Letters to the Editor
Handbag checking at UH game ill-thought-out
Have we not learned anything from the events of Sept.11?
At the UH football game, untrained stadium ushers were put in charge of security checking bags. Why weren't the police charged with that responsibility?
Stadium officials seem fixated on what kinds of bags are being brought in. Shouldn't they be more concerned about what is in the bags?
My handbag was allowed into the stadium, but when I opened it up so they could check it, they waved me on. What sense does that make? I could have had a corkscrew, a pocket knife, a kitchen knife or a host of other potential security risks in my "little" handbag.
You can impose all the security procedures in the world, but if they lack common sense, are planned by incompetent people and executed by untrained people, what good are they?
Give Hawai'i visitors $100 to spend here
Not long ago, close to $40 million was appropriated for our visitor's bureau. Let $10 million cover overhead and advertising. On a simple ad, a statement could read, "Come to Hawai'i, and when you get off the plane, we will hand you a crisp one-hundred-dollar bill."
The multiplier spent in Hawai'i by each adult passenger (18 and over) would help Hawai'i a great deal. Thirty million dollars divided by $100 equals 300,000 tourists. That would be a shot in the arm.
Don't fly U.S. flag over 'Iolani Palace
There is no doubt that the assault on the World Trade Center towers was a crime committed not only upon many innocent human beings but upon humanity itself. On the other hand, let us not create a memorial to that tragedy by misusing 'Iolani Palace, a different kind of symbol.
Although it has done a lot in restoring the fine old building and has done a fair job of managing it in recent times, the Friends of 'Iolani Palace should be very aware that many feel that the palace as a remnant of the "sovereign lands of the Kingdom of Hawai'i" is the symbol of that kingdom as it exists today. In the light of past policy not to fly the American flag there, the decision to fly the American flag at this time demonstrates a lack of sensitivity about the palace and some of the despicable acts that have taken place there in the past.
That the queen flew an American flag over her residence is one thing. To fly it over the former "seat of government of the Hawaiian Kingdom" is something drastically different.
Clarence F.T. Ching
Waimea, Big Island
American flag flying at palace is insulting
Regarding the Sept 29 article "'Iolani Palace hoists U.S. flag": Flying the American flag at 'Iolani Palace is an "act of terror" in itself an act that tells the world that Hawai'i is American and ready to use all of its military might to win the war for the president.
After the Sept. 11 attack, the Hawaiian Kingdom flag was lowered to half staff in respect for all concerned, an act of true aloha for all effected by the Sept. 11 attack.
The decision by the board of directors of the Friends of 'Iolani Palace is an insult to kanaka maoli who support a peaceful solution and not another terror act of war.
Richard Pomaikaiokalani Kinney
Now isn't the time to push Arctic drilling
It was extremely heartening to read your Sept. 24 editorial discouraging members of Congress from exploiting the recent attacks on America to further their own agendas including drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Most of Alaska is already open to drilling, and some small part of Alaska should be kept for the many wild animals that live there and for the public. To drill or not to drill is about money for the big oil companies and has nothing to do with national security. It would also take years before any oil could be recovered. It seems that there is not enough oil there to run the risk of disrupting that area.
There are many other ways to increase our supply of energy that would last much longer and be much cheaper. Now isn't the time for Congress to push such controversial legislation.
Our Army won't let the terrorists win
On Sept. 11, terrorists flew airplanes into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center and almost into the White House. This morning I e-mailed my brother, who is in the Army. He said no one has said if he's going to war or not.
We won't let them win. We have a country full of Army men loaded with firearms.
I'm sure my brother will bring those terrorists to justice. I prayed for all the people who died on that Tuesday.
5th grader, Waimea Middle School
$500 million bounty
Why not have a $500 million reward for the capture and delivery of Osama bin Laden? That would save millions of dollars and avoid a war. We then can go after the terrorist cells all over the world.
Friendly service will be sorely missed
I wondered if the closing of the American Airlines ticket counters in the Sears locations at Ala Moana and Pearlridge shopping centers moved others as much as it did me and my wife. So I went to Pearlridge last week to see Lani and Joy on their final day of business and I was heartened to see them wearing several lei from faithful customers like me who will miss them for their friendly, helpful service.
They were the main reasons we became regular customers of American over the last 10 years. Now they're to become just another voice on the phone, further dehumanizing our lives in America.
We support the Army use of Makua Valley
The Chamber of Commerce can count on the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 849, in Wai'anae to speak out in support of the Army's use of Makua (Pilila'au Range) for training.
