Letters to the Editor
NEW SYSTEM THE ONLY WAY TO GO AT THIS POINT
Why are there so many questions over mass transit alternatives? Rail provides the greatest relief to future traffic congestion by carrying the greatest number of people, the fastest. Further, rail is the best environmental solution providing a cleaner alternative to polluting automobiles. Rail is the long-term, successful traffic solution at all advanced, major U.S. cities; Honolulu should be no exception.
Central and Leeward O'ahu residents already face terrible traffic, with no alternative. Remember, TheBus is using the same congested traffic lanes as automobiles. Our population is growing and there will only be more of us needing to get around. Our quality of life is diminishing with these traffic woes.
Rail will reverse this trend leaving a vibrant, beautiful island where our children want to live and guests want to visit. We must preserve our environment and keep our air clean; the negative impact of an elevated highway and more cars just is not right.
Rail is the only way to go.Jeffrey G. Ashmore
WOMEN'S GAMES DESERVE MORE SUPPORT
I am a recent resident of Hawai'i and have attended both men and women's volleyball games, the football games and men and women's basketball games. We have season tickets to all but the football games. There is wonderful community support for every sport I have attended except for women's basketball.
What a shame that at the games last Saturday and Sunday there were 533 and 350 spectators. I know a few years ago there were several thousand during a game — what happened? They announced at a men's game recently that players from the men's volleyball and football teams were there — were they also there for women's basketball?
Please come out and support these young women during the season — you can get great seats! It is a fun evening for families, so pack up the kids and join us for a game.Wilma Mallory
TAXPAYERS SHOULDN'T PAY FOR POOR PLANNING
Each time I drive by the new Kahalu'u Regional Park I am reminded of how we taxpayers are being fleeced — paying and paying, for this park that was poorly designed, poorly built and now poorly maintained. Now, once again we are asked to pay for someone else's mistakes.
I have been a landscape architect for over 40 years and know that plans and specifications should reflect not just the site use but existing conditions and how they must be corrected to accomplish a sustainable project. Those plans are a legal document and the successful bidder must post a completion bond that is surrendered when the project is completed and accepted.
Over two years ago, I noticed and complained that the newly planted trees were being drowned out and killed by a sprinkler system that ran continually and trapped water around the base of each tree. That poor design and lack of maintenance oversight, among other problems, cost the contractor and us money.
The taxpayers should not pay for any corrections if the city inspectors accepted this shoddy job. If they have not accepted it yet, the bonding company should pay.Ted Green
REGULATION KEY TO PROTECTING OCEAN LIFE
After hearing hours of passionate testimony from members of the commercial fishing industry, recreational fishing community, Hawaiians and environmentalists, the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) approved new regulations on lay gill net fishing. Kailua Hawaiian Civic Club lauds the BLNR for taking these first steps to protect Hawai'i's endangered ocean resources from the indiscriminate and irresponsible use of monofilament gill nets.
Most importantly, we commend their recognition of incorporating traditional fishing methods and protecting Hawaiians' access to ocean resources. Their ruling addresses the realization that Moloka'i needs regulations appropriate for their unique situation. What works in Kailua is not transferrable to Moloka'i.
It was not an easy decision, but through these changes, over-harvested areas will have the opportunity to replenish. And with increased education on responsible fishing and community-based management, we ensure future generations' ability to experience an abundance of aquatic life and perpetuate ancient Hawaiian fishing methods.Minoo Elison
President, Kailua Hawaiian Civic Club
UH CAN WORK TO HAVE TOP-NOTCH BOWL GAME
Given the success and unprecedented national recognition of our University of Hawai'i Warriors, we need to take steps to move Hawai'i's football program to the next level.
Work with the tourism authority and sponsorships to build up the Hawai'i Bowl to Top-10 payout levels. Aggressively target better conference tie-ins, like a capitalist institution on a profit-seeking rampage.
Optimize the relationship between the bowl and school until the Hawai'i Bowl can be used as a recruiting tool. Create a Pro Bowl-type atmosphere and the national media will salivate to broadcast the game.
The economic benefits of a top caliber bowl in the state will extend to fan and non-fan alike. It took an off-field incident to secure arguably the top quarterback in the country, and these opportunities may come once in a lifetime.
Will the state of Hawai'i seize upon this opportunity or let it pass by? The time is now.Todd Furubayashi
HOPE FOR MANY
IT'S SHAMEFUL THAT U.S. STEM-CELL RESEARCH LAGS
Am I missing something? Does the government know? Does society care? I'm talking about the adult stem-cell procedure that gave two Island residents a new lease on life.
First it was the iconic, world-renowned entertainer Don Ho who gained a renewed vigor for life after undergoing the procedure for his heart problem in Thailand.
Then Big Islander Penny Thomas, suffering from severe Parkinson's disease, regained near-normalcy in speech and body tremors that now permits her to drive her car, swim, run and jog and go horseback riding, all on her own and without any assistance. In her own words: "My life has totally changed back into being normal."
She traveled all the way to China for her stem-cell procedure that gave her back a normal life.
Now can anyone tell me why the most technically advanced country on this planet is unable or unwilling to provide similar procedures for its own citizens? And please, don't tell me we're still "testing."
Maybe a doctor or a research scientist could shed some light on this most urgent question, not only for me but for all concerned citizens of this state and this country.Hank McKeague
COUNTRY BETTER THAN CHAOS IN NORTH SHORE
The idea to expand Turtle Bay onto Kawela Bay and extend toward Kahuku is one of the worst ideas I've ever heard. The claim is that there will be more jobs available to residents and more business for store owners. But who are they really trying to please here?
Building more hotels will not only cause even more traffic and congestion, but it will mark the end of the North Shore, as we know it. The country will no longer live up to its name. The locals will no longer be locals, but rather outsiders who can afford higher rents.
All I am asking is to keep the North Shore true to its roots — a beautiful, laid back, humble stretch of coastline free of the everyday chaos caused by big buildings and thousands of people.
The citizens of Hawai'i are more important than the interests of far-off companies; most North Shore residents would much rather drive to town for work than to allow the building of these hotels and see the disappearance of one of the last places of genuine local life.Rebecca Fonoimoana
NEW HOTELS WILL ONLY ADD TO BAD SITUATION
I am utterly amazed at Circuit Judge Sabrina McKenna's decision that Kuilima Resort Co. does not have to do a new Environmental Impact Statement on the planned expansion of hotels on the North Shore of O'ahu. I have lived on the North Shore for 36 years and the traffic has become an enormous problem.
I invite McKenna, the City Council, mayor and anyone in a position of power to drive to the North Shore and experience the weekend traffic snarl from Hale'iwa to Turtle Bay. (Weekdays aren't much better.) Nowadays, there doesn't have to be a surf meet or a holiday to cause congestion. It is an everyday occurrence. Obviously, 3,500 more hotel rooms will increase the headaches. It will be intolerable.
We need to remember to respect the land and our residents and visitors as well.Jan Olson
PLEASE, KEEP THE COUNTRY COUNTRY
We the good people of the North Shore have a history of resisting — and stopping — large development.
Just in my lifetime, we have stopped the quarry, the hotel at Pua'ena Point, the Obayashi development in Pupukea, the mall at Sharks Cove and the condos in Waimea Valley. We love where we live for a reason — it is the country.
Today the good people of the North Shore are resisting, but not stopping, the Turtle Bay development. Why?
What hold does Oaktree have over our elected representatives? Why are 20-year-old Environmental Impact Statements valid "with prejudice?" Why does it move forward against the people's will?Garrett McNulty