RIVER STREET PROJECT IS NEEDED FOR AREA
I find it incredible that Wesley Fong ("Housing project wrong for Chinatown," March 28) and other Chinatown business people continue to battle the proposed "Housing First" project on River Street.
The homeless problem in 'A'ala Park and on River Street is shameful. Fong cites his concerns about residents "free to roam the Chinatown neighborhood with little accountability."
My goodness, who does he think is currently curled up in every single doorway on Smith Street between Hotel and Beretania streets? Who is moving furniture into Chinatown park and urinating/defecating there?
Perhaps Fong feels a sense of tranquility walking up River Street mall: I'm watching where I'm stepping. The Chinatown neighborhood I work in is unsightly, unpleasant and getting worse.
We have a major public health problem with mentally and physically ill people living in the street. The "Housing First" model works in other cities and works at Downtown's Safe Haven. Those who can benefit from services can get them and others will be off the streets. That would be a good thing for Chinatown businesses.Carlynn Wolfe
OTHER STATES BAN ANIMALS FROM RIDING
The state in which I previously lived not only banned people from riding in truck beds, but animals as well.
This law resulted from a horrific accident when a driver had his dog in the back of his truck on a highway. He had to hit his brake when an emergency caused the car in front of him to stop suddenly. The dog flew out of the truck bed into oncoming traffic, causing other drivers to swerve to avoid hitting the animal. They did not succeed. The dog was mutilated and there was bodily injury and property damage.
I agree that the recent case shows that the law failed by allowing such an irresponsible driver on the road. But experience shows that such a practice on busy roads invites disaster — and that is stupid.Edna Dawson
SYMPHONY NOT MORE IMPORTANT THAN BAND
In response to Jack Gillmar's letter ("Funds for band, but not for symphony?" March 28), I'd like to say that it is unfortunate that the Honolulu Symphony is dormant until the time funds can be generated to continue their fine work.
That said, please don't insinuate that the symphony is more important than the Royal Hawaiian Band. Though you may have not said that word-for-word, that's how I personally read it. The two bands are not comparable.
The symphony reaches a sector of people who can afford their offerings. The Royal Hawaiian Band participates in more than 300 events throughout the state, for anyone rich or poor, young or old, who attend the many parades, shopping center events, ethnic festivals, state, city, military functions as well as their weekly concerts at 'Iolani Palace and Kapi'olani Park. They are the Band of Hawai'i nei.
The Royal Hawaiian Band, like the Honolulu Symphony, is composed of outstanding musicians, many of whom have been past and present educators in Hawai'i's music system. I believe if the city can afford one band or symphony it should be the one that the majority can enjoy.Dawn P. Hayashi
BILL WOULD ALLOW MORE COMPETITIONS
Senate Bill 2646 looks to create surfing reserve designations in Hawai'i.
A stated purpose of the bill is the creation of reserves for recreation and competitive surfing. This stated purpose sets off the alarm bells.
Save Our Surf advocates for recreational surfers and not for professional surfing events since those events are often at the expense of the recreational surfer.
Competitive surfing equals surf contests. Professional contests take away from recreational surfers with reduced surfing opportunities for recreational surfing at peak surf times.
Passage of this bill equates competitive surfing interests with recreational surfing interests — thereby putting a "foot in the door" for professional contests and subordinating recreational interests to commercial interests.
The proliferation of contests has been somewhat held in check by the City and County permit process. It is relevant to note that community associations and surfers have battled to limit surf contests.
Do we want to provide a foot in the door for contest promoters (commercial interests) by passing this bill — thereby injecting the state into the conflict between the interests of the public (recreational surfers) and commercial interests?
SOS says no to surfing reserves. We hope our elected officials do the same.
We must remember, surfing sites are ocean parks for all the people of Hawai'i.George Browning
spokesperson, Save Our Surf
WHO IS ON LINGLE'S NONESSENTIAL LIST?
When is Gov. Lingle going to come clean and publish her list of "essential" DOE employees?
The thing she isn't telling the public is that under her proposal, many services would not be available on a restored Friday.
Here are a few of the people who would be missing at your school: The front office staff, nurses, cafeteria workers, special education assistants, janitors and security. Would you really want to send your child to school for even one day without those people? I wouldn't.Lisa Rodrigues
GOOD TO SEE WASP STORY ON FRONT PAGE
How wonderful to see a science hero on the front page instead of crime and politics ("Victory at hand in war against invasive, tree-killing gall wasp," March 26).
Mohsen Ramadan's perilous journey to Tanzania and the work of Neil Reimer's team in solving the blight of the gall wasp is laudatory indeed.
The future of mankind is totally dependent on scientists, as emphasized by another science story on Page A8 regarding the extinction of coral reefs within the next generation ("Reef die-off threatens us all").
We can only hope that the cries of scientists do not continue unheeded, or man-kind's end will not be by bombs, but by environmental collapse.
I shudder to think that my grandchildren will have to depend on insect protein for sustenance rather than a nice opakapaka fillet.Douglas Tom