Letters to the Editor
NORTH SHORE PROJECT WILL STRAIN RESOURCES
Watching the Live Earth concerts recently, I was reminded of our interconnectedness. Each of us has an impact on the global climate crisis.
O'ahu is saturated with cars. The proposed Turtle Bay expansion will not only strain roads beyond their limits, but will add to Hawai'i's contribution to the climate crisis by placing further demands on water, electricity and waste disposal resources. How much more can O'ahu take?
Just as importantly, a development such as this will cause the loss of one of the most pristine, undeveloped and beautiful places in the world. Once it is lost, it will be lost forever. The coastline between Turtle Bay and Kahuku Point is equal in beauty to Ka'ena and Ka'iwi.
I recently answered a telephone survey for Hawai'i 2050, created by the Legislature to "establish a mechanism to ensure that our unique islands and way of life are maintained and sustained for current and future generations to enjoy."
While this is a noble effort, in reality there is no 2050. There is only the present, and the time to create a sustainable environment is now.
Building 3,500 more resort units on the North Shore would be an act of destruction, the exact opposite of sustainability.Michael Zucker
MADE GOOD DECISION FOR THE RIGHT REASON
Congratulations, Tadd, on your decision to turn pro. While some have voiced their apprehension, I think you made a good decision for the right reasons.
You're pursuing your dream and your passion. You're not motivated by the big money that would tempt most super-athletes. It also gives you the best chance to lighten the financial burden of your family.
While many of us are leading lives of quiet desperation, you're out living your dream. What could be better than that?
A caveat, of which you're probably aware: You're a role model, so you'll be held to a higher standard and must conduct yourself accordingly. You were raised well, so this won't be a problem for you.
Have a great life and a great career.George Kagawa
COLUMN GAVE REASONS FOR OTHERS NOT TO RUN
David Shapiro seems dejected that it appears no one wants to run against the mayor in 2008 (Volcanic Ash, July 11).
But his column reads like a laundry list of reasons for people to not run.
He highlights some of the mayor's accomplishments so far, such as repaving Kailua's Hamakua Drive. He should have also mentioned two other major Kailua projects that stalled until Mayor Mufi Hannemann arrived: (1) finishing Kalaheo Avenue's sewer project and (2) completing negotiations to transfer Kawai Nui Marsh to the state, which allows the release of millions of federal dollars to restore the wetlands.
He also notes that Mufi stood up to state and federal officials, yet worked with them on things like rail, which other politicians have tried and failed to do.
He observes Hannemann has the endorsements of union and business organizations lined up, has successfully raised money and is a tireless campaigner.
Mufi is "cruising to re-election," Shapiro writes. Mufi does not take democracy in city elections for granted.
Our mayor is a dedicated public servant making our home a better place and welcomes debate on the issues, but you better be prepared.Nathan Aipa
MOST IN HAWAI'I DON'T SUPPORT THE AKAKA BILL
Congresswoman Mazie Hirono's press release on the appointment of William Burgess and Paul Sullivan to the Hawai'i Civil Rights Advisory Board in which she states that the "group does not appear to reflect the position of the majority of the people of Hawai'i" misrepresents what I know to be the more prevalent public opinion about the Akaka bill.
Most of us who live here don't like it, and, moreover, the ultimate goal of sovereignty for Native Hawaiians is not supported by Hawai'i's history of racial inclusion. She might not like the appointment of Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Burgess, but that doesn't justify telling a fib.
When the ali'i invited our non-Hawaiian ancestors, who were not for the most part Americans, to come and blend with Native Hawaiians to build Hawai'i together, they didn't tell them that someday that promise would be refuted by the creation of a racially exclusive and unequal status. Many non-Hawaiians were born in the kingdom and were equal subjects.
Perhaps it would be more intellectually honest for her to listen to the people by allowing some way to publicly determine what people truly want. We're all tired of being lied to by politicians. In my opinion, most of us oppose the Akaka bill, contrary to her press release.
