Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mayor should fix damage to rail

As a supporter of the city's mass transit project, I am dismayed by the mayor's actions to date. While he must be commended for getting the project off the ground and securing funding, it is perplexing how he could now undermine it for personal political gain.

The recent disclosure that the city—and I assume the mayor—was notified of the Federal Aviation Administration's concerns over the proximity of the rail line to the airport runway as early as January 2009 raises serious doubts about the mayor's promises to start construction in 2010, knowing that the route could not be approved. Did he believe the matter would go unnoticed before the election?

His actions remind us of the recklessness of the Lingle administration in pushing the Superferry project, again for political gain, without complying with environmental impact study requirements. Let's hope the result is not the same.

The mayor should serve out his full term, and repair the damage he has done to the most important public works project this state has ever undertaken.

Francis M. Nakamoto

Moanalua Valley






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Plastic bags not pollution culprit

I am very opposed to a bill being debated in the state Legislature: It proposes a 5-cent tax on each plastic shopping bag. The bill will do little, if anything, to improve our environment. It claims “;The 'Great Pacific Garbage Patch' ... frequently deposits plastic bags and ... on the Northwest Pacific Islands.”; I have been to the Northwest Hawaiian Islands and walked the beaches. Plastic cigarette lighters, bottles, etc., are common and do indeed harm wildlife. However, I did not see any plastic bags on the beaches and I can find no one who has witnessed wildlife impacted by plastic bags in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands. If landfills are the concern, paper accounts for more than 40 percent of a landfill's contents.

If I used one plastic shopping bag a day, it would take less than a gallon of petroleum to meet my annual plastic shopping bag demand. I re-use my plastic shopping bags for garbage.

Jeff Zimpfer



Comments about Lingle off base

Larry Meacham's recent letter (”;Governor shares tactics with Bush,”; Star-Bulletin, March 22) could not have been further off base. The examples he cited as his perceived flaws of Gov. Linda Lingle wrongly characterize her actions and highlight that his criticism was widely false and politically motivated.

The governor showed her continued commitment to small businesses by supporting the Hawaii Superferry, a ship that could have helped neighbor island companies expand. An overwhelming majority of residents liked and wanted the Superferry to continue. Unfortunately, the courts took the decision making away from the people of our state.

In Hawaii's most severe economic downturn since statehood, Gov. Lingle has shown tremendous courage by making tough decisions about state budgets. Her decision to restrict funds to the film office has resulted in no major losses for the industry. The office and its staff secured several major film and TV productions, including Disney's “;Pirates of the Caribbean IV”; and “;Hawaii 5-0,”; which has brought millions of dollars of investment to the state.

Gov. Lingle has also remained committed to not raising taxes, despite the Legislature's most valiant attempts to raise every tax in the state.

Erin Kealoha

Communications director, Hawaii Republican Party


'Bo' Lapenia acted admirably

Recently a leader of the ILWU expressed his disappointment with Eusebio “;Bo”; Lapenia, former ILWU president, for resigning from union-affiliated boards because “;he did not agree with the ILWU's endorsement for governor”; (”;Ex-ILWU leader a disap- pointment,”; Star-Bulletin, Letters, March 19). Rather than being disappointed and displeased, he should be impressed with Bo's decision to step down from the union's affiliate boards.

Bo Lapenia was moved by his conscience. He did what people with a good conscience do: They step aside from organizational constraints to pursue the dictates of their personal conscience when the constraints and conscience deeply conflict.

The ILWU leader also stated that the union followed a “;democratic process in determining candidate endorsements.”; A democratic process is not democracy itself unless it provides a mechanism that carries out the principle of “;one person one vote.”; Free and open discussion among the members of ILWU's political action committee is a good thing, but the will of its members may have gotten lost in representation without the memberships' vote.

I wonder what Jack Hall would say about the ILWU's endorsement of someone who has yet to declare his candidacy.

Jimmy Toyama



Page 1 photo was misleading

The large front-page photo of a diver holding a piece of coral in your March 23 issue and the caption were misleading (”;Miniature oceans under glass”;). It seemed to imply that coral is being harvested from Hawaiian reefs to be sold in the aquarium trade. Then I read the article and noticed it's from the New York Times and there's no mention of Hawaii at all.

As many people here know, it is illegal to remove live coral or even “;live”; rock (rock with living organisms attached) from our local reefs. While there may be a valid argument against the over-collection of our reef fish for the aquarium trade, this is not even mentioned in the article. Although it was an interesting read, the way this article was presented was pure sensationalism.

Tim Swartz

Pearl City