Letters to the Editor
City should issue bonds for Waikiki project
The City Council Policy Committee meets today to decide whether to condemn five parcels of land around the Lewers Road area of Waikiki. I am one of many landowners who stands to lose their property as a result of the council's actions. Unfortunately, the issue is playing out as two options: condemn or not condemn.
If the Lewers Road redevelopment is such a compelling public interest, why doesn't the city step in and provide the financing that Outrigger is unable to obtain? The city could use its good credit rating to issue municipal bonds at a reasonable interest rate. The city would lend Outrigger the money at current commercial rates. Outrigger would have guaranteed financing, the city would make money and the landowners would get to keep their land.
Using the city's lending powers would provide a novel solution to an otherwise polarized debate. The City Council has an opportunity to solve a problem in the most democratic of styles one where everyone prospers and no one is marginalized. That is what democracy is all about.
Legalized gambling will hurt aloha spirit
The last thing we need in Hawai'i is legalized gambling.
Gambling will in no way truly fix our economic problems. We as a people must deal with difficult and tough economic problems, but the "quick fix" of gambling is an illusion.
Stepping back and seeing the long-term big picture clarifies that social problems would increase. Not only would we have to deal with compulsive gamblers, but we would no doubt see an increase in welfare, divorce, abuse, homelessness and bankruptcy.
The people who would make billions off Hawai'i gambling could care less about our good people. Corruption would accelerate.
We are proud of our peaceful aloha spirit here in Hawai'i. We had to recently stand up and demand more responsible actions and behaviors by our local government. The last thing we need is for disturbing Mainland gambling interests to take hold of our leaders.
Write or call your state officials and tell them "not to gamble with aloha!"
Rev. Vaughn F. Beckman
First Christian Church-Makiki
Get Aloha Stadium attention: Walk out
Regarding all the complaining that the fans are doing about Aloha Stadium's harsh rules: It seems to me that these same fans who are complaining are still going to the games. Do they really think that the stadium management is going to change these rules if they can still fill up the stadium?
The only way to change these idiotic rules is to walk out. When management sees a half-empty stadium, then it might come to its senses.
Shutting freeway for politician not justified
I could hardly believe my ears when I heard an explanation on the radio for the closing of the freeway near the airport and inconveniencing of hundreds, if not thousands, of people on a busy Saturday afternoon.
At first they thought that it was a head of state, perhaps a king or a president, maybe George W. Bush, but no ... it was Dennis Hastert, speaker of the House, who warranted a government aircraft to fly him to Hickam AFB and then a motorcade to his hotel.
For the life of me, I cannot understand why these self-important politicians can't ride public transportation such as United Airlines, maybe even in first class, and then take a cab to their hotel like everybody else. Why the taxpayers who pay their salaries should be inconvenienced like this, and then have to pay for the aircraft, all the police involved in shutting down the freeway and providing the motorcade, I fail to comprehend.
Mulching prevented Christmas tree bonfire
A big mahalo to the courageous city individual who decided to mulch Christmas trees on Dec. 31 at the Mililani Makaunulau recycle point.
Your foresight prevented the annual New Year's Eve bonfire that has become a tradition in the park. You also saved the city considerable money as the Fire Department did not have to respond up to three times that night, as it has in the past.
You deserve a Christmas bonus, whoever you are.
'Highway in the Sky' proposal supported
I was pleased with the response I received for a federally funded "Highway in the Sky" plan reported by Jan TenBruggencate on Dec. 17. The plan would create a true Hawai'i interstate highway system using now-sidelined airplanes instead of concrete to link other islands to each other and the Mainland to Hawai'i.
The Aloha-Hawaiian merger resolves short-term economic problems for those airlines but could spell disaster for residents and the tourist industry from layoffs and a created monopoly.
A Hawai'i Residents Airline would hire laid-off airline employees, build commuter airports funded with federal dollars and create outer-island housing developments erected on state lands to relieve Honolulu's housing problems.
The new jobs created would halt the waiting economic slide to disaster. We cannot afford to follow the blueprint of existing government "go nowhere" plans. We the people must make sure more inaction is not the message for 2002.
Wild parrots could be bred for profit
Why capture and dispose of wild parrots on Maui, O'ahu and elsewhere when they can be encouraged to multiply, which they apparently do naturally in Hawai'i, and then be humanely captured and sold to caring pet owners all over the world?
