow AgroSciences to lease Kauai Sugar lands,”; Star-Bulletin, April 29).

Those interested in advancing sustainability in Hawaii could better direct their concerns to the real issues facing local farmers: access to water, preservation of important agricultural lands and a host of other cost-reduction and revenue-enhancement strategies to ensure farmers can continue to support Hawaii's economy.

Many seed companies in Hawaii are working with the farm bureau and local growers to increase the “;locally grown, sustainable crops to feed our population”; — to quote Earthjustice attorney Paul Achitoff — that environmental groups say they favor. The bureau welcomes anyone genuinely interested in food security to join us in advocating for solutions.

Dean Okimoto

President, Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation





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There's still a chance for civil unions bill

The end of this legislative session comes with an opportunity for major change as the battle for civil equality comes to a boil. What happens this week will definitively portray the lawmakers of Hawaii as either heroes or opponents of civil rights. Many in the Senate, including Senate President Colleen Hanabusa and Sen. Brian Taniguchi, say they will vote yes on HB444, but have done nothing to indicate their conviction and dedication to uphold equal protections for all sectors of society. These people should start walking the walk.

Lawmakers must ask themselves whether they believe in civil rights, and, if so, they must act on it because staying silent is essentially equal to being in opposition. This is not a question of church and faith, but a matter of love and equality. History will judge the senators who do not exercise their power to pull the bill from committee in the same light as those who believed in slave ownership, opposed suffrage, and fought against the integration of America as a multicultural and multiethnic society.

Senators, how will you be remembered? Please vote to pull HB444 from the Judiciary Committee now.

Van Law



Taxing visitors will hurt in the long run

I have been involved with the advertising and marketing of Hawaii for the past 26 years and have weathered many a storm inflicted on Hawaii's visitor industry. But the current storm is the most turbulent.

President Obama's comment about meetings and incentives to destinations like Hawaii as being “;excessive”; and Vice President Joe Biden's suggestion last week to not get on an airplane has left Hawaii in a most vulnerable position.

For our legislators to further muddy Hawaii's waters by allowing an increased transient accommodations tax of any sort to be levied on our visitors is extremely threatening to our economic engine. This is not the message we want to send to potential visitors.

If this tax goes through, hotels will have to reduce their rates even further, thus forcing them to cut back on services and amenities and reducing the overall experience our visitors have. A less-than-favorable experience will prevent visitors from returning. Is this what this state needs?

Please, do not pass this TAT!

Kay Hampton

President, Media Matters

Stadium parking needs expansion

One of the most important things to consider when rebuilding Aloha Stadium is the parking spaces. At present, the area looks like an old countryside parking lot.

Grounds around the stadium should be leveled and a second deck installed. Entrance into the stadium could also proceed from the second deck.

If the first deck can hold 8,000 cars, the second deck could also hold 8,000 cars. The revenues generated from these cars could be used for maintenance and upkeep of the stadium.

A first-class stadium should have a first-class parking lot.

Robert Kam


Mozart defines the word 'genius'

I have just read David Brooks' “;Turning practice into genius”; (Star-Bulletin, May 4) and am astonished at his characterization of Mozart as only a talented, focused and hard-working composer and musician.

I have the greatest respect for David Brooks, but this article shows little knowledge of Mozart and his music. Mozart stands as a colossus in the musical landscape.

The only word we have that describes such giants as Mozart is the word 'genius'. It is a word that defies definition, just as Mozart's musical abilities defy an easy explanation. The ability to focus and work hard are certainly attendant to genius.

Wendell Davenport