Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Friday, November 21, 2008

Healthy discussion about rail benefits all

The City Council's squabbling about the rail transit route shouldn't make anyone cynical about rail. We can't have too much debate, so long as the project is moving along. While the focus now is relieving traffic in West Oahu, those of us in Honolulu who voted for rail need relief, too. The decision to end the route at Ala Moana Center rather than at the University of Hawaii-Manoa is a big disappointment. When there is a university holiday, traffic is down significantly. Having a new UH-West Oahu with an adjacent tech park would also relieve traffic coming into town and provide jobs for the Westside, as was promised.

As our new president has said, there is a time to spend on infrastructure, to invest in a green future, and with Sen. Dan Inouye's leadership in Congress, the time is now.

Paul Lerman






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That's not really the definition of marriage

Wednesday's letter by Ken Chang of Kaneohe says in part that “;Marriage is defined as a union of a man and a woman.”; I'm not sure what dictionary Mr. Chang has but none of mine have only one definition. Marriage can mean the joining of two or more things, such as dark and light. A newscaster said just today that Ko Olina and Disney are discussing a business marriage.

Is it the government that defines words? If so, then the newscaster mentioned above is in violation of Hawaii's law that defines marriage as one man and one woman.

It is not up to the courts or legislatures to define words. If we want to make same-sex marriage illegal, then say “;Marriage between couples of the same sex is not permitted.”; The same way as the law prohibits marriage between most blood relatives.

Otto Cleveland
Pearl City

Let hard-working CEOs fleece us some more

The attempt at humiliating the chief executive officers of America's troubled car companies at Wednesday's congressional committee meeting on that matter is a reflection on our elected officials.

What right do our members of Congress have to question these prominent businessmen about using multimillion-dollar private jets to fly them to D.C. for the hearing? OK, so it cost the companies some $60,000 to fly those executives to the hearing. Did Congress expect these distinguished gentlemen to show up at a crowded airport like the rest of us? To have to take off their shoes to get through security checks? To sit in the cramped seats of a commercial airline?

No, no, no! Just because the heads of General Motors, Chrysler and Ford have driven their companies toward bankruptcy, it certainly doesn't mean they have to be careful about how they spend either the companies' money they claim they don't have or the taxpayers' money they are asking for.

John A. Broussard
Kamuela, Hawaii

Do more for local businesses, workers

With the landslide collapse of Wall Street and the demise of global economics, it is time to focus on the local, small businesses which are the backbone of any economy and the lower working class. Hardly anything is said about local small businesses and lower working class, but, they are of extreme importance in the remaking of our economy. Federal, state and county governments should help these sectors, for it should be the start of a new era.

Tax breaks to local, small businesses and loans to local banks should be implemented to stimulate local economies. Lower taxes to the lower working class also should be done to shore up economies in the United States.

All in all, we need to get more money into the hands of locals to stimulate our economy. To do otherwise would mean a bad depression, which nobody wants. Our elected officials should help out local, small businesses and the lower working class for a better economic future.

Dean Nagasako
Pahala, Hawaii

Cartoon missed point about pirate danger

I'm not sure what Corky Trinidad's pirate cartoon was intended to show (Editorial cartoon, Nov. 20). If he's indicating that the masters of these ships are bumbling fools, I believe he's mistaken. These pirates are well-armed, well-equipped sea raiders with well-developed tactics. They are dangerous to shipping and to world trade. Corky might have forgotten the Barbary pirates and “;the shores of Tripoli,”; but there are surely echoes of Jefferson's Barbary war in what we are seeing off Somalia. The pirates have grown in power, boldness and threat. They might be or become a sea-borne version of al-Qaida or the Taliban, using Somalia as sanctuary. If they are Muslim, it adds just another relation to the Barbary corsairs and to the Islamists.

Corky has made light of a serious shipping situation before, mocking the U.S. Navy about an incident with an Iranian torpedo boat. He didn't get it then, and he doesn't get it now. Some things are funny; others are deadly serious. The Somali pirates fall into the latter category.

Peter S. Glick