APEC excluding small local firms
Our elected leaders should insist that more local small businesses have a crack at the opportunities coming from the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting.
The APEC meeting of trade and foreign ministers will take place in Honolulu from Nov. 7-13 and is expected to attract 20,000 attendees and generate about $131 million in spending — but how much of that money will trickle down to our small businesses?
So far, the only real winners seem to be the big high-tech companies that are providing technical services and the Waikiki hotels providing the approximately 120,000 rooms that are needed.
Surely our elected officials can ask that APEC open up more service opportunities and trade-show space for our small businesses, especially after collectively giving APEC tens of millions of dollars.
If you agree with me, please write or email your elected leaders to do more for small businesses during the APEC meeting.
Rowena M. Akana
Trustee-at-Large, Office of Hawaiian Affairs
Keep towing competitive
The proposal to give all city towing to one company would be a huge mistake.
To improve performance by towing companies, increase competition, don’t lessen it. Monopolies are notoriously insensitive and inefficient.
Everyone whose car is towed should receive written notice of his or her rights and be told of a city office to receive complaints. Based upon performance by towing companies, their towing areas should be periodically increased or decreased. I believe this system, with sufficient monitoring, would greatly improve performance.
Polar ice not hurt by OTEC
Richard Stancliff stated that ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) contributes to global warming by warming the surface and depleting deep cold water ("OTEC contributes to surface warming," Star-Advertiser, Letters, July 13). This is fundamentally incorrect.
The deep cold resource in tropical regions is sustainable; arctic water is continuously resupplied by permanent deep ocean currents. Like rainfall and rivers, deep cold water flow is sustainable and solar-driven. Deep arctic water plus a warm surface makes OTEC possible for Hawaii.
In our wildest dreams OTEC cannot "consume" globally this massive cold water flow.
Taking another approach, the law of conservation of energy can prove that OTEC actually cools the ocean (slightly) and is exactly neutral relative to earth heat gain or loss. OTEC does not melt ice.
Far more important to all of us is that OTEC is not depleting a resource, not releasing energy stored in fossil fuels, and not releasing climate change gases (thus it helps preserve polar ice).
Joe Van Ryzin
Makai Ocean Engineering, Inc.
Miami pleased with Sumitomo
I was sorry to hear that Sumitomo Corp. did not get selected to be a contractor for the Honolulu rail transit project and that it is protesting the decision.
I direct operations at one of the nation’s busiest airports, Miami International Airport, which handles more than 35 million passengers and 2 million tons of cargo annually.
We engaged Sumitomo Corp. of America to help us with our capital improvement program. That decision was a game-changer for us. My experience working with the Sumitomo/Mitsubishi team led by Gino Antoniello was one of the best experiences I have had with any contractor. The team entered a challenging situation and helped turn it around.Together we completed the project successfully. Since opening the system this year, we have not had a single complaint.
The performance of the systems it built has been exemplary. I cannot say enough about how satisfied we are.
Let’s bring back the Superferrys
I took a picture with my digital camera of one of the most tragic economic events in my lifetime — the wonderful Superferry Alakai, minutes before she departed the dock bound for Louisiana.
More than two years ago, I briefly mentioned to Neil Abercrombie the chances of bringing the Superferry back to the islands. We seemed to agree that if we could convince the federal government to partner with state Civil Defense, to provide disaster relief among the islands coupled with troop training missions at Pokahuloa, joint ownership of the Superferry might be possible. Let’s call it the "Hawaii Sealift Program," a concept much like the victory ships of World War II.
Abercrombie, our congressional delegation and the Defense Department should consider submitting a joint bid by the July 20 deadline to buy and bring back to their rightful home our two state-of-the-art, high-speed Superferrys. That would be a huge economic engine for our island state.