Letters to the Editor
LINGLE GAVE HOMELESS DECISIVENESS, ALOHA
Is it possible that the city evicted hundreds of homeless people from Ala Moana Beach Park to force the state to deal with the situation? The city used these people who have so little already and who need help the most as a political football. Rather than finding a solution, the mayor chose to punt, saying it is not the city's problem.
Fortunately, when Gov. Lingle realized that Mayor Hannemann had abandoned the evicted homeless people, she and her administration quickly put together a shelter that is clean and safe.
The governor helped those most in need with her decisive action and her tremendous aloha. All our elected officials would do well to follow her example.Christopher Wright
DO WHAT'S FAIR
TREAT ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT LIKE ANY LAWBREAKER
Regarding the John Robert Egan commentary on the term "illegal aliens," while it is a nice exercise in semantics he attempts to paint a picture that the individuals commonly referred to by that term are somehow being maligned and we are all guilty of using an improper word or description.
To bolster his argument he cites terms that the government immigration workers devised— and we all know how good the government is in making up names and acronyms for everything.
He says that a person cannot be "illegal." Well, if you use the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary and type in "illegal" it returns two choices, one adjective and one noun. Choose the noun and the following is returned:
Cambridge Dictionary (www.dictionary.cambridge.org) also returns two results: 1) illegal and 2) illegal immigrant. Choosing illegal immigrant returns the following:
I agree with him that we should treat these individuals humanely and fairly and that we should not pass laws to rename them as criminals overnight. We don't need new laws, they have already broken the existing laws and are illegal aliens. Treat them the same as any one else who chooses to breaks the law.Roger Keller
JAIL TIME NEEDED
WE'RE LOSING THE WAR AGAINST GRAFFITI TAGGERS
With all due respect to the wonderful efforts of the police officers that recently apprehended a handful of graffiti taggers (including two out-of-towners), their work will more than likely have little effect on the war against graffiti. Our laws, even those recently passed, are just not severe enough to send the message "don't do that in my back (or front) yard."
I sit on a neighborhood board, and graffiti is often discussed as a "problem looking for a solution," The good news is our legislators can write appropriate punishments for those finding graffiti their sport of choice at the community's expense.
The bad news: Our legislators' simply fall short in giving the judicial system the teeth needed to send the message "deface our community and off to jail you go." Financial fines are not the solution. "First time caught, we don't think you'll be enjoying your new place of residence."
Taggers are playing the "catch me if you can" game. Let's write a new set of rules to their game - one strike, you're out of here. Every tagger in town will get the message — even those from out of town.Martin D. Schiller
CHARTER PANEL IGNORED 'VOICE OF THE PEOPLE'
Is the City Charter the voice of the people? In your May 10 editorial "Some planned charter changes miss the mark" you wrote, "Honolulu's citizens have a strong environmental and conservation ethic, and it is proper to recognize this philosophy to some degree in the City Charter."
You know this, we know this but apparently the Charter Commission does not.
In fact, they (excluding three enlightened commissioners) completely missed the mark at the May 10, eight-hour-long meeting where they passed only one of 10 planning, zoning and environmental proposals.
This means the people of Honolulu will not have the chance at the November elections to vote on measures designed to protect us from urban sprawl.
We reminded the Charter Commission that this is an island environment with finite land. And we testified as to the challenges we face in East Honolulu regarding protecting our urban growth boundary from shifting prematurely to accommodate a housing development in Kamilo Nui Valley and another on Paiko Ridge.
Despite these facts, not a single, vital urban growth boundary proposal passed! So we ask, is the charter the voice of the people?Tai Hong
STRONGER BILLBOARD LAW PRESERVES ISLE BEAUTY
The Outdoor Circle wants to thank the 2006 Hawai'i Legislature for its strong action to protect the scenic beauty of our state by severely restricting mobile advertising in Hawai'i.
In doing so, it has enhanced the quality of life for all Hawai'i residents and protected our essential visitor industry from an activity that clearly degrades the beauty of our islands.
House Bill 2708 prohibits "mobile advertising vehicles," — which includes trucks, cars and trailers — whose primary purpose is to display advertising. These vehicles are essentially billboards on wheels and are the advertising industry's latest effort to make an end run around Hawai'i's billboard law.
That law, championed by The Outdoor Circle, was enacted in 1926 and has successfully kept Hawai'i billboard-free for 80 years.
We are delighted that our legislators acknowledge that a billboard on wheels is still a billboard and agreed to strengthen the billboard law to prevent this new twist on an old problem.
We ask all of Hawai'i to join us in rejoicing over this great victory for the visual environment of our beloved islands.
This legislation stops the mobile advertising industry at our shores.
