Letters to the Editor
COMMENTARY IGNORED OCCUPATION BY ISRAEL
Regarding Victor Davis Hanson's commentary, "West indifferent to Mideast's anti-Semitism" (Sept. 28): Did Hanson conveniently forget the more than 20,000 innocent Lebanese civilians killed by the Israeli IDF in the 1982-2000 illegal occupation of Lebanon, or even the recent Lebanese occupation in which more than 1,300 innocent Lebanese civilians were killed?
From 1973 to 2000, the IDF killed 10 times more Palestinian civilians than Israeli civilians killed by Palestinian "terrorists." On Sept. 27, the United Nations' John Duggard reported that Israel had turned Gaza into a "prison" and that Israel is in violation of international law.
The U.N. also reported that there are 1 million Israeli cluster bomblets unexploded in Lebanon, and that could prevent 200,000 displaced Lebanese civilians from returning home for two years. The U.N.'s Jan Egeland accused Israel of "completely immoral" use of cluster bombs in the conflict.
On Sept. 28, Israeli human rights group B'Tselem reported that Israel's bombing of Gaza's main power plant in June constitutes a war crime.Lawrence Basich
LEEWARD COMMUTERS NEED A RAIL SYSTEM
In response to Michael K. Nomura's letter (Sept. 27), I find it amusing he thinks that TheBus is the best solution for alleviating gridlock traffic.
I assume he is unaware that even the buses can get crowded on morning commutes, especially during rush hour when people need to get their kids to school and themselves to work. Buses also take the same route into town as cars and get stuck in the same traffic.
That comment, coming from someone who lives in Kailua, shows that Mr. Nomura is unaware of traffic conditions faced by commuters coming into town from the Leeward side. The only way for town commuters to avoid gridlock is a mass transit that is unaffected by traffic accidents, the weather and road conditions. Rail will do what TheBus cannot, which is alleviate traffic conditions on a much larger and substantial scale.
Being a Kapolei resident and having to face these worsening traffic conditions into town on a daily basis, I genuinely hope that mass transit will become a reality for the Leeward commuters, who desperately need it.Jennifer Ho
SUPERFERRY $ COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER SPENT
I attended the Maui Superferry meeting and once again the Superferry people said they were not required to get an environmental impact statement because other ships using Hawai'i didn't have to.
Wrong! There is a big difference! Hawai'i taxpayers didn't give $40 million to NCL, Matson, Young Brothers or any other harbor users. But we are giving $40 million of our hard-earned taxpayers' money to the Superferry and this triggers HRS 343, which requires an EIS.
The Superferry people then stated at the meeting that the courts have all ruled that an EIS is not necessary.
Wrong! Maui Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza only ruled that the citizens of Hawai'i do not have standing to challenge the project. Judge Cardoza never even ruled on the merits of HRS 343. We believe that the Hawai'i Supreme Court will overrule Judge Cardoza's decision.
Think what Hawai'i could have done with that $40 million. Here on Maui we could have finished the Lahaina bypass to end the massive traffic jams and built the Kihei high school and air-conditioned our existing schools. It is so hot in our classrooms that most of our children can't even think. No wonder our state is always at the bottom of national testing.Bob Babson
LACK OF SUPERFERRY EIS WRONG, IRRESPONSIBLE
The Lingle administration's refusal to acknowledge the need for an environmental impact statement for the pending Superferry operation is outrageous and irresponsible.
The county councils of Maui, the Big Island and Kaua'i have been adamant in their request that the state require an EIS prior to the start of the Superferry operations. Many, if not most, of the Neighbor Island legislators have indicated their support for an EIS requirement, and thousands of individual citizens have made it clear they believe an EIS should be mandatory.
No other carrier will have the impact that the Superferry will have on the Neighbor Islands. In addition, the financing of the Superferry construction is being guaranteed by the federal government, and the state taxpayers are funding an additional $40 million in harbor improvements in support of the Superferry operations. The broad, long-term and significant impacts of the Superferry operations combined with its extensive reliance of public funding should translate into a higher level of public accountability.
Requiring an EIS does not translate into opposing the Superferry operation; it is simply the responsible thing to do. An EIS is merely a disclosure document, and its purpose is to clearly and impartially point out what impacts will occur as a result of the Superferry's operations. We know there will be impacts on traffic, on crime, on the entry of invasive species, on whale survival rates, on existing public recreational facilities and on our harbors. However, we do not know the extent of those impacts, what plan might be in place to deal with those impacts, and who is going to pay for the mitigation of those impacts. Requiring an EIS would be the prudent and responsible course of action.
State Sen. Gary L. Hooser
UH'S FAN BASE FACES MANY COST PRESSURES
Jack Covington (Letters, Sept. 28) makes a strong case for supporting the University of Hawai'i football team in comparison with Alabama's fan support.
Let's not forget Hawai'i's large immigrant population, lower wages and higher prices for food, gasoline, medical care, etc.
When you must choose basic needs against entertainment, there is only one choice.Roy M. Chee