And over a period of time, we may even find out once and for all if contemporary Hawaiians can catch birds alive for a few of their feathers to make feathered capes and then release them alive for more feathers later, as the Hawaiians of old could do or if doing that was just another myth and getting those feathers was actually the cause of the disappearance of so many native birds.
Almost any parrot can be sold for $100, and many for well over a $1,000. It's an industry that should be encouraged, not discouraged.
Indeed, that's what's done with tens of thousands of tropical fish around almost all our Islands, yearly, for decades, often inhumanely. They're captured and sold all over the world.
Traffic cameras continue to rankle
Legislature should raise speed limits
OK, so now there are ways to make us slow down. Why? What about raising the speed limits and then see how many cameras are needed?
As a locally born and raised woman, I remember when the posted speed limit on Kalaniana'ole Highway was 45 mph. I know that there are more homes on the highway, but have there been that many fewer accidents with a lower speed limit?
As far as the freeway goes, I know the on- and off-ramps at Manoa and elsewhere weren't built as part of a "freeway" in the 1950s. Most traffic flows (and well, I might add) between 55 to 60 mph. Why can't that be the speed limit on the H-1 through town, where it is now 50? I would normally flow along with the others at a minimum of 55 and in more open areas 60.
We need to think about what we as residents can do to change the speed limits to reduce the "speeding" that is going to make our state "richer."
I'm willing to start a petition and present it to the Legislature. Will you sign it?
Traffic cameras: the new terrorism
On 9/11, when four planes were used as weapons to strike fear in the hearts of Americans, we were told not to live in fear. And the people of Hawai'i did their best to carry on, even though the local economy is crumbling because of the attacks.
Now, on 1/2, four vans were unleashed in Hawai'i, which have struck fear in the hearts of the people of Hawai'i. The citizens of Hawai'i now live in fear that they will receive letters filled not with anthrax, but with photos that indicate they were speeding and must pay a hefty fine.
There is a new terrorist in town, and his name is not bin Laden, who masterminded the attacks on the Mainland, but Ben Cayetano, who is out to further destroy our local economy by giving $29.99 of each ticket to a Mainland company. The people now live in so much fear that many will not even drive at the posted speed limit.
And like bin Laden threatening more attacks to destroy the American economy, Cayetano is promising more camera-filled vans to further drain the pocketbooks of the citizens of Hawai'i.
Rise up, Hawai'i. Fight this new terrorism.
Cameras should also catch the slowpokes
In this era of speeding cameras, please rename the Likelike Highway to Bottleneck Bottleneck Highway.
If that is not possible, how about raising the speed limit to a more appropriate level? You could promote it, for starters, through signs that clearly indicate that slower traffic, regardless of the speed limit, should keep right, particularly when there is a multitude of cars behind a driver.
I'm not sure it is actually a safer environment when there are numerous frustrated drivers, many who are switching back and forth trying to get through such bottlenecks.
How about enforcing it with the spy vans taking pictures of cars confining 20 or more other cars behind them?
My guess is this applies to other highways on the island.
Insurance won't go up for those on welfare
Did you know that people on welfare may be able to qualify for free no-fault insurance?
The state Department of Transportation is saying that a registered owner will get a citation, but what about the cost of insurance? Will the owner of the vehicle be responsible for the increase? I don't think so since the insurance is already free for those on welfare and the current aid program does not provide any incentive or penalty for people on financial aid not to speed or run red lights.
We, the taxpayers of this state, are already being subjected to unfair tactics by the DOT to raise revenue, but why should we be responsible for the actions of people on financial aid? The DOT and state should be targeting drivers who don't have no-fault insurance (approximately 25 to 30 percent of drivers don't have insurance) and people who are excessively driving over the speed limit.
Camera program has numerous flaws
Regarding the traffic camera program: Traffic enforcement in general is designed to reduce accidents in the areas and at the times that they occur. Are these cameras up and running when the street racers are blasting down the highways at 3 a.m.?
Are the citations actually legal? Has anyone contested one yet? I would.
Do we really think that people will stop obstructing their front plates? Think of it logically: The fine for a missing or obstructed front plate is about $50 (if you get caught).
Fines for speeding are upward of $100, and there are insurance consequences as well.
Aren't those vans parked illegally in the emergency lane when they are invading our privacy? I think the HPD should tag them.
And finally, don't the senators and representatives see and hear what their public wants? I think it's a majority who say make them go away. Perhaps voters will decide this year which of the two will actually go away.
Police force reduction?
Regarding the use of traffic violations, such as speeding, recorded by the watchful eye of cameras: Is this a way of eliminating our current police force?