Letters to the Editor
GOVERNMENT IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ME
Chuck Sted, CEO of Hawaii Pacific Health, wrote a commentary April 30 titled "Hospitals in crisis — right now." He concluded with a call for action from citizens to "demand action in one of the most fundamental responsibilities of government — the health and welfare of the people."
Am I to believe that Mr. Sted believes my health and welfare are the business of government? That's remarkable. I thought they were my business.
Even more annoying is that all the evils he describes in the healthcare system did not exist prior to government interference. Now that the government has created dysfunctionality, we need government to interfere more, he says. I say, what then?
Wrong solution, wrong Constitution, Mr. Sted. Your function is important, for sure, but my grandparents marched through birth, life and death pursuing happiness all the way and fully in charge of their health and care. No government, just personal responsibility.Richard O. Rowland
President, Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
COMMERCIAL VENTURE WOULD BE INCOMPATIBLE
Regarding the May 8 letter from Ernest Shih and Paul Sheffield, suggesting the Natatorium be used for public entertainment, concerts, movies, tournaments, hula shows: I notice the authors are from Kailua.
Kaimana Beach is the only remaining residential beach in Waikiki, enjoyed by locals for late-afternoon swims, sunsets with friends and family, traditional birthday celebrations and other family-friend-neighborhood gatherings. The beach is especially used by families in the evenings and weekends — after long hours at work.
The Natatorium, connected to the beach on the oceanside of Kaimana Beach, is also connected to the World War I memorial. A commercial venture, as proposed, would be incompatible with the memorial. And it is also incompatible with a family-residential neighborhood beach atmosphere.
Imagine the sudden clap of applause, the roar of laughter, cheering and booing, with accompanying bass drums and music blaring through loudspeakers, as local families try to enjoy the beach.
This peaceful swimming beach, refuge of local beach lovers, is only accessible from Kapi'olani Park. Public shows with their traffic congestion, parking problems and crowds would destroy the peaceful, historic atmosphere.
Of the many suggestions for appropriate uses for the Natatorium, removing the pool structure and extending Kaimana Beach would seem the most natural and welcome. And instead of roaring crowds, let the most piercing sounds be the joyous shrieks and squeals of our keiki playing on beautiful Kaimana Beach on the western shore of O'ahu.Barbara Hanson
LET'S HAVE TRAILER PARKS TO EASE HOUSING
Can anybody tell me why we can't have trailer parks in Hawai'i? Millions of people on the Mainland live in trailer parks; they provide an economical alternative to rent and a great stepping stone for homeownership.
It is a shame to have thousands of acres of idle land at the same time that scores of our sons and daughters and their children are going back to stay with their parents because a two-bedroom, upstairs, no-elevator, 40-year-old dilapidated apartment in Honolulu rents for more than $1,200 a month (if you are lucky to find one).Hector Euredjian
MAKE THE NATATORIUM AN AQUARIUM ADJUNCT
A wonderful, educational, ocean-centered use for the Natatorium could be as an adjunct to the Waikiki Aquarium.
The aquarium is research- and education-oriented. It would probably treasure the space.
Hawai'i is so very specially located in this world. An ocean science center could have been built at Kaka'ako, instead of a medical school.
How about sticking with the original ocean/water theme of the old swimming pool by allowing the aquarium to create a learning experience next door to its present facility?Lani Lofgren
PEDESTRIAN CONCERNS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED
As a pedestrian, I have some very serious concerns that I believe need to be addressed.
One is making eye contact with drivers when getting ready to cross in a crosswalk. But there are so very many automobiles with the extremely dark window coverings that one finds it difficult to see if there is a person in the car, let alone make eye contact.
Another serious problem: pedestrians jaywalking whenever and wherever. I have often seen police cars in the area, but nothing was done to correct these infractions.
The third area that needs attention is illegally parking in areas well designated as no parking and/or no stopping. There are often three-lane streets reduced to one lane due to cars stopping for one reason or another and drivers not paying attention to how they are affecting traffic.
Parking in an area designated as no parking with the lights flashing is not only dangerous but inconsiderate of how many people are put in jeopardy. And if the parked car's driver is simply running into a coffee shop for a few minutes, the chances of someone being in the line of fire obviously needs to be addressed.
Fourth is parking one's car in or within inches of a crosswalk.
I hope help is on the way.Nancy Jeffs
NO MORE RESORTS UNTIL WAIKIKI FIXED
Residents who avoid the beaches and share the news about the sewage spill with innocent tourists are blamed as irresponsible. It is, ironically, the socially responsible thing to do. It threatens profits and therefore is challenged by those who will not assume their social responsibility.
In short, those who hoard and covet the "golden eggs" deny complaints that the goose also soils our nests.
Until Waikiki itself is declared a special "resort area" and the hotels and tourist industries assume responsibility for sustaining it as a "resort," the problems for the city and the state and their citizens will only get worse because they are being sat upon by too many visitors who soil our nest. The ones collecting the visitors' "golden eggs" argue that they must create other "clean nests" in Ko Olina and Turtle Bay as the solution to a "complicated problem" in Waikiki.
