Letters to the Editor
ETHANOL WILL SEND US TO GAS STATION OFTEN
The motorists who buy their gasoline at Costco already have to wait in line, especially during peak hours. This line will become longer after the ethanol/gasoline begins to be delivered. They will need to fill their fuel tank more often.
Ethanol has been available in California and the heartland for a long time. Vehicles with the larger engines will notice the loss of power, performance and poorer mileage the most.
I have experienced around 20 percent less mileage when driving my motor home on the Mainland. Unless the price per gallon is much less, we are looking at another gas cap-type fiasco.Dick Palmquist
IT'S A BEAST OUT THERE DESTROYING THE PEACE
I had to laugh at the story of the disappearing Makiki rooster. As I was reading this letter, one of our neighborhood feral roosters — known generically as "Beast" — was intent on waking up my sleeping family.
Beast (and there are many) saunters up to our bedroom window at all hours of the day and night to exclaim his presence. Then all his Beast friends wake up and a chorus ensues.
I chase Beast (and his ilk) away from my yard thousands of times, but he returns at midday, stops in front of my door where I am sitting at my computer working, puffs out his chest and crows at me — not 10 feet away.
Beast feasts on bugs under our grass, making giant potholes in the lawn. I sprinkle cayenne in the holes, but Beast seems to savor the extra spicy version.
To Mr. Tomar in Makiki: Please come and take Beast away — he/they is/are all yours for the taking. Drive down Hale'iwa Road and you'll find him dining on my lawn — the extra-spicy one.Christine Loftus
IT'S TIME TO MAKE OUR AIRPORTS SMOKE-FREE
Kudos to Gov. Lingle for the $2 billion proposal to improve Hawai'i's airports. The most important issue that's missing from the proposal, though, is changing the state's current airport smoking policy, which is the worst of any airport in the nation and permits smokers to light up in any "open air" area provided you're between the designated smoking area signs that are so poorly posted and confusing that no one obeys them.
As you walk down the open concourses toward the gates, you run the gantlet of secondhand smoke from all of the passengers on both sides of you, or walking in front of you, puffing away. I've even seen security guards and TSA employees walking and smoking.
With the proven dangers of secondhand smoke, the state is facing potential lawsuits for its failure to protect passengers from smoke.
At the entrance to the interisland terminal from the moving walkways, the smokers congregate just outside the entrance doors, and the area is thick with smoke, which wafts into the terminal building. The state's remedy was to place a big fan just outside the doors to blow the smoke away (and into your face).
It's time to make Honolulu Airport smoke-free, as all of the Mainland airports have done.
To think the Japanese tourists will stop coming just because they can't smoke in the terminal is ridiculous. This has not reduced their numbers to Seattle or Los Angeles, which are smoke-free facilities.Chris Stevens
FIX HOMELESS MESS BEFORE IT EXPLODES
What kind of person would evict people in the pouring rain when they had no place to go? What kind of government do we have that wants to charge a $1,200 change-of-ownership fee for each bus that could be refitted to house the homeless? We need to change the name of our Aloha State.
There are many more people here in Hawai'i who are just a few dollars short of being homeless. Unless this state gets its act together to stop the greed of Mainland investors forcing up property values and start building affordable homes and shelters, Hawai'i will be in a bigger mess than the floods we are now having.
It is time to stop spending money on the tourists and start worrying about the people who live here. It is shameful what the city and the state governments are not doing with all of the money they are taking in.
Please write or fax your elected officials and demand that the homeless be given a better chance in this Aloha State.Pat Meyers
HANNEMANN BLEW IT ON HOMELESS PROTEST
Mayor Hannemann made a terrible error in judgment in allowing the HPD to harass and arrest the homeless camping in protest at Honolulu Hale. Allowing police to arrest minister Utu Langi is parallel to arresting Father Damien. Bad PR move.
Mufi should have had spokesperson Bill Brennan distribute warm blankets and hot coffee. He could have planned to meet with them early the next morning and share his concern and compassion.Ron Valenciana
PRICING TRENDS SHOW GAS CAP HAS EFFECT
At first, I was incensed at Ben Cayetano's March 26 commentary about the gas cap. It smelled of another partisan attack, and I wasn't interested at all in that.
But, looking at the issue rather than the names, I did some research. I investigated online articles from a variety of sources, including a great pricing trend tool at www.gasbuddy.com. It graphically says in seconds what our legislators haven't been able to succinctly in months.
It's true that the cap got off to a horrible start, but the pricing trends clearly show that our retail prices more closely tie to the Mainland now than in the years prior to its inception. That might indicate that retail profit-taking has slowed in our market. Maybe it is working.
