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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, July 21, 2006

Letters to the Editor

NATURAL DISASTER

USE ELECTRONIC MEDIA TO WARN OF TSUNAMI

The tsunami-related deaths of 550 people in Java point once again to an egregious failure to communicate by government bureaucrats.

When are these people going to learn that in times of crisis and natural disasters, the use of the news media, particularly radio and TV, can be the single most effective and efficient way to broadcast life-saving information to mass populations?

Charles McCreery, director of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, stated that Indonesian officials "did the wrong thing" by not alerting the people after he had contacted them 45 minutes before the deadly tsunami struck the Java coast.

No, Dr. McCreery. You did the wrong thing by relying on government bureaucrats, rather than the electronic news media, to get the word out.

J. M. Comcowich
Kailua

GLOBAL WARMING

'INCONVENIENT TRUTH' IS A MUST-SEE MOVIE

Seeing "An Inconvenient Truth" is a must.

Roger Ebert, the country's premier movie reviewer said about the film: "In my 39 years of movie reviewing I've never said this before but I'm going to say it now, you owe it to yourself to see this movie and if you don't you need to be prepared to explain to your children and grandchildren why you chose not to."

We solved the hole in the ozone layer through political will and we can solve the global warming, but we must become informed and engaged to do it. You owe it to yourself and the rest of us to see the movie and to become engaged.

Laura Crites and Tim Keck
Honolulu

ATTENDANT LOT

CITY EARNS KUDOS FOR KAIMUKI PARKING PLAN

Kudos to the city for moving forward with a parking solution for Kaimuki's business district. Getting attendant parking in place before the holiday shopping season this year is of major importance both to the businesses in the district and to those who patronize those businesses. Kaimuki has debated various solutions for more than 15 years it is now time for action. Attendant parking may alleviate some peak-time difficulties by discouraging all-day parking in three-hour zones, (currently not permitted, but seldom enforced). Those seeking long-term parking may look elsewhere for lower rates. Meanwhile, residents, clients, shoppers, diners, park users, etc. will be able to pay the same rates as the current meters for the first couple of hours and a higher rate if they choose to stay longer. Access to the parking area will be returned to the community and its rightful users.

Community opposition to a parking structure advanced various reasons vagrancy, theft, visual blight, displacement of businesses, etc. Building a structure could result in lengthy disruption of any parking availability, sounding the death knell for Kaimuki's small businesses. It is only prudent to start with a flexible, changeable solution. Perhaps the character of Kaimuki will one day change, old buildings will be replaced and demographics will vary. A structure may then be suitable. For now, let's move on with a possible, workable solution.

Ginny Meade
Honolulu

GOLF

HEAT EXHAUSTION SIGN OF PRESSURE ON WIE

Michelle Wie is an outstanding golfer for her age and a great marketing tool. Watching her exit her most recent tournament because of heat exhaustion leaves me concerned. Michelle seems to be under a lot of pressure.

Michelle should work on enjoying the game, because with her talent the wins will come.

I also believe that the LPGA & PGA should not have allowed Michelle, a minor, to become a professional golfer. They should have encouraged her to continue to play at the school level and get more experience, but I guess they needed to boost their ratings.

Michael K. Riviera
Hilo

KAKA'AKO

PROJECT WOULD HAVE BENEFITED COMMUNITY

It is no secret that O'ahu is in dire need of affordable housing. One project that would have partially provided such housing was the Kaka'ako waterfront project. That was recently stopped by a group of protesters backed by the Democrat-controlled Legislature.

Conservation of resources means to "use wisely" rather than allowing such resources to remain under-utilized eyesores. The defeated project would have included affordable housing and a public park and beach. All of this would have been of benefit to the community.

We need legislators to work with the state administration to be sure any development, whether in Kaka'ako or elsewhere, is done wisely. What we do not need is the same old short-sighted Democrats who bow to the wishes of a few while the rest of the community is once again neglected.

