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Letters to the Editor

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Don’t blame Lingle for rail delays

In the article "Support schools chief for reforms, mayor says" (Star-Advertiser, June 13), Mayor Mufi Hannemann states that the city’s rail plan "has stalled because of opposition from Lingle."

On Monday the mayor announced that the Federal Transit Administration just approved the final environmental impact statement and that it is now being sent to Gov. Linda Lingle for her review. Therefore, the governor could not have reviewed and signed off on this document for the rail project’s proposed groundbreaking in 2009.

The governor is not responsible for any delay due to the city’s relocating a portion of the proposed rail project’s guideway to avoid Honolulu Airport’s runway airspace protection buffer.

The governor also is not responsible for the signing of the "programmatic agreement" by the FTA, state Historic Preservation Division, National Park Service, Navy and Advisory Council on Historic Preservation to establish the framework for lessening the project’s impact on cultural and historical resources.

Furthermore, the FTA has previously stated that they too are concerned that the city’s financial plan might not be sufficient to allow the project to proceed into the final engineering phase, possibly this year.

I appreciate Lingle’s commitment to have an independent review of the financial plan for this project. I believe that she truly is concerned about the impact of our children, grandchildren and the future generations who will be paying taxes for this project for years and years to come.

Ann H. Kobayashi
Council member, District V

 

How to write us

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 Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published.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.

Letter form: Online form, click here
E-mail: letters@staradvertiser.com
Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

 

Hawaii schools are truly unique

Please don’t adopt the federal standards for our Hawaii public schools.

Our aina and people have a unique culture and rich history about which our keiki deserve to learn.

Federal standards should not be adopted unless there is room in the new curriculum for course materials unique to Hawaii.

Maxine Anderson
Honolulu

 

Don’t cut hours at Hanauma Bay

I am writing in opposition to a proposal that would have Hanauma Bay operate from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. rather than the current hours of 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. (6 p.m. in winter).

I have been a volunteer at the bay for almost 13 years and know firsthand what joy it brings to kamaaina and tourists. To reduce the hours of operation would be a blow to both.

It may not be broadly known that the bay is entirely supported by its income — the $7.50 admission each non-kamaaina visitor pays. Reducing salaries by cutting hours does not save the City & County any money, and it makes no sense to furlough knowledgeable and hard working employees who serve visitors with real dedication.

Rather than go to the lowest common denominator by having all Parks and Recreation staff subject to furloughs, shouldn’t all of us be pleased that some staff can work full-time?

William Gurowitz
Kailua

 

Bringing in pet turned out well

My experience at the airport direct-release station was impressively positive — efficient, professional, and friendly.

I brought in two cats from Colorado, and our vet there had never prepared animals for entry into Hawaii. The state Department of Agriculture website includes a checklist that is clear and complete.

Our flight landed at 3:30 p.m., and the cats arrived at the station less than half an hour before closing. We were processed and cleared in just a few minutes.

Every year one can hear reports of animal bites — from both wild and domestic animals — from numerous mainland states and, believe me, the stress of going through the quarantine station can’t compare with having to put your pet to sleep because they have been bitten, or going through medical procedures yourself if you have been attacked.

Personally, I would like to thank the airport station for a job well done.

Al Arney
Honolulu

 

Telescopes should be welcomed

I am very disappointed in the attitudes of some Hawaiians regarding the construction of new telescopes on Mauna Kea.

The current one in question is the Thirty Meter Telescope, of course, but it is only the latest project to be protested.

Given the reliance of the Hawaiians on the stars, and the advanced knowledge held by the ancestors of the current Hawaiians, the attitudes of the activists don’t make sense.

Queen Kaahumanu outlawed the old religion, so that should not be an issue, and if the monarchy still existed, I’m quite sure it would be an enthusiastic supporter of the current and planned projects, as all of the monarchs were forward-looking supporters of the most advanced technology and research, especially as it concerned celestial navigation and knowledge.

Bob Gould
Kaneohe

 

Prison murders a social symptom

Another Hawaii family has been struck by tragedy, their 23-year-old son murdered recently while in his cell at Saguaro private prison in Arizona.

This is the second Hawaii inmate this year who has been murdered while in a Hawaii-financed prison.

These are not isolated incidents, but the culmination of a statewide crisis hitting many of our families and resulting from a poor education system, poverty, lack of opportunity and drug addiction. This crisis affects everyone, whether it be a family member, crime victim, consumer or taxpayer.

Building more prisons will not solve this problem; it will actually exacerbate it. We must deal with the social problems that cause crime. Hawaii must choose to save money and decrease human suffering with smart crime-prevention strategies.

Netra Halperin
Kihei

 

How to write us

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.

Letter form: Online form, click here
E-mail: letters@staradvertiser.com
Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

FROM THE FORUM

Readers of the Star-Advertiser’s online edition can respond to stories posted there. The following are some of those. Instead of names, pseudonyms are generally used online. They have been removed.

"Barking mad," Star-Advertiser, June 17: I came to Hawaii in 2005 and had no problems with my two dogs. People who worked there (at the Honolulu Airport’s animal quarantine office) were friendly and had my dogs released within 10 minutes. I guess these budget cuts are stressing everyone.

This is an example to show that across-the-board furloughs is not a way to improve government efficiency but merely a politically expedient way to avoid making tough decisions on which positions are necessary and which ones to cut. The shortage in staff could easily be funded by charging a fee to bring the animals in. I am sure the pet owners would rather pay that than wait in long lines.

"Demand for permits turns city halls into campsites," Star-Advertiser, June 18: Legal: Stand in line, wait, pray and pay. Illegal: Free and already camping on the beach.

Illegal, yes, but unfortunately the only option some of them have. Changing the rules after the game started does nothing to help the people caught in the middle of the game.

Another case of the Republicans giving the rich a tax break and making the middle class make up the budget deficit. Time to get rid of these Republicans.

"VA official gets big pay, little work," Star- Advertiser, June 18: There are so many people out there who are overworked and paid peanuts, and he’s complaining because he’s given little to do and overpaid? I’ll switch with him any day, and I’ll thank my supervisors every day instead of filing lawsuits against them. Seriously though, it sounds like he’s the problem, and as others have said, there’s probably more to this story than meets the eye.

What we do know this has been going on for six years. In that period, exclusive of legal expenses, Mr. Yonemoto has cost you and me more than a $1 million in salary and benefits. It may have been prudent to settle this thing six years ago. It appears Mr. Yonemoto doesn’t like the Veterans Administration and the feeling is mutual, and making Mr. Yonemoto sit in the corner on the taxpayers’ nickel is really gutless. The government is the only employer that lets this stuff fester. Why? Because the government believes the amount of taxes we can pay is limitless. The VA needs to man up and settle this now.

"Isle senators voice worries about ending Saturday mail," Star-Advertiser, June 18: How hypocritical of our senators. They refuse to bring the Akaka Bill to the islands for public discussion but want the Postal Service to treat us "special." Their arguments are as senile as they are.

All I’m getting is bills in the mail. They can wait ’til Monday. If it saves us money, which we seriously need to do as a whole nation, then it’s what we have to do. Our spending is unsustainable.

Nothing is that important that we have to have the post offices stay open on Saturdays. People need to adjust to a new schedule just like the trash pick up. It’s unnecessary spending for the post offices to stay open on Saturdays.

 

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