Letters to the Editor
WE DON'T NEED ANOTHER 'DISCOUNT' MEGA-STORE
Does O'ahu need another big-name "discount" store (the stores call themselves this despite the fact that there is nothing discounted about their prices)? I do not think so.
I come from the land of Target (Minnesota), and let me tell you, they have a thing about plastering their name and logo everywhere imaginable, all in the name of "doing good works in the community" (it's also called your advertising budget for free).
We have Ross, Kmart, Costco and Wal-Mart already; it's too much.
Say no to Target and devote your hard-earned dollars and business loyalty to your local neighborhood family-owned places. Back in Minnesota, the family-owned places do not exist anymore.Jean Pitman
HCDA MUST REJECT NEW A&B PROPOSAL
On Feb. 1, the HCDA will meet again to decide if the A&B Kaka'ako condo development plan should be approved. A grass-roots citizen group presented a new plan at the last meeting called the "People's Preferred Plan."
This low-scale fishing-type village has many positive elements that locals and visitors would love. Fish ponds, mauka streams, native Hawaiian forests, surfing museum, etc. This alternate plan presents an oasis in a concrete jungle.
The opening of the 40-story condo at 1288 Ala Moana Blvd. was front-page news, and this is the first of 14 new 40-story condos going up in this area. This is why this 36.5 acres of state-owned land must remain open space or low-key development.
Paul Brewbaker of Bank of Hawaii was quoted recently with this statement: "Hawai'i will run out of real estate before California runs out of baby boomers." No more condos are needed in this area. Traffic is very congested already and it could get only worse after all 14 condos are built.
Most Hawai'i residents do not want condos built on state-owned public land. Clear this area out and plant grass and trees. HCDA must say "no" to A&B or have it submit a third proposal.
Save Kaka'ako, and your children and grandchildren will thank you.Tom Sebas
CRACKDOWN NEEDED ON LOUD VEHICLE MUFFLERS
Not a day goes by that a loud muffler from a motorcycle or car interrupts a television show, a conversation or my sleep. The interruption lasts longer than just the passing by of the vehicle because car alarms usually follow.
Short of shoving potatoes in the tailpipes, there really isn't much citizens can do except complain to the police, and complain I do. Nothing happens because I see the same pieces of junk drive by with the mufflers echoing through my neighborhood, five blocks away.
Hawai'i has strict ordinances for noise offenders to include animals, construction equipment and even boom boxes. When is the state going to get serious and start cracking down on the automotive/motorcycle noise offenders? Sadly, Hawai'i's muffler problem has gained national attention, as the state is now the butt of a beer commercial saluting the Hawaiian "Loud Muffler Guy."
A quick Internet search showed that the Honolulu Police Department issued only nine citations for loud mufflers in 2001. I think it is time the HPD cracked down and sent a message that a piece of junk isn't cool just because the muffler heralds its arrival two minutes ahead of time.Gregory A. Smith
MAHALO, CITY COUNCIL, FOR WAIMEA VALLEY
Special thanks go out to the nine City Council members who, on Dec. 7, voted to reject a settlement proposal that would have allowed private homes to be built in pristine Waimea Valley.
The crucial vote paved the way for a new negotiated settlement among all interested parties that will eventually allow OHA to take ownership of the valley.
Waimea Valley shows what can be accomplished if everyone works united toward a common goal. Those community members who testified before the City Council to save the valley should be proud of a job well-done. As a Hawaiian, it fills my heart with joy that our state motto is alive and well: Ua mau ke ea o ka 'aina I ka pono.
The new $14.1 million settlement will be paid for by the U.S. Army ($3.5 million, negotiated by the nonprofit Trust for Public Land), OHA ($2.9 million), DLNR ($1.6 million), the Audubon Society ($1 million, advanced by OHA) and the city ($5.1 million). Once the deal is approved by the City Council, Waimea Valley will finally be preserved in perpetuity.
I am personally elated for the North Shore residents and environmental activists who brought this issue to OHA. None of this would have happened if it were not for their persistent efforts.
OHA will continue to be vigilant about former ali'i lands that are up for sale. Negotiations are currently taking place among all parties concerned to preserve Moanalua Valley. I have no doubt we will succeed if we can generate the same cooperation and support that saved Waimea Valley.Rowena Akana
Trustee-at-large, Office of Hawaiian Affairs
PROTECTING A CRITICAL RESOURCE — HARBORS
Maritime security has always been important to Hawai'i and the nation, but until the tragic events of Sept. 11, Hawai'i had felt our Island shores and the domestic shores of the United States were isolated from transnational terrorism acts, which have been occurring overseas for many years.
The potential threat has now become a part of our daily lives, and we are adapting our lives to accept the reality of innocence lost forever.
Shipping is the most international of all the world's great industries. The cost of maintaining our current level of security has tremendous financial ramifications for both the vessel's operator and the state of Hawai'i, which maintains and operates Hawai'i's 10 critical commercial harbors and terminal facilities.
We will only be successful with the continued concerted efforts of government agencies, the private sector, law enforcement, the public and creative engineering that provides protective defensive measures to safeguard our ports and serve as a deterrent.
As a multi-island state that imports more than 80 percent of its consumables with 98 percent arriving via waterborne transportation, we cannot afford to do otherwise. It is our fiduciary responsibility to protect these critical infrastructures, and that is what we will continue to do cooperatively through unified partnerships.William Anonsen
Principal, Maritime Consultants of the Pacific
WE CAN'T HAVE IT ALL
As a taxpayer, I feel entitled to full city services and then some. But at what cost? The mayor has attempted to satisfy us, and yet we're not satisfied. So, everyone, suck it up — or we'll have nothing.Todd Oya