Letters to the Editor
DON'T SELL OUT
WAIMEA'S REAL VALUE MORE THAN MONETARY
I am so sick of elected representatives not representing the people. Isn't it their job to represent the interests of the people who elect them?
Shame on Charles Djou, Todd Apo, Romy Cachola, Gary Okino and Rod Tam, who voted for splitting up Waimea Valley and giving most of it to a private owner. This means the people you are supposed to represent will no longer be able to use this special place. How can that be in the interest of the people?
This place has more than monetary value to most people on the island. You can't put a price on history, culture, biodiversity or peace of mind. Waimea Valley offers all of the above, and once it is sold off to the highest private bidder, it will be gone to us forever.
If you care about the loss of this beautiful place, call, visit or e-mail the City Council members above and let them know how you feel. The final vote is Dec. 7.Sara Gelino
THERE'S NO CONFUSION ABOUT LAW ON TRANSIENTS
In the Nov. 14 Advertiser front-page article "Vacation rental operators cited," a neighbor, who has openly operated an unauthorized transient vacation rental business, stated "it's very confusing," referring to having been reported to city authorities.
Our humble advice to her (or anyone else renting his house on a less-than-30-day basis) is to call the city's Department of Planning and Permitting. I'm sure it will be most happy to inform you of the existing law.
Needless to say, most operators of illegal transient vacation rental units are not too interested in the code because their rentals are extremely lucrative, some rentals getting over $900 daily. Meanwhile, our neighborhoods suffer, our infrastructure is overburdened and our extremely tight local resident rental inventory shrinks since homes are being diverted for off-island visitors.
We are most pleased to note that now the city is tightening up on enforcement. We are urging officials to levy fines of $1,000 per day to negate the profit motivation from these unauthorized operators.
Keep business operations in areas zoned for commerce. We need to save our private neighborhoods for our own local families.Warren and Carolyn Stenberg
KAKA'AKO IS PRECIOUS, MUST BE PRESERVED
I've lived in Honolulu all my life, and for years have surfed and fished and met my friends at Point Panic. We used to think the place was pilau with the smell of the dump, shipyard and fish auctions. Still, it was always beautiful at sunset, with waters that could wash away all the stresses of our daily lives and barreling waves that renewed our spirit.
Like a diamond in the rough, Kaka'ako's beauty is now better understood. A $650 million project with luxury condominiums, restaurants, shopping and park is being planned. The developers say it will increase the value of the area. I have my doubts because, in its current state and as it was before, with all of the smells and potholes and clutter, Kaka'ako was, and is, truly unique and priceless.
We citizens of Honolulu should take a better look at the proposals introduced by the Hawaii Community Development Authority because it intends to sell something priceless and create something that will place a permanent mark on the face of our beloved 'aina. So please ask yourselves:
COMMENTS WERE RUDE TO NATIVE HAWAIIANS
Regarding the Nov. 22 letter by Thomas Stuart, whose words are a slap in the face to the Hawaiian race: "The only job any sovereign has is to preserve the kingdom entrusted to his or her stewardship. This sovereign in question blew it big time thanks to a combination of interrelated factors that included lack of adequate preparation for a demanding job, lousy judgment once on the job, a tendency to feel sorry for herself, and worst of all, a fatal inability — or, worse, unwillingness — to master the politics of her own court."
Stuart's comments are rude, prejudicial and inflammatory to Hawaiians. Currently they are not recognized by the federal government as an indigenous race, thus denying them the very necessary programs to help them dig themselves out of the quagmire of poverty that they currently are in.
Stuart's words about a truly beloved sovereign, Queen Liliu'okalani, is slanderous and hurts the Hawaiian community to the very soul of our society. Shame on you, Mr. Stuart.Erin K. Smith
PARKING LOT DRINKING BAN A MAJOR MISTAKE
In the coming year, the Aloha Stadium Authority will be digging its own grave. You think UH doesn't have fans now, wait until next year.
I can see banning alcohol in the stadium, but banning its consumption in the parking lot is going too far. In Mainland stadiums, there are jails in the stadium for out-of-hand drunk fans, and event staff on the field circle the stadium to watch for troublemakers.
I think there will be some major repercussions if the Stadium Authority bans drinking in the parking lot and not in the stadium. How hypocritical of it not to ban in the stadium because it will lose revenue.
In our culture, we like to sit around the barbecue, have a beer, sing and talk story. Lt. Gov. Aiona is taking this privilege away from us. We in Hawai'i will not forget. Why are you penalizing all the loyal fans for a few drunks who can be taken care of with extra security?
My wife and I have attended every home game this year and not once did we witness drunken or unruly fans. The only fights were on the field of play.Robert Souza
EDITORIAL MUDDIED WATERS ON UARC VOTE
The Advertiser's editorial on the Faculty Senate's vote at the University of Hawai'i made me revisit the word "obfuscate," which basically means to muddy the waters.
The editorial trivialized the hard work of the Faculty Senate to investigate and understand the UARC contract on which members were asked to take a position. The senate formed a committee that sought legal advice to look at the documentation and brought the findings back to the senate. Serious concerns were brought out and discussed. Down to the very hour of the vote, the matter was respectfully examined. This editorial smells of sour grapes and shibai, obfuscation.
The editorial seems to portray the supporters of UARC as being oppressed, when it is to the contrary. Among the UARC proponents are administrators who act as though they are paid advocates for the UARC, as though it is in their job descriptions. They have downplayed the conflict of interests and dodged questions for almost a year.
UARC opponents have been asking for disclosure of information to understand the issues better. They are people who, on their own time, have studied the tedious UARC contract and were shocked at what was written.
I am not unbiased; I am against the UARC at the University of Hawai'i. I feel it is an inappropriate place for it to be and that it is an invasion. Even beyond this, it comes down to basics: Read the fine print.
Save UH! Stop the obfuscation!Karen Murray
DEMOCRATS STILL AREN'T ADDRESSING EDUCATION
Hawai'i is the only state that has one statewide school board. All the test scores show our statewide school system does not work. At one time the Democrats in the Legislature said local school boards would be a good idea. Unfortunately, they never did anything about it.
They are still not willing to do anything about fixing the school system. The Reinventing Education Act they passed provides no help to any of the schools because the Legislature failed to provide adequate funding and the state Department of Education consumes large amounts of money on wasteful administration.
Same ol', same ol' has become the mantra of the "do very little, do it badly, brag about it" Democrat-controlled Legislature. It is time for a change.Christopher Wright
DROP BOTTLE LAW AND TURN OVER ALL OPERATIONS TO CITY
Over the past few months, there have been many letters on the bottle law and the recycling problems surrounding its implementation.
Most letters were supportive of the idea of recycling but objected to the method required by the present law. Now, because the state realizes that the law cannot work without mandating that stores redeem the bottles, it is thinking about adding the retail redemption requirement to the law. That would be a terrible error:
The solution lies in the city's original neighborhood-recycling program, the blue bins, filled with various recyclables and collected on a schedule by the same union workers who have helped cause the mayor to abandon the program. The city then sells the recyclables to the various private recycling companies and uses the money to offset any additional costs for operating the program.
The state needs to repeal the bottle law and turn recycling over to the city.
The city's plan is far superior and will result in close to 90 percent participation, and consumers can return to purchasing their bottled products without any added product costs or additional "administrative fees" (i.e. taxes).
The newspapers should editorially encourage that the people demand their Legislature and City Council enact a workable solution to the growing problem — without the intrusion of the government into business or our daily lives.Dave Reed