Letters to the Editor
WIE RESPONSIBLE FOR KNOWING RULES OF GOLF
Michelle Wie's most recent rules infraction at the British Open further illustrates grave concerns regarding her on-course performance, attitude and ethical standards.
Being a professional is not just a matter of reaping financial rewards. A professional accepts the responsibility of mastering all aspects of one's chosen profession.
Professional tour players, with tens of thousands of dollars at stake, routinely declare penalties on their own ball when they alone observed the slightest infraction (i.e., not based on TV camera coverage). Michelle irresponsibly dismisses her infractions as attributable to her young age and a concomitant boredom with reading the "Rules of Golf."
She further adds that she will rely more heavily on officials in the future. So here again, Michelle shifts the responsibility to others, failing to acknowledge her role in protecting the standards of golf. Michelle has to recognize that she cannot have it both ways. She cannot accept $10 million contracts and over $700,000 in earnings without embracing everything that the game embodies.
A few years ago, Annika Sorenstam, who arguably may be the greatest LPGA golfer ever, attended PGA-sponsored classes for several days just to become better informed about the "Rules of Golf." What better role model does one need than Annika's example to be the best professional she can possibly be?Edward W. Voss
MIDEAST CONFLICT IS A MATTER OF GOOD VS. EVIL
I couldn't disagree more with Richard Baker's commentary, "Letter to a friend: Objectivity the first victim of conflict" (Focus, Aug. 6).
His moral equivalency in the name of objectivity is simplistic, misleading and wrong. Regarding Israel's defense against Hezbollah, he states that "This is not simply a matter of good versus evil, with all the justification on one side and all the fault on the other. No. Both sides have ample justification for their grievances and quite reasonable arguments for their objectives."
Reasonable? Mr. Baker should get his facts straight. Hezbollah is a terrorist organization funded and supported by the Iranian mullahs. Hezbollah was responsible for blowing up our Marines in Lebanon, murdering 241 American servicemen. Hezbollah supports the recruiting and use of suicide bombers to create death and terror. Hezbollah calls for the destruction of Israel, and along with its sponsor, Iran, wants to see both the U.S. and Israel destroyed under a mushroom cloud.
Reasonable? Only if you think Honolulu under an H-bomb is reasonable.
There is such a thing as good versus evil. And pushing this fake moral equivalency is both wrong and dangerous.William Shapiro
Kailua, Kona, Hawai'i
GREED IS SPOILING BEAUTY OF HAWAI'I
The state's outrageous proposed master plan for "intensive redevelopment" of Koke'e and Waimea on Kaua'i must be stopped. This plan calls for destruction of the land, ceded land at that, in the interests of commercialization, complete with a hotel, retail outlets, parking lots and auctioning of cabins to the highest bidder, namely, the super-rich.
The state's plan to keep the Koke'e cabins without compensation to owners is unethical. But this is not just a struggle between cabin owners and the government. Nor is this about "being fair to everyone," as officials at the Department of Land and Natural Resources would like us to believe.That claim is an insult to our intelligence.
Again and again, greedy, selfish interests seek to spoil the beauty of Hawai'i nei. Aloha 'aina! Kill the plan.Eileen Cain
LAY GILL NET FISHING WASTEFUL, MUST END
The TV spots urging citizens to support the DLNR's proposed new lay gill net fishing rules were produced and paid for by local groups and businesses that support sustainable fishing and pono fishing methods such as pole and line fishing.
In contrast, the $20,000-plus 12-page insert placed in The Advertiser in the spring of 2005 by the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, which attacked the DLNR for supporting the protection of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, was paid for by federal tax dollars without NOAA's consent.
The 1999 Lay Gillnet Task Force members were almost all gill net fishermen, and prohibiting this wasteful, non-targeted fishing method was not one of their recommendations. Our reef fish populations have declined enormously in the last 60 years since federal, territorial and state governments have been keeping records. While pollution and coastal degradation have certainly played a part, research indicates that 80 percent of the decline is due to overfishing, and lay gill nets are the biggest contributor. It is time to stop this wasteful method of fishing, which catches out-of-season and undersized fish.Linda Paul
Executive director for Aquatics, Hawaii Audubon Society; former member, Lay Gillnet Task Force
VISITOR SENDS A MAHALO FOR ISLAND GENEROSITY
I wanted to write and say thanks to a couple who showed true Hawaiian spirit to a family on its last vacation day in Hawai'i.
