Letters to the Editor
HAVEN'T HAWAI'I'S SMOKERS HAD ENOUGH?
Smokers must be the most passive people. We just continue to do whatever we're told.
No more dining or drinking out if you want to have a cigarette, as we were once accustomed. Smoking sections were once provided as a courtesy to non-smokers; it has now turned into a smokers' prohibition.
While smokers will not be allowed to smoke outside the airport terminal where luggage is picked up, everyone will be allowed to stand there and be subjected to gas fumes from buses, taxis, trucks, airplanes, etc. The ozone is taking a beating, but will anyone give up driving or flying due to emissions? Of course not, because we are all "addicted" to gas. As smokers are "addicted" to smoking.
When is enough, enough? Is there an attorney out there who may want to try these waters?M. Ryan
SMOKING BAN ABRIDGES RIGHTS OF INDIVIDUALS
Our governor, Linda Lingle, signed Senate Bill 3262, restricting all persons from smoking in all city, county, state and federal buildings and additionally in all public buildings, shopping centers, restaurants and bars.
No one should smoke in any of these places, according to this new law. But what about the public that needs to enjoy the company of others, with a cocktail, to discuss and enter into conversations about our local, state and international news, politics and religion? To share birthday parties, receptions and do fundraising? To hold on to one another at wakes and, most importantly, to enjoy sports?
Going back hundreds of years, this place was known as a saloon, bar, cocktail lounge, watering hole, 19th hole and by many other names. "The Gathering Place!"
We are involved in this particular service business and have built our overall income on listening to the likes and dislikes of our patrons, and we want to protect the civil rights of each individual. For someone to decide the rights of a responsible adult is not constitutional.
We are well informed of the dangers of smoking and are all hard-working individuals who purchase cigarettes, which are legal in the United States. We also pay an exorbitant amount of taxes for the privilege of smoking.
On Nov. 16 the "smoking ban" became law for the state of Hawai'i. Will I follow this law? Will I and others be given our civil rights as we deserve, or are we going to be treated as second- and third-class citizens?
Yes, I am a bar owner.Sam N. Kekaula
Kailua, Kona, Hawai'i
BAN BEACH SMOKING
Smoking at Ala Moana Beach should be banned. Walking along the sandy beach, there are hundreds of cigarette butts. This is a beach used mostly by families.
Using the sandy beach for an ashtray should be prohibited.Lehua McColgan
THEFT VICTIM GIVES THANKS FOR ACT OF ALOHA
On July 25, in the parking lot of the Roy Sakuma 'Ukulele Studios in Kane'ohe, my 7-year-old daughter's 'ukulele was stolen. We searched the area and the parking lot to no avail. My daughter was devastated and crushed, as the 36th annual 'Ukulele Festival Hawai'i, where she was to perform for the first time, was scheduled in a few days.
Kathy Sakuma was made aware of this criminal act. She comforted my daughter with an 'ukulele to borrow for the festival. After her group recital, my daughter was unexpectedly presented with a beautiful 'ukulele from KoAloha 'Ukulele. We want to thank Roy Sakuma 'Ukulele Studios and KoAloha 'Ukulele for this thoughtful and gracious gesture. My daughter was so happy that she forgot that she was criminally violated just days before this event.
Mahalo to Kathy Sakuma, Melynn MacWilliams, Roy Sakuma Studios and emcee Danny Kaleikini for their thoughtfulness and kindness. My daughter will never forget this powerful lesson and act of aloha.Melodie Aduja
SAVE TAXPAYERS BILLIONS BY CARPOOLING
If one in four drivers get into another person's car, 25 percent of cars would be off the road tomorrow and for free!
Are we willing to spend $4 billion because we're too lazy to carpool?
Take the people who work at government office buildings downtown. How many people work at the Department of Transportation? Department of Health? Department of Education? Shouldn't they be in the forefront to network with each other to carpool at least some of the time?
They work in the same building, day in and day out, and they can't carpool? Are we going to spend billions to accommodate wasteful living practices? If people don't even carpool now, for free, why assume they will use mass transit in the future?
Imagine: $4 billion could build 40,000 apartments for the homeless!Arthur Reppun
IMPACT STATEMENT WILL PROVIDE PUBLIC INPUT
Now that the city's rail transit plan is on the table, the citizens of Honolulu are able to take a good look at the depth and breadth of the project. However, missing is the one element the Stryker Brigade once called a "show stopper." It's that nagging detail called an Environmental Impact Statement, or EIS.
I could see if it was just a bunch of bureaucracy; then it would be a minor detail to be cleared for the sake of timeliness. But the EIS is much more than that; it's the mechanism that allows the public to have a say in what happens in our community. It's our last chance to see exactly how rail transit will fit into our community and how it will impact the land where we live.
Informational meetings are fine, but how much public input is on the record? How important is it for the public to be involved at this point if the city has already made up its collective mind and set into motion a huge excise tax increase (the largest in our history) to be collected beginning in January? Has anyone besides the usual suspects even considered that what Stryker is going through now could be the scenario with rail?
Rail transit is not a panacea and will not fix the problem of traffic enough to spend billions of dollars on a system that "might work."
To me, the city's 1977 master plan of creating a real second city in Kapolei needs to be realized before we jump forward to rail.
I'm not an activist or environmentalist, but as a bus rider, I do not see that people will suddenly give up their cars for rail, no matter how you configure the route.Shana Logan
IT'S TIME TO CONTROL THESE VISUAL EYESORES
The campaigns are over. Candidates: Please take down the signs.
Once again, much of Hawai'i has been littered for months by politicians and their supporters who apparently believe that if one campaign sign is good, 10 signs are even better.
The Outdoor Circle believes our residents shouldn't have to look past a gauntlet of campaign signs to see the mountains or the ocean or to simply enjoy the sanctuary of their own neighborhood. As long as politicians are allowed to adopt a philosophy of "the candidate with the most signs wins," the people of Hawai'i will continue to lose.
It's time for our lawmakers to display the political will to bring campaign signs under control. They can't say it's unconstitutional, because it's not. Campaign signs are being controlled elsewhere in the United States and those laws have been upheld in court. Controlling campaign signs does not deny people the right to express themselves, it prevents our communities from needlessly becoming littered with redundant and/or massive campaign signs.
The Outdoor Circle pledges to work hard to persuade the 2007 Legislature to place fair limits on campaign signs in the future. A few lawmakers already have expressed strong interest in helping to champion this cause. We humbly ask all elected officials to stand up and protect Hawai'i's most cherished resource — the beauty of our Islands.Bob Loy
Director, Environmental Programs, The Outdoor Circle
LET'S EMBRACE NEW LEGISLATIVE LEADERSHIP
I was pleased to see that state House Speaker Calvin Say has opted for change instead of the stale status quo. Hopefully, the changes will result in something being done, and being done right.
Prior to this change the Legislature was getting a deserved reputation for being "a do-nothing Legislature," to quote President Harry Truman. The old leadership did not display any ability to lead and go from point A to point B; it had no agenda.
I embrace the change and am hopeful that something positive will come from it and a direction will be provided for the state.Richard H. Lucero
NORTH SHORE NEEDS
HOSPITAL CLOSURE: CRAZY
To close the one and only hospital that serves the entire North Shore of O'ahu and much of the Windward coast is absurd. It's also foolish, dangerous and, if stupid is different than absurd, then it's stupid as well.
To build several new hotels and condos on the North Shore, an area that can ill afford any increase in traffic, is moronic and just seems to have the unmistakable stench of greed. To do both is simply beyond words!
Have the powers that be totally lost their minds and sense of perspective?Wayne Pearce