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Good riddance to gay bashers

Your Jan. 11 editorial, "Haters play out rage on Honolulu sidewalk," about the anti-gay protesters from Kansas, was right on.

"We bid them aloha, confined strictly to the meaning, 'good-bye'."


The Rev. Vaughn F. Beckman

Don't privatize air traffic control

Air traffic controllers are deeply concerned about the threat to safety arising from the Bush administration's intent to privatize our nation's air traffic control system.

Privatization initiatives could come in the form of a public-private partnership, which is what transpired in Great Britain in 2001. The results in that country have been disastrous:

>> Aircraft near-misses have increased by 50 percent.

>> Delays have increased by 20 percent.

>> The government has twice bailed out the failing air traffic control company.

>> Because of declining safety standards, the British Transport Ministry announced that the public-private partnership had failed and the government was considering retaking control of the system.

>> Airlines are furious at the real possibility of increased fees.

>> The chief operating officer for the air traffic control company received a bonus of 62,100 British pounds for the opening of a new air traffic control facility -- six years behind schedule.

We don't need or want any type of privatization here. The U.S. air traffic control system handles more than half of the world's air traffic and cargo and is the safest and most sophisticated on the planet. It is too important to our public safety and our national security to be put out to the lowest bidder.

Jimmy Lake
Honolulu Control Facility representative
National Air Traffic Controllers Association

Movie-tourism deal is nothing to smile about

With amazement I read that the Hawaii Tourism Authority is "happy" with the results of its short-circuited marketing deal with the makers of the "Lilo & Stitch" movie ("State ends marketing deal with Disney," Star-Bulletin, Jan. 14).

I also read that the HTA is complaining that the Department of Economic Development and Tourism is not providing enough data to implement effective marketing strategies. And I read further that the HTA is focusing on higher-spending visitor groups.

A total of $1.7 million was spend on this movie deal! What are the results? Do we have more children visiting Hawaii?

DBEDT's data is the result of HTA's marketing strategies. So if data is missing, results are missing. It's time that Linda Lingle calls back Ben Cayetano to pick up the useless baggage he left behind with this deal. No more sound bytes from overpaid Hawaii Visitors Bureau and HTA "experts."

I just hope that Governor Lingle is not fooled by them.

Dieter Thate
Dieter's Tours

Breaking Disney deal erodes trust

According to Tim Ryan's story in the Jan. 14 Star-Bulletin, the Hawaii Tourism Authority is prematurely pulling out of a deal with Walt Disney Studios for co-marketing of "Lilo & Stitch." Let me get this straight:

>> The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau signed a three-year deal with Disney.

>> HTA, which funded the deal through the visitors' bureau, was delighted with the first year of the arrangement.

>> HTA arbitrarily decided not to honor the rest of the deal?

What is wrong with this picture? What is wrong with these people (HTA)? Do they not understand that a deal is a deal?

When you sign an agreement for three years, you do not renege after one. If they bought a car like that, they'd have no credit or credibility any more.

Car dealer: "So, you liked the car, but you're returning it? What's wrong with it?"

HTA: "Nothing, I love the car. It's been great this past year, but I have other plans now."

Car dealer: "What???!!! Get outta here!"

Or we could use the newlywed analogy: "Happy anniversary, honey. It's been a great year, but I think I have other plans now."

Does HTA expect anyone to trust it in a deal or take it seriously, ever again?

Blaine Fergerstrom

Ancestral homeland tugs at the heart

Because my maternal grandparents, Keum Whan Chang and Do Yun Hong, worked tirelessly in the Hawaii movement to liberate Korea from Japan, the South Korean government asked our family if we would be willing to repatriate my grandparents' remains.

With the family's consent, the South Korean government paid for the exhumation and cremation of my grandparents' bodies, and for the transport of their ashes to Seoul in October. About 20 friends and relatives accompanied the ashes on the flight from Honolulu.

When we arrived at the Incheon airport, dignitaries and a band greeted us. Our family formally transferred the urns to the government. The next day, we rode on a bus to the cemetery where there was a ceremony and interment of the ashes with full military honors. We took turns shoveling dirt into the grave. Some of us were moved to tears.

After the trip, I composed the following poem in honor of my grandparents:

"Oh, Korea,
Far from your shores
Have I wandered,
Always thinking of you,
Loving you.

"Now, I return,
My motherland,
Like a joyful bird to
Its unforgettable nest."

Glenda Chung Hinchey

How to write us

The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (150 to 200 words). The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include a daytime telephone number.

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Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

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