Don’t develop golden goose
The article, “Turtle Bay Project Pared Down,” still shows massive development in unique, pristine, woodsy, coastal areas of Kahuku Point and Kawela Bay, where ecotourism and the film industry thrive (Star-Advertiser, March 31). Most days during the fall to winter season, film crews hovered in those scenic coastal areas, sending idealistic images of Hawaii around the world, feeding Hawaii’s tourism.
Isn’t it to the benefit of all in the state, for economic and recreational reasons, as well as the tourists arriving who seek such natural treasures, that those areas be preserved? If increasing room count is the goal, why not just expand the existing hotel and/or build around the presently developed area, and let the golden goose live?
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Kill mosquitoes before too late
Cuts to the state Health Department’s mosquito-abatement program are penny wise and pound foolish (“Mosquito control is slapped by cuts,” Star-Advertiser, April 2).
If allowed to get established in Hawaii, dengue fever would have not only extreme health consequences for our families but also a devastating impact on our tourist-based economy.
How many people are going to want to visit our islands knowing that they could get a disease that is appropriately also known as breakbone fever?
If allowed to get established in Hawaii, dengue fever will be here forever.
Please publicize academic stars
In an editorial published after the Hawaii Science Bowl competition (“Isle schools must push science,” Star-Advertiser, Our View, Jan. 31), the Star-Advertiser said that “Hawaii’s schools should join in preparing students for the competition for scientific advances.”
This past week, the Hawaii State Science and Engineering Fair was held at the Hawaii Convention Center. Very little, if anything, was mentioned in your newspaper, yet we had the latest news in high school sports.
I continue to be disappointed by your newspaper when it comes to the recognition of student academic achievement, especially in the area of science.
One of the most important ways to get higher performance out of our youth is to recognize them for their achievements. When we recognize certain things and not others, we can change a youth’s perception of what is important.
We cannot continue to recognize only the failures of the education system. We also must recognize school achievements, in academics and athletics.
BOE has lost its best member
Another blow to students was struck when Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced his appointments to the Board of Education.
I have been to several BOE meetings over the years and was stunned when the only member of the school board who actually advocated for all students all the time was not appointed. In her years on the board, Kim Coco Iwamoto, a civil rights attorney, focused her attention on making all schools safe and advocated a positive learning environment for all students, including those who are home schooled, GLBTQ (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer) or have special needs.
My heart goes out to the students who have lost their best advocate and to the community at large because we lost the best member the BOE ever had.
Let Army train on Big Isle now
I am so tired of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations and environmentalists who have tied up progress in this country. Yes, we need some protection, but we have gone overboard. We have a need to go green, but we need oil now and we need to drill now.
Now I read that our military in Hawaii had to go back to Colorado to accomplish high-altitude training for its helicopter pilots because of an inadequate environmental assessment. Let’s give them a waiver now and work out the issues later. Our military is doing all the heavy lifting of these wars, so let’s give it some assistance.
By staying here in Hawaii to train, the Army aviation brigade saves money, but more important, these soldiers can spend more time with their loved ones.
Legal gambling would help state
Legalize gambling to get rid of all the illegal gambling. Whether you want it or not, people are already gambling on football, the NCAA tournament, NBA finals and so on.
It’s about time that Hawaii embraces gambling and reap in the benefits. We will soon realize that tourism shouldn’t be the only way the state and residents can make money.
Birther poll was insult to Obama
Our president was insulted once more in the form of a telephone survey that asked: “Do you believe Barack Obama was born in the United States?”
Let’s erect a welcome sign at Honolulu International Airport that says, “Aloha and welcome to Honolulu, Hawaii, birthplace of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.” Then let’s change the airport’s name to Barack Obama Honolulu International Airport.
Food stamps won’t be burden
In response to a recent article on Hawaii’s nutrition assistance programs (“Isle food stamp use rises,” Star-Advertiser, March 28), we feel compelled to emphasize the following facts.
First, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits are 100 percent federally funded. As a result, expanding the eligibility standard from 130 percent to 200 percent of the federal poverty level will draw down an additional $60 million in federal dollars every year for Hawaii.
Second, outreach efforts to increase participation among eligible families were motivated as much by the economic stimulus resulting from such action as by our desire to ensure that low-income families have access to improved nutrition.
While we were pleased that the Department of Human Services’ efforts in this regard were recognized, we were disappointed that the impression left on many readers by the article was that our efforts added to the state’s fiscal deficit.
In fact, the additional business activity and economic stimulus provided by this outreach will have just the opposite effect.
Administrator, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program