I do believe claiming a $33 million savings is questionable, as even Mr. Cayetano's article included a statement that no one really knows what prices would have been.
I would encourage all residents to rise above the extremely partisan name-calling and finger-pointing we've become sadly accustomed to from our elected officials and do your own research and form your own opinions. I guarantee it is time well spent.Mike Bilby
GREAT COLUMN, FERD
Ferd Lewis' March 28 column on George Mason rises above his accustomed excellence to the level of Pulitzer material.
Not only is it topical, informative and entertaining, but it could even encourage a few sports-minded teenage readers to become curious about American history.Myles Fladager
PLAY REVIEWER NEEDS TO GET A DRAMATIC LIFE
Another negative play review by Joseph Rozmiarek was not unexpected since he is consistent in this regard.
Having smiled throughout the performance of "Drood," I am moved to express my opinion. Why not comment positively on the talented cast, their versatility, their enthusiasm, the competence of director/choreographer Greg Zane?
The audience not only participated, successfully "chatting up" by the cast before and during the show, but cheered with enthusiasm and gave a standing ovation.
A complex, commendable play directed and acted with competence. Great fun! Great community theater!Cecelia Stueber
VACATION RENTAL INDUSTRY ALREADY REGULATED BY CITY
In a March 27 letter to the editor entitled "Embrace vacation rental industry," Debbie Morris appeals for "a vacation rental permitting process, a format of thoughtful regulation, site inspections, penalties for those who violate regulations and development of a transient vacation rental tax." Ms. Morris failed to mention that all of her excellent suggestions are already in place and under the jurisdiction of the Department of Planning and Permitting.
What we need now is the consistent enforcement of our present regulations, not new regulations and taxes.
O'ahu is suffering from a condition I call "congestion indigestion." The millions of tourists every year are creating a "cramping" of our formerly open spaces, "clogging" of our transportation "arteries" and frequent "incontinence" of our Waikiki and Windward sewer systems.
To restore the quality of life despoiled by the indigestible abundance of tourists in our residential neighborhoods, the unpermitted vacation rentals currently operating in our residential neighborhoods need to be stopped, not expanded.
Kama'aina are told by government officials not to go into our precious oceans because of pollution, not to eat seafood from our surrounding waters, avoid driving during this unusually rainy season to avoid falling-rock disasters, and to stay off the hiking trails.
In the meantime, the Hawai'i Visitors and Convention Bureau continues to aggressively solicit increasing numbers of visitors, enticing them with the images of paradise, pristine beaches, ecologically heavenly hiking into our untouched wilderness areas and sumptuous dining experiences.
Now Ms. Morris wants tourists and vacation rentals to proliferate in our residential neighborhood.
Enough, already!Stann W. Reiziss
HOMELESS: BRING IN THE TRAILERS
The governor lectures us about it. Lawmakers wring their hands and tell us they are doing everything they can about it. Now the homeless advocates are berating us because we want to go to our parks and enjoy them without the fear of being harassed and panhandled for money. We want to go to open areas, which we pay for in our taxes, and use a toilet that is clean and not broken.
No one has offered the answer for the homeless situation, but it is very simple: manufactured housing. That's right, trailers. Trailers are clean, self-contained, with complete kitchens and bathrooms, and can be easily maintained. Currently, thousands are being used for Hurricane Katrina victims.
Did you know we are the only state in the Union that does not allow manufactured/trailer homes? When the original laws were put into place, it was because there was fear this type of housing would dilute union jobs for plumbers, electricians, masons, carpenters, etc., but we are at full employment now and even importing construction workers with all the development going on across the state.
The state owns approximately 18 percent of all the entire land throughout the Islands. There are areas for homeless housing within reasonable travel times for the homeless to get to their medicine and see their advocates. The Legislature could limit the manufactured housing only for state use for the homeless. This would protect the housing market and avoid the trailer parks many fear for Hawai'i.
There are currently hundreds of trailers sitting idle in Louisiana, where they have remained unused. This type of housing can be assembled within 30 to 60 days from ordering them here.
Some homeless advocates are refurbishing old school buses for housing, and while this is admirable, it will not resolve the situation for the homeless. It will only temporarily stop the crying and the wringing of hands of government.
No one should be homeless in this great country of ours, but sometimes things happen and problems arise.
We are a generous people, particularly in Hawai'i, and we need to take action now so we can maintain a level-headedness for ourselves and a dignity for the homeless. State government needs to get moving and stop talking. Sometimes solutions are very simple, and all it takes is for someone to have a little vision.Stephany L. Sofos