Letters to the Editor
Meeting in Kapolei not worth the trip
In regard to the July 31 Hilton Hotel expansion story, I live across the street from this Waikiki Hilton project. Thank you for advising me that if I want to attend Wednesday's City Council meeting on the project, I will have to travel as far as Kapolei. I will not spend an hour on the road over there, another one back, just to be witness to an obviously foregone conclusion. Not even if Hilton "offers" to take me there, on a chartered school bus. Thanks, but no thanks.
Obviously the City Council just doesn't want me there. If it did, it would have used the Convention Center, just around the corner. (What are they saving it for?) Government by and for the people? Forget it. This is government by and for Big Business.
There's lots of land with a view the council can use (in Kaka'ako, for instance) that the city claims it wants to develop. Why should Hilton be allowed to steal my ocean view, my very reason for being here?
Dominant race probably not Hawaiian
It is my understanding that every Hawaiian child at Kamehameha Schools is racially subdivided by the following:
- Hawaiian/Caucasian: 78 percent
- Hawaiian/Chinese: 73 percent
- Hawaiian/Filipino: 27 percent
- Hawaiian/Japanese: 23 percent
I'd bet my last dollar that a review of the above statistics would reveal that the dominant race would be the non-Hawaiian extraction.
If this is true, then by the Census Bureau count, which is by the dominant race of the individual, there may only be a handful of Hawaiian children at Kamehameha Schools.
But more importantly, this shocking revelation would send the federal government, the Supreme Court and the IRS packing.
Change needed now to improve Hawai'i
Commenting on why the Hawai'i voter turnout is terrible, I believe it is because the people of Hawai'i are tired of the corruption but are not willing to make a change.
They are too busy trying to make the best life they can: working two or three jobs just to make it. That is why many are expatriates, moving to the Mainland, just as it was predicted in the Fasi era. Change is needed now if improvement is wanted in the Islands.
Las Vegas, Nev.
Waikiki users looking for true leader
Water sports are our salty lifeblood. Many of us live and play and relieve our stress in the ocean. Surfing, canoe paddling and swimming are things that we either invented in Hawai'i or perfected here. Sailing and boating are also great for us here.
The Hawaiians were the first to surf on waves and share this sport with the world. The Hawaiians are the only Polynesians to race, surf and play with their canoes. Duke Kahanamoku showed the world how to swim, surf and be a true-hearted, courageous and bold water person.
Politicians seem to think that surfers, paddlers, sailors, etc. are bums and scofflaws. They seem to think we don't vote.
Get wet, get salty try and find a parking place. Try and find a working shower, a stocked restroom or even a mirror in the lua after the state spends a year doing "ADA improvements."
You want locals to come back to Waikiki? Give us free parking. We can't take our surfboards, boats or canoes on the bus.
The Ala Wai Boat Harbor is a prime example. This place should be called Kahanamoku Beach. It is way more than a yacht harbor.
There are still a couple of places where water sports enthusiasts can park for free. We hesitate to name them because underpaid hotel and construction workers, even the whole crew, may want to park there too.
Or worse yet is "privatization." Trouble in the parking lot? Improve the place. Charge them a user fee.
The state also has no sense of aesthetics. What is the first thing you see when you drive up to the water's edge at Ala Wai Boat Harbor? Two big roll-off trash bins: bright red and hauna to high heaven. Such a sense of Hawai'i ... trash. The smell is great too, wafting over the waves.
Some good things have happened: We don't have the heliport anymore; you see people playing in the waves; parking is free at least for now; the waves still break and the ocean is still blue.
And water people are looking for a true leader.
Heidi L. Bornhorst
Keep dogs on leash to ensure safety for all
I walk my dog, which is an American pit bull terrier, every day in the new O'ahu Central Park. I always have my dog on a leash, which is required by law and also much safer for the dog.
My dilemma is that other people do not follow the leash law and have this "dog freedom fantasy" by letting their dogs run around.
Even the best-trained dog gets a hearing problem from the owner's commands if he, the dog, thinks that my dog looks interesting.
Well dear "let-the-dog-off-the-leash fanatics," I can assure you that I do have my dog 100 percent under control, because my pooch is on the leash, but I have 0 percent control over your dog, which runs around free. It always gives me the chills, because I don't know how your dog or my dog will react to this encounter.
Aren't required shots and paperwork enough?
Why do animals entering Hawai'i have to be quarantined for so long? Shouldn't a vet's statement along with documented and required shots prove to be enough to avoid a most traumatic experience for both the owners and animals? After all, we casually let immigrants into our Aloha State without proper ID's or paperwork.
Did the dog that returned from Afghanistan enter quarantine? If so, how long?
I just saw a story on a Kane'ohe soldier and the dog on TV and wondered if a veteran's dog was deemed "safe" enough to bypass our quarantine laws.
