ARTIST ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Mahalo to Paul Kasprzycki of “Kasprzyckiart” for the beautiful sign and all his efforts urging the state to open up the Olowalu State Beach Preserve!
Instead of a lot of coffee talk about what “they” should do, he offers his own time and materials. Well done, brother.
LES POTTS, Napili
VOLUNTEER AT SCHOOLS ON FURLOUGH FRIDAYS
Furlough Fridays are creating a crisis for our keiki. Our keiki are all our future.
How about underemployed community members volunteering at our local schools?
When I was laid off, I felt sorry for myself until I spent time helping out at King Kamehameha III Elementary School.
The teachers were so creative, and the keiki so grateful, it was a wonderful experience. Give it a try!
SHERRI CURRY, Honokowai
HEALTH CARE REFORMS MOVING FORWARD
The Senate’s vote to move forward with health insurance reform legislation (Health Insurance Reform Bill) marks a critical step in the march to better, fairer and more reasonably priced health care for Americans. With this action, the Senate is demonstrating that it has the 60 votes it needs to make reform happen.
The bill would expand health insurance coverage to 31 million Americans and reduce the deficit by $127 billion by 2019, and by $650 billion ten years after that. The bill would prohibit some of the insurance industry’s worst practices, and it includes a public health insurance option. We need this legislation to fix our broken health care system, and to get the deficit under control.
There are issues to iron out. This is essentially a motion to proceed, which enables full debate in the U.S. Senate. But make no mistake — we are moving forward and we are on track.
BRIAN SCHATZ, Hawaii Democratic Party Chair
OPPOSE PROPOSED ELECTIONS RULES
The Office of Elections is in the process of issuing new Administrative Rules that will govern future elections. To read the proposed new rules, please go to www.hawaii.gov/elections. This is their home page, and they are at the top of the page.
Section 3-172-93 of these proposed new rules will LEGALIZE sending votes over the INTERNET.
If you are as concerned as I am about these new proposed rules, please e-mail the Office of Elections with your testimony asking them to ban the use of the internet. Their e-mail address is: email@example.com.
You could copy and paste the following wording, and add your own additional wording if you wish:
I hereby testify in opposition to the proposed new Hawaii Office of Elections administrative rules. Specifically, Section 3-172-93 should be rewritten to ban all election equipment from using the Internet or any form of telecommunication or remote networking.
If you are as concerned about election integrity as I am, please e-mail your state representative and senator. You can contact all representatives by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org and all senators by e-mailing email@example.com.
The two most important laws the legislature should immediately pass are below:
1. The Hawaii State Legislature should pass a law banning all election equipment from using the Internet or any form of telecommunication or remote networking.
2. The Hawaii State Legislature should pass a law authorizing and ordering the Hawaii State Auditor to conduct a full 100 percent inspection of the Hawaii election system from start to finish, including inspecting all software and hardware used by the election vendor, and write a report with their findings and recommendations to the state legislature and the general public following each election.
If you agree, please copy and paste these two recommendations — and add your own additional wording if you wish — to an e-mail and send it to all state representatives and senators using their e-mail addresses above.
BOB BABSON, Kihei
RESPECT YOUR NEIGHBORS!
I have more to add to the recent letter on noise pollution. I live in the Wahikuli area. I, too, hear the idiot on the scooter with no or blown out mufflers. We also have these idiots with dirt bikes racing around the neighborhood, again loud and speeding (30-50 mph).
Then we have these boom box cars. If you’re stopped next to them, your car is also booming. If they’re stopped next to your house... your house is booming. Turn YOUR VOLUME DOWN! ARE YOU DEAF?!!!
Then we have these neighbors (renters) who are yapping away in their outside patio at 2, 3, 4 a.m. and shooting pool. On Sundays, they have a TV in the outside patio. Hooting and hollering... use of foul language... shooting pool... I can’t wait for football season to END!
Noise travels, especially at NIGHT. Go inside your house. All you people have NO RESPECT for others.
