Letters to the Editor
'TRICKLE-UP ECONOMICS' TO BETTER AID VICTIMS
With more than $200 billion earmarked for rebuilding and hurricane relief, it would mean $380,000 for every child, woman and man displaced by Katrina. I suspect that a very small percent of those dollars will trickle down to those we have seen on TV and in pictures in the wake of this disaster.
That is the nature of "trickle-down economics" ó a flood of money at the top, a trickle of it at the bottom.
I suggest another plan. We set up debit card accounts for each displaced person of $380,000. They can spend it on what they need to get back on their feet, contribute to the rebuilding of their community if they want to return or get a new start in communities where they will now be welcome with the cash in their pocket. I call this plan "trickle-up economics." Bet it does more for the dispossessed than "trickle-down economics" ever will.Kenneth Ordenstein
HELP ELDERLY, DISABLED FIRST WHEN EVACUATING
The state's plan to evacuate tourists by plane is ill-conceived. If we have learned one lesson from Hurricane Katrina, it is that the elderly, the disabled and hospitalized need to be prioritized in any planned evacuation.
Should a hurricane of sizable proportions hit Hawai'i, massive power outages, significant flooding and sizable structural damage are sure to follow. There is no reason to believe that our nursing homes and hospitals will be spared.
Let's prioritize those least able to help themselves and let the able-bodied tourists seek shelter in hotels or evacuate by bus to safer locations.Pat McManaman
VACATION RENTERS POSE A THREAT IN EVACUATION
I've been organizing our home for any hurricane that may come our way. Part of that was to review the evacuation plan. I took out last Sunday's paper, which listed all the shelters for O'ahu. On the Windward side, from Makapu'u Lighthouse to La'ie, there are shelters to accommodate 24,286 people. It's short over 25,000 or so beds for Windward residents to evacuate.
Herein lies my thought. With all the 1,000-plus illegal vacation rentals on the Windward side and the thousands of tourists staying in them, do my children and grandchildren get denied shelter in place of visitors who should be at hotels that have planned accommodations for them (Advertiser, Sept. 20)?
As a grandmother, my blood pressure is rising! With all the disaster planning that the state is looking at, this is a very important issue that is most likely being overlooked. The city and state should be aware of this when considering putting more tourists in our residential communities.
The City Council must vote no to permitting more vacation rentals and B&Bs in our residential communities. We can't even protect all the local residents we have!Joan McCarthy
ISLANDERS COULD'VE TOLD ABOUT HEALTH HAZARDS
A recent article in the Fiji Times states that University of Hawai'i researchers have determined that there is no toxicity in the traditional preparation of kava, as it is used in the Pacific Islands. Rather, the toxicity and the connection with liver disease is found from the use of kava plant stems and leaves. European and U.S. companies importing kava plants for the production of kava tablets for relaxation uses, utilize the whole plant, including stems and leaves.
When these findings were initially published here in Hawai'i, I contacted the writer of the report and pointed out that for thousands of years, we Pacific Islanders have never used the stems and leaves in the traditional preparation of kava. These are considered waste. Only the root portion is used.
Our ancestors figured that out and all the researchers had to do was to talk to some of us Islanders, and we would have told them the same thing.
The drug companies may have been looking for a better profit margin, by utilizing the whole plant, without fully realizing the health hazards involved.Inoke Suguturaga
PRO-BUSINESS BIAS MAY HURT 28TH DISTRICT
The citizens of the 28th District are certainly not being represented by the newly appointed Bev Harbin.
Has there ever been a more strictly political appointment, and one that was ill-conceived and researched by Gov. Linda Lingle?
As an advocate for business, Harbin's credentials are unpaid tax liabilities and other debts due to court judgments against her business. She blames these business problems on the state's anti-business policies. Any easy out when you fail.
Can she not even take responsibility? She has yet to say a word about representing the citizens of the 28th District. Her pro-business and anti-worker bias may pose problems to those in her district.
This just shows what happens when politics, not the people, rule.T. Kroll
DON'T FORGET WE LIVE IN A FREE MARKET SOCIETY
Rep. Lynn Finnegan's commentary in the Sunday Advertiser is the best explanation published thus far as to how we got to where we're at.
If the oil companies were indeed gouging Hawai'i drivers the proof was not in the pudding. We have not learned our lessons from the '70s in trying to regulate the economy. We live in a free market society, which we seem to have forgotten.
I truly believe that the Act 77 "gas cap" enacted was ill-advised and has done nothing except in creating artificially high prices and undue anxiety in purchasing at the pump.
We need to remember this fiasco when it comes election time. Both the Legislature and governor need to act now in preventing worsening conditions here.Clark Halloran
HEREíS A WAY TO CUT TRAFFIC: ALLOW ONLY 1 CAR PER FAMILY
This should stir a few hornets nests, if not outright panic. I am submitting this to start controversy and get people to think about the future. The solution to traffic congestion today is one vehicle per family. Families would learn to ride the bus or other means of transportation to take them wherever they need to go.
Improbable as it seems, this could wake up the world if one town, city, state or country starts a program. Think about the environment: fewer vehicles on the road, more parking, less maintenance (road and vehicle), less fuel consumption and pollution.
One vehicle per family would mean sacrifices by everyone. Getting up earlier to take children to school, or the mate to work; picking up fellow workers, baby sitters, home-care persons; driving the sick to appointments; making arrangements to pick up school kids, etc. All these were done by parents or singles long before we had multiple family vehicles. Friends, relatives or co-workers called to help out. What happened to this aloha spirit?
School-age children used to walk long distances to get to school. Now everybody seems to be transporting and picking them up. School buses picked up students on a given route, and bus them back after school. What happened to these buses? Sacrifices have to be made.
Opposition will show how spoiled we have become, but with sacrifice, and changing our way of thinking, we improve society. I suggest an impact study be made by a team of experts. Then go on from there. The convenience of owning more than one vehicle per family will be over.
All families, big or small, rich or poor, will have one vehicle. Research into alternate energy and transportation will then become a reality. Thereíll be exceptions to businesses that require more than one vehicle. Adult children living away from home would qualify to have a vehicle.
In our free society, can we limit the number of vehicles a person or family can own? Can legislation overcome this? Let the controversy begin.