Target emerging tourism markets
I was happy to see the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s David Uchiyama say, "Our core markets have stabilized, so we need to look at emerging markets, such as China, that offer huge opportunities" ("State expects to reap dividends from China expo," Star-Advertiser, June 18). I hope this means that HTA intends to shift marketing funds from its "stabilized" markets to some of the emerging markets it ignores, including Latin America, the Middle East, South Africa, India, Russia or most of Southeast Asia — all of which offer well-heeled, long-staying visitors.
I don’t think HTA should reduce its China spending, but it should move money from "stabilized" markets like Japan to Europe and the ignored emerging markets if we are to want our visitor industry to grow.
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Politicians risk destroying BP
Watching the Washington politicians attack and insult the BP executives on national TV while attempting to make themselves look good by doing "the right thing" is just unbelievable and unjustified. What do you expect these executives to say when the U.S. Attorney General has told them he was going to take legal action? Duh!
The political rhetoric surrounding the cleanup is surely driving down BP’s stock. If BP becomes insolvent, it will take years for its assets to be distributed to help clean up the oil spill. The politicians seem to be blind to the fact an insolvent BP cannot pay for an oil spill clean up. What’s the next brilliant solution to come out of Washington? Could it be a special BP oil cleanup fund personally managed by the president?
Taxpayers will pay, if BP doesn’t
A number of Republicans in Congress are apologizing to BP after President Barack Obama took action to get BP to put $20 billion in escrow to pay for the damage from BP’s oil spill.
It would be ideal for the federal government not to have to pressure business to pay for their misdeeds, but if they don’t, who is going to pick up the tab? The taxpayers! Just before BP agreed to the $20 billion escrow fund, there were reports that BP was accelerating dividend payments to investors.
Do you remember Enron? Reliable sources report over $1.5 billion in pensions and $60 billion of investor funds vanished when Enron went belly up. President George W. Bush should have shaken Enron down before they imploded, so employees and investors wouldn’t have been more than $60 billion short.
One lawmaker refused pay raise
If Star-Advertiser columnist David Shapiro is going to continue blasting state lawmakers every chance he gets for taking a 36 percent pay raise, then he should at least acknowledge those who gave their raise back. I remember reading a Lee Cataluna article mentioning that state Sen. Mike Gabbard returned his pay raise. There might even be other lawmakers who have done the same.
In the end, elected officials are no different than any other profession and should be compensated fairly. Otherwise, we’re going to attract the bottom feeders to make our laws.
My hat’s off to Sen. Gabbard for being a very good legislator and at the same time being willing to forgo the pay raise.
VA employee shouldn’t whine
It made my blood boil to read the story about the Veterans Affairs employee who is whining about his little cubicle and no work to do while he draws a salary of $120,000 a year ("VA official gets big pay, little work," Star-Advertiser, June 18).
Give me a break. These are difficult times in these islands and there are thousands of good, hard-working people struggling to make ends meet who would be happy to have any kind of job. It is appalling that our government does not have the guts to fire this worthless clown who seems to complain about everything. This guy is playing the system big time and he should be ashamed of himself.
I say fire him immediately and see you in court.
Homeless create unsafe areas
The increasing number of homeless in Hawaii is causing problems. The economy makes it difficult for people to find jobs and support themselves, especially since prices are being raised. Homeless people are crowding public areas, public beaches and parks. This creates an unsafe environment for residents. No one wants to go to a park where homeless people lie asleep; no one wants to use the bathroom if homeless people are using it as shelter. If kids cannot go to a park to play because it is unsafe, where else are they to go? It is not fair that people are living at parks. The homeless will only increase in number, and we need to do something about it. They cannot keep crowding beaches and parks forever. Something needs to be done.