Racial comments have no place in campaigns
Whatever happened to the election process—you know, the one where you elect a leader whose goals are to ensure that the residents of their state have access to medical treatment, safe neighborhoods, a decent public school system, functioning mass transit, jobs, housing and a healthy environment? Because the conclusion that I reached after I read "Gubernatorial rivals court carpenters union," (Star-Advertiser, July 18), was that you should elect a leader who "looks like you."
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed anti-immigration legislation so crude that it has been compared to the "pass laws" enacted by South Africa’s apartheid government. And now, here in the most ethnically diverse state in the union, a candidate for governor is requesting an endorsement based on his ethnicity. One is an example of racial profiling; the other, racial politicking.
Who are the middle-aged, educated, Caucasian women supposed to vote for?
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Maili applauds moving homeless
July 19 was a date looming with much uncertainty as to whether the final push to extricate the homeless from the area known as Guardrails would indeed take place. It did.
For that, we residents of the Maili coast are most grateful that we can soon enjoy the beauty of our beaches and the tide pools, once they recover from unintended use and abuse.
Just looking at Maili Beach park over the weekend, I was reminded that only a few years ago it too was a homeless camp that was off limits to the general public. Now as I drive by, I can see weddings and birthday parties and general use by families.
So I publicly want to say mahalo nui loa to the mayor, City and County workers, the police, the Hawaiian Humane Society, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the neighborhood boards and the concerned citizens for all their hard work and tenacity. This is a difficult and painful thing to do and there are no easy answers, but our beaches must be accessible to all to enjoy in a safe and clean manner.
Some of us like strawberry guava
I am strongly opposed to the proposal to release the Brazilian scale insect to control strawberry guava.
Many of us have families that go back generations living in agricultural communities. I and members of my family enjoy the use of the strawberry guava fruit. We also use it to create borders that allow for wind, dust and noise control. I consider strawberry guava to be a desirable ornamental fruit tree.
This bio-control insect will spread throughout the entire state, destroying strawberry guava on all lands, public and private.
If this bio-control agent only affected strawberry guava in forests on state land, the private property rights would not be an issue. This clearly will not be the case, and the resulting damage to my privately owned trees on my property will necessitate compensation to me and thousands of other people by the state.
GOP opposition is just politics
Echoing the current Republican drumbeat that the deficit George W. Bush left must be reduced, Gary Andres claims that otherwise we will go the way of Greece (which has economic problems entirely different from those of the U.S.) and face hyperinflation and default ("Do deficits really matter?", Star-Advertiser, July 19).
In fact, most real economists will tell you that the greater danger is the U.S. will go the way of Japan and its nearly two decades of virtually no economic growth.
What’s really going on is that the Republicans suddenly claim to care about the deficit in order to justify blocking Democrats from doing anything that might create jobs and stimulate the economy (which extending unemployment benefits would actually do, since the unemployed will spend what they receive out of necessity), so Republicans can then go into the fall elections cynically claiming that their opponents have failed to do anything about the economic crisis.
Seniors deserve a break on bus
Henry Richardson says that seniors should pay more to support TheBus ("Seniors should pay more for bus service," Letters, July 18).
I do not ride the bus. But I feel he should take into consideration that seniors do not make enough retirement income and it is safer for them to be on the bus than driving.
Seniors have done their fair share — working, making ends meet and paying taxes. If the state can help foreigners by providing housing, health care and food stamps, what’s wrong with helping seniors born and raised here in Hawaii?
Ag biotech is beneficial to Hawaii
Kioni Dudley makes a number of factually incorrect and misleading statements in his commentary ("Aloun Farms’ fate will have major impact on local ag," Star-Advertiser, July 16), which only perpetuates the hysteria around genetically engineered crops and further diverts attention from the substantive issues impacting Hawaii’s ag industry.
The ag biotech industry is not buying up "huge areas of Oahu and other islands" but operates on only 5 percent of the available prime agricultural lands in the state.
To suggest that we have "no interest in diversified agriculture" is also wrong. Since the demise of cane and pine, the seed industry has kept important ag lands in agricultural production, investing millions of dollars into failing infrastructure such as roads, buildings and irrigation.
Many seed companies now collaborate with farmers to put new and displaced farmers back on agricultural land at affordable prices. Farmers, large and small, are growing a variety of crops side by side and some farms, like Aloun Farms, now even supplement their income by growing seed crops.
As the leading agricultural commodity in Hawaii, we are now a $200 million industry providing jobs to 2,000 people living in rural communities including west and central Oahu.
Executive director, Hawaii Crop Improvement Association