Letters to the Editor
CREDIT DON HO WITH FOCUSING ON PROBLEM
Well, now, how about that? It took Hawai'i's world-renowned No. 1 entertainer to focus on America's No. 1 problem.
I'm talking about Don Ho and his heart problem and America's political problem that calls Don's operation procedure in Bangkok, Thailand, "still in a testing mode in the United States."
Yeah, right, who's kidding whom? With heart disease the No. 1 killer of both males and females in this country, they (the pharmaceutical and medical behemoths) sure don't need a cure or procedure such as that undergone by Don to correct heart disease. Think of all the billions of dollars they'd lose if heart disease became a minuscule issue by way of procedures that Don went through.
So the testing will continue ad infinitum and heart disease will remain the No. 1 killer of people in this country.
By the way, you notice that cancer is the No. 2 killer that continues to kill us with no end in sight, much less a ... cure?Hank McKeague
MUST BE PARK
DON'T CELEBRATE YET ON PLANS FOR KAKA'AKO
Recent headlines proclaimed that for once Hawai'i residents had the power to stop the overdevelopment of our island home. Waimea development plans are dead. We were also informed that A&B plans to scale back Kaka'ako development on the last undeveloped prime waterfront in Honolulu by deleting one of three unneeded 200-foot-high condos and eliminating a pedestrian bridge, which was a dumb idea to start with.
There is no reason to celebrate yet. Please look at the smooth-looking Web site, www.Kaka akowaterfront.org.
The Web site made me laugh when I read that A&B calls the 200-foot condos "residential pods," which will be bought by out-of-state investors. The site is also misleading when it says the condos will take up 2 percent of the land. Six acres out of 36 is 17 percent of the disputed land.
It is also amusing that A&B proudly announced that it will not build in the two parks: Kaka'ako Waterfront Park and Kewalo Basin Park. This is the same as saying it will not build in Ala Moana Park. It is not allowed! The last photo shows the 200-foot condos from about a mile away.
This state-owned land must become a park for the public's benefit. Kapi'olani is 500 acres, Ala Moana is 76 acres. Thirty-six additional acres for a new park is a small addition to this paved-over island.
No commercial or residential development! Why is the state selling prime land to A&B, which practically owns this island? When this area becomes a park, Honolulu residents can jump for joy as North Shore residents did when Waimea development was stopped.Marsha Hury
MASS TRANSIT SHOW NOTHING BUT A SHAM
It is obvious to me that the Hannemann administration is hell-bent on railroading the people of this island into the biggest boondoggle ever perpetrated here.
I attended the dog-and-pony show at NBC Wednesday night and was presented with a lot of very expensive eyewash. After talking with representatives of Parsons et al., it was obvious that there was nothing substantive behind any of the proposals. Apparently, the recommendations being presented are based on very little empirical data.
Additionally, one of the representatives told me the purpose of the project is not to get people out of their cars.
It became apparent as I moved about the "scoping" meeting that it was not a meeting but a slick public relations presentation intended to give the false impression to people that their comments will receive serious consideration. This is laughable on the face of it because it is evident that at the signing of the contract, Parsons et al. were given their marching orders by Mayor Hannemann: rail my way or no way.
The members of the City Council better wake up and "derail" this project wikiwiki.Charles Ferrell
GEN. LEE APPRECIATED
We in Hawai'i are very blessed to have a state adjutant general of Bob Lee's quality. He is one of the very best in the country. He is active in his leadership of his troops in the field who are forward-deployed. At the same time, he is addressing all of the homeland security threat issues here at home. Yes, lucky we live Hawai'i for many reasons, one of which is Maj. Gen. Lee and the brave troops he leads on our behalf.Bob McDermott
RACES ARE HOLDING RESIDENTS HOSTAGE
Please take your races out of the Diamond Head area. We are so tired of 28,000 people from somewhere else holding us hostage in our neighborhoods. Is this America? I'm not sure. I feel as if I have no freedom on certain weekends of the year — and this was my weekend too that you demanded.
There must be another road on the island besides Diamond Head Road. Can't you find another place to race? Why don't you bike up Haleakala or run around Moloka'i?
It is not just the race days we have to endure but the weeks leading up to a race as well. Walking on the sidewalk is hazardous as tourist runners, who think they own the place, practically knock you over, and bicyclists who think they own the road fail to stop at stop signs. And don't get me started on the traffic snarls and parking problems these races present.
