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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, September 27, 2001

The September 11th attack
Residents offering ideas for economic recovery

 •  Kaua'i discusses economic pains

By Lynda Arakawa
Advertiser Capitol Bureau

Discount air fares. Vacations for rescue workers and victims' families. Early retirement incentives for government workers.

 •  To offer suggestions, log onto gov.state.hi.us or ehawaiigov.org and click on the "Hawaii Rebounds" link. Or write to Hawaii Rebounds Suggestions, Governor's Office, State Capitol, Honolulu, HI 96813.

You can also join our discussion on how Hawai'i can cushion the economic fallout from the terrorist attacks.
Hawai'i residents and others have been steadily sending suggestions and comments to Gov. Ben Cayetano on how to handle the state's economic fallout from Sept. 11.

Cayetano invited the public last Thursday to suggest how Hawai'i should deal with what's anticipated to be the state's worst economic crisis ever.

Since then, more than 175 people have responded by e-mail, letters and fax.

E-mailed suggestions and comments are posted on the governor's "Hawaii Rebounds" Web site.

They include ideas that were also suggested by business leaders. Some said Hawai'i residents should receive discounted air fare and hotel rates or tax credits for staying at a hotel.

Among others: the state should hire laid off workers for community service projects; look into gambling to raise revenue; organize more athletic events here and invite Mainland participants. A couple of people also suggested giving Hawai'i vacations to victims' families and rescue workers.

"Everyone in the state could get involved with an outpouring of aloha for these people," wrote Dr. Gary Edwards of Honolulu. "The (public relations) value of the Hawaiian aloha shown to these heroes would be immeasurable."

A few people mentioned offering state and city workers early retirement incentives to reduce the costs of government. A woman from Wai'anae, who is planning to move to Japan with her husband, humbly volunteered to help take Cayetano's message to people there.

And while a couple of women from Australia inquired whether they should keep their travel plans to Hawai'i, one Connecticut resident offered some reassurance: "I had planned on moving to Hawai'i quite a while ago and only want to let you know this tragedy has not changed my mind. I have great confidence in Hawai'i."

The governor's office also received some arguably unconventional comments as well. Responses that were not posted on the Web site include suggestions to legalize marijuana to cut crime, and to contribute to the war effort with — among other things — strict student dress codes.

Cayetano's press secretary Kim Murakawa said the governor is given a copy of every suggestion that comes in. But to make sure that suggestions are immediately considered and attended to, the governor's office also forwards them to the appropriate state departments and agencies, she said.

Communications assistant Steve Uyeno, who has been collecting and sorting the public comments, said he has encouraged the departments and agencies to respond to those who wrote.