Letters To The Editor
April 01, 2009 - MidWeek
Sinking the ferry
Regarding columns by Larry Price and Rick Hamada lamenting the departure of the Hawaii Superferry: Let us lay the blame for the failure of the Superferry where it belongs, with officials who allowed (encouraged?) the company to circumvent established law and start a business without an Environmental Impact Statement.
It is terrible that Superferry employees lost their jobs, especially in this economy. It is very sad that the state lost what could have been an important transportation alternative. It is a waste that the infrastructure that was put in place now has no use. However, it would be even sadder if the judicial branch of state government, the branch charged with upholding the law, had not done so.
The EIS process is not just a bureaucratic hassle, it is there to protect the environment and the people who live within that environment (that’s us guys). When applied diligently, it can stop or prevent the spread of invasive plants, animals and pollutants that can damage or threaten our lives, well-being and livelihoods.
Evidently, the Superferry project was not capitalized sufficiently to survive the EIS process as laid out under the law. If a business plan depends on circumventing the law in order to succeed, then perhaps they should not be given the permits to start until they are able to do so within the law.
The Superferry was a wonderful idea and it probably could have worked, but it should have been done the right way from the start.
Gays not equal
The truth is that heterosexuals did more to kill traditional marriage than homosexuals - but we still should not put another (final?) nail in the coffin. HB444 (civil unions) should not pass, and it should not be pulled from committee.
If HB444 passes, it opens the flood gates. Eventually the inevitable question will be, should there be any limits on civil unions and marriage? Why stop at two same sexes? Why not more than two people? Why have age limits? Other “enlightened” countries marry off children. Should civil unions and marriage be restricted to only people? Why not one man and one animal?
One of the flaws in the bill is the assumption that “all behaviors are equal.” Unfortunately, in today’s society, common sense takes a backseat to the dogma of our times. We can no longer teach values and behavior that keep our society safe and healthy because “all behaviors are equal” and cannot be judged. Behaviors that our parents taught us no longer can be taught to our own children because they are automatically assumed to be old-fashioned and judgmental, despite having practical value.
Disagreeing with any aspect of homosexual behavior becomes hate speech because all behaviors are equal under the law.
Asked about the city’s budget and increases in property taxes and fees, Mayor Hannemann’s answer was not quite as straightforward as it might have appeared.
Concerning fees, the mayor said, “Many of them have not been raised for many years.” He then went on to mention zoo parking and golf fees.
Perhaps these are the only examples he could find that he hasn’t already increased. Mayor Hannemann has given us huge increases in sewer fees, the vehicle weight tax, wastewater system facility charges, parking fees, the GET tax, filming fees, bus fares, permit fees, Hanauma Bay admissions, even pet neutering fees. As for this year’s increases in real property taxes, the mayor dismissed these as trivial, $10 a month, the equivalent of one bento or eight steamed manapua.
The mayor’s record of real property tax increases is stunning. My own tax bills since 2004, when Mayor Hannemann was elected, show that I now have to give up FIVE bentos per month. Using the mayor’s own criteria, that’s 60 bentos or 480 steamed manapua per year! For young families, how does that translate into school lunches, kids’ shoes and new clothes? For you bento and manapua providers, how does that work for you?
Robert R. Kessler
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