Letters to the Editor

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

When can Hawaiians start receiving?

In 1778, the Hawaiian Islands belonged to the Hawaiians. Within 25 years we lost 75 percent of our population due to the diseases that came with our new visitors. Today these foreigners hold 90 percent of our land, and the last reigning monarchy holds a mere 10 percent. Our ancestors invited these guests into our home, and 200-plus years later, they own our home, and are now asking for private tutors to go with the accommodations.

The obvious absurdity speaks for itself. The Native Americans have reservations and land they can still call their own, to preserve what was once theirs. Why can't the legal minds of Hawaii realize we too must preserve our land, our heritage, so we too can live on. The Bishop Estate is being whittled away with such legal actions that led to the Hawaii Kai land sales and now its education of Hawaiian population. I would not be a physician today if I did not graduate from Kamehameha Schools.

The spirit of aloha works both ways, Hawaii. When will the legal minds of Hawaii decide the Hawaiians can stop giving and maybe start getting.

Beach often a source of nasty bacteria

In response to "Testing the waters" (Star-Bulletin, July 29): In 2004, U.S. beaches had 19,950 days of closings and advisories, with 14,615 days (73 percent) attributed to "unknown sources" of pollution. According to studies cited in the Clean Beaches Council report, "2005 State of the Beach: Bacteria and Sand," contaminated sand may be the source of bacteria that routinely force unexplained beach closings.

Bacteria survive in beach sand longer than they do in water. The report finds that beach waters may become contaminated as they lap across shores rich with sand bacteria. While scientists do not fully understand all the routes of sand contamination, there is solid evidence that people are a culprit. Research has shown a link between sand contamination from animal feces and food litter left on the beach by humans. Beachgoers should be encouraged to adopt a "leave no trace" ethic when visiting the beach, as well as to wash children off after they play in the sand.

Now we need a slogan to fight all that litter

First, I would like to thank you for publishing my idea for a solution to reduce graffiti vandalism to public property (Letters, June 4). I feel this is an important issue that needs to be addressed.

However, an issue that I find much more disturbing than graffiti is the amount of litter that can be seen all over the islands. To see litter in "paradise" makes it twice as bad. It saddens me deeply to see the amount of litter I do in one of the world's most beautiful places. It is not only an eyesore but also is dangerous to wildlife on land and in the ocean. I have been to some beaches that look like dump sites!

I realize some efforts have been taken to clean beaches and other areas. But a lot more work needs to be done. I suggest a public campaign with a slogan may be helpful to change attitudes toward pollution. The "Click It or Ticket" slogan has worked well, as most motorists now buckle up. Perhaps "Try Not Litter" or "Give A Shoots, Don'ts Pollutes" could be used. Public radio and television spots would increase awareness and change the attitudes of the people who don't care. I have seen people throw litter on the ground when a rubbish bin was a few steps from where they stood. Let's get the whole state behind this.

Dan Macho

Courthouse money could be better spent

The current Kauai courthouse (Star-Bulletin, Aug. 5) appears to be doing just fine, often crowded with 30-40 people in the morning a few days a week -- a chance for distant islandwide family and friends to chat and say hello. But also the courthouse is often empty, or else a single quiet trial is going on. The circuit and district court employees do not appear to be overcrowded. Court employees, people with citations and alleged criminals make a wonderful intricate calabash of extended family Kauai style.

Many of the courthouse "customers" are homeless, double and triple family compressed in overcrowded living, and they will never in their life own a Kauai home where they were born. These things on their own cause domestic and drug-related crimes, the vast majority of Kauai's cases.

The new courthouse's $42 million cost would have been better spent on housing for the hard-working Kauaians who deserve better. The new Kauai courthouse is like putting the cart before the horse.

One hundred and fifty surveillance cameras? Honolulu hasn't that many; why does tiny Kauai have the need? Well, it just doesn't.

Jay Trennoche
Kapaa, Kauai

City isn't ignoring concerns of residents in Nuuanu Valley

Regarding "Rocky Relationship in Nuuanu," the column by Nuuanu resident Jay Fidell in the Sunday Insight section criticizing the city's role in a private developer's plan to build homes in the area:

While I respect the writer's right to express his opinion, I am compelled to set the record straight with respect to the responsibilities of the Department of Planning and Permitting:

The DPP has not been unresponsive to community concerns. A meeting was held earlier this year, on request by Westley Chun, a professional engineer and president of the Nuuanu Valley Association. About 15-20 residents of the area attended this meeting, which was held at DPP. I believe the writer attended also.

I never said I would ignore the problems reported. Contrary to the writer's assertions, problems reported to the DPP have not been ignored. The landowner has submitted a drainage report, geo-technical report and archaeological survey in connection with the proposed subdivision.

The proposed subdivision is for nine lots with access at five different points, hardly an "enormous number of homes".

The most recent meeting on this subdivision was held Aug. 4 at DPP with representatives from the community, Leroy Akamine and David Hall.

Akamine focused on concerns for cultural impact, while Hall described concerns with regard to the technical studies. Hall requested additional information that DPP is putting together. From the detail of Hall's request, it is evident that he is aware of the technical studies that have been submitted in connection with the subdivision.

The many letters and e-mails received from the community are being reviewed.

DPP's review includes agency consultation on matters related to traffic, water supply, waste-water, civil engineering and archaeology.

For the record, action on the application has been deferred pending landowner submission of additional information to clarify the technical studies as DPP continues to review the studies.

Our actions do not reflect an attitude of ignoring concerns, but one of appropriately anticipating and responding to potential areas of concern.

Henry Eng
Department of Planning and Permitting

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