Citizens, political leaders, take note: No further development should occur until the original nest, Waikiki, becomes clean, safe and beautiful again. Otherwise, my fellow citizens, this is our "last resort," in more ways than one.Robert Tellander
CHARTER PROPOSAL WOULD HAVE HELPED
Kudos to the 2005-2006 Charter Commission for killing Proposal 47, establishing urban growth boundaries and agricultural protection zones on O'ahu.
I can't wait for greedy developers to build all along Kalaniana'ole Highway, from the Pali all the way to the first visible homes now located at Olomana.
All those obnoxious pines, ironwoods and lush ferns would be replaced with fences or graffiti-covered walls and, best of all, rocks set in concrete that will eventually develop beautiful perennial weeds.
Thankfully, Kawai Nui Marsh will finally be dredged, ridding the island of those ugly birds and then filled in so every single square inch will be surrounded by expensive "waterfront" homes.
The city and state will subsequently pay millions when those homes flood after heavy rains. The traffic lights every 200 feet will never be synchronized, making traffic truly unbearable. The sewers will constantly break and spill raw sewage until the city has to put it up above ground for several years until it can deal with the degrading sewer infrastructure.
Don't think it can happen? In 50 years, Kalaniana'ole Highway in East Honolulu went from a three-lane highway (one lane was for turning) leading to pig and cattle farms, a dairy and fishponds, to the congested six lanes leading to 50,000 homes today.
It's high time we shared our lower quality of life, traffic congestion, overcrowded and unplanned suburban sprawl with the rest of O'ahu, and the Charter Commission made sure of it.Jeannine Johnson
WHEN WILL WE RISE UP AGAINST CRIME?
A May 11 letter to the editor asked Gov. Lingle to disclose the cost that taxpayers would be expected to pay as a result of the three-strikes law. When will the people of Hawai'i rise up against crime?
Our reputation as a paradise is in serious peril due to the criminal element. We are in dire need of increased law enforcement and punishment.
If we can't get behind a law to imprison repeat violent offenders, what chance do we have to reduce all of the other lesser crimes that plague our Islands?
In the past several years, I have had my home burglarized, a car stolen and been the victim of car break-ins too many times to count. For each of these crimes, the criminal never had to "pay."
I am convinced that due to inadequate enforcement and "revolving-door justice," these thieves think that crime "pays."
Gov. Lingle, I don't care how much it costs; send me the bill!Dan Maloney
MAJOR CHANGES NEEDED
OIL INDUSTRY HOLDING US HOSTAGE
Am I reading this right? We can't get asphalt? That stuff our roads drink to keep themselves together?
I won't mention there are roads I have driven on in Italy that were made by the Romans. But ours only last one or two years. This is progress?
It is fast becoming obvious that we are being held hostage by the whole oil industry. We are very vulnerable to its power games. It can charge us whatever it wants, whenever it wants. It can delay necessary products that keep our transportation system working. Remember, oil is used in the manufacture of thousands of products — are those industries going to be starved next to get our attention?
Oil industry companies have made windfall profits with gas, but they can't divert enough to keep our roads paved. What is wrong here? Don't they get it? If the roads are too bad to use, we won't drive and we will use less gas. And exactly what do they mean when they say there is a "service problem in Venezuela"? Have they run out of oil, too? Or is this another "political" fallout issue of the war.
The immediate costs to the consumers are additional repairs to our cars damaged by the roads, accidents and people modifying their choices because the roads just are not fun to drive.
I also don't get gas stations not having air and water available — same thing, no air in our tires, we don't drive. I try not to buy gas at a station that is not willing to provide air and water. This should be considered a basic service and expense of selling gas, not a luxury item or something to charge extra for. This should only be a slight dip in their windfall profits.
I am getting the message. We need to make some major changes in our transportation and community planning. It could start with each of us making a conscious decision to buy smaller cars. Vote by our choices for change. Look into individual creative transportation like Segues, electric cars or bicycles for short trips.
Some countries have really small trucks, mini-cars and bikes that can carry two or three people short distances. Of course, some modification in our vehicle laws must be addressed. (For example: Why can't two people ride on a moped? They can in other countries?)
We could cut down on the car use easily by providing free or cheap trams in downtown Honolulu that would grid the area every 15 minutes and go to a central parking or bus pickup area located elsewhere. Waikiki would be a delight if a tram system went from the zoo to Ala Moana. There was a tram system that ran from Venice to Santa Monica along that California boardwalk; it was wonderful.
Other logical changes would be creating good bike trails and special parking for electric cars, bikes and mopeds.
On a larger scale, city planning modifications should require a balance of service centers and stores so people don't have to drive all over for basic needs. (Think no auto repair or service area in Hawai'i Kai.)
I have a perfectly good car that I don't drive much. I ride a moped — it's great on gas, but the craters in the roads are knocking my fillings out of my teeth.Zabia Dolle