Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Thursday, September 17, 2009

Owner approves of ATDC's work

As an owner and operator of the Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace, an event venue and banquet space, I can attest to positive dealings with the Aloha Tower Development Corp. (ATDC).

In our many interactions with it, it has been both responsive and helpful. We are currently working closely with ATDC on a new and exciting overhaul of Aloha Tower Marketplace designed to raise the Marketplace's public profile and rejuvenate its retail component.

With ATDC's assistance, our business continues to grow and routinely attracts thousands of customers to events, both public and private. Many of our Aloha Tower Marketplace neighbors—Chai's, Gordon Biersch, Hooters, Don Ho's, Makino Chaya and others—continue to thrive.

While ATDC may face problems, we hope the public realizes that Aloha Tower Marketplace is healthy and here to stay.

Rick Schneider

CEO, Events International Inc., Honolulu





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Flights to Maui should be direct

Now that we have only one Hawaiian airline, couldn't it manage to fly directly from “;the No. 1 island destination”; to and from the two most populated California cities, Los Angles and San Francisco? Prior to 9/11, which is now eight years ago, there were daily direct flights to both populated, popular tourist origination and destinations.

If the required state entrance forms were analyzed, I am sure that these would be the largest number of originations. The point is that all those tourists as well as Mauians are forced to waste an additional two to four hours travel time from their days because of having to go through Honolulu and change terminals and planes; what would be a 5 1/2 hour day becomes am eight-hour or more travel day.

It is really annoying and frustrating that such a great, highly rated, outstanding service-and-food airlines cannot be responsive to its patrons' needs.

Please write letters directly to the airlines and demand direct access to Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Hermine Harman



Columnist right to blame racism

Finally someone has acknowledged the racism underlying the chaos of the recent town hall meetings and related protests against President Barack Obama's health reform program and other issues (”;Racism at core of angry outbursts,”; Maureen Dowd column, Star-Bulletin, Sept. 15).

It doesn't seem to make much difference what the issue is; if it comes from this administration, it's trashed by his opponents.

I thought I was the only one who wondered why, in every media shot or photo, the crowds of these protesters were always only Caucasians. Thank you, Maureen Dowd, for exposing this proverbial elephant.

Mark Yasuhara



Single-payer plan a fiscal necessity

If health insurance is to be mandatory—and it is as necessary as mandatory auto insurance to cut costs for all—then a public option is absolutely essential, especially for those who can afford a modest premium, so they are not forced to support private insurer profits. How else can it be a “;free”; market?

Everyone's freedom to make that choice is also essential to make the public plan self-sufficient, not dependent on taxpayer subsidies that add to the federal deficit. If only destitute people are allowed to choose the public option, it will guarantee it to be as unself-sufficient as other government welfare. Taxpayers will be basically be supporting private insurance profits in that case.

Do private insurers want a “;level playing field”; or are they afraid that a government plan that is self-sustaining will turn into single payer eventually because consumers will vote with their feet and choose a national public plan with more economies of size than any limited plan—with a far greater choice of doctors and hospitals?

President Obama knows the best plan of all is H.R. 676, the single-payer bill, to consolidate all health insurance in one self-sustaining plan, but if it seems too radical to do right away, then the minimum package must include mandatory health insurance and total freedom of choice including a self-sustaining public option now, not in four years. Anything less will outrage the majority of taxpayers/consumers.

If private enterprise is superior to a government-run plan, let it prove itself with real consumer choice.

Dr. Roxanne Fand