Letters to the Editor
FRACTIONAL OWNERSHIP BAD FOR ISLE RESIDENTS
This letter is in response to the June 24 article entitled, "Fractional sale of Isle properties hits market."
Fractional home ownership, otherwise known as "tourist homes," will reduce the number of available homes for people who live and work in Hawai'i.
Home values are determined based on supply and demand, so one should expect that once homes are converted to "tourist homes" real estate prices will increase dramatically. As it is, homes are overvalued by 45 percent, according to another story in The Advertiser on June 20.
People may not realize that once a home is converted to fractional ownership it will be nearly impossible for it to revert back to single-family use.
The winners in fractional home sales are Realtors, brokers and bankers. These people have received unprecedented incomes over the last six years and are looking for opportunities to continue this trend.
The losers are clearly the people who live and work in Hawai'i.
Hawai'i lawmakers should act now before it is too late.Diane Wong
SIMPLE GESTURE MEANT A LOT TO SERVICEWOMAN
I would like to thank the security guard who shook my hand at Longs Drugs in 'Ewa Beach Wednesday night.
It was almost 11 p.m. I had just gotten off work and was still in uniform. He thanked me for my service to our country.
Sometimes we get tired and discouraged and start to wonder why we do what we do. It's nice to have a reminder. I would like to thank him for it.Tech. Sgt. Susan Kirkbride, U.S. Air Force
CITATION DISMISSED OVER INFO ON TICKET
I went to court recently to contest my jaywalking ticket.
I stood before the judge, said my name, and was waiting to plead guilty or not guilty for jaywalking (naturally I was going to plead not guilty — because I wasn't guilty) when the judge said he would dismiss the citation because the officer wrote nothing on the ticket other than jaywalking.
Here's what happened. I was attempting to cross the street between Bishop and Alakea on Hotel Street. I wasn't going to use a crosswalk. I took one step into the street and heard a voice from behind. It was a police officer.
He summoned me over, and summarily gave me a ticket. I was mad enough to research the law. The law says that I must cross the street to be cited for jaywalking.
Perhaps this is why the officer didn't write any explanation on the ticket. I never broke the law. He was counting on me to pay the fine and not contest the ticket.
How many of you know the law and know your rights under the law?Todd Benson
PROJECT'S LOOK AND FEEL A BOOST TO COMMUNITY
Frank Rainey's Island Voices column ("Proposed condos part of a necessary growth," June 21) was a breath of fresh air.
Frank Rainey did not have to write this article; after all he is being displaced from his home.
The fact that he came forward to share his story and also to reiterate that the Kailua Apartments had reached the end of their useful life is a great wake-up call that the change that is about to take place is very positive for all of us who live in Kailua.
Kane'ohe Ranch had many people interested in purchasing that land. I believe that we should all be very thankful that the winning bid went to DR Horton. The Kailua Ironwoods will be one of the best things to happen to Kailua in a long time.
The look and the feel of the plantation-style condominiums surrounded by tropical foliage will be another boost.
Having lived in Kailua since 1959, I believe changes that are taking place are good for our community.Mary Beddow
ACCOUNTABILITY SORELY NEEDED IN GOVERNMENT
The press is really something to behold these days (even though I'm not really including The Advertiser here — you folks are OK).
The story from The Los Angeles Times on the CIA you ran on June 27 is prototypical. One paragraph states that many of the shenanigans recently revealed about CIA behavior in the past "read like relics from another era," which included things like elaborate and repeated attempts by the CIA to enlist mafia operatives to try to kill Fidel Castro.
But the next sentence is the dead giveaway. "The documents describe secret CIA holding cells and the possible illegal detention of a suspected Soviet spy who was held without trial — for years before it was determined that he was a legitimate defector."
Gee, seems like a reasonable person might conclude that the new, polished shining CIA is a lot like the bad old agency, only a whole lot worse. Time to call for some accountability here. The worst thing that can happen in our democracy is already happening — the wholesale violation of some of the the most fundamental protections of the Constitution by public officials, with impunity. Who's next?Ed Johnson
PROGRAMS FOR PEOPLE MUST BE OUR PRIORITY
We all know the Natatorium's history, and it's wonderful to remember what it stands for. However, there are so many other programs that could use financial help.
For all the time and effort government agencies take to decide what they are going to do, they could have built air-conditioned classrooms on our Leeward coast, funded the Meals on Wheels program and worked on solving some of our homeless problems.
Our people should be our first priority, because without the people who will be there to appreciate those monuments.Lealani Puana
WANT CHANGE IN STATE? EXERCISE RIGHT TO VOTE
Gary Chun, in his June 26 letter about the state's tax rebate, says he wishes someone "would have the courage to sue the state to make things right" because "they gave bread crumbs to the poor and the rest of us be damned."
Gary should rethink this. Rather than spend money to do this, he and everyone else can get legislators' attention very fast by exercising their right to vote — which is free.
If enough people do this whenever there is an election, the Legislature will get the picture.
The problem over the past years is that people complain, but don't necessarily vote or keep reelecting incumbents.
How can you get any improvements if this is the ongoing practice?Stanley Yim
CRITICIZING BARBARISM NOT 'HATING' AMERICA
A response to Ken Stewart's letter (June 25) about "enemy barbarism:" He like so many others have lost sight of the fact that we illegally invaded Iraq for purposes of committing acts of terrorism, massive injuries, death and destruction to thousands of innocent people. They have a right to defend their country and do anything that they want to the invaders, just as we would.
The detainees at Abu Ghraib have never had their day in court nor been found guilty of anything. They have been deemed "guilty" for being brown-skinned, Mideast Muslims.
Criticizing our barbarism against innocent people is not "hating" America. We want our country to return to the basic ideals of peace brokers and tolerance and understanding for those who are different.Bert West
THANKS FOR FOOD, ENTERTAINMENT
The recent closing of Kam (Mak) Bowl, McCully Chop Suey, Magoo's Pizza, and Varsity Twin Cinema signal the end of landmarks in Honolulu.
The entertainment and food that these businesses provided were priceless. These neighborhood corner locations will not be the same and will only hold great memories for us.
Thanks for the memories, and may the new tenants create their own legacies.Scott Kamiya
DISCERNING MOVIE FANS CROWDED OUT
As a longtime, frequent patron of the Varsity Twin Cinema, I have not noticed any appreciable "declining attendance."
I recall the reason given for the Restaurant Row theaters' change of policy was due to declining popcorn sales.
Since most of the audience supporting art and foreign films are not given to picnicking while watching a movie, discerning moviegoers are once again crowded out by a pop(corn) culture.Lloyd J. Wood