Anne Sabalaske
Honolulu

SENATE RACE

VOTERS ARE OWED DEBATE ON ISSUES

I am puzzled as to why Sen. Daniel Akaka is unwilling to debate Rep. Ed Case. If Sen. Akaka is so proud of his record and accomplishments, as he states, then he should be more than willing to name a time and place to debate those achievements.

Akaka's unwillingness to debate makes me think he has something to hide. Does this mean the Time magazine article calling him one of the five worst senators is true? Not debating Case is a disservice to the voters of Hawai'i. Let the voters of this state have a chance to see the two front-runners argue the issues side by side. We are entitled to that in a democracy.

We need a senator with more than just heart and aloha. I have no doubt that Sen. Akaka is a very nice man. He seems like a kindly grandfather. Is that what we need in our senator?

We need a senator who is articulate, effective and strong. Unfortunately, what I've seen so far doesn't lead me to use those adjectives to describe Sen. Akaka.

N.D. Santos
Kailua

BORDER DUTY

ISLE GUARD PERSONNEL WILL BE AVAILABLE HERE

I want to take this opportunity to respond to William Starr Moake's letter (July 18) on Hawai'i National Guard soldiers and airmen going to Arizona to help secure the southern U.S. border.

Border security is not just the responsibility of the Border Patrol and Customs and Immigration. Border security depends on many federal, state and county agencies all working together.

All states and territories have been asked to send a limited number of troops in support of the effort until more Border Patrol agents can be trained. Hawai'i will be sending some units for up to three weeks and individuals with certain skills for longer periods, but the entire Hawai'i National Guard will not be mobilized. We will have adequate personnel staying at home to handle small-or medium-scale disasters.

In the event of a large-scale disaster, we will have the assistance of our National Guard partners from other states and other federal forces from the Pacific region. Hawai'i is part of an Emergency Management Assistance Compact. Just as we sent Hawai'i National Guardsmen to the Mainland after Hurricane Katrina, other states would deploy their troops here if we were in need.

There are no plans to send Hawai'i National Guard units to the Mainland during the peak of the hurricane season here. The border security-mission will be a long-term endeavor, and other states will be primarily represented during those times. We will be able to send forces to Arizona once the peak season has passed.

Robert G.F. Lee
Major General, Hawai'i National Guard

HAWAIIANS

OHA TRUSTEES' PLAN IS DELUSIONAL THINKING

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs' daring plan (Advertiser, July 17) to move "full speed ahead" with forming a race-based, Native-Hawaiians-only nation, shows the depths of the delusion into which the trustees have descended.

With Rice v. Cayetano and the recent debacle of the Akaka bill, what part of "racial discrimination" do the OHA trustees not understand?

So they want to get the "nation" up and running by 2008? If a race-based governing entity isn't legal now, what makes them think that it will be legal two years from now? Apparently OHA expects us to believe that it will happen if they get 118,000 Hawaiians to sign up under Kau Inoa. Then the U.S. will miraculously say, "Congratulations! You hit the magic number! Now you qualify to have an unconstitutional race-based government!"

What part of "unconstitutional" do the OHA trustees not understand? And what happens if OHA's recruitment falls short of that number?

And why spend yet another "$7 to $10 million" to "build a nation" by following the exact format that was rejected by the U.S. Senate last month? This would be another $7 million to $10 million lost to silly political machinations instead of real services to the beneficiaries.

And, by the way, how much did OHA spend in the six years of lobbying, slick advertising, posturing rallies and T-shirts to push for the fatally flawed Akaka bill? Where did that money come from?

The OHA trustees need to get on with truly serving all the people of Hawai'i. If it is indeed OHA's purpose to redress the injustices stemming from the 1893 illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, then the OHA beneficiaries should be the Hawaiian Nationals (the remnants of a political entity), not Native Hawaiians (an ethnic sub-group of Hawaiian Nationals).

This shift in the beneficiaries from Natives to Nationals, would provide OHA and other Hawaiian entitlement programs with the bulletproof "political entity" they have been flailing around to find.

Leon Siu
Honolulu