For Tuesday, November 2, 2010
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Nov 02, 2010
LAST UPDATED: 01:31 a.m. HST, Nov 02, 2010
I can't help but respond to David and Barbara Arthur's letter that tries to shame the people of Honolulu for not supporting the Honolulu Symphony ("Symphony woes are a disgrace," Star-Advertiser, Letters, Oct. 13).
The current lack of support is less than surprising; keep in mind that not only has it been increasingly mismanaged, it has also unabashedly mistreated the musicians and patrons alike.
Just after bringing in new management, the symphony launched a campaign to solicit many new season ticket holders. Being patrons of the arts in what small ways we can afford, my wife and I gladly purchased what we expected to be the first of many of season tickets, only to be informed -- immediately after they finished acquiring as many new season ticket holders as possible -- that the symphony would now be declaring bankruptcy, thereby canceling the season, and not refunding any of the money for any ticket holders.
Until completely new management is brought in, we wouldn't dream of supporting the symphony.
Fool me once, shame on them. Fool me twice -- not a chance.
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Your editorial favoring the ongoing EIS process for Makua Valley while diminishing the Army's efforts is disconcerting ("Army case shows again why it's unwise to ignore EIS rules," Star-Advertiser, Oct. 31).
Environmental organizations like Earthjustice only take adversarial positions and are unwilling to work cooperatively toward the best outcome for all concerned. They are not serving the public interest nearly as much as those small special-interest groups. The Army has made its case in the past why Makua is important. Strangely, all of our elected representatives to Congress, who have made the pursuit of defense dollars for Hawaii an art form, choose to stay on the sidelines rather than exercise leadership to get this issue resolved and stop wasting taxpayer money and time.
We ask these terrific young men and women to fight wars our politicians get them into, so at least we could stop the games being played at their expense.
I have reviewed various pieces in the Star-Advertiser making reference to the International Transformation Network (ITN) alleging, implying or insinuating a connection to anti-homosexual elements in Uganda and to proposed legislation aimed at persecuting gays.
Since I have not been contacted for input, I wish to officially go on record as the president of ITN to state that those references are absolutely baseless. The main objective of our involvement in Uganda was and is to help eliminate systemic poverty, and until now has had to do exclusively with building roads, repairing a hospital and funding a micro-lending operation -- all of which were completed in 2008. Furthermore, we have never met, much less encouraged anyone involved in this despicable proposition. We denounce it as evil and we oppose it without any reservation whatsoever.
I commend Martha L. Robertson on her insightful Island Voices essay, "Hawaii voters, we must ask better questions of politicians" (Star-Advertiser, Oct. 31). It should be required reading in all schools, from elementary to college age.
James Gattuso and Diane Katz of the Heritage Foundation decried President Barack Obama's "torrent of regulation." ("Torrent of regulation is raising prices, discouraging economic growth," Star-Advertiser, Oct. 29) To quote: "... there is no transparent accounting of regulatory costs ... they are hidden in the form of lost jobs, higher prices and slowed investment." They then add in these costs: more than $26 billion annually! But did they add the cost of non-regulation?
For example, a regulation to stop a company from dumping chromium into your drinking water costs $100,000. Is it permissible to add in the cost of non-regulation, which could include the death of your own child? To the Heritage Foundation, no, your child has no value, and hence, the regulation can only cost money. Lack of regulation allowed Halliburton to put unstable cement into BP's Deepwater Horizon well seal. Was there a cost to this? According to Heritage, no. Deregulation allowed Wall Street to gamble on mortgage derivatives. Was there a cost to this? Heritage says no. The economy says yes, about $8 trillion.
No wonder Hawaii's economy continues to sputter. Gov. Linda Lingle's administration has created or funded a meager 743 jobs with nearly $350 million in federal stimulus funds, and a mere 154 positions in the transportation sector ("Lingle's stimulus spending criticized," Star-Advertiser, Oct. 27).
Yet Lingle continues to delay approvals for construction of the new shovel-ready rail system. Building rail would create thousands of good-paying jobs for residents, but Lingle is hindering the project instead of helping it. Meanwhile, she cannot effectively use outside economic stimulus money that would put more people back to work.
We are caught between a rock and a hard place with Lingle, and our economy is suffering because of it.
Our family has been inundated with the automated phone calls (robocalls) initiated by several political candidates. We firmly believe that these impersonal calls show a general disregard toward obtaining any form of constituent feedback and interaction. The calls have also been problematic for an elderly disabled member of our family.
We always initiate formal written notice to the respective candidate requesting that they cease automated calling to our telephone number and to recommend the use of real human beings over these automated systems.
For anyone else who has experienced a similar problem with automated phone calls, I would recommend visiting the Federal Communications Commission website (www.fcc.gov) to obtain information on submitting a complaint against unwanted telephone solicitation. Hopefully with enough complaints, candidates will realize the need for human interaction with their constituents and do away with the disruptive one-way broadcasts from a machine.