Furthermore, I know Congresswoman Hirono to be a bright and aggressive lady and suspect that she sees the insurmountable constitutional problems with this. So why not take the position she has taken? The prospective Akaka law will almost certainly be invalidated by the judicial system outside Hawai'i, which can then be blamed, and she and her colleagues won't have to answer to Native Hawaiians. Is that it?Paul de SIlva
RIGHT TO CHOOSE
NOT SURPRISING PEOPLE WANT GMO LABELING
It's not surprising that three-quarters of Hawai'i consumers surveyed want GMO foods to be labeled ("GMO label very important," July 12).
Not everyone is convinced they're safe, while others oppose them on basic philosophical grounds. Against this backdrop, it seems most people want the right to choose what they eat and what they feed their families.
The lack of required labeling takes that right away. Government and the GMO industry say there's no nutritional difference between GMO and conventional crops, so according to them we don't need to know.
It's wrong for government to deny us our right to know in this way. Whether or not GMOs are safe is irrelevant. This particular debate may never end. Our right to know what is in the food we are buying and our right to choose our preferred food should not be usurped for any reason.
Few choices in our daily lives are as important as the food choices we make for ourselves and our families. On this point, we should be the ones in control, not government.Mark Fergusson
CEO, Down to Earth Natural Foods and Lifestyle
TWO OTHER BRIDGES ARE NEAR VIOLET STREET
Regarding Mary Vorsino's article on the Violet Street footbridge (July 9) and Diane Ackerson's follow-up letter (July 16), the footbridge was built circa 1969 by the city.
There is another pedestrian bridge at 'Ahihi Street, only three blocks below the Violet Street footbridge, and there's also a vehicular bridge at Laulani Street, a few blocks above the Violet Street bridge. The city will be assessing the cost of repairing, demolishing or replacing the bridge, as well as resolving property easement issues.
Until then, residents can use those two other bridges to travel between Nihi and Kamanaiki streets.Laverne Higa
Director, Department of Facility Maintenance
TERM LIMITS, CLOSING LOOPHOLES SUGGESTED
The July 10 Island Voices commentary by state Rep. Della Au Belatti, freshman Democrat, reveals that she possesses good insight.
Unfortunately, as long as the Hawai'i Democrat political machine that has been in power since 1955 retains its control of both houses of our Legislature, and only 36 percent of our citizens go to the polls to vote, meaningful changes that would benefit the majority will not occur.
Perhaps changes can be made by:
These should make a good start.Wilbert W. W. Wong Sr.
CONGRESS MUST PUT IMPEACHMENT ON TABLE
I believe that it is time for the Democrats in Congress to grow a spine and put impeachment back on the table.
The crimes and misdemeanors committed by Bush and Cheney are enough to give them the dubious honor of the most corrupt administration in the history of the presidency.
The arrogance of the Bush administration on so many levels is appalling. Time to throw out the lot of them before another American soldier dies.Dave Endo
REDUCE O'AHU'S TRAFFIC, ENSURE AUTO COVERAGE
REQUIRE PROOF OF INSURANCE AT PUMP
Here is an idea to get uninsured drivers off the road and reduce traffic by an estimated 20 to 30 percent.
Require two cards when buying gas at the pump. First, a card issued by an auto insurance company. And, second, a credit card or debit card for the actual purchase of gas.
No insurance, no gas.
Impose a heavy fine for giving or transferring the card issued by an insurance company.
Having the two cards will reduce the number of cars on the road and give insured folks the relief that everyone who drives in Hawai'i has insurance.
Traffic relief will also follow.Bill Haig
ONE CAR FOR THOSE ON TRANSIT ROUTE
I am all for the transit route serving the maximum number of residents.
But will the residents who live within, say, a one-mile radius of the transit stations stipulate to a law that limits the number of cars registered per household to just one?
Let's be fair. There are many parts of the island where residents will not be served by the transit system at all.
Those who live near the transit system should put their money where their mouth is by getting rid of their excess cars and help reduce the traffic on the road.Charles Chou