No one knows the importance of training and preparation for conflict better than we who have been there and done that.
While Malama Makua purports to speak for Hawaiians, it in fact does not speak for the Hawaiian veterans and their families. Further, it does not speak for the Hawaiians, or their families, who are now serving their country.
While Malama Makua has been vocal on the military's use of Makua Valley for training out of concern for the land, it has been conspicuously quiet about the bulldozing and scarring of the valley slopes of the mountain area mauka of Kapolei. Not only that, the area is being used as a rubbish dump site. Why no outrage by these self-appointed protectors of the 'aina?
Makua has been a training area for the military since World War II, yet its terrain appears as natural as it has ever been. Additionally, it's a location that is seldom traveled by residents and which is ideal for the type of training our military needs to conduct. Therefore, we would advise detractors to get out of the way so that the Army can resume training.
Commander, VFW Post 849
Think peace, love
In our ongoing covert and overt actions to eliminate criminal acts of terrorism in the world, let us, always, think peace, love, forgiveness. May love, peace and liberty prevail throughout America and beyond.
Pilots must be given more security latitude
As an American, I couldn't be more proud of how President Bush has handled our recent tragedy. I feel he has done an excellent job and I'm glad he's our president and commander and chief.
That's why it pains me to say as a 767 international captain and a 24-year aviation veteran how disappointed I was in his speech on Sept. 27 concerning airline safety, security and operations. Sadly, the speech impressed me as primarily pandering, with little substance.
We've already seen the long lines at the airport. They're basically eyewash without any real security benefit. Transponders that can't be turned off? I personally don't want anything electrical in a cockpit that can't be turned off. Science fiction where airliners are controlled from the ground? I doubt Buck Rogers would believe it and I hope that the flying public doesn't either.
While I support the sky marshal program, it will take years to cover just a small percentage of flights. Given the FAA's track record, it might be decades.
Same for stronger cockpit doors. Excellent idea, but the reality is it isn't that easy, especially for narrow-body aircraft and the miles of FAA red tape required to make such a change.
And while we're talking about the FAA, let's remember that our air traffic computers are driven by equipment installed during the Johnson administration. They're decades behind and billions of dollars over budget on this issue. Why is anyone giving this agency any credibility on security?
The biggest disappointment was the president's refusal to allow pilots, who are of course properly trained and qualified, to carry firearms in the cockpit. As a captain, it is I who is ultimately responsible for the safety of the aircraft, crew, passengers and cargo. I deserve every possible way to carry out that responsibility. The passengers deserve it too.
In closing, am I the only one who finds it unconscionable that an Air Force fighter can now shoot down a hijacked civilian airliner full of passengers but the pilots of that airliner are not allowed to defend the aircraft from the hijacker, thus preventing the hijacking in the first place?
Captain, American Airlines
We must address our critical problems
Aloha Mr. President,
Just a note from one of your fellow Americans.
I was dismayed at your speech before the airline workers, urging us to be good little consumers, get on an airliner and visit Disney World.
Meanwhile the Department of Defense authorizes a couple of generals to shoot down these same airliners when they don't respond to ground control instructions. The disconnect was simply too overwhelming.
After all, we are at war(?) and perhaps I was expecting speeches along the lines of FDR or Winston Churchill: self-sacrifice, courage and patience in staying the course. But our highest and best purpose is to be consumers?
If I may so humbly suggest, this is a historic opportunity to change our and the world's destiny. Perhaps you should address the motivation of the men who so cruelly took control of those airliners early that September morning. Surely they had more concrete grievances against us than merely a hatred of freedom and democracy.
Maybe a discussion of America's foreign policy (for it is now obvious that we are all in this together) toward the Middle East with regard to our national energy policy is in order. Lead us in an honest evaluation of the triumphs and failures of those policies; describe the political, financial and economic ramifications. The lesson of Sept. 11 is that we can take it. And we are thirsting for it now.
But discussion alone will not satisfy us. We are doers, above all else.
Let us do something about the crisis set before us the impossible task. Remember when JFK announced that we would put a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s? Challenge us to make ourselves energy independent by the end of this decade. Challenge us to break our dependence on Middle Eastern oil that runs our country and money that floats our financial system.
Challenge us to develop energy alternatives that will not only break our dependence, but will lead the world in clean, sustainable sources of power that we can export. You have a historic opportunity to change the paradigm but you must begin that change right now.
We will follow you, Mr. President but not to Disneyland.