Letters to the Editor
MIXED USE AT KEWALO IS A RECIPE FOR DISASTER
The author of the July 10 edtorial, "HCDA needs control of Kewalo harbor plan" is misinformed on the facts. No wonder the author arrived at the wrong conclusion.
Kewalo is a small commercial harbor. It has never been a mixed-use harbor. Mixing recreational boaters in the tricky Kewalo channel with larger commercial vessels is a recipe for disaster. Safety should never be compromised.
HCDA is creating a false sense of urgency. For 17 years, HCDA has mismanaged Kewalo. HCDA is not the answer to the problems; HCDA is the problem.
House Speaker Calvin Say, Rep. Ken Ito, and Rep. Tom Brower are demonstrating wise and prudent leadership by requesting Gov. Linda Lingle allow an opportunity for a better plan to be considered.
Whichever agency manages Kewalo could be included within a master plan.
HCDA will hire a private company to manage Kewalo. HCDA admits it has no harbor expertise.
HCDA's lack of expertise is the reason they have, to date, written five versions of unworkable rules.
To allow HCDA "on the job training," when a competent and well-funded state agency can do the job, is too costly a gamble with lives and with these valuable public lands.
Determining the best interest of the public by allocating jurisdiction for Kewalo to a qualified state agency is not micromanaging — it is simply good management and good common sense.Frank Mento
WORK ON KAIMUKI LOT IS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE
Your article, "Lot work complicates parking in Kaimuki, (July 2) requires a few corrections.
The contractor is ahead of schedule and did not require the closing of both driveways near Wai'alae Avenue at the same time. It was our desire to minimize the construction impact, so we scheduled these driveway closures individually. Also, some parking space closures are necessary during construction.
Parking for people with handicap placards will be free for a maximum of two hours as promulgated in the Revised Ordinances of Honolulu, Section 15-24.10.
The parking rate of 75 cents an hour for the first two hours and $1.50 per hour for every hour thereafter is applicable seven days a week, not just for weekdays.Melvin N. Kaku
Director, Department of Transportation Services
MORE PARKING NEEDED FOR KAPI'OLANI PARK
I read that there is going to be a new, more-visible entrance for the zoo.
I also read that some parking spaces will be eliminated because of the reconfiguration.
Last Wednesday, I left my job at 5 p.m. near the Pan Am Building to drive into Waikiki to attend the Melveen Leed concert at the zoo at 6 p.m.
I circled for 45 minutes looking for parking, gave up and drove home.
More parking spaces are needed — not fewer.James C. Kidder
PAUL LOO'S WISDOM, KINDNESS, INSPIRED ALL
I was crestfallen to learn of the passing of my boss and mentor, Paul C.T. Loo.
Whenever my young children visited Morgan Stanley, their favorite thing was to run into Mr. Loo's office, sit in his chair and pretend they were him. He always had a hug and a smile, and never objected to their occupying his big corner office.
For those who worked with him, Paul was a visionary, mentor and true inspiration.
His door was always open and his steadfast leadership was instrumental to my career and those of many others in the Hawai'i business community.
For those who knew him personally, he and Vi have always been the truest of friends. Their kindness, wisdom and generosity inspired us all and made us thankful our lives have been touched by them.
As a parent, my only hope is that my children's fantasy will one day become reality: that they will indeed grow up to be just like Paul Loo and aspire to follow in his footsteps.
A hui hou, Paul, and Godspeed.Michael Brockert
'PLEASE' AND 'THANK YOU' GOING WAY OF DINOSAUR
Is common courtesy dying? Are we forgetting how to say "please" and "thank you?"
Worse yet, are we serving as poor examples to our children with inconsiderate/rude behavior?
Almost daily, I hear customers use words to the effect of "Gimme" or "I need" when ordering food or coffee from employees at various locations.
"Please" and "thank you" have all but disappeared from our vocabulary.
Lately, I've noticed the same behavior by children.
Have we forgotten the "magic words" we learned from our parents?
Thank you,Mal Gillin
COUNTERARGUMENTS SHOULD BE PRESENTED
Why did The Advertiser report the flimsy positions of groups opposed to Hawaiian Electric Co.'s plan to use palm oil for fuel without offering any counterarguments ("HECO's bio-plan is flawed, groups say," July 10)?