Our family had just gotten in to the Hilton resort at Waikiki and were trying to grab a late lunch. We headed to a local diner that the guide book said residents enjoyed. We ordered our meal, and when it came, we did what we always do before every meal: The four of us bowed our heads and asked a blessing. The meal was great and the waitress brought the bill, but soon returned to say she had forgotten to add something. She didn't return with the check, and my husband told her we were ready to pay and leave. That's when we were told that a couple at a booth near us had paid for our family of four's meal. We thanked them and protested that they shouldn't do that. The lovely woman said it was because she saw us asking a blessing before our meal.
She didn't know that it touched us so deeply. Only my husband and I knew that when we returned to Atlanta, he would face open-heart surgery that next week. I took it as a sign from God that all would be well.
Things are well. My husband came through the surgery and is gaining strength every day. Thanks to the kind couple who were God's messengers that day! Mahalo!Michele McHale-Pickard
AKAKA IS SELFISH IN AVOIDING A DEBATE
Why is Dan Akaka avoiding debates with Ed Case? That's not honorable. That's certainly not courageous.
I think it's a selfish act that places his personal interest in re-election higher than his public duty to share with the voters his positions on our nation's critical problems. What is he afraid of?Lunsford Phillips
TRAFFIC AND TRANSIT
CREATIVE IDEAS NEEDED TO SOLVE CONGESTION
While awaiting a decision about long-term solutions to Honolulu's traffic problems, the Department of Transportation needs to continue to look at creative solutions targeting various congested routes.
A successful example is the fourth lane added to H-1 between the Liliha on-ramp and the Pali off-ramp.
The highly congested far right lane on Beretania between Alapa'i and Punchbowl during afternoon rush hour is another problem begging for a solution. Three major streets feed into this short stretch: traffic from South Street and Kapi'olani converge via Alapa'i to join the traffic on Beretania — all with the intent of merging into one lane to turn right at Punchbowl to access H-1. Even with the green right arrow at Punchbowl, traffic moves very slowly because of the pedestrian island. The solution? Remove the pedestrian island and allow the two right lanes to feed into Punchbowl. That would create a small problem for pedestrians crossing the mauka side of Punchbowl, but there are several possible solutions.
The plans to repave Beretania put further stress on this route. I'm sure many drivers stuck in traffic have thought of other solutions to Honolulu's traffic snafu; sharing these with the DOT might actually result in some beneficial changes.Michael Bornemann
RAIL SYSTEM DOESN'T MAKE SENSE FOR O'AHU
As a retired construction engineer, the proposed rail transit system seems to me to be the height of madness.
Cliff Slater's Second Opinion column made so much sense, I wonder that it saw the light of day. What are the people living east and north of Nu'uanu gaining from this new expensive system? Are the people from west O'ahu who need the use of their cars during the day going to take the rail system?
A bus/HOT line-type system would have the flexibility to take care of these people as well as other growing population centers that no doubt will develop before the rail system is completed.James M. Walling
TOLL EXPRESSWAYS ARE THE BETTER OPTION
Even a UH-Manoa engineering professor gives free advice. He believes the addition of an elevated two- or three-lane reversible High-Occupancy Toll expressway is a better alternative to fixed rail.
The HOT lanes project is one remedy. It would be inexpensive relative to rail ($1 billion vs $4 billion), the feds would pick up half the cost ($500 million) and toll revenues would pay off the other half ($500 million). HOT lanes would not require a tax increase of any kind. The only cost that local taxpayers would bear is when they use the toll lanes.
Also, TheBus could pick up passengers at their normal stops, drive on the HOT expressway and get to their destination without the delays of stops and transfers of rail.
I live in Kailua, and driving on H-3 has definitely reduced traffic congestion from the Windward side. A two- or three-lane HOT expressway would reduce traffic congestion and provide both private and public transportation an option to H-1 or Farrington Highway.Norm Chai
CELL-PHONE LOTS WOULD EASE AIRPORT TRAFFIC
Almost half of the country's major airports now have cell-phone lots — free parking spots where you can sit in your car and wait to receive a call from visitors once they have retrieved their luggage and are standing at the curb ready to be picked up.
These lots obviate the need to circle the airport, wasting gas and adding to the congestion. They provide a simple alternative to hunting for a place to park in a complex and crowded parking structure.
When is Honolulu Airport going to provide this amenity?Elizabeth Uhr