Letters to the Editor
Homosexual lifestyle hasn't been accepted
Your write-up on the homosexual "Volcano Party" held last weekend in Honolulu contained a statement from Michael Kenny, vice president for cultural tourism in Florida. He said the concern that focusing on homosexual tourism would undermine our family-oriented visitor industry is unwarranted. He said the culture has changed in recent years so that nowadays, homosexuality is "so much a part of normal discourse."
Kenny and others who claim there's been a big societal change of attitude on the issue of homosexuality are victims of their own wishful thinking. If society were indeed accepting homosexuality as "normal," how would he explain the people of Hawai'i voting overwhelmingly against legalizing same-sex marriages?
As much as people like Kenny would like such a societal change, it hasn't happened and it never will happen no matter how much propaganda is published by The Advertiser.
Governor is forcing issue for fiscal errors
Judge Russell Nagata is truly an honorable man and a well-respected judge. He decided to throw out van cam speeding tickets below 10 mph over the limit based on sound reason.
The governor is attempting to use his power to force the courts to penalize every citizen who drives less than 10 mph above the speed limit. Shame on the governor. Even Ben agrees that his fiscal policy has failed during his administration, but don't blame it on the hard-working person who must travel long distances into the city just to make a living.
It's the governor and the legislators who should foot the bill for their own fiscal errors, and might should never prevail over what is right.
Louis Michael Ching
Where's responsibility for damaging car?
In the early evening of Friday, March 22, I parked in the handicap space at the entrance to Ward Centre. The blue-striped no-park section was to my left.
Upon returning from dinner, I found that someone had apparently tried to enter the no-park area, striking my left rear fender and causing considerable damage. There was no note, leaving me, a retired and disabled veteran, to pay a $500 insurance deductible instead of a proper claim against the driver's insurance.
From the height of damage, the vehicle was a SUV or truck. Has the aloha spirit deteriorated to a point that people no longer accept responsibility for their actions?
Brunch, sunset events hurting businesses
Taxpayers are spending more than $300,000 for the Brunch and Sunset on the Beach events in the city's efforts to "revitalize Waikiki." What is being overlooked is how much money these events are costing private businesses.
Some members of the Hawai'i Activities and Tours Association report losing upward of $12,000 for each event, primarily due to lost revenue and traffic congestion in and around Waikiki before, during and after the events.
Transportation companies express their frustrations at the city's lack of notification of street closures (i.e., unannounced last-minute changes) and inaccessibility of the city's traffic-cam Web site during these crucial times.Ê
Tour bus and taxi services are unexpectedly delayed or tediously rerouted frustrating not only drivers but also customers and hotel doormen.ÊThese delays result in missed appointment times, forcing businesses to pay customer restitutions through no fault of their own, overtime salary costs, and extra wear and tear on vehicles.
Activity and attraction operators report they are equally as frustrated, as their customers complain about being stuck in traffic. Our dinner cruise members, for example, must depart at a specific time to make their "sunset" cruises Êafter all, the sun will not wait to set because of a traffic delay.
The intention of the Brunch and Sunset on the Beach events was supposed to generate interest in the businesses in Waikiki.
Hawai'i Activities and Tours Association
Ugly sign should be removed this year
I suppose Hawaiian Airlines is dusting off that ugly sign it hangs each year as backdrop to Hilo's Merrie Monarch Festival.
This signboard is totally out of sync with the beautiful people, the beautiful costumes and the beautiful dances that constitute the festival.
May I suggest that Hawaiian Airlines fill its usual space with tropical plants, so right for the occasion? Festival management can thank its new donors in programs, in press releases and in public announcements made during the competition.
Good P.R. can be more powerful than an ugly sign.
David W. Eyre
Homosexual tourists have families, too
I find it interesting that Jean Polly draws a line between homosexual tourists and families with children ("Catering to homosexual tourists a mistake," Letters, March 25). Does she really believe that homosexual tourists don't have families themselves?
It seems to me that Polly is attempting to paint the entire gay community as engaging in inappropriate adult behavior in public places, when the truth is that many gay tourists engage in no inappropriate behavior when visiting the Islands. In fact, some of them bring their own kids along.
It would be intellectually dishonest for me to point at a swinger's club and accuse all heterosexuals of such behavior. It is equally dishonest to point at the adult behavior of some gay people and then claim that all gays behave that way.
There should be room in Hawai'i's tourism industry for all human beings, regardless of their sexual orientation.
