Letters to the Editor
HANNEMANN OPPOSED WATER BOARD BONUSES
Additional points must be made regarding your story (July 27) on lucrative bonuses granted by the Honolulu Board of Water Supply to its top managers in December 2004, the month before I assumed office.
Your story failed to point out that the board was able to grant those bonuses because of a 2003 state law passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Lingle that "authorizes a board of water supply serving a population of 500,000 or more persons, to implement an experimental civil service modernization project without approval from the mayor."
Your article correctly reports that I was puzzled by the bonuses. What also troubles me is how the board used its semi-autonomous status to lobby the state to gain special interest legislation.
After I took office, I made it known that I opposed the practice of giving big bonuses to top managers and made that a point of discussion with the people I subsequently appointed to the Board of Water Supply. In fact, before hiring the new chief engineer, the board ensured that he and the deputy engineer would no longer be eligible for bonuses. We put the bonus program on ice long before your editorial Friday suggested it. Fiscal accountability to taxpayers is what my administration will always insist upon.Mufi Hannemann
WHY DO WE NEED MORE HOTELS BLOCKING OCEAN?
Hey Honolulu residents, Texas developer Ken Hughes has just what you need:
A new 130-foot-high boutique hotel and time-share condo complex blocking the ocean at piers 5 and 6.
The best part is that it is all on state waterfront land. But why stop there? Let's develop the entire waterfront with more hotels. The residents of Honolulu don't need housing do they?Chris Cramer
ENVIRONMENTALISTS LOOKING OUT FOR US
I don't need an environmental impact statement to believe in the intra-island spread of invasive species that will wreak havoc on native Hawaiian ecosystems.
Of course, if the governor and the operators of Superferry want to disprove my layman's view with an EIS, please, bring it on.
But until then, I'm with the environmentalists who truly act in the best interests of the citizens and fragile Hawaiian environment. After all, do we really need the Superferry? No.
Do a select group of individuals really need to profit and satisfy their egos? Yes.
Well, not with my buck they won't, and hopefully not yours either.Jeff Friedman
BOATING IN HAWAI'I IS SELF-SUPPORTING
Bob Vogtritter's letter about the Ala Wai Boat Harbor (July 27) is another example of the bias and misinformation against boaters in Hawai'i.
First, only 15 percent of the boats in the harbor are allowed to have live-aboards for security reasons. They pay 2 1/2 times the regular rate.
Second, boating in Hawai'i is self supporting through the Boating Special Fund. No general tax funds are used to support boating.
Boaters pay $1,000,000 a year to support the park rangers at DOCARE. The $75,000 used to clean up the Ala Wai Canal Spill of 2006 was paid by boaters. Over $300,000 a year is paid to state employees by boaters.
Forget about all the volunteer work boaters do for the community and support of local businesses.Richard Johnson
MANY SCIENTISTS REFUTE GLOBAL WARMING CLAIMS
Naomi Oreskes' commentary "Climate change can no longer be refuted" (July 26) should have been printed in the Faith section.
Her premise is that if enough people believe something then it must be true. Fortunately, truth is not dependent upon consensus. There are thousands, not "a handful" as she asserts, of scientists — geologists, meteorologists and climatologists — who are refuting global warming. For example, over 17,000 scientists signed a petition against the Kyoto Accord.
An in-depth refutation of the global warming religion is beyond the scope of a letter to the editor. Briefly, however, carbon dioxide is not a pollutant but a plant nutrient and an essential component of life on earth. The methodology behind the computer models suggesting man-made global warming has been proved false. And temperature, sea levels and glaciers have been moving up and down since time began. For a more detailed discussion of the facts, google The Anthropogenic Global Warming Doctrine by Gerrit J. van der Lingen.W.D. Woodward
RAIL TRANSIT A MISTAKE AND WILL BE TOO COSTLY
The light-rail transit is a big mistake. It will cost taxpayers too much money. A better solution is to add more express buses and park-and-rides.Derek Stephens
DEMOCRATS MUST BE UNITED, STAY THE COURSE
As the youngest and greenest candidate in the 2nd Congressional District race, it is fair to state that this campaign is uphill — a challenge I welcome wholeheartedly.
Public service is my calling and I have a passion to serve the people of Hawai'i's 2nd Congressional District. I can relate to the people in the district personally as I was born, raised and educated along the Wai'anae coast.
To me, "passion" is having HEART (Humble, Earnest, Accountable, Responsible, and Tactful). My passion coupled with competence far outweighs the traditional credentialing process. In my opinion, this formula produces exemplary public servants, like the late Congresswoman Patsy T. Mink — a woman I respected as a mother figure — who instilled a great deal of socially sound values and principles in me.
Regardless of the election outcome, we Democrats must remain united and stay the course. If we each continue to respect and appreciate one another, in the end we Democrats will prevail.Hanalei Yukutaru Aipoalani
Candidate, U.S. Congress; Hawai'i 2nd District