Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Don't charge more than a course is worth

Here's some info for the people who want the municipal golf course rates increased more than what's proposed. First, when you compare the fees of Luana Hills to the fees of Ewa Village, Makalena or any other muni course, remember this: Luana Hills is a four-star hotel, and Ewa Village is a one-star hotel. Fifty dollars for Luana Hills and $15, the proposed increase, for Ewa Village is just about right. There's nothing wrong with increasing the muni fees by $3, but much more than that and you're charging more than they're worth and you will lose revenue.

Second, the people who will be hurt most from increased fees are local seniors and juniors. I'm going to guess that the average muni golfer is local, retired, on a fixed income and lives for five hours of golf with friends each week. A junior golfer can play 18 holes at any muni course for $4. How great is that? There is no better place for a young person to spend a few hours than on a golf course. If Ewa Village or West Loch were in the same playing conditions as Luana Hills, nobody would complain about $50 greens fees, but they're not, so don't go loco.

John Sullivan


You can't compare rail to Superferry

City Councilman Charles Djou's opinion that the rail tax is now unconstitutional shows what great lengths rail opponents will go to in their effort to stop the rail project.

Unlike the Hawaii Superferry, rail went through a rigorous public review process, dozens of public hearings and even more public forums and open meetings. This cumulated with a ballot question last November, and Oahu voters chose rail. The city is now in the process of completing a thorough and detailed environmental impact statement and will have that completed before construction is scheduled to begin. This differs very much from the Superferry, where the state allowed it to proceed without an EIS or any public hearings.

More important, Congress just granted the city an additional $20 million for planning rail, and contractors are already bidding on the first segment. Rail means jobs, thousands of them. And rail means a billion dollars in federal funding and an economic stimulus for Hawaii that will help us through this deep recession.

If there is any legal question at the courts, the Legislature and the City Council should act quickly to ensure that rail goes forward without delay.

Johnathon Sakamoto


Like everyone else, ferry must follow law

The operation of the Hawaii Superferry is blatantly illegal since it did not comply with Act 343 (EIS), which resulted in the polarization of the people of Hawaii. If there is anyone responsible for this fiasco, it is Gov. Linda Lingle for allowing the Superferry to operate and calling the Legislature for a special session that enacted an unconstitutional law. The governor comparing the law passed by the Legislature giving the agriculture industry a tax credit to Act 2, which the Legislature passed for the Superferry to operate, is like apple and oranges.

The case of the Superferry is about law and not about business or an alternative for the people of Hawaii to travel. Anyone is welcome to do business but must follow the law and not be given a special favor. We are a government of laws and not men, and this must be understood and adhered to by everybody who believes in our kind of government.

Gene A. Albano

Salt Lake

Don't let those pests take over Oahu, too

I thought that Richard Borreca's “;On Politics”; column on Sunday was right on the money with the points that he made (”;No sale! Hawaii continues to slam door on business”;). In sharp contrast was the representative of the Sierra Club, whose silly platitudes have been used over and over on this issue. It appears that the so-called “;environmentalists”; have taken over on Maui and Kauai, and I am sure that there is much gloating about the Supreme Court decision.

Let's hope that on Oahu, at least, we can continue to look at the issues somewhat objectively and not let the fruitcakes take over. Let's also not forget that our friends on the court who put 236 people out of work last week were also pushing to receive a raise, ignoring the condition of the state economy.

Kent W. Comstock


Lawmakers laugh while taking our money

I wholeheartedly agree with James Lutte's March 21 letter regarding our state legislators' pay increase. In this dire state of the economy, our “;esteemed legislators”; handily vote themselves such an outrageous pay increase as citizens are being laid off every day. The workers of our state, blue collar or white collar, could never hope for a 30 percent pay increase at any time. Despicable, contemptible.

And these esteemed legislators can look at themselves in the mirror? Sure they can, and they're probably laughing.

D.M. Jahn


U.S. needs sensible marijuana policy

The recent announcement by the Obama administration that it will respect state medical marijuana laws is a welcome step toward sanity. And Hawaii should indeed act to make medical marijuana more easily available to patients who need it, as your editorial says (”;Create system for distributing medical marijuana,”; March 20). Meanwhile, more must be done to bring federal policy in line with science and common sense.

First, officials must stop obstructing medical marijuana research, such as the project at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst that Bush administration officials had moved to block. And the government should reopen the program that still provides medical marijuana to three federally approved patients, but which was closed to new enrollment in 1992.

Finally, Congress should remove the absurd and undemocratic restriction that bars the District of Columbia from enacting its own medical marijuana law — something 69 percent of D.C. voters endorsed back in 1998.

Bruce Mirken

Marijuana Policy Project

Washington, D.C.




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