While this highly intrusive form of advertising thrives in California and other Mainland cities, Hawai'i has sent a strong message that mobile advertising will not be allowed here.Mary Steiner
Chief executive officer, The Outdoor Circle
IT'S A QUESTION OF BALANCE
PLANNING A SUSTAINABLE O'AHU
We are enjoying great times here on O'ahu. The tourists are flocking, the military keeps coming, and investors continue to spend billions of dollars on speculative development. Things are great, so far.
What we need to understand — beyond politicians trying to take credit for stimulating our economy and bringing business to the state — is that Hawai'i, her people and natural beauty are the things that keep people coming and dollars flowing. Developers, Realtors, politicians and unions need to understand the lure of Hawai'i is affected by every poor choice in development we allow to happen.
If we can all agree on that, then something can be done. The first thing is to stop building outside of the boundaries established for urban growth. By denying the constant pressure to develop virgin land on our ridges and agricultural lands for single-family tract and luxury housing we are moving toward a consciousness that will sustain the beauty and attractiveness of our island.
Rich people are urban-friendly and buy homes within our city, as clearly proven by sold- out highrise developments along Ala Moana Boulevard. All of us can live within the boundaries as established by our government.
No matter who owns the lands they are our collective asset. We as a community must strive to ensure that conservation, preservation and agricultural lands remain intact for the future viability of our county and state. Better use of existing lands within the urban growth boundary is key to the success of retaining the natural beauty.
There is an ongoing argument that we don't need all of our agricultural land. Who is to say that Hawaiian agriculture will never be central to our sustainability? Doesn't it make sense to retain possibly the best agricultural lands in the world in perpetuity? As we move toward greater uncertainty in energy resources, food quality and political climate, I would argue that retention of our fertile agricultural lands could be the greatest strategic asset we possess today.
Taking care of Hawai'i's people is another issue that is sorely being neglected. The happy-go-lucky attitude and easy way of life that I grew up with in Honolulu and on Lana'i are no longer the "Hawaiian style."
We rush around in huge luxury gas guzzlers wearing Italian designer shoes and yakking incessantly on the little cell phone on our ear, rarely taking time to lift our heads from the feeding bag long enough to see how the rest of O'ahu's people are doing.
There is also a huge group of 20- and 30-somethings who have grown up in Honolulu, want to stay in Honolulu, but have little chance of home ownership in today's market because there is not enough inventory being built in town for those unwilling to face the hell of commuting from the sprawl of Central O'ahu.
We need to focus our development appetite toward in-town projects for the real people that personify Hawai'i. By turning the heads of developers fixated on our preservation, conservation and agricultural lands back toward urban Honolulu we can start to remedy the disparity in housing inventory and give a glimmer of hope to those that need a place to live. Compassion can be profitable.
Investment capital and resources to build are finite. Urban growth within the boundaries established is the solution for sustainable development in Honolulu.
We need the tools through tax incentives and new development guidelines to attract dollars to rebuild Honolulu with appropriate mass transit, police, fire, power, waste, communication infrastructure developed in unison.
We also need visionary, credible, intelligent and honest leadership in office and civil service to shut the door on speculative development and stop the destruction of our remaining ridge and agricultural assets to ensure the things that keep people coming and enjoying Honolulu County are never lost.Charles H. Palumbo
ALOHA SPIRIT LIVES
'ANGEL' CAME TO THE RESCUE OF STRANDED ISLE NEWCOMER
On March 12, 12 utility poles came crashing down on Farrington Highway in Nanakuli, causing property damage and closing the only public access road to the entire Leeward Coast.
Thankfully, there was no loss of life. I arrived that day to make my permanent home in Makaha, on the island of O'ahu, only to find myself stranded and alone at the Honolulu Airport.
As I waited for my ride, I heard my name on the loudspeaker and asked an airport security guard to help guard my bags while I went inside to get my message.
On the phone, my friends informed me that they were unable to get through and could not pick me up.
The security guard that helped me get the message asked, "Where are you going?"
I replied, "I am going to Makaha." He then told me that if I would wait until 4 p.m. when he got off, he would be happy to drive me home as he lived in the Wai'anae area. With relief, I climbed in his car and off we went.
Thanks to cell phone technology, my new friend, Miko received directions and we drove to Schofield Barracks in Wahiawa..
We then had a beautiful ride through Kolekole Pass, which had been opened due to the emergency situation.
I call him an angel because he appeared when I needed him the most. What a wonderful gift from the heart!
Miko, you are indeed an angel. I want to say, once again, mahalo for your caring; I will never forget your generosity and kindness.
What an introduction to O'ahu; the aloha spirit is alive and well.Angela E. Sacrider