Oil plam, which has been grown and processed into palm oil for over 100 years, is somehow not environmentally sustainable?
Malaysia, the world's largest producer has been producing palm oil on state and private plantations for decades. Most of this production is for export. There's not enough?
Booming demand for palm oil has led to rapid expansion of plantations elsewhere, such as in Sumatra in Indonesia. The destruction of native forests there is also the result of the demand for wood to replace thousands of houses and other structures destroyed in the 2004 tsunami. When land is cleared for oil palm, the natural forest is quickly replaced by a manmade plantation.
While I have no idea whether HECO's plan makes economic sense, it is certainly odd that these so-called environmentalists are opposing the replacement of fossil fuels with a renewable natural product.Robert Griffin
WILL NOT WATCH SHOW WHEN IT AIRS ON TV
I am writing in response to the July 8 After Deadline column by Mark Platte regarding the Akana family and "Extreme Makeover."
I was shocked and disappointed with "Extreme Makeover" and the Akana family.
The Akanas had many more options than most of us to seek repairs on that property. We have schoolteachers in this state who help thousands of children with less than half the pay of Mrs. Akana.
Thank you, Mr. Platte and your reporters, for making the right decision in giving the readers all the facts on this story.
We will not watch "Extreme Makeover" when this story airs even though we have family who worked on this project.
We will not watch that show again and Keiki O Ka'aina Preschool Inc. will not be helping our grandchildren.Beth Maurer
GOVERNOR THANKED FOR SIGNING SENATE BILL 1283
On July 9, Gov. Linda Lingle signed SB 1283, which allows funds from the Hawai'i Tobacco Settlement special fund to help pay for John A. Burns School of Medicine operating expenses in addition to paying debt service for the new Kaka'ako facility over the next four years.
As a medical school faculty member for the last 30 years, I would like to thank Gov. Lingle for her careful consideration of SB 1283.
I admire her willingness to listen openly to our interim dean, Dr. Gary Ostrander, who emphasized the vital importance of these funds to the school's current operations and future stability.
I also want to express my appreciation to the Legislature —particularly Sen. Rosalyn Baker — for its diligent efforts in passing this bill.
By signing SB 1283, Gov. Lingle affirmed her support for the Legislature's commitment to the medical school's long-term success.
Gov. Lingle has ensured that our medical school will continue to flourish in providing exemplary medical education, innovative research and compassionate patient care.David Easa M.D.SB
Professor, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawai'i
CALLS ON GOV. LINGLE TO IMPLEMENT THE LAW
Now that the special session is over, we call on the governor to do what the executive branch is constitutionally mandated to do: implement the law.
It is our opinion, as well as the opinion of our legal counsel, that the bills the governor vetoed are not technically or fatally flawed.
We did not approach the special session with the mindset that we would override to show political muscle. House leadership set specific criteria to determine whether a vetoed bill rose to the level of being overridden.
The House and Senate override lists were very similar even though we had discussed the overrides independently. Here are the criteria we used:
While we probably would have had the votes to override most of the bills on the governor's list, we do respect the power of the governor to veto and we are willing to work with the administration to resolve differences on certain bills.
We will not, however, negotiate with the governor through the media, as she tried to do at the last minute by claiming that we were uncooperative. That is not statesmanlike, nor does it result in good policy.Rep. Kirk Caldwell
MAHALO FOR OVERRIDE ON RE-ENTRY PROGRAM
Here's a big mahalo nui to the 56 legislators who see the value in protecting our community by establishing a re-entry system for people exiting incarceration and who voted to override the governor's veto of SB 932 at last Tuesday's special session.
The reasoning for the governor's veto was flawed. The bill's accompanying committee report, which clarifies the intent of the legislation, says: "return offenders incarcerated on the Mainland back to Hawai'i one year before their release date: (A) Is to be contingent upon the existence of the appropriate programs in Hawai'i and shall be consented to by the offender if the offender is participating in a successful rehabilitation or re-entry program in the Mainland facility at that time."
It is disingenuous for the administration to use the fear factor of a public safety crisis when their reasoning is wrong and research has shown that the half-step of community-based re-entry/reintegration programs actually enhance public safety because they work to ensure that people exiting prison are ready to become contributing members of our community.
Let's have a little truth here — too much spin leaves us in the exact same unproductive place.Kat Brady
Coordinator, Community Alliance on Prisons