IMPLEMENTING BAN WILL PREVENT INJURIES
To all the legislators who did not have the courage to vote for a fireworks ban:
I invite you to join me in a local emergency department on New Year's Eve. In 20 years as an emergency physician, I have never seen more severe injuries than I did this year. Tears of frustration and anger were how I greeted the New Year.
Please, dear legislators, explain to me why we are allowing items to be sold that result in young children literally being blown up and lit on fire, eyes damaged beyond repair and little hands curled into burnt claws.
How can you justify a child's screaming agony, lifelong scarring and a parent's worst nightmare as "cultural freedom"? Please spend one New Year's Eve in any local emergency room, and I promise you will have the courage to do what is right, and ban fireworks statewide.
Torrey Goodman, M.D. | Kailua
LEGISLATIVE 'BAN' IS HALFWAY SOLUTION
This is a classic example of the type of legislation we can expect: Ban fireworks but let each county do as it pleases. Do we really think that if fireworks are legal on Hawai'i, some enterprising boat owner won't smuggle them into O'ahu to be sold at a big profit? Why do we continue to do things halfway?
Don chambers | Mililani
PROPOSAL MAY NOT BE BEST USE OF LAND
The ordinances of the City and County of Honolulu call for classifying land "upon consideration of its highest and best use."
Is building a non tax-producing house the highest and best use of prime land in Chinatown?
Many people in the area believe that developing land by Nu'uanu Stream will be an economic boom to Chinatown. The city administration should resolve to conceive and execute projects that not only result in the highest and best use of the land, but also serve the best interests of the community.
When the river corridor is developed, the property values will go up.
Inasmuch as the city is run by property tax, why would the city want to add a property for the chronically homeless that would lower property values — thus lower revenue?
Among the questions not asked or answered — who will pay for the maintenance, upkeep, security, electricity, water, sewer, etc. of a non-tax producing property?
Do all of the chronically homeless have money to pay the rent? If not then who will pay the rent — we the taxpayers?
Marsharose joyner | Honolulu
LEGISLATURE MUST ADDRESS THIS ISSUE
As the state Legislature dithers along, our keiki are being deprived of their rightful educational periods. Why was legislative discussion regarding the restoration of Friday instruction shelved, with the Legislature going on to much less important subjects such as fireworks or casinos? Bring back Fridays, just get it done.
Since the Legislature simply dodges or postpones decisions on important "hot button" issues (except to expeditiously vote itself a handsome pay raise), why do we need it? Has anyone calculated the cost to the state (us citizens) for maintaining the Legislature? A pretty penny, for sure.
I propose that we abolish the House of Representatives and rent out the now- vacant infrastructure. This should go a long way toward reducing the budget, and I believe we can do just fine with a unicameral government — the Senate.
don brown | Kapolei
DO DEMOCRATS WANTLINGLE TO READ EIS?
Let me see if I have this correct 39 state legislators want the governor (whenever she receives the final environmental impact statement) to take the large document for Honolulu rail and sign off "quickly."
Does that mean that the governor should not read the document? Since all Democrats signed the request for "speed," maybe this illustrates that our local Democratic legislators want to match the national Democrats by voting or getting approval of bills without reading them.
Paul E. Smith | Honolulu
REVIEW SHOULD NOT BE DONE IN HASTE
I am shocked at the 39 state representatives who have signed a letter asking Gov. Lingle to rubber-stamp the city's still-uncompleted EIS for rail transit.
Surely these state officials must understand that the largest public works project in the history of Hawai'i — which will cost each taxpayer more than $4,500 and will be the most expensive rail system per capita in the United States — should receive careful and thoughtful review.
Perhaps they think she should act with the same reckless abandon as they did when they passed the 12 percent increase to the general excise tax that has taken away more than half a billion dollars in economic activity to build the yet-to-be-approved rail-transit system.
Have they not gotten the news that the state government is facing a $1.2 billion deficit and the money going to rail could go to restoring state services instead of to out-of-state construction firms and engineers?
The lone Republican to sign the letter, Rep. Kym Pine, is surely out of touch with her district and the governor. Fortunately the governor will not be bullied by either the state representatives or the mayor, and will continue her review of the EIS.
Pam Smith | 'Ewa Beach