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Keep oversight of public agencies

Kudos to our president for issuing his executive order to governmental agencies requiring them to find an appropriate regulatory balance — a balance that recognizes that government has a responsibility to protect the health and welfare of its citizens, but that wrongfully structured regulations stifle entrepreneurship and economic growth.

My fear, however, is that the president’s order has no teeth. Can we realistically expect these government agencies, on their own, to clean up their regulatory slate? History would not support this notion. These agencies certainly need to be a part of the process, but the president needs a more robust process that includes independent players if he truly wants to achieve the goals he so eloquently put before us.

Bob Maynard


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The Star-Advertiser welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (~175 words). The Star-Advertiser 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 Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published.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 your area of residence and a daytime telephone number.

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Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

Aloha Air Cargo flies Hawaii skies

The Star-Advertiser reported that the federal bankruptcy court allowed the sale of the Aloha Airlines name and other intellectual property to Yucaipa Companies ("Aloha Airlines name sold," Star-Advertiser, Jan. 5). The article may have been confusing to the public regarding how Aloha Air Cargo relates to the former Aloha Airlines’ estate.

Aloha Air Cargo became an independent cargo operator in May 2008 after the closure of Aloha Airlines passenger services. It was purchased by Saltchuk Resources Inc., of Seattle, Wash., from the carved-out air freight resources of the former Aloha Airlines. Aside from the passion and spirit that still thrive from its predecessor, Aloha Air Cargo is not tied to the former passenger airline, its estate, or the Aloha Airlines name and intellectual property.

Our customers and constituents can rest assured that the "Aloha" name will continue to fly in the Hawaiian skies and our intellectual properties remain, alongside our deep-rooted Aloha spirit, integrity and pride in the services we offer.

Lee Steele
President, Aloha Air Cargo


Pitch in to keep beaches clean

The medical waste on the beaches is frightening and tragic. The way we overlook trash each day on our beautiful beaches is something we should be very ashamed of. It is time for us to stop thinking someone else will clean it up.

Please be part of a solution. Every time you go to the beach take a few plastic grocery bags and pick up the garbage you see. If there is too much, at least pick up some of it. Plastic is especially dangerous to the birds, fish and turtles.

Schools, implement a program teaching your students to get their families involved. Service groups, target a beach and spend a few hours as a group. Parents, set a wonderful example for your keiki to clean up our beautiful waters. Make picking up something you do as a family to give back. Spend at least 15 minutes every time you go.

Let’s all take ownership of a problem and work together to clean it up. Let’s honor and respect the amazing gift we’ve been given.

Deborah McGuire


UH should fix its own systems

All the high-powered brain matter at the University of Hawaii and it cannot, or will not, protect its computer systems ("Fund UH data security, pronto," Star-Advertiser, Our View, Jan. 15). Now they need to spend millions of dollars to hire someone outside to come in and protect the computer systems?

Give me a break. They are employees, not independent prima donnas. Put that brain power to work on this problem and get it solved for now and for the future.

Jack Brownrigg


Kahle right on invocations

As a high school senior studying the U.S. Constitution, I wholeheartedly agree with Mitchell Kahle’s proposal ( "Reasonable compromise could save invocations," Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, Jan. 16) that specific invocations be banned from the Legislature. The First Amendment of the Constitution clearly states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion," calling for the separation of church and state on the federal level.

Furthermore, the 14th Amendment establishes in Section One, "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States"; expanding the separation of church and state to the state level, including, of course, the state of Hawaii.

While there is nothing wrong with a generic invocation that creates a spiritual feeling of goodwill, any sort of specific prayer that refers to any specific faith is a clear violation of the United States Constitution. 

Benjamin Fischberg


Thanks for Sony Open support

Last week I was provided the opportunity of a lifetime by being allowed to play in the Sony Open. I am grateful to all who have help to make this past week possible for me.

There is an endless list of people that I would like to thank: the John Burns Governor’s Cup committee and the Friends of Hawaii Charities for providing Hawaii’s amateur golfers with the opportunity to play in the tournament; Mr Ray Stosik, the Sony tournament staff and the hundreds of volunteers for an excellently run event; the support of the Hawaii golf vendor community in helping me prepare for playing with the professionals.

Also, the members, pro-shop and locker room staff at the Waialae Country Club who welcomed me and helped put me at ease, and lastly the encouragement of my family, friends and others who came out to watch me on Friday and Saturday.

I will treasure the experiences of the past week for the rest of my life. Mahalo! 

David Saka


By all means, let’s treat gun and car ownership equally

Nicholas Kristof’s idea of treating guns like cars has a certain merit, provided he also treats cars the same as guns ("Regulate firearms like cars — or toys," Star-Advertiser, Jan. 14).

Cars are not in the U.S. Constitution; driving and owning a car is a privilege granted by government. Owning a firearm is in the Second Amendment.

If guns are to be treated like cars, then Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ weapons permit, like her driver’s license, will be good in all 50 states and in American territories. It also means that the car owners/drivers must pass FBI criminal background checks, mental health checks and otherwise have no DUIs or TROs against them. I think this will do away with road rage.

Since there is no limitation on how many cars a person can own, there should be no limits on gun ownership. Also, no limits on horsepower equals no limits in magazine capacity. That also means the fully automatic firearms and sound supressors are legal in all 50 states as long as federal rules are followed.

Vernon Okamura

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