Letters to the Editor
Educational approach can solve problem
The Hawaiian Humane Society appreciated Kerrith King's advice in his Aug. 14 piece about communicating with your neighbor if his dog is barking. This is an especially good first step because many dogs bark out of boredom when left alone, so the dog's owner may not be aware that his pet is barking and causing a nuisance for neighbors.
There are positive training methods to help teach a dog to bark only when appropriate. The Hawaiian Humane Society offers a brochure on this topic called "Training Your Dog When (and When Not) to Bark." If you are having a problem with a barking dog in your neighborhood and aren't comfortable talking to your neighbor, either call us at 946-2187 or visit our Web site, www.hawaiianhumane.org/.
The first time we receive a complaint about a barking dog, we let the person know that we've received a complaint (your name is not mentioned) and send them our brochure about appropriate barking. This solves the problem in 40 percent of the cases. An educational approach is the ideal way of solving problems.
President, Hawaiian Humane Society
Area residents had no excuse to act poorly
As I read your Aug. 17 story, "Residents ridicule development plan for crowded Makiki," my sentiments oscillated between outrage and disgust. I felt outrage at area homeowners who reportedly hissed and laughed at neighborhood board member Joseph Zuiker when he said our community has a "duty to balance the interests of the poor people."
Where do these people get off with such blatantly elitist behavior? Their slogan should be "No money, no aloha." My outrage is now cooked to a hardened cynicism.
On the other hand, I agree with those who say the area is already too densely packed. Indeed, much of Honolulu looks as though it was built when city planners were on their lunch break. Highrises are mixed in with single-family homes, which are next to apartment buildings stacked three or four deep, and all of it sits on a bed of wall-to-wall cement and asphalt. Parks, greenbelts and open space seem to be an accident in most of Honolulu.
Affordable housing projects are often controversial because there are some tough social issues to tackle when they are proposed. But that's no reason for neighbors of such projects to throw reason and compassion out the window.
Governor has gone back on his word before
In these economically sluggish times, it's encouraging to see our Hawai'i Convention Center being used with more frequency. As a member of the only chartered professional stagecraft labor group in the state, this should be good news.
Our office is eight blocks away. We have a contingent of personnel well-versed in the technical and non-technical disciplines required for this type of work. Our rates are competitive locally and our desire to negotiate is strong. This is the work we do to feed our families, not as a side job or a bill-padding tactic. This is our livelihood.
More than two years ago, our governor, while asking our members to become the only faction to provide substantial out-of-pocket salary concessions to secure the "Baywatch" deal, gave assurances that he would see how he could help our members become involved at the convention center. We were a logical, qualified choice, but the facility management appeared evasive and disorganized.
Today, the labor force is largely provided by an offshoot of a local moving company. Curiously, that company seems to have distinct ties to both the governor and the Convention Center board. A carpenter's union has been observed building temporary performance stages.
The governor doesn't return our calls anymore. I suppose that this should come as no surprise. The center still seems unable to determine their decision-makers. Unfortunately, we will never recoup the lost 25 percent of our paychecks for those two "Baywatch "seasons.
Richard M. Crum
Member, IATSE Local 665
Article shows reefs not being overharvested
That was an eye-opening article in the Aug. 12 paper ("Hawai'i filling world's aquariums"). It looks like we have a gold mine here.
If one diver collects 8,000 yellow tangs per week at $2 per fish, he is grossing $16,000 per week. If there are 50 divers in Kona catching 400,000 yellows weekly, that's a gross of $800,000 per week. With 52 weeks in a year it comes to $416 million a year, just on yellow tangs.
Now, if the exporter sells them for $4 each, that is $832 million a year. That's only half the fish shipped out, according to the article. I am sure the other half of the fish shipped would equal that, if not exceed it. We are looking at $2 billion or more a year coming into Hawai'i from out-of-state sales.
It seems to me that we should get behind the bandwagon on this one. It sounds like a good racket to me. If there is a sustainable yield of 208 million yellow tangs per year, we have nothing to worry about as far as depleting the reefs. It has been going on for 25 years and, if it was being overharvested, we would have run out of yellow tangs by now. I can't imagine why anyone would want to attempt to raise them in captivity when they are so abundant in the ocean.
