Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Sunday, March 22, 2009

Golfing fees need bigger boost

The mayor should raise golfing fees 50 percent like he is raising the zoo fees 50 percent. It only costs $12 to play on weekdays and $16 on weekends at the city's Ala Moana and Pali golf courses. To play at the city's Kahuku golf course is only $8 on weekdays and $9 on weekends. If you have a municipal golf card, which is issued free to Hawaii residents, you would only pay $4 on weekdays and $5 on weekends at Kahuku. Luana Hills, which is the least expensive private golf course open to the public, is $49 on weekdays and $59 on weekends.

Golfers don't have to pay for parking at city golf courses, while the mayor is proposing a 500 percent increase in parking fees at the zoo. The mayor could raise a lot more revenue by doubling golfing fees and golfers would still be getting a great deal golfing at anyone of the six beautiful public golf courses on Oahu. He could raise even more revenue by charging golfers the same amount to park at golf courses as he is proposing for people to park at the zoo.

Ibrahim Aoude

Too many teen girls put up with violence

Love is not abuse - this is the message we should be teaching our children.

According to a recent survey by Liz Claiborne Inc., nearly half of girls who have been in a relationship say they have been victims of verbal, physical or sexual abuse by their boyfriends.

Alarmingly, this abuse is beginning as early as age 11.

As a mother of a 14-year-old daughter, I am deeply concerned about the rising number of young people who are experiencing abuse in romantic relationships. The recent killing of 25-year-old Royal Kaukani is a tragic example of this growing epidemic.

I have introduced House Resolution HCR 246 and HR 214 to ensure our state is leading efforts to prevent teen dating violence. The National Foundation for Women Legislators and Liz Claiborne Inc. have joined forces with me to support this critical education effort in Hawaii and nationwide.

Something must be done to break the cycle of violence and ultimately save lives.

Rep. Lynn Finnegan
R, Aiea-Moanalua Gardens

Why was violent man allowed to roam free?

It appears as if our law enforcement and judicial system may have failed Royal Kaukani, whose ex-boyfriend has been charged in her shooting death. I do not have all the facts yet, however, Toi Nofoa's long history of domestic violence going back to 2006 is frightening and should have raised a red flag.

My first concern is Nofoa being allowed to post bail after charges of kidnapping and terroristic threatening with a gun. He never should have been allowed to post bail in September 2008, since a firearm was involved. In early February, Nofoa was alleged involved in at least two incidents with Kaukani, and it is at this time that the Honolulu Police Department should have had Nofoa arrested and incarcerated. Why didn't this happen? This man with a history of violence had violated the protective order!

HPD and the Judiciary should review this case very carefully and be accountable for their decisions, which affect the public safety of our residents. The judicial system might have failed Royal Kaukani. It appears her death could have been prevented.

Sen. Will Espero
Chairman, Public Safety & Military Affairs Committee

Employees left adrift by Superferry ruling

To the Superferry employees:

We are so saddened by the Supreme Court decision that is, apparently, going to result in our island state having no ferry system. It must be especially difficult for all of you, who have worked so hard and been so patient, to lose your jobs this way. We are so sorry.

When the Superferry open house was held on Kauai, my husband and I met and spoke with many of you and could feel your excitement and your pride. We were supposed to sail with you to Oahu on that sad day that there was so much turmoil. We have been very much looking forward to utilizing the ferry system once you were able to come to Kauai again. We're still hoping for a miracle that will make that happen.

We just want you to know that there were a great number of us here on Kauai who supported your efforts and did not at all agree with the radical thinking of the individuals who have been so cruel. The Superferry should have been seen as the blessing that it really was.

It's a sad day for Hawaii, especially for all of you. We wish you and your families all the best.

Gayle and Michael Hughes
Kalaheo, Kauai

Give people equal status with plants

By killing the Superferry, the far-left environmental lunatic fringe has once again mortally wounded one of nature's greatest creations, human beings. Kill a sea turtle or monk seal and they turn crimson with rage. But kill a man or woman's well-being, dreams, future ... and not a word of protest.

At this moment of economic disaster, it is time for Hawaii's residents to rise up and demand equal status with fern plants. We're all in these difficult times together, and environmentalists are stripping the food out of our children's mouths.

Jim Ikaika Brown

Superferry editorial missed the boat

Your March 18 editorial, “;Ending Superferry service would be a blow to Hawaii,”; got the title correct, but missed the mark in other respects. This administration, with the support of the Legislature, has worked tirelessly to foster a commercially viable alternative form of sea-based transportation between the islands. Indeed, the ferry's operation since 2007, overwhelmingly supported by the community and Hawaii's small businesses through its ridership, demonstrated none of the environmental impacts predicted by ferry opponents.

In addition, the 2005 exemptions for harbor improvements were consistent with years of practice and procedure within the state Department of Transportation and by many previous administrations. It was not until the Hawaii Supreme Court's decision in August 2007 that DOT was required to assess the potential secondary impacts of privately owned vessels operating outside of the state's harbors in the open ocean between the islands. That requirement continues to be a significant burden on the state and its taxpayers and hinders commercial opportunities.

Finally, with respect to Act 2, your focus on the sunset of the act in 2009 ignores an important fact also missed by the court. The environmental impact statement, which covers any and all large-capacity ferry vessels, expressly survives the repeal of Act 2 and does, in fact, serve as the planning and disclosure document for future ferry operators.

Your editorial did nothing to illuminate the facts for the public. Instead, it continued the spread of incomplete information.

Brennon T. Morioka
Director, state Department of Transportation




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