VOCAL MINORITY HAS DEPRIVED MAJORITY
So Maui Tomorrow finally "prevailed" in its "sinking" of the Superferry Alakai. Once again a very vocal minority has succeeded in taking away from the majority what was seen as a very viable and affordable alternative to interisland travel.
Even though the Superferry started acting in "good faith" by implementing safe sailing practices while being given the go-ahead to operate while the EIS was being written, this was still not enough.
Maui Tomorrow wants the state to start the EIS all over again, wasting taxpayer dollars and time and pretty much guaranteeing the Hawaii Superferry will never operate in Hawaiian waters. Has MT demanded that Young Brothers and Matson tugs, which ply the same waters, submit to an EIS review? Or any other commercial maritime company for that matter? People of Maui who enjoyed the Alakai visiting your island, look at Maui Tomorrow's board of directors and see who is responsible for limiting you and your families' choices in interisland travel.Gordon W. Tamarra
LINGLE SHOULD ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY
I listened in disbelief (March 18) as Gov. Linda Lingle tried to defend her Hawai'i Superferry actions by saying lawmakers do what she did all the time, and the Supreme Court ruling will hamper legislators in the future.
There is a right way and a wrong way to do everything. Expedience can sometimes cause us to do the latter. Lingle should stop protesting and looking for a scapegoat. Do as President Obama did and accept responsibility; in the future, she should do things correctly and abide by our laws.Kenneth L. Barker
CUT GOVERNMENT WASTE INSTEAD
Our lawmakers still don't get it!
Raising the GE tax hurts consumers, since businesses, for the most part, pass on this tax to consumers. Raising the income tax on high earners will simply propel more small business owners to seek tax shelters and curtail spending (the mantra for "stimulating" the economy).
Besides, this is the thin edge of the wedge. Once income taxes are raised, the likelihood of reversing them is minuscule. Raising hotel taxes will succeed in driving away a few tourists, thereby negating any gain that may have accrued.
Instead, our lawmakers should do what they have studiously avoided doing all these years: Cut wasteful and unnecessary government spending! There is still plenty of that going around.Pradeepta Chowdhury, m.d.
GOVERNMENT MAY HAVE FAILED KAUKANI
It appears as if our law enforcement and judicial system may have failed Royal Kaukani. I do not have all the facts yet. However, Toi Nofoa's long history of domestic violence going back to 2006 is frightening and should have raised a red flag.
My first concern is Nofoa being allowed to post bail after alleged kidnapping and terrorist threatening charges involving a gun. In my opinion, he never should have been allowed to post bail in September 2008 since a deadly firearm was involved. In early February 2009, Nofoa was allegedly involved in at least two incidents with Kaukana, and this time that HPD should have had Nofoa arrested and incarcerated. Why didn't this happen?
Government agencies should review this case very carefully and review their decisions which affect the public safety of our residents.Will Espero
Chair, Senate Public Safety and Military Affairs Committee
OBAMA MEA CULPA A TEACHABLE MOMENT
On March 19, President Obama made a comment on the Jay Leno show — for which he later apologized, and expressed his sincere and heartfelt regret. Since the incident, President Obama said that he is ready to work with our athletes to make the United States a more accepting and welcoming country for all people with special needs.
This is a teachable moment. Here in Hawai'i we consider ourselves a "melting pot" of backgrounds and beliefs, which is why it is important for us as a state to address this issue of using words — whether to hurt others, or as a joke — in a negative context.
Special Olympics recently launched the "Spread the Word to End the Word" campaign, which strives to raise awareness and end the use of another word, the "R word." On March 31, the "Spread the Word to End the Word" campaign will highlight a week of activities, encouraging others to pledge to stop using the word, with the goal of 100,000 online pledges at www.r-word.org.
We believe that it is only through open conversation and dialogue about how stereotypes can cause pain that we can begin to work together to create communities of acceptance and inclusion for all.Nancy Bottelo
President, Special Olympics Hawai'i
TRUE ACHIEVEMENT MUST BE REWARDED
I take exception to Gov. Lingle's statements and position in regards to the proposed Hawaiian Telcom bonuses (March 20).
Unlike the bonuses that were granted to the AIG executives who were directly responsible for causing the demise of the insurance giant because of their unscrupulous greed and manipulations, Hawaiian Telcom's position was the result of the inroads made by cable, wireless phones, the Internet and other devices that circumvented the traditional land lines, the mainstay of the company.
As the company stated, the workers were eligible for the bonuses because the company achieved the performance targets for revenue, cash flow and other measures last year.
And as further stated by Walter Dods, Hawaiian Telcom's chairman, payments don't involve "a dime of taxpayer money" and that "There's nothing unconscionable about it. What is unconscionable is a person who makes (it) a political issue."
The employees of Hawaiian Telcom have not only met but have surpassed preset goals in spite of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, to preserve this critical communications backbone for our state. Instead of jeopardizing the company's long-term viability, as well as threatening Hawai'i's economic recovery, as Gov. Lingle claims, the bonuses will serve to further motivate the deserving employees to increase their overall productivity and effectiveness.Lloyd Y. S. Kim