Letters to the Editor
Mokule'ia Beach Park is simply disgusting
On a recent visit to Hawai'i, my wife and I watched a program on the Travel Channel entitled "The Ten Best Beaches in Hawai'i." It named the North Shore as its No. 1 pick.
For the most part, I go along with its rating that is, until we visited Mokule'ia Beach Park, a stretch of beach along Farrington Highway, across from Dillingham Airport. This has to be the most disgusting area I have ever encountered. It looks more like a landfill than a park.
Every turnoff was littered with garbage: trash, cans, bottles and containers of every description. Would you believe we even saw a dead dog wrapped in a trash bag, with only its nose and teeth sticking out? And I don't even want to mention the stench.
If I were a resident of Hawai'i, concerned with the declining tourist trade, I would want to know who's responsible for maintaining this stretch of beach and rapidly dismiss them. With all the people currently unemployed, I'm sure it would be easy to find someone who would gladly do a better job.
Yucca Valley, Calif.
Eyesore in Waikiki is getting spruced up
The Waikiki Skyliner Condominium thanks the Okada Trucking company and Councilman Duke Bainum for their efforts to clean up the property between Tusitala and Cleghorn off Lili'uokalani.
This area has been enclosed in black construction fabric for many years. The removal of the fabric and repair of the fence, already under way, is to be followed by other actions to remove debris and put down a ground cover, which will open the area and create a better urban living space for the neighborhood.
In addition to Bainum, we would also like to thank Larry McGranaghan and Jeff Apaka of the Waikiki Neighborhood Board and state Rep. Mindy Jaffe for their assistance in getting this done through the Neighborhood Board. It extends the Waikiki improvement efforts beyond the original areas into depressed areas that badly needed a clean-up and reflected poorly on Waikiki.
Kristine A. Caraway
Take shackles off our state economy
We've done very little to improve our economy over the past several years. In fact, some shortsighted politicians have been proposing negative, innocuous anti-business legislation detrimental to the economy, i.e., banning gambling on cruise ships, banning smoking in restaurants, attempting to generate more revenue from the public by issuing speeding tickets via remote control, etc.
Legislators should be brainstorming on ways to expeditiously improve our economy by supporting business and creating jobs. Forty-seven out of 50 states have some form of legalized gambling.
Let the voice of the people be heard. Let's not be governed by a vocal minority. We are now in dire economic straits.
Traffic cameras will help save lives
How are traffic cameras unconstitutional? It is our responsibility to stop at red lights and obey traffic laws. When you sign your name on your driver's license, you are obligated to obey by all traffic laws.
Does it really matter who enforces the laws? What matters is that people follow them. Are you aware that 73 people in Hawai'i died last year because individuals ran red lights?
The cameras are more efficient and less costly than the manpower it would take to train more police officers. They should be in plain view, to act as a deterrent. The main focus is to deter perpetrators, not to give more people tickets.
The cameras are fair, and if you follow the rules, you will not have a problem.
Police officers will benefit from fiasco
The real winners of the traffic camera fiasco will be the HPD. After disgruntled voters boot out the legislators who voted for the robocobs and kill the program, we'll be grateful to have officers parked by the roadways using good judgment about which drivers threaten public safety.
Heck, we might even be nice to them if they pull us over.
We need answers on traffic cameras
I have many reservations about the new traffic photo-enforcement program and hope that I am not the only one to have these concerns.
The benefit of the new system is the possibility of safer roads and highways, yet the system has many flaws that need to be resolved. First, if people are recklessly speeding and running red lights, I would like to see them pulled over and taken off the road immediately, not given a ticket three days later by mail. It is impossible to create safer driving conditions on the assumption that the public will fear photo-enforcement.
There is also the issue of increased revenue for the government, which I believe is a good thing, but where does the money from this program end up? Can I expect a tax break in the immediate future? Will it be recycled back into the HPD so that local officers can have salaries competitive with Mainland departments?
Could the money be used toward road maintenance and repair? Or maybe used to support the state's underfunded Education Department?
