Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Friday, November 20, 2009

Development counters tourism

Gov. Linda Lingle was recently in China trying to boost tourism. She and others still seem to think tourism is the answer. In a state that produces so little, maybe we need to start broadening our horizons.

A big part of the problem is how we sell paradise to tourists who have to sit in traffic, can't swim at the beaches because they are polluted and encounter the city's other problems.

Mayor Mufi Hannemann seems to think the rail will solve traffic problems—or maybe this rail thing has nothing to do with traffic. I spoke with an associate who said, “;The rail is not a 'transportation' solution. It's a development scam.”;

Honolulu's streets are full of potholes. Fees are being imposed for city services that once were paid for by our taxes, and the result will be a three-story rail eclipsing our beautiful mountains and valleys.

How do you sell a concrete paradise to a world on the brink of economic disaster? You can't; you either have to keep the island beautiful and try to promote tourism, or you can develop it until it looks like Manhattan and produce something else.

Our leaders and all who live here have a choice to make: tourism or development. You can't have both.

Joseph DeMarco






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Charter schools would solve crisis

The state is wasting huge amounts of money on public education and getting awful results. Example: My oldest daughter, who attends a charter public school, recently tried switching to a regular public school. She lasted two days there. Horrified at how much worse things were there, she re-enrolled in her old charter school, chastened and wiser. And yet, her charter school, like all our charter schools, get only a fraction of what the regular public schools get—and still continue to offer a full five-day school week while delivering better results. Why? Because charter schools have to compete for the business of their students. Students like my daughter can and will walk away—and take away the school's funding—if the school doesn't deliver a better education.

Competition works.

The solution to the furlough days and the budget crisis? Make every single public school in the state a charter school, at the current low funding levels. Make every school compete for students. The results? Lower costs and better education.

Jim Henshaw



Okinawa issue a tough situation

Having been stationed in Okinawa for more than four years, at the Intelligence School near Kadena Air Base during the height of the Vietnam War (1968-1972), I can understand the anxiety and frustration of the Okinawan people living in the vicinity of the air base. B52s (large bombers) were flying day and night; many of the local people could not express their emotions publicly, and the local politicians would only complain to the U.S. civil administrators in charge since Okinawa reverted to Japan in May of 1972; until then the U.S. occupation forces ruled.

Many of the local people leased their real estate to the military; many were employed by U.S. companies engaged or connected to the U.S. military. These people wanted the Americans to stay.

This is not an easy situation for President Barack Obama to resolve with the Japanese government. Japan needs U.S. protection.

Toshio Chinen

Pearl City


Nimitz light offers cash opportunity

There is a simple way for the state government to balance its budget. All it needs to do is ticket all of the vehicles townbound on Nimitz Highway at Pacific Street in the early morning that are running the red light. If the state wants a surplus, it could then ticket the cars that run the red light in the afternoon on the opposite side of Nimitz.

Fritz M. Amtsberg

Oceantronics Inc., Nimitz