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Letters to the Editor

For Wednesday, June 16, 2010


POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 01:48 a.m. HST, Jun 16, 2010


Activists can't see boon of telescope

I'm absolutely frustrated with the anti-Mauna Kea astronomy activists.

They continue to wage legal warfare against one of the backbones of Hawaii County's economy. The Mauna Kea telescopes provide not only an economic, but also educational boost to our island.

However, these activists have portrayed the telescope development on Mauna Kea as evil and harmful to our island. In addition, they've decided to protect Mauna Kea through the courts instead of working within the system. For example, they filed a lawsuit attempting to invalidate the Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan. This document provides the framework to preserve Mauna Kea for future generations.

It seems these astronomy opponents hold very shortsighted view of Mauna Kea and this island. Hawaii County's economic mainstays are tourism, construction, real estate and the military. These industries are unsustainable over the long term.

Aaron Stene
Kailua-Kona

 

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The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (~175 words). The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include a daytime telephone number.

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Hawaii losing astronomy edge

A commentary by the Sierra Club on the Thirty Meter Telescope ("A big boondoggle," Star-Advertiser, June 14) paints an ominous picture in predicting TMT's fate. The Sierra Club, along with other anti-progress activists, are still trying to kill TMT's $1.4 billion astronomy project in Hawaii -- and force it to go to Chile.

Our state and country may lose TMT and other astronomy projects much larger and more significant to Hawaii and the world as a result of this "Go away, we don't want you here in Hawaii" attitude.

Hawaii could be the astronomy center for the world. But reportedly Hawaii has already been removed from the list of candidate sites for a number of future really big telescope projects expected to cost billions of dollars. All will likely go to other countries, where astronomy projects like TMT are warmly welcomed.

John Michael White
Honolulu

 

We need better succession rule

The recent special election and selection procedure to fill the vacancy created by Neil Abercrombie and Charles Djou should foster discussion that would allow these officials to name their replacement.

If we trust an elected official by voting them into office, shouldn't we trust them to appoint a successor who will represent their views?

Such action would minimize delay between resignation and swearing in, eliminate the cost of campaigning and elections, and ensure that the people's choice will be represented until the next election.

John Guzman
Honolulu

 

Homeless must make first move

It doesn't matter where they came from. What matters is that they're here and they're homeless.

I think a lot of them choose to live that way. They become familiar and comfortable with that lifestyle. It's a calm and easy place for them to be themselves. It's become a home they can call their own. Instead of paying bills, they are paying every day with their lives.

Homelessness is a problem and I can't think of any new solutions. What I know is that many of those homeless people are not helping themselves or cannot help themselves. They make the best of life everyday. I hope they can learn from their mistakes and make good decisions that will ultimately help them succeed in what they really want to do. I'm on their side and can understand them, but it is up to them to make a move, if they are living every day unhappy, depressed and realizing that nothing is changing.

Lehua Ledford-Castro
Kaneohe

 

President can't walk the talk

I'm struggling with the perception that our president thinks he was elected to a ceremonial position, something like the British royalty, for whom the main job is being present at official functions.

Others see the president's job as being that of a powerful executive decision-maker, a commander-in-chief willing and able to rapidly and decisively commit the full resources of the nation to protect our vital interests.

So, as our own slow-motion Chernobyl plays out in the Gulf of Mexico, which do we have in office, a ceremonial bystander of things governmental or a grimly determined commander-in-chief ready to take action in times of great national peril?

The former, I fear.

And why would that be a surprise, given Mr. Obama's very strong record of talking and thinking, but not so strong record of ever actually doing. Somehow, in retrospect, and given how the real world appears to work, electing a president whose strong suit is oratory and ideology may not have been such a good idea.

Jeff Pace
Kapahulu

 

Annual parade is appreciated

As a person of native Hawaiian heritage, I always enjoy and look forward to the festivities surrounding King Kamehameha Day. This year it was especially noteworthy due to the reverse routing of the parade and the post-parade cultural displays and entertainment on the grounds of the Iolani Palace. I appreciate and thank everyone's hand work and commitment as we strive to teach the next generation.

However, some observations: 1) Where was the Kamehameha School Band? We always read in the newspaper that they perform in other countries and states. Maybe they were committed elsewhere. It would have been nice to hear the king's namesake band here in our own aina; 2) I missed the usual craft fair at the Mission Houses Museum. There was one craftsperson displaying her wares; and 3) I would like to see the parade end at the palace grounds again.

Marianette Kauahikaua
Kakaako

 

Some opinions best kept private

Carl Zimmerman insisted that because people are entitled to their opinion, Helen Thomas shouldn't have been fired for her comments on Israel ("Thomas entitled to her opinion," Letters, June 9).

While people are free to hold whatever opinion they have, it is different when they publicly express them. Your vocal opinion affects the people around you, your employer, your coworkers, your spouse, your friends and your relatives. When you express yourself in public, you should be aware of the consequences, both good and bad.

Thomas bashed Jews in a stupid, vile and uninformed way. She can be nasty and cruel in her private world, but not in public, where we strive for some form of civilized humanity.

Mr. Zimmerman, verbal abuse frequently leads to physical abuse. We should all be aware of the hatred we teach our friends and children when we act in public as Thomas did.

Les Q. Spielvogel
Honolulu





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