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Letters to the Editor
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Pearl Harbor threat was just politicsAll the commotion about Pearl Harbor Shipyard being closed down was simply American politics, Washington-style. The Senate, as well as business in Washington D.C., is run by points and favors. The powers that be knew the importance of Pearl Harbor but they needed to put up a little show so that our senators, legislators, etc. would have to owe them political favors for something else down the road. This type of politics is an everyday occurrence. It's a game they play -- American politics!
Superferry EIS is necessaryState law requires an environmental impact state be conducted whenever the state appropriates money to be spent on state property for a project of the size of the Superferry.
An EIS is simply an informational document that allows our legislators to vote wisely, knowing all the facts such as how many whales will be affected by a ferry traveling at 40 mph and how much damage a ferry could do to coastlines and rural areas like Molokai.
There has been no EIS and our state Legislature voted $40 million to improve the state harbors in preparation for the Superferry anyway. They voted blindly. The Superferry company and Department of Transportation had two years to do the EIS, but instead chose to ignore the law by somehow talking the Lingle administration into a waiver, defeating the spirit, purpose and intent of the law.
Why have laws if they are not going to be enforced? Forty million dollars of taxpayer money is a big deal. We should have an EIS with answers before we spend that kind of money on a private enterprise.
Big bicycle network would improve trafficA much better way to reduce traffic than spending over a billion dollars on a mass transit system would be to invest the money in a huge bicycle network.
Build bike lanes to connect all of the major areas of the island. Build secure bicycle parking lots with shower and locker facilities. Encourage employers with tax incentives to provide bicycle parking and shower facilities.
Make a separate, adjoining lane so that other forms of gas-saving, smaller vehicles can use it.
Current bicycle lanes are extremely dangerous and there aren't very many places to park a bicycle. More people would ride their bikes if it were safer and more convenient.
Medical bills would go down because people would be healthier from all of the exercise they would be getting. The Hawaii economy would improve because the money saved on gas (money that mostly leaves the island) would be spent on other things. Work production would improve because employees who ride their bicycle would feel better, have a better attitude and be more productive. More tourists would visit Hawaii to enjoy riding on the bicycle lanes to see the sights.
And more cars would be taken off the road and Hawaii's traffic would improve.
There are so many positive reasons to implement a huge bicycle network.
Vibrant community or noisy nightmare?I read Clyde Hedlund's July 12 letter claiming vacation rentals aren't the worst offenders when it comes to diluting the kamaaina feel of our communities into oblivion. Not being the worst doesn't mean it's any good either. It is still illegal. It is an unwanted imposition to my rights for privacy and quiet.
I am an eight-year Kailua resident, and what for Mr. Hedlund is now a vibrant community, for me it's a nightmare of traffic noise; low flying tour planes and helicopters; transient tourists often throwing loud parties, overcrowded dwellings, unsightly cars parked everywhere, and on and on. I do miss the times when I moved in to sleepy and quiet Kailua. That was the main reason I chose it over Waikiki or Honolulu. Now my family is relentlessly overwhelmed by illegal activity all around us that some call "development and progress."
I am frustrated to see yet another corner of our beloved state abused while little is being done to stop the madness. I hope our governor will protect the residents and bring back the peace and quiet to our communities. Keep it aloha.
Maybe Hawaii is too bright and beautifulI can't help noticing how bright and beautiful Hawaii looks during an afternoon drive on the freeway, yet I'm troubled by this scene. The light from the sun appears too bright as though someone replaced a 60-watt light bulb with a 120-watt. During a full moon, the view outside looks like twilight; this might suggest the ozone has thinned out over the Central Pacific Region.
Lately, my success rate with planting annuals, such as marigolds and salvias, has been 100 percent failure; the seeds that I've harvested have all become sterile; none will germinate. I must order seeds from the mainland, but the seeds that I've harvested from them have also become sterile, too. I am now resigned to just planting perennials in my garden.
We are becoming like the frog who is sitting in a pot of water, unaware he is about to be boiled to death. The "canary alarm" has gone off in the islands and everyone appears to be indifferent. Wearing sunglasses, long-sleeve shirt and hat will become mandatory. Scientists, environmentalists and government officials must begin issuing guidelines for public safety as Australia has done.
Stanton T. Gaza
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