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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, December 9, 2007

Letters to the Editor

FREEWAYS

STATE SHOULD SET TRAPS TO NAB COPPER THIEVES

There may be an effective solution to catching the copper thieves along the freeways.

The state should hire a security company to set up radio transmitting switches or camera type "traps" (there is cost-effective, fairly inexpensive technology available) under the conduit access covers, on the wires, or using remote motion detectors in creatively hidden places that would send a silent signal to the police or an alarm company if the covers are removed or if the wires are cut, moved or tampered with.

You could catch these guys red-handed and throw the book at them.

Bill Romerhaus
Hale'iwa

WILL COLUMN

NO HISTORICAL EVIDENCE OF LAND THEFT BY U.S.

The Honolulu Advertiser editorial of Dec. 2 on the Akaka bill indicates that journalist George Will did not do his homework for his Nov. 29 column in The Washington Post. It appears to be The Advertiser that didn't do the homework.

Will made the point that both Goering of Nazi Germany and the Akaka bill endeavor to incorporate people into a given ethnic classification. Will was unwise in featuring the comparison, lest it be taken out of context and be confused with racial policies. But it is the ensuing analysis of the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai'i in 1893 that puts The Advertiser in a controversial position.

Contrary to The Advertiser's editorial, historical data support Will's contention that no native land was taken by force by the U.S. in the 1893 overthrow.

The 1894 congressional Morgan Report exonerated the U.S. of complicity in the overthrow and negated President Cleveland's Blount report, which is largely a review of the opinions of Queen Lili'uokalani and her Cabinet.

Contrary to The Advertiser, there is no historical evidence of land theft by the U.S. It is well documented that the overthrow was instigated by Hawai'i residents, of whom all but one were subjects of the queen. After the overthrow, a republic was formed and this republic requested annexation by the U.S.

Frank Scott
Kailua

PARK

KAPI'OLANI TRUST BARS MOST COMMERCIAL USE

Unlike all other city parks, Kapi'olani Park is not directly government-owned. It was created in 1896 as a public charitable trust on land given to the people of O'ahu by King Kalakaua in honor of his wife, Queen Kapi'olani.

This trust prohibits most commercial activity (profit-making) on trust land in order that all might have equal and free access to athletic fields, picnic areas, bandstand performances, to the beach and surf, and everything else the park offers in this dense urban area.

Creeping commercialism of fairs and other sales enterprises creates traffic problems and chronic parking shortages for folks trying to get to the beach, a soccer game, softball practice or a family picnic. In fact, the city gives special reserved parking spots in prime beach and parkfront areas for vendors, often all weekend.

In a 1988 Hawai'i Supreme Court ruling, Kapi'olani Park Preservation Society was given a significant watchdog role over park management after successfully taking the city to court to prevent trust land from being leased to Burger King. More recently, KPPS has facilitated land swaps to bring more land into the park, was in the forefront of the successful fight to prevent the state and city from taking trust lands including the zoo, Waikiki Shell, and open recreational spaces for the new convention center, and is working to save the historic Alfred Preis zoo entrance.

Portraying KPPS as an enemy of zoo fence artists obscures the real issue. The city's permitting of commercial activities violates the trust, and violates its own rules as well. Now, the attorney general's office has given its report on what's happening at the park, and that's what the court will rule on.

Alethea Rebman
President, Kapi'olani Park Preservation Society

SCHOOLS

TEACHERS OK'D DRUG TESTS IN CONTRACT VOTE

In his letter of Dec. 3, Wayne Pearce disagrees with drug testing for teachers. The questions he asks are just cannon fodder to deny the importance of drug testing.

First of all, we do not want teachers advocating the experimentation of drug use for any reason, even if a former U.S. president experimented but did not inhale. Second, we do not want teachers who disregard or play down the dangers of drug use because they do not think it is dangerous. Third, we do not want teachers who cannot continuously teach students about the dangers of drug use without any reservation because they are users themselves. Finally, we do not want teachers who cannot perform their duties at any time because of illicit drug addiction. Drug use leads to absenteeism, poor performance and illicit activities.

As a former substitute teacher in the public school system, I learned that students and other teachers could tell you which teachers were "on drugs."

Random drug testing will help to weed out the teachers who are using illicit drugs.

The school environment should be drug free, beginning with the teachers. The teachers voted in favor of drug testing when they approved their last pay raise. It is time to hold their feet to the fire.

Russel Noguchi
Pearl City

TRAVEL

MAUI AIRPORT OFFERS BAD IMAGE TO VISITORS

My wife, my daughter, grandchildren, multiple friends and I just returned from a trip to Maui.

The airport seemed like a third-world airport. I would advise you to go to Gate 7 and just stand back and look. There are stains on the walls.

There is no cushioned seating downstairs, only concrete benches for travelers who have to wait, sometimes hours, for carriers to open for baggage check-in.

As an American sitting at Gate 7 with people from other countries, I was honestly ashamed knowing this airport was part of my America.

Clyde McGehee
Fresno, Calif.

HAWAIIAN AIR

DISAPPOINTED IN PLAN TO BUY AIRBUS PLANES

The recent announcement by Hawaiian Airlines to purchase airplanes manufactured by Airbus with Rolls Royce engines is very disappointing. As a U.S. flag carrier, Hawaiian Airlines should have "bought local," and supported U.S. companies such as Boeing and Pratt & Whitney.

Hawaiian says the new airplanes will be "modern and efficient." Compared to what? The Airbus A330-200 (which first flew in 1997) was specifically developed to compete with the Boeing 767, which Hawaiian is flying now. As such, it has similar range and performance numbers.

And compared to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the Airbus A350 program appears to be struggling. Their respective Web sites show that there are 738 orders for the Boeing 787 and only 234 for the Airbus A350. What does Hawaiian Airlines know that other airlines don't?

The business sense of this deal escapes me. I'm left to wonder how much French champagne the Airbus guys had to serve before the Hawaiian execs agreed to send $4.4 billion overseas instead of investing it in American companies.

Merry Christmas from Hawaiian Airlines.

Bruce Highland
Makawao, Maui

HEAT

SCHOOLS SHOULD BE ABLE TO BUY AIR CONDITIONERS

If there is $8 million available and 7,000 classrooms are listed as too hot, isn't that more than $1,000 per classroom?

Isn't that plenty of money to purchase and install an air conditioning unit? Why does it take more studies? Either place an order for 7,000 air conditioners to be delivered, or write a check to each school for $1,000 for each classroom so each school can get it taken care of on their own.

This problem can be resolved in weeks, not years. We don't need more studies. Enough time, money and opportunity have been wasted.

Just get it done already.

Michael Richards
Kane'ohe