Letters to the Editor
HOME IS OUTRAGEOUS
I was mortified this morning while watching KHON news to see the huge home built in Ka'u in the middle of this sacred 'aina. One of the most influential women who chronicled Hawaiian lifestyle was Mary Kawena Pukui in her book "The Polynesian Family System of Kau." I am not from Ka'u and I was not fortunate enough to have met Kupuna Pukui, but I feel this home is a blemish to the sacredness of the lifestyle and Ka'u. Auwe, auwe, auwe.Dawn P. Hayashi
ECOLOGICAL RESOURCES BEING TAXED TO DEATH
Statehood was the beginning of the building boom and the catastrophic impact on space and nature that we now face.
The proliferation of high-rises is like giant tombstones upon a once-living 'aina. A paved paradise diverts the rain into the ocean, starving our aquifers and killing our coastal waters. Golf courses contribute pesticides and herbicides to our dwindling fresh-water supply. Agricultural lands are being turned into housing developments, where we are planting more people instead of food.
How many demands can our precious ecological resources sustain before irreversible collapse?
More people require more infrastructure and roads, housing and development and resources. Supply can never keep up with demand because no matter how much we accommodate, there will always be more than enough people to fill the void. If we leveled every mountain and built housing, there would never be a vacancy.
Our currency says, "In God We Trust," but development and corporate greed continue to override the will of the people, common sense and spiritual sanity.
If we do not remain conscious and vigilant, our children's heritage will be a claustrophobic Alcatraz. Birth control and population control are pro-life. If we do not control our numbers, our days will be numbered.Bruce Lee
'LIFE IN PACIFIC'
ACADEMY OF ARTS' EXHIBIT MAGNIFICENT
Kudos to the Honolulu Academy of Arts for staging the "Life in the Pacific of the 1700s" exhibit featuring more than 350 cultural items from several Pacific island groups, including Hawai'i, on loan from the University of Gottingen in Germany.
I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the opening ceremonies on Feb. 22 and was overcome with emotion listening to representatives from these groups speak about the importance of the exhibit to their own cultures.
The Tongan princess' speech was particularly moving. She said that the Tongan items in this exhibit are the best she has ever seen in the world and that one of the items has not been seen by Tongans for many generations, making it a treasure of immeasurable importance.
Not only has the academy staged a magnificent exhibit, it has shown a great deal of aloha in making it available to the public for free during the entire run of the exhibit. I hope that everyone in the community, not just Pacific Islanders, will take advantage of this incredible opportunity. It will surely bring a new level of pride to us all.
Mahalo nui loa to all the staff at the academy and the University of Gottingen for working so long and so hard to bring this wonderful exhibit to Hawai'i.Nanette Napoleon
GO BACK TO DRAWING BOARD ON TAX RELIEF
The recent tax relief proposals by the City Council and Mayor Hannemann fall short and reflect surface thinking and disregard for Honolulu homeowners.
Especially insulting is the idea that home exemptions might be increased for certain age groups, including those still working but not for those over 70 years of age, many on fixed incomes, living modestly in their older humble homes.
The $50,000 income limit being mentioned is another penalty.
The city is saying to our "revered" elders: Sorry guys, you're too old to benefit from anything more.
And listen to this: To add to the insult, the mayor has proudly offered another "solution." Several banks have gotten together to offer something similar to a line of credit for those owners who cannot afford to pay the increased taxes. Now that's thoughtful. Just think: If you can't afford the increased taxes, go take out a loan and pay interest on it to pay your taxes so the city can put your borrowed money into its coffers. Then if there's a default, guess what happens to your home?
Yay, hurray, what a deal!
Isn't something very wrong with this entire picture? The desire for the city to get its hands on the windfall tax increases is painfully obvious and smacks of arrogance at the expense of those most vulnerable.Diane D. Ackerson
USE E-MAIL TO NOTIFY DRIVERS ABOUT DATE
The Honolulu Division of Motor Vehicles long ago discontinued mailing notices advising motorists that their driver's license would expire in the near future. After checking with colleagues in various states, I found that those states still notify drivers by mail of the impending expiration of their driver's license.
Now I am not going to suggest that the county Division of Motor Vehicles resume the practice, as that would send Councilman Charles Djou into a hissy fit.
Rather, the notification process could be done electronically. First, expand the driver's electronic record by two fields, which would include e-mail addresses. The driver could use a relative or friend's e-mail address if he has no e-mail address. Next, a program would be run the first of each month in which those whose licenses were to expire within the next six months would be sent a form letter reminding the driver to renew his license.
This programming task is simple enough that a UH junior could do it as a summer intern project. The result would save the drivers the embarrassment of an expired driver's license. Then, hopefully, the counties of Kaua'i, Maui and Hawai'i would do the same.W.J. King