I read the letter from the individual who came from a Neighbor Island to watch her family members race, saying it brings families together. I'm all for families getting closer together. Let's get this race moved to your island and that way you can save on the airfare to Honolulu.Barbara Z. Cook
HONOLULU MARATHON SHOULD BE TELEVISED
I read your Dec. 14 editorial on feedback for this year's Hono-lulu Marathon. In spite of the inconveniences to which some of your readers have alluded, I fully support the marathon for its health, communitarian and commercial benefits.
However, it has always seemed incomprehensible to me why the race is not covered live on TV. There must be many residents who, having turned out to watch the elite runners go by, would dearly love to watch their progress and see the end of the race in real time.
How is it that in Hawai'i we can view high school volleyball or football games live, yet we cannot watch one of the world's 10 biggest marathons, one that brings in so much revenue?
Is it about the money? If it is, then surely the goodwill of the public to put up with road closures and to contribute so much in volunteer activity deserves better from the race sponsors and organizers.Michael Preston
MARATHON HERE TO STAY, SO CURB INCONVENIENCE
Regarding the Honolulu Marathon: Let's get real. M.B. Wilson's letter said, "shut it down." Are you kidding me? An event that attracts over 25,000 tourists is here to stay.
Mr. or Mrs. Wilson did have a very good suggestion: No one should keep the streets closed for longer than five hours.
I ran 13 marathons during my younger days, and the slowest was 3 hours, 45 minutes. And that included walking the last mile. Four hours is enough.
How about closing the roads from 5 a.m. till 9 a.m.? As Wilson suggested, anyone still on the course would be allowed to finish but only by using the sidewalks and observing red-lights, etc.
I'm sure the people who live along the route would vote for it.R.C. Robberson
HOLIDAY RIDERS CAN'T COUNT ON THEBUS
It's the height of the Christmas shopping season, and thousands of visitors are in Waikiki. The buses to Ala Moana are packed door-to-door, with 20 to 30 riders passed up at some bus stops. What will the management at TheBus do?
Answer: Chances are it will be one of the above.Roger Van Cleve
UARC FURTHERS CIVILIAN CONTROL OF THE MILITARY
A decision to deny the establishment of a university-affiliated research center (UARC) at the University of Hawai'i would be shortsighted and narrow-minded.
Anti-UARC protesters are basically against the militarization of the UH campus. Like UARCs around the country, that just would not happen.
What should happen is the civilianization of military research, which furthers the civilian control of the military, similar to the way civilian universities provide for the education of the majority of the officers in the military, through ROTC and other commissioning programs. The service academies actually produce less than half of the required military officers each year.
Probably more important than civilian control of military leadership through the president, the secretaries of defense and the services, and basic military control powers of Congress as mandated by the Constitution is the civilian control of the thinking and research of the military institution. Denial of this process would undermine the effectiveness of total civilian control of the military.
UH needs a vision of how it should affect national defense and homeland security. The ultimate research would be one that would eliminate war through the reduction of all threats or the development of a concept that would make all weapons, militaries and wars obsolete.
Even if UH provides research for a only small part of defense and security, let's not forget that many systems, concepts and practices that were developed for the military have become civilianized.
For example, aircraft, satellites, computers, radar, GPS and many other inventions, medical procedures and concepts were initially developed for military purposes. Even small things like Ziplock bags, Velcro and many other materials that were developed for military purposes are now used by civilians.
My recommendation to the regents and president of UH is to give UARC a chance to do something for which the state, country and world could be proud. This is no more and no less than was expected of the East-West Center when it was established 30 years ago.Russel Noguchi
HOW TO UNSNARL TRAFFIC IN 'EWA
The 'Ewa Neighborhood Board does not have in place a position to favor a moratorium to halt construction on the 'Ewa Plains, as was suggested by Mel McKeague in his letter to the editor on Dec. 13. The traffic woes experienced by Mr. McKeague are endured by all of us who reside in the area, but conditions could be improved:
The governor could do so much more for us to provide transportation relief measures if the figures she was working with were more in line with what our needs actually are. Our state recently let millions of federal dollars lapse that could have been used to facilitate intra-island ferry service; now whom do you want to blame for that?Tom Berg
Chair, 'Ewa Neighborhood Board Legislative Committee