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Surf schools threaten sensitive coastal areas

I appreciated the recent attention given to the commercialization of our Kaimana Beach and coastal areas. The popularity of ocean recreation should lead to the appreciation and preservation of these coastal resources, not their commercialization and exploitation. Kaimana Beach and the coastal areas nearby are an irreplaceable resource to the people who call Honolulu home. Is it the intention of the city and state governments to commercialize these areas for the benefit of businesses and tourists? Is it their intention to eventually have full-scale beach-boy concessions at places like Kaimana Beach?

I have witnessed an increasing number of surf-school clients and instructors monopolizing the waves of a previously quiet surf break. I have witnessed waves of classes arriving at 9 a.m. and not leaving until 5 p.m. In the streets, on the beach and in the ocean I have witnessed the noise and congestion created by the daily operation of a surf school in a residential area. I have witnessed surf-school vans parked illegally on the street.

Will the wishes of tourists and businesses supersede the public interest in preserving such places for the benefit of the public? Once a public area is commercialized, its public heart will be lost.

Scot Drown

Now Bush has his re-election TV ad

The day after Thanksgiving, the topic of conversation was President Bush's surprise visit to Iraq. Under dark skies, Air Force One, with no landing lights and curtains drawn, landed in Baghdad to give moral support, reaffirm America's commitment to this war and serve turkey to 600 soldiers.

Looks like a brilliant PR move that will no doubt be shown by Republicans, ad nauseum, on TV during the 2004 presidential race for the White House. But was the stealth trip necessary and was Bush being honest?

Bush needed new TV footage, since his other Hollywood entrance, onto an aircraft carrier May 1 with the banner "Mission Accomplished," will be inserted in every Democratic presidential ad, chastising this administration for its gross misjudgment and mismanagement of this war, costing U.S. soldiers' lives and exorbitant taxpayer dollars.

One hopes our commander in chief is motivated by honesty, morality, vision and leadership, rather than by razzle-dazzle effects and 30-second campaign clips concocted by spin doctors.

Paul D'Argent
Kihei, Maui

Beach brunch is a reason to visit Oahu

My husband and I spent yet another delightful day at Brunch on the Beach on Nov. 16. Our trips to Oahu are scheduled around this event. We never miss it when we're on the island. This is one of our favorite events. Keep it coming!

Fran Demich
San Diego, Calif.

Welfare recipients should be checked out

It sure is a consolation to learn that the state kicked 225 felons from other states off welfare last year, saving us $900,000 annually. This year, it is comforting to know that the state dumped 137 felons, saving us taxpayers another $803,000. Yay!

The big question is why the Department of Human Services keeps repeating this nonsense. How about checking arriving freeloaders for felony convictions before generously handing them checks? What's the rush? In the past two years, we taxpayers would have saved $1,700,000.

I'd suggest that in the future all payments made to out-of-state felons be recovered from DHS staffers. Perhaps that will wake them up.

John M. Corboy

Developing Kahoolawe would benefit Hawaii

While Governor Lingle uses her D.C. trips and presidential visits to pursue the interests of the Akaka Bill beneficiaries, shouldn't the rest of us who call Hawaii home begin debating how to best use the return of Kahoolawe for the benefit of all who sacrificed and worked to build this state?

Every world-class developer would pay enormous sums for the right to restore and develop Kahoolawe to our standards. Such fees would easily pay for education, health care, long-term care and rapid transit for the descendants of those whose sacrifices built and defended this state.

A desiccated island could be made to bloom overnight. And if we selected developers to fairly represent all the cultures that make Hawaii special, the result would be truly unique in the world. And fees from selling development rights would be followed by hundreds of millions of capital inflow as restoration and construction followed.

And if we selected developers that fairly represent all parts of our multicultural blending, Hawaii would have a new image to replace the 100-year-old, one-dimensional image pursued by the visitors bureau. And it would revitalize the aloha sprit our former multicultural immigrants forged for us when they create a spirit of tolerance and cooperation among all the diverse people of Hawaii.

George L. Berish




Dirty gutter talk

Those orange rolls that highway engineers have been shoving into storm drain openings -- there must be a more efficient or practical or attractive way to filter out road debris. These things are about as useful and pleasing to the eye as huge, discarded cigarette butts.

Send your ideas, drawings and solutions by Thursday, Dec. 17 to:

Or mail them to:
c/o Burl Burlingame
500 Ala Moana
7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

c/o Burl Burlingame


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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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

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