Convert pool into beach volleyball area
The idea, expressed by C. Berry in his July 18 letter, to convert the Natatorium into a beach volleyball venue certainly has merit.
The viability of the saltwater pool is in question. The expense of rebuilding the pool is high, not to mention maintenance of the pool. A stadium has been remodeled at great expense and sits unused.
Fill in the pool as suggested by Berry. The complex could then be used for beach volleyball games ranging from an 'ohana picnic to the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour.
Punahou alumni Stein Metzger and Kevin Wong recently won the gold medal in the Portugal Open beach volleyball tournament before 5,000 fans. In Australia, Brazil, Germany and need I mention California, beach volleyball is a popular world sport and a visitor draw.
The local volleyball community the the Hawaii Tourism Authority should lobby the "City Fathers." Turn this "white elephant" into something useful that our people could be proud of and enjoy.
Wyman B. (Tony) Kenagy
Governor just doesn't want to hear truth
Gov. Cayetano has dismissed yet another survey that ranks Hawai'i "business-unfriendly." The Small Business Survival Committee, a Washington-based advocacy group, ranked Hawai'i last among the 50 states when it comes to being friendly to small businesses.
The survey states that "Hawai'i ranks poorly in terms of personal income taxes, capital gains taxes, sales, gross receipts and excise taxes, unemployment taxes, electricity costs, workers' compensation costs and crime rate." Cayetano claims that "this organization is very, very conservative." That's just what he said about Forbes Magazine.
Is there a vast, right-wing conspiracy to undermine business in Hawai'i? I think not. Cayetano just doesn't want to admit the truth. The governor also says that residents have decided over the years to pay more for more government services than other states through their political leaders.
Did you realize that you were voting against small business when he and others were elected? Did you really plan to stunt economic growth in our state? I doubt it. Looks like we'll have to change things with this year's election.
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Practical Hygiene
Landowner protection answer to access
Regarding Dole closing off access to the Poamoho Ridge Trail, to the extent that Dole and other landowners are really concerned about liability (rather than vandalism, maintenance and cleanup costs), a solution would be to get the Hawai'i Legislature to copy a California law, Civil Code Section 1008, which protects landowners who allow recreational use of their land, without charge, from any liability for injuries or damage that might occur. The statute requires the owner to post notices at the entrances to the property that state "Right to pass by permission, and subject to control, of owner."
The statute also provides that allowing recreational use with such notices posted will not result in the public obtaining any legal easement rights across the property, which addresses another fear that in the past made landowners reluctant to permit recreational access to their lands.
Aging, illness an awakening for some
I don't know what's wrong with the governmental system. People like you and me who worked so hard in our younger days and would like to retire comfortably will be punished in our old age when we enter a nursing home. Is old age a crime?
You probably don't have a parent, husband, wife or relative in a nursing facility. I have a husband at Kapunawai Ola, a nursing facility in Kapolei. Before being in the nursing facility, he was at Wahiawa General Hospital because of seizures and a series of heart attacks. He was then sent to Rehab of the Pacific and ended up at Kapunawai Ola for more physical and occupation rehabilitation. I don't know when he will recover from his illness.
He is covered under my HMSA Federal Health plan and also by Medicare. With these two health plans, he's entitled to a 100-day stay at the nursing facility. His 100 days are counting down and, in my opinion, he'll need more care when he gets out.
Here is the scary part of being old. The cost of the nursing facility is $6,000 per month, medical supplies and drugs not included. I researched to see if we would qualify for Medicaid, like most patients in the nursing facility.
I talked to the social worker at Kapunawai Ola and I was given a pamphlet and an application form to see if we qualified. I called the Med-Quest office of the Medicaid Program and I was advised to send in an application.
In the application, it says to list all income, money in saving and checking accounts, bonds, money market and all assets (jewelry, funeral plan, funeral plots and trust). The pamphlet states that the family is entitled to a house, a car, $89,250 in liquid assets and a $2,232 monthly allowance. If a family's income exceeds the monthly allowance of $2,232, the excess will be taken and placed as payment to the facility.
Here is the other part of it. If a family qualifies for Medicaid, all expenses have to be paid from the monthly allowance. This includes mortgage, car, insurance (health, car and house), food, clothing, health care (soap, cleaning materials), utilities and unforeseen expenses, like a car breakdown, house repair and maintenance, gifts for wedding, birthday, anniversary, graduation and entertainment for winding down. Then periodically, a family will be subject to a Medicaid audit to determine if they are moonlighting income to supplement the monthly deficit. Life becomes public knowledge, opening Pandora's box.
It appears that Medicaid is not an aid or supplement for people who worked and paid taxes, but for people who never made an effort to earn it. It is very discouraging that after a long time of saving, every effort is fruitless.
Aging and illness misfortune was an awakening for us. The government should look after the citizens who contributed funds into its budget all these years. I used to be critical of people who didn't plan for the future, but now I see the logic of it and what leads them into welfare.
Buena A. Harding