Saving farm land
HB 2290 NEEDS PUBLIC SUPPORT NOW
An important bill before the Legislature, House Bill 2290, could tip the balance in favor of saving precious farmlands on O'ahu.
Sections 3 and 4 of the bill change the law governing the Land Use Commission to require six votes to designate currently farmed land with A and B quality soils as urban.
Developers will still bring their petitions to the LUC; most decisions of the LUC traditionally have been nearly unanimous; and projects where the need is compelling will be approved. What the bill will do is to put the concern and weight of the Legislature behind protecting O'ahu farms with high quality soils.
HB 2290 has sailed through the Senate. Most members of the House seem to support it. A Senate-House conference committee has been named.
But developers are exerting great pressure to defeat it. Rep. Jon Riki Karamatsu authored the bill and is on the committee. He needs three others representatives, Ken Ito, Clift Tsuji and Marcus Oshiro to agree to move the bill to conference.
If you want to preserve our best farmland, if you enjoy the fresh local produce we now eat, if you are concerned about food security should calamity cut us off from the rest of the world, please write these legislators a short note supporting Sections 3 and 4 of HB 2290.Kioni Dudley
President, Friends of Makakilo
MONEY SHOULD NOT BE USED FOR SCHOOLS
I, along with many thousands of homeowners were forced to purchase hurricane insurance mandated by the state of Hawai'i.
I object to the use of these funds except for the purpose for which they were demanded. Either keep them for a hurricane, which is inevitably coming, or refund them to the homeowners who paid under now false intentions.
I hope there is an attorney that will ask for clients for a class action against the state. I will be first to join.Joseph Alexander
PARENTS RESPONSIBLE FOR ACTION OF KIDS
Suspending, expelling or counseling as punishments for kids who bully other kids are not enough and not the best way to punish or prevent bullying. Bullying is evil and should be a crime.
To be a teenager is to do stupid things but just because they have brains that are not fully developed, does not mean they are free to do stupid things and get away with them.
The children of today are far different than those of the past. It is time to accept that today's children are smarter and they know it. Time passes and everything changes. Take into account these changes and keep up with them.
Kids who bully other kids should be prosecuted, along with their parents. Parents should not bring in a child into this world, leave the parenting to television, video games, and other people, and then blame them for their child's bad behaviors.
Stop blaming others for your shortcomings, because at the end of the day, you — the parents — are mostly to blame and are ultimately responsible for your children. Being a parent is not just a title, but a role and a responsibility that should be taken earnestly.Jewelyn Ventura
APEC WILL BE GOOD THING FOR HAWAI'I
What an incredibly misleading headline you ran on April 10 ("APECmay hurt businesses").
Yes, retailers hurt for an 11-day blip, but may benefit for years thereafter. The bulk of your story is about the benefit, but most people only read the headline. And your story misses the biggest potential benefit for Hawai'i — the increased attention and respect we can gain for Hawai'i firms seeking to do business in Asia and Latin America.
That helps entrepreneurs and workers throughout our state. APEC is going to put Hawai'i companies in direct touch with thousands of key executives and officials from many of the world's key markets. The headline should have read: "APEC may help businesses."Steven Craven
Hawaii Pacific Export Council
CHARTER SCHOOLS CAP SHOULD BE REMOVED
Rep. Gene Ward introduced an amendment to Senate Bill 2589 which would have removed the cap on the number of public charter schools allowed in Hawai'i. Rep. Roy Takumi, before leading the charge to defeat this amendment, asked for evidence that proves charter schools are better than regular public schools.
Why does Takumi think that charter schools must first be deemed superior before this cap can be lifted?
This amendment would have increased our competitive chances to receive $75 million from the Race to the Top program. Organizations with pending applications and the thousands of children waiting to go to a charter school would have had the chance to move ahead. This act could have finally shown that our government is able to embrace new ideas in order to improve education. This might have been the spark that ignited lasting reform in Hawai'i.
However, the Democrats in the Legislature are scared that any significant action against the status quo would upset the HSTA luna and cause them to lose the political support of this powerful union.Dr. Reed Shiraki
CACHOLA'S CRITICISM OF ROUTE OFF-BASE
We are perplexed by Councilmember Romy Cachola's commentary (April 13) about the recent adjustment of the rail route along Aolele Street to avoid the Runway Protection Zone at Honolulu International Airport. His article's misinformation contradicts what actually took place.
This mitigation is a result of the city following our commitment to work with the state Department of Transportation and federal agencies regarding this issue. Several alternatives were evaluated and the currently proposed action had the lowest costs and fewest impacts.
Contrary to Councilmember Cachola's assertions, a supplemental environmental impact statement will not be needed since the environmental impacts have not changed for the project.
Refinements like this are normal as projects advance from the draft EIS to the final EIS.
Regarding the council-member's comments about transparency, Mayor Hannemann is committed in keeping the public informed about this project and has conducted an unprecedented public outreach effort. This included the mayor and his team lending assistance and technical support for the City Council's outreach meetings on the Locally Preferred Alternative.
We trust the councilmember is not holding a grudge against the administration for supporting the City Council's decision last year to move the rail alignment from Salt Lake Boulevard to the airport.Kirk Caldwell
Managing director, City and County of Honolulu