SALE TROUBLING FORHAWAI'I, ITS OCEANS
The sale of Kona Blue Water Farms operations to Keahole Point Fish LLC ("Ocean fish-farming firm selling its Isle operations," Jan. 6) is troubling for Hawai'i, its oceans and the future of seafood.
Hawai'i has contributed to the aquaculture industry through research and development and tax cuts. Now, this investment will help a foreign-owned company that has yet to prove its understanding or commitment to the local community.
It may seem beneficial for outside companies to start "investing" in Hawai'i, but few revenues will stay in Hawai'i. The new company will compromise Hawai'i's natural resources with little given in return. Payments of $2,100 yearly for a 90-acre ocean lease are a minimal contribution to the state.
What understanding or interest will these global operators have in matters of Hawaiian environment, culture and economy?
Selling Kona Blue to Keahole Point Farms LLC represents further corporatization and consolidation of aquaculture and seafood industries. It allows a global player into Hawaiian waters, and Kona Blue to move to Mexico while maintaining a false image of operating in pristine Hawaiian waters.
MARIANNE CUFONE | Director, Fish Program Food & Water Watch, Washington, D.C.
ROB PARSONS | Hawaii Outreach Consultant, Food & Water Watch, Ha'iku, Maui
SPENDING TAX DOLLARS ON 'TRIAL' REPUGNANT
I think it is repugnant that our government is treating Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab as a criminal rather than a cold-blooded mass-murdering terrorist. It is completely foolish to spend hundreds of thousands of U.S. tax dollars to parade Abdulmutallab through our justice system.
This "trial" is a complete facade; what message are we trying to send? That we treat terrorists as troubled U.S. citizens and that we do our best to lessen their punishment? Abdulmutallab has a team of attorneys to defend him. What for? He deserves none of this; if he was successful, everyone on Flight 253 would be dead, including himself.
This is an open-and-shut case; get all the military intelligence we can get out of him and then sentence him to death. I want none of my tax dollars being spent on keeping him content in a jail cell for the rest of his life.
My question to his defense team and to all of you is this: How compassionate would you be to Abdulmutallab if you or if one of your family members was on that flight?
HIRamu kurata | Kailua
MAYOR HAS TAKEN A STRONG, PUBLIC STAND
Phil Valenti was incorrect in his recent claim that Mayor Hannemann has been "absent from public view and not taking ownership of" concerns about fireworks (Letters, Jan. 11).
The mayor has repeatedly voiced his concern about threats to public safety caused by illegal fireworks, and has publicly backed up the call of his police and fire chiefs in calling for a ban on all fireworks except those used by licensed professionals during organized events.
Just last week he told state legislators he'd work with them on addressing the issue. In late December and again last week, the mayor made his position known during radio appearances. And at a Christmas Eve news conference with the police and fire chiefs regarding holiday safety, he reiterated his stand.
Clearly, Mayor Hannemann has taken a strong and public stand on this issue. Valenti would do well to become better informed about the mayor's position, and to support a ban on fireworks.
BILL BRENNAN | Press secretary to Mayor Hannemann
STREET-LEVEL COST SAVINGS OVERSTATED
The cost savings from building the Honolulu rail line on city streets are half what Gov. Lingle stated Friday.
One cannot subtract from the inflation-adjusted per-mile cost of the Honolulu line, $270 million, the per-mile cost of a comparable light rail system like Phoenix Metro, $70 million, and conclude that at-grade track is $200 million cheaper per mile.
Current-year prices must be compared with similar figures; the current-year cost of the Honolulu rail system is $4.33 billion, or $217 million a mile.
However, a direct comparison is also wrong, because any Honolulu rail system will carry more people than the Phoenix line, thus cost more per mile.
Phoenix has 36 railcars to carry 50,000 daily riders. Our line will have 85 railcars for 116,000 daily riders.
Thus any at-grade Hono-lulu light rail line must have at least twice as many railcars as Phoenix, larger stations, a bigger carshop, and also take three times more land than an elevated line.
The half-elevated system Lingle wants to consider would cost barely $50 million less per mile than an all-elevated line, with slower and less reliable service, less safety for motorists and pedestrians, more buildings demolished, and more unmitigable noise problems: Another "half-baked manapua" for Oahu residents.
HANNAH MIYAMOTO | Honolulu Transit Passenger Union
UNIONS TO BLAME FOR SCHOOLS' TURMOIL
I am glad that my children are out of school. The turmoil at the public school administration now affects all of the state's children attending public schools.
I am sure that if parents can afford the tuition, they would opt to send their children to private schools. My teaching career ended in the late '60's but I worked two jobs to send my kids to private schools. As I look at the overall cause of the public school turmoil, I blame it on the various unions and their leaders who cannot understand the situation.
TOSHIO CHINEN | Pearl City