For Saturday, October 30, 2010
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Oct 30, 2010
In response to Margaret Peary's letter ("Halt donations by government unions," Star-Advertiser, Letters, Oct. 28), I would like to comment that earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, rejected a ban on spending limits for corporations and unions. Unions, like everyone else, have a right to political action activities. Just because I earn taxpayer money does not mean that the public can control how I spend it. As a government employee, I also pay taxes. I agree with you, however, about the negative political ads. I will be glad when all the commercials are out of sight.
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I hope everyone in Hawaii took notice of the story about the governor of New Jersey killing a $9 billion rail project because costs had soared ( "Governor halts Hudson tunnel," Star-Advertiser, Oct. 28). He is setting an example for our new mayor and new governor.
Even though New Jersey has a transit authority and the project had progressed much further than ours, a responsible elected official can, and did, take action that was in the best interest of the public. And that in a state with a much greater population to stand the loss and the ongoing expense of operating and maintaining a railroad.
Let's hope our newly elected officials will read and heed. An elected official can and should serve the public's best interests.
Why can't we have a symphony orchestra here in Honolulu? I recently visited Columbus, Ohio (pop. 769,332), and attended a concert by the Columbus Symphony. The list of individual and corporate donors in the program ran to 11 pages of fine print. Our musicians are just as good as theirs, and if you count all of Oahu (pop. 905,034), we have a larger potential audience. Ohio has been one of the states worst hit by economic recession. And still they manage to support a symphony orchestra. Does our symphony need better management and fundraising? It's sad to think that many young people growing up in Hawaii will never have a chance to hear a live symphony orchestra unless they can afford an airline ticket to the mainland.
It is truly unfortunate that James MacArthur wasn't able to film some cameo segments for the exciting new "Hawaii Five-0" television series. I hope the producers would now honor the show's legacy by finding a recurring cameo for Al Harrington, possibly as McGarrett's go-to kupuna when he needs spiritual guidance.