I fear some if not most of the "increased revenue" will find a resting place in some politician's pocket, either through a government paycheck or in the form of campaign donations from the private company running the photo-enforcement program and insurance companies anticipating their profits. If the drivers of Hawai'i have nothing to hide, then why should our lawmakers?
R. Kuakini Hind
Bicycles? Forget it
The simple solution "ride a bicycle" won't work. The state government will just add some fine or tax to get some revenue out of "just riding a bicycle."
What '$10,000 desk'?
In your Dec. 21 issue, Larry Symons invited the public to go to City Hall and check out "those $10,000 desks our public servants use."
I invite Symons to come to my office and check out my desk. He could pick up a better one at a garage sale for under $100.
Director, Department of Information Technology
Let's keep our losses from gambling here
It's very sad to see Hawai'i's money end up in Las Vegas. Millions of dollars are transported to Las Vegas every week by our local people, including me.
People from Hawai'i don't like to talk about their losses. When people return from Las Vegas, you ask them, "How did you guys make out? What, did you win?" All they tell you is, "We had a nice time."
I would like to see the money stay in Hawai'i. We, the people of Hawai'i, can build our own casinos. There would be more jobs, first the construction, then the manpower to run the casinos.
Tourists from Japan would flood this island if we legalize gambling. This is a fact: 47 states allow gambling, Hawai'i, Tennessee and Utah don't. Utah owns casinos in Las Vegas. Hawai'i owns nothing. Everyone I spoke to would like to see Hawai'i have a lottery and also a single licensed casino in the state.
Push for gambling, Hawai'i.
Politicians are ignoring the resign-to-run law
Mayor Jeremy Harris will not resign because he believes he is not using his position, his office or his staff to further promote his campaign for governor. Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono and Councilman Duke Bainum refuse to resign, stating that they are not yet candidates since the mayoral position has yet to become vacant.
Can you believe the arrogance of these people?
They want us to acknowledge that using state and city funds to perpetuate their lust for power is OK. They want us to believe that no conflicts of interest exist.
Sadly, and just recently, Andy Mirikitani was sentenced in federal court for bribery and taking campaign kickbacks. Something smells fishy here, and it sure ain't the 'ahi.
Lawrence C. Muna
Hawai'i ranks 18th on public employees
I want to correct a falsehood that Sen. Fred Hemmings perpetuates in his commentary "Heavy-handed government will keep us mired in muck" (Advertiser, Dec. 9).
Hemmings wrote, "A headline several months ago revealed that Hawai'i has the nation's largest number of public employees per capita at the state level."
Hawai'i is actually 18th among the 50 states and District of Columbia, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Hawai'i's government workforce is 5.7 percent of the population. Wyoming, with 8.05 percent, is first. Others ahead of Hawai'i include Mississippi (6.61), Kansas (6.34), Nebraska (6.18), New York (6.18), Vermont (5.96), South Carolina (5.82) and Delaware (5.71).
This information is available on the bureau's Web site: http://www.census.gov/govs/www/apesst100.html.
Hemmings and your readers might also find this interesting: The Census Bureau reported that Hawai'i ranks 39th in government worker payroll for March 2000. On a cost-per-government-workers basis, Hawai'i ranks 21st.
With many difficult issues to be addressed in the 2002 session, it is each lawmaker's duty to rely on accurate information, not misinformation.
Deputy executive director, Hawai'i Government Employees Association
We must not ignore problems in Hawai'i
With the current war in Afghanistan and the effects on Hawai'i's economy, everyone, especially the government, needs to focus on local issues child abuse along with drug abuse being top priorities.
The Nov. 25 issue of your newspaper ran an article about the current drug- and child-abuse problems in Hawai'i. I was shocked to see how high the number of child-abuse cases shot up since Sept. 11. I was disappointed, especially after hearing about how we Americans have come together even more than before. Because of the poor economy, Hawai'i seems to be falling down in the responsibility to its children.
Booting people from jobs because of economics is somewhat understandable; however, displaced workers and their families will need financial help and possibly psychological assistance. In order for Hawai'i to prosper, we must take care of our own. As the people of Hawai'i, we can't ignore our problems.
We need to take time to help each other get back on track.
Grade 11, Leilehua High School