Thanks to the Lahaina Police when they respond in the middle of the night, but there’s no law for daytime.
Get a clue or move... this used to be a quiet neighborhood with people with respect for others .
WAHIKULI RESIDENTS, Lahaina
HAWAII HAS VITAL LINK TO CHINA
(This letter is in response to a draft audit of the state Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism.)
The legislative auditor’s report of DBEDT offers erroneous findings and demonstrates a lack of understanding and appreciation of the critical role Hawaii’s overseas offices in Beijing and Taipei play in the economic future of our state.
Hawaii is one of only two states in the United States that has been granted the opportunity to have an ongoing presence in China — the world’s fastest growing economy. The Beijing office, under the leadership of Bo Wu, and the Taiwan Office under Alex Lei have both been instrumental in developing solid working relationships with Chinese business, government, academic and cultural leaders.
I recently returned from a two-week mission from China. This trip resulted in historic breakthroughs in three arenas: 1) improving the opportunity for increased Chinese tourism to our islands; 2) developing clean energy partnerships with Chinese officials; 3) promoting commercial and business relations, that included a commitment by China to establish the Hawaii House, an outlet specifically intended to promote Hawaii products and services to a broader Chinese market.
A delegation from China’s Ministry of Commerce will be coming to Hawaii early next year to identify local products that will be featured at the Hawaii House showroom. China will also be holding the Shanghai World Mart as part of their 2010 World Expo, and the Hawaii Tourism Authority is taking the opportunity to participate in this event to further introduce and promote Hawaii to China and an international audience that will be attending this major event. An estimated 73 million visitors will attend the expo — 70 million from China alone.
The success of our recent effort to enhance trade and commerce between China and Hawaii was the result of our ability to build on all of our earlier efforts. In China, governmental relations matter. It is especially important when high government officials participate with businesses to demonstrate both the importance and the earnest nature of discussions that are undertaken.
Success is dependent on establishing relationships that are the result of successful engagements and trust in the intention and commitment of the parties involved.
To initiate our effort, DBEDT wisely applied federal funds made available through the U.S. Department of Commerce to leverage the opportunity to promote Hawaii-Chinese business relations. The auditor’s findings incorrectly describe the situation involving the use of these funds and reached erroneous and factually inaccurate conclusions about the administration of these funds. Aside from being completely wrong, this faulty determination is used to undermine DBEDT’s accomplishments, the significance of their work and the importance of our overseas offices.
The China offices have provided Hawaii a tremendous advantage, and to lose them now will result in the loss of significant gains and advances that have been realized from our presence in China. Hawaii is now firmly recognized, appreciated and understood as a place not only for leisure travel, but as a place for doing business, where China can begin its effort to improve the balance of trade with the U.S. As a destination and welcome business partner, Hawaii has been able to create a positive image in China and Taiwan, owing in large part to the work of our China Offices.
Cultivating a viable business relationship with China is not easy, and it will take continual work by our state government and our business sector. We are building on the advances achieved from each and every China mission. Each successive step has broadened our effort, and we are now on the verge of establishing a direct air link through Hainan Air, energy partnerships that will aid in our effort to attain our goal of energy self sufficiency and independence, and the advancement of trade and small business opportunities.
The draft audit glosses over the fact that much of the costs of the critical missions that took place in 2005 to China and Korea were paid for by donations and support from private sponsors that both recognized and approved the use of the money. Much of the content of the audit is based on charges raised in State Senate hearings several years ago that found no wrong doing or malfeasance, including separate reviews by the Chief Procurement Office and the Office of the Attorney General. Despite this outcome, the legislative auditor continues to infer impropriety that did not occur.
Ted Liu is an exceptional leader and innovator in the fields of energy, the economy, and international relations. The State of Hawaii is fortunate to have someone of his stature and talent leading DBEDT. His ability to establish enhanced cross-cultural links to China have been invaluable in building and cementing the progress we have made to date. I intend to continue working closely with Ted, our overseas office staff and the entire DBEDT team to build on the successes we have achieved.
GOV. LINDA LINGLE