Let's crunch the numbers and get the story right before we write anymore "cry wolf" stories in the newspaper regarding the tropical fish industry.
CEO, Saltwater Fish Hawai'i
World cannot ignore signs any longer
I was saddened to read a recent letter by Cliff Coleman regarding global warming. Coleman, like our president, rejects the theory of global warming despite all the evidence from mainstream scientists. The U.N.-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a report by 2,000 scientists from 100 countries that validated the threat of global warming.
The report has been backed also by the American-based National Academy of Sciences and other similar organizations in other nations. Despite his skepticism, Mr. Coleman has accepted the prospect that cutting emissions will hurt our "prosperity" without any question. The U.N. panel predicts that the cost will be less than 2 percent of the world's GDP. Some even believe that new, clean technology will increase prosperity.
It is wrong to abdicate our responsibility simply because we fear that Exxon/Mobile might not be able to survive in a clean world. It is time to stop denying the signs and start taking action before we lose our home.
Cost-cutting tips does not help economy
Way to go on your Aug. 15 article, "13 ways to dine out and spend less." I am all for smarter consumers, but some of the 13 ways had me scratching my head: "Order appetizers as your main course," "do lunch rather than dinner" and "split the plate (with a friend) and split the check."
Did someone read this article before allowing it into print or does someone have a different take on our economy? The restaurant industry is tough enough even in the best of conditions.
Just a harmless article, you say? The very next day, I heard of more customers than usual "smartly" asking to split plates, ordering appetizers only, not ordering drinks and wishing our eatery the best in these hard times. Maybe advertising will be one of the first expenses to go, and we'll be seeing fewer restaurant ads in the paper.
Hawai'i lost funny, caring individual
I first met Kane Fernandez when I joined the Young Presidents Organization. I noticed there was always a rush to sit at Kane's table during the monthly dinner meetings.ÊHe kept everyone laughing with his one-liners and stories.
When my daughter Kristen (now 10) had her one-year birthday party, Kane took time from his busy schedule to attend her party and brought her a big teddy bear.ÊWhen I told Kristen that Kane had passed away, she ran into her bedroom, picked up the teddy bear, hugged it and began to cry.
Kane had such a special effect on people. When he died, Hawai'i lost a very special man.
Wesley K. Yamamoto
Mainland companies should pay for being here
As an employee of the Hawaiian Waikiki Beach Hotel, I found myself terminated on June 30. I had worked at the property for 26 years, since it was the Holiday Inn Waikiki Beach Hotel. Holiday Inn sold the property, and the new owners took over on Feb. 5, 1985. On Aug. 24, 2000, the Hawaiian Waikiki Beach Hotel went into receivership due to a dispute between the hotel and the mortgage holder, Leucadia National Corp. On June 7, Hawai'i Ventures, LLC ( the parent company is Leucadia) bought the hotel at a public auction. Aston Hotels and Resorts was hired to manage the property beginning July 1. Aston's parent company is ResortQuest, which is based in Tennessee. Leucadia is based in New York.
Of the 274 employees, only 16 were rehired. None of the 16 was in management. (Kelvin Bloom of Aston said during an interview that there were 100 positions available.)
It is my understanding that Mainland-based corporations are exempt from the Hawai'i State Corporate Tax. I live in Hawai'i and, therefore, I pay state income taxes. Why are these companies allowed to do business in this state without having to pay taxes on their income? This is why the union attempted to "foist" additional taxes on the hotel industry, the majority having their corporate headquarters located on the Mainland.
I applaud Councilman Duke Bainum for his efforts on a resolution supporting the employees of Hawaiian Waikiki Beach Hotel. My co-workers and I send a big mahalo to him and the City Council for their support and encouragement and for their recognition of Hawai'i residents and their courage to do something about it. If Mr. Yamashita's accusation of "political pandering" is correct and Bainum is seeking to succeed Jeremy Harris as mayor, I will gladly vote for him.
About 230 employees belong to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local 142. Without the support of the ILWU and its leadership, we would never have a chance.
Name on placard could help problem
Regarding the offenses on illegal handicap parking: Have the name of the disabled person placed on the back of the placard. If that person is not physically present in or near the vehicle, give the driver a ticket for illegal parking.