Daniel Patrick Jenkins
Botanical gardens must be preserved
During a recent visit to Hawai'i, I was lucky enough to visit to the Botanical Gardens and Arboretum on O'ahu's North Shore at Waimea.
With its vast number of regionally threatened and endangered species, combined with its collection of equally at-risk specimens from around the globe, this facility is, indeed, a world-class center for conservation and education in the area of species protection and species preservation.
It is a center that Honolulu, Hawai'i and the United States can and should be proud of.
Just as I was incredibly impressed by this facility, so was I dismayed to learn that there is some possibility it will not be able to continue to provide the valuable state, national and international service it currently offers.
I hope the citizens of Hawai'i appreciate this valuable facility.
Further, I hope they urge their representatives to do all possible to ensure its continued existence and prosperity.
Alan R.P. Journet, Ph.D.
Professor of biology
Southeast Missouri State University
Merger collapse means a return of competition
For those who recognized the Hawaiian-Aloha merger as an opportunistic attempt to sneak into a monopoly during an economic downturn, its collapse came as a pleasant surprise.
Now these supposedly helpless companies suddenly have discovered the consumer demand to expand their trans-Pacific flight schedules.
Hawaiian has taken a big step by recalling 132 furloughed flight attendants. Aloha, now the ball's in your court.
Let the competition begin.
Voting is too important, so make it mandatory
A recent letter to the editor introduced a proposal to make voting mandatory. I agree.
Voting only happens every two years. It's not an inconvenience to anyone. If you're not able to vote on Election Day, you can mail in your ballot earlier. We have other laws that only benefit our safety, but voting is a benefit for our freedom. By making voting mandatory, people would get into the habit of exercising their freedom to vote.
The penalty should be $200 and 30 hours of community service. That should teach us a lesson for not using our privilege of having the freedom to vote.
We are lucky to have the freedom to vote. There are other countries that do not have that freedom. We are voting for people who will have an effect on our life. It is up to us to choose who will be in the government and who will make important decisions about our freedom.
Legislature must pass ban on shark feeding
My sentiments go to the Kaua'i boy who was attacked by the shark. However, I believe mano ('aumakua) has spoken.
The water condition is similar to when chum (palu) is used to attract sharks. The Legislature should listen and pass SB 2613 SD2, which prohibits feeding sharks for commercial purposes. There are safety and cultural concerns. Do the right thing and pass SB 2613 SD2 before it gets worse.
Thomas T. Shirai Jr.
Sukamto Sia is eminently qualified for council seat
Thank you for informing us of June Jones' creative ideas for rehabilitation of his "very good friend" and convicted felon, Sukamto Sia.
Given businessman Sia's extensive resume, which includes bankruptcy and wire fraud, contempt of court, gambling addiction, writing bad checks and domestic abuse, he seems like an ideal candidate for a seat on the City Council.
'Kindergarten Bill' should be defeated
The "Kindergarten Bill" (SB 2032 SD3) in the state House Finance Committee is a destructive and backward step that would cause tremendous damage to our children if it is passed.
The intention is to raise the kindergarten age so that our children will be older and therefore "ready" for kindergarten. Presumably, this would help our children look better when the federal "No Child Left Behind Act" universal testing begins.
However, another reason this bill is being supported is that it will supposedly save the Department of Education money. The so-called "logic" behind this is questionable. Keep children back a year so they test better? I don't think so.
Reading statistics show that our children are already behind the national norms. This bill would force our children to fall even further behind. Children born in the fall and winter might not start school until they are almost 6 years old. This means they will be 19 at graduation, and since the DOE's responsibility ends at 18, what then?
Older children are not necessarily better prepared to go to school they are just chronologically older and still may not have any preschool experience. Staying back would not "improve their test scores" since most families cannot afford preschools; many children are being cared for by family members or in informal care settings. Our families are already struggling financially. They can barely afford childcare as it is.
School is seen as an opportunity for our children. A good kindergarten setting is a way for them to experience the joys of learning and interacting with others.
The money that would be "saved' by the DOE is not worth the price of sacrificing our children.
Creating more preschools and early childhood settings requires much time and money. SB 2032 does not account for the necessary infrastructure to develop new preschools that would be needed immediately after it went into effect.
Our children need more education, not less. Please care for our keiki. We need to speak for the children. Their voices are small but their needs are great.
Call your legislators and members of the Finance Committee to stop SB 2032.