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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, December 28, 2002

Letters to the Editor

Interisland marine highway may be answer

The recent cutbacks in interisland flights have had a devastating effect on business people that is being ignored by our two major airlines.

After decades of convenient service between Hilo and Kahului, there are no longer any direct flights between these two cities. It is now necessary to fly from Hilo to Honolulu and change planes for a second flight to Kahului. With the time for rental car pickup and return, I am lucky to get two hours on the ground for servicing my customers.

If a commuter airline does step in to fill the void, I will gladly give it all of my business, if its schedules allow me to be as productive as I was before the cutbacks. Perhaps it is time to seriously consider a statewide interisland car and passenger ferry system. If the airlines fail or are shut down by strikes we have no backup system in place.

What would happen to the economy then? Could Congress be lobbied to allow Hawai'i to use interstate highway money for construction of an interisland marine highway with fast, frequent ferries?

Robert Alder

Hawai'i shouldn't elect all Democrats to Congress

Dave Shapiro's comments in his Dec. 18 column about party strategy in the 2nd Congressional District election are valid from the political parties' standpoint, but what about the electorate as a whole?

It is asinine for a small state to elect its entire congressional delegation from one party. For the next two years it's a Republican White House working with Republican majorities in the House and Senate. Hawai'i already has two respected senior senators and in Washington that's pronounced "clout."

A neophyte Democrat in the House, no matter how qualified, will be about as useful to Hawai'i as one chopstick. In contrast to this, a Republican neophyte will have added weight as the senior Republican congressional elected official from Hawai'i.

Maybe Dave can expand this thought in another column.

I can't vote in this election myself. I live in the first district where I look to good ol' whatshisname to stand tall and protect my interests!

Don Woodrum

Condo land leases require arbitration

In response to Robert Levy's Dec. 24 letter, it is a false impression that landowners can charge any amount of rent they want in condominium lease rent renegotiation. State law requires all condo land lease disputes to be submitted to arbitration to prevent litigation within an already overburdened judiciary.

All condo land leases also require arbitration. Arbitration is mandatory. A landowner cannot arbitrarily raise lease rents.

In an arbitration, the landowner appoints an arbitrator, the lessee appoints an arbitrator and both arbitrators appoint a third. These arbitrators are professional and are unbiased.

After hearing both sides, the arbitrators render an opinion with two out of three prevailing. The landowner and lessee, from an agreement entered into before the arbitration, are bound by the decision.

George Hao

Lingle needs to know public safety is at risk

I was appalled to read in the Dec. 24 Advertiser that Gov. Linda Lingle does not want to intervene in the nurses' strike, stating that "it doesn't threaten public health and safety."

Will she still feel that way when she or a loved one is being cared for by a nurse who is into his or her 15th hour of a mandatory 16-hour workday because no one supported the strike?

Will she still feel that mandatory overtime is not a public safety issue when she or a loved one must rely on an exhausted nurse, whose thoughts are on how tired he or she is or how he or she will rearrange childcare, instead of on patient care?

Public safety is being threatened. Let's put aside power struggles and strategies and resolve these issues. The public's safety should not fall victim to political face-saving or corporate profit.

Sheri Kishaba-Leaman, R.N.

Lumping all Republicans as racist goes too far

I'm incensed by your Dec. 22 editorial implying that Republicans are dumping U.S. Sen. Trent Lott in spite of, rather than because of, his apparently anachronistic racial views. Broad-brushing the entire Republican Party as racist political opportunists goes too far.

You quote approvingly of former President Bill Clinton's statement that Republicans are upset with Lott's making public their strategy of racial segregation.

On what does he — and by inference, you — base this belief? What legislation can you reference showing Lott's comments represent the views of most or even many Republicans? What survey data demonstrates systemic bigotry or racism within the party? If you're going to charge half the electorate with racism, you need more than the words of an admitted liar and urban myth to back it up.

Lott said something stupid that was out of touch with Americans of virtually all political ilks. It's ironic that you choose to adopt the slander tactics of racists past to slur a group with whom you disagree on other matters.

Carl Graham