'LEADERS' SHOULD LISTEN TO SUGGESTIONS
David Shapiro's Volcanic Ash column, together with these letters, which I read almost every day, are the main reasons I subscribe to The Honolulu Advertiser.
Our state and city "leaders" should pay attention to the free advice that is often presented, for example:
• Run the new Honolulu rail system at grade rather than elevated.
• Get teachers and others to take a pay cut rather than furloughs.
• Ban fireworks statewide.
• Take camping gear away from the bums in our parks, on our sidewalks, etc., instead of passing a lot of ineffective laws.James R. Arcate
CIVIL UNIONS CAN END DISCRIMINATION
To those who oppose civil unions, do you know this has to do with love? Not lust, not rape, not pedophilia, not adultery, not any of the "unclean" things the writers in the Bible associated with homosexuality.
Christ came to change the Jewish laws dividing people between "clean and unclean."
Some are still trying to divide us. The gay and lesbian couples I know just want to protect their primary love relationships like heterosexuals do. You cannot stop gays and lesbians from loving each other; you only make it more difficult for them to live with no protection.
Heterosexuals will always be the majority, but the majority do not have to make life painful for a minority. Legislators have valiantly tried to put an end to discrimination. They may have saved a child's life. Children growing up here watch and learn that it is completely acceptable to discriminate. Is that really what we want to teach them?
I invite all who read this to help end discrimination because it is not teaching love.Daniel Nelson
GENDER NOT RELEVANT IN LOVE, COMMITMENT
Regarding the domestic partnership bill, I believe the committed, loving relationship of marriage is a vital institution for the well-being of human society.
What I cannot understand is why the gender of any two loving, committed people has relevance to their love and commitment.
I have become far more loving and contributing in all areas of my life from my 30-year participation in a married relationship.
To allow the possibility for such fulfillment to all people, regardless of gender, can only strengthen the fabric of society.Ted Talbott
CIVIL UNIONS: NOTA POPULARITY CONTEST
How dare Nick Kiefer presume to be the spokesman for the voting public of Hawai'i when he assumes the vast majority in the state are against civil unions? ("Civil unions vote a conniving disgrace," May 4).
It's not about how many people the conservative churches and Family Forum can bus to their protests, and it's not about how many people e-mail or call to approve or disapprove of the bill.
It was never the popular way of thinking to allow women to vote, to allow African Americans to vote or to allow interracial marriages.
The issue of civil unions is not a popularity contest. It's about doing what is right.Anne P. Rath
DEBATE CONFIRMED CASE BEST FOR ISLES
Under the pressure of bright lights, live TV and make-you-squirm questions, Ed Case, Charles Djou and Colleen Hanabusa showed their true colors in the recent debate.
Hanabusa, for the most part, did what professional politicians are trained to do — stick to your talking points and avoid direct answers when those answers may not be what people want to hear.
Djou, looking oddly over-coached to smile constantly, came across as snippy and scripted. His snide "principles versus ambition" attack was childish and evoked boos from the audience.
Personally I like Djou's fiscal responsibility mantra. He would make a great mayoral candidate. But the debate confirmed my sense that he is not ready to represent us in Washington.
Case was the only one of the three who came across as a true statesman: fielding tough questions with direct answers, not shirking from his record of voting and thoughtfully and simply explaining the nuances of complex issues. He came across as honest, smart and poised.
After seeing the debate, there is no doubt in my mind that Ed Case has the intelligence, integrity and experience we need in our next congressman.Donna Ching
DIRECT FLIGHT TO KONASTILL A TOP PRIORITY ASIAN APPEAL
We appreciate the The Honolulu Advertiser's editorial that acknowledges the importance of Japan Airlines' new Honolulu-Haneda flight ("They can still get to Kona," May 4).
But we have concerns regarding your comments about Japan Airlines' cancellation of the Narita to Kona flight.
When JAL's daily Narita to Kona flight started in 1996, Hawai'i Island's visitor industry and community saw an immediate benefit from direct international flights. Last year, nearly 70,000 visitors arrived in Kona from Japan, contributing more than $100 million to the economy.
For decades, JAL has been an outstanding friend and partner to Hawai'i and while we are pleased that they will be adding a new daily flight to Honolulu this October, we also know that Japanese travelers are seeking new experiences in our Islands and that Hawai'i Island has many attributes that meet their demands. But more importantly, travelers are seeking ease of access to their preferred destination.
Kona International Airport is important because it is the state's only other certified international point of entry besides Honolulu International Airport. As Hawai'i seeks to attract more visitors from Asia, specifically Japan, Korea and China, it is essential that we have multiple points of entry to meet the needs of our visitors.
This is why we are supporting the effort to continue direct service to Kona and will continue working to drive demand and showcase the unique features of Hawai'i Island. If it is not Japan Airlines, then we will aggressively pursue other airlines to provide convenient access to our state.Mike Mccartney
President and CEO, Hawai'i Tourism Authority
State tourism liaison
Hawai'i County mayor
Executive director, Big Island Visitors Bureau