Leave isle power generation to HECO
Everybody is an expert in everybody else's job. For example, there are lots of people telling Hawaiian Electric Co.'s electrical engineers how to generate electricity.
Most of these so-called experts never heard of basic Ohm's law, or know the difference between a kilowatt and a kilowatt-hour. HECO has experienced electrical engineers with the latest technology.
Everybody is telling HECO what not to do. Every time HECO wants to put something up, from simple bright, shiny steel power poles to windmills in unused areas, a howl about eyesores goes up. Those rows and rows of ratty-looking wooden telephone poles, many with concrete and steel belly bands to keep them from breaking in half and with scruffy cables sagging between them, are not pretty, but they're hardly noticed because people grew up with them. Anything new attracts attention and protests.
Let HECO's electrical engineers put up whatever they want, wherever they want to give you the power you want, as cheaply as you want. You'll get used to it.
We're there for game, not to get drooled on
Do people like me have to spell out the obvious to the drunks fighting for that last swig before entering Aloha Stadium
? I have fun at tailgate parties. It's a time to meet friends, barbecue and grind down the fruits of our labor before game time. It's not a time to get stupid drunk so you can act a fool during a game.
Remember what we are going to the games for -- to support and soberly cheer our University of Hawaii football team to victory. Don't get me wrong; I like the taste of a beer or two before game time, but to act like that is the only reason you go? If that's the case, then go to a bar and get stupid there because by the time you get your sorry drunk okole in the stadium, you're too drunk to know what's going on anyway.
The decision to ban alcohol at tailgate parties was a wise one. It is a way for all to get what we want -- to watch a game and still enjoy a beer or two, but mostly enjoy a football game without some stinking, drooling drunk yelling at who knows what.
Come on folks, it's a family affair to take the wives, kids and enjoy ourselves ... sober.
OK, ban booze -- now, about that pakalolo ...
Thank goodness Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona has the courage to suggest a ban on alcohol at Aloha Stadium
. There's nothing like an obnoxious, belligerent drunk to ruin what should be a fun event. For all those fans who cannot enjoy a football game or tailgate party without getting a beer buzz, there is a very simple solution.
Why not get rid of the alcohol, and let the concessionaire finish out its contract by selling marijuana instead of beer? Maui Wowie Brownies, anyone? How about Puna Butter Bars? This would eliminate long lines at the restrooms, thereby conserving water; people would flock to the snack stands for more food, thereby increasing profits; and fans would be smiling and friendly, thus eliminating rowdiness and violence. Doing the "wave" would be a whole new experience.
Seriously, if people feel the need for an alcohol buzz to have a good time, perhaps the Stadium Authority should provide counseling services instead of beer.
City should crack down on illegal rentals
Mahalo to Mayor Hannemann for making clear his position on illegal vacation rentals in residential neighborhoods. He has said, "It is not comforting for me to know that the present administration (Harris) perhaps has not heeded the calls to the concerns that was expressed repeatedly throughout the years about this burdensome industry that is obviously causing an impact on your quality of life" (Star-Bulletin, Aug. 26, 2004
Since a recent change in enforcement philosophy, the city Department of Planning & Permitting has changed from "catch them in the act" to a much easier to "gather preponderance of the evidence" to issue citations. The North Shore, Waianae and Kailua neighborhood boards and the Lanikai Association have adopted strong resolutions requesting better enforcement. This blight is spreading rapidly through our residential neighborhoods and must be stopped now.
The City Council recently unanimously adopted a resolution calling for permitting of B&Bs in all neighborhoods, claiming this will help enforcement. It's wrong. Enforcement is what's needed and this mayor means to clean up the mess left by the last one.
Save Oahu's Neighborhoods
News reports neglect women's volleyball
By what possible logic does a losing football team deserve more coverage than a winning volleyball team? The University of Hawaii has one of the nation's best volleyball teams and clearly Dave Shoji is one of the finest coaches
in the country. Our women's volleyball teams bring victory after victory, week after week throughout the season, and they always run a weak second in news coverage to our losing football team. Could sexism be a factor in all this? How about a bit of fair and balanced coverage?
Iraqis should pay U.S. for military services
Most leaders agree that setting a deadline for withdrawal from Iraq would be foolish and disastrous. The terrorists would merely wait for that date, swarm in, take over and most likely slaughter all who collaborated with the United States. It would be a great betrayal to the Iraqi people and a great victory for Islamic extremism.
But we can impose another type of deadline. The United States should tell the Iraqis that after Jan 1, 2007, they will have to start paying us 100 percent for our military services (they can pay us in oil). Hopefully, this will motivate them to put more effort and urgency into whipping their own army into shape to defend themselves (so we can leave). Our resources and lives are not limitless.
Michael Van Dorn
Kewalo development not right for Hawaii
As a member of Friends of Kewalo Basin, I am excited to hear that state Senate leaders are questioning
the building of condos
on state parks land makai of Ala Moana Boulevard as proposed by A&B Properties.
What good would the project do for people who already use this park? Expensive shops and dwellings will push average-wage citizens further away from the enjoyment of open spaces and waterfront areas for the good of mostly part-time residents from out of state and country.
The Hawaii Community Development Authority should be told that this is not what people want. Be ready for an all-out fight as we stand united with our backs to the ocean to protect for our children what they need most -- open accessible land, not overpriced shops and condos and parking tickets.
We are the citizens who use this area for recreation and business and we can make a lot of waves, no pun intended, as we organize all those concerned about the exploitation of an already overbuilt land area.
John J. Arnold
Friends of Kewalo Basin
Tax cuts have led to strong economy
I am finding it impossible to relate Rich Figel's Oct. 11 letter
to the Oct. 1 one
he refers to by Sen. Fred Hemmings. The senator simply stated that tax cuts stimulate the economy and that this was true with Presidents Reagan, Kennedy and Bush. He further said that irresponsible spending -- by both parties -- is the cause of a deficit and not tax cuts.
Figel's diatribe against Hemmings and Bush fails to mention 9/11 and what we have had to spend on national security. Perhaps if President Clinton had used some of his surplus to pursue terrorists who attacked us on his watch, we would be better off today in many ways. He also seems to think that only Republicans in Congress are handing out pork. I notice Hawaii continues to get its share from our Democratic congressmen.
Hemmings is a strong fiscal conservative. He also thinks overtaxing our citizens is wrong and ends up hurting our economy. He has continually proposed cutting taxes on groceries and medicine.
Our state's economy is in great shape for the first time in many years. Governors Waihee and Cayetano spent like there was no tomorrow and it has taken a long time to get out of that hole. Governor Lingle has done a good job. I just wish she had more people like Hemmings in the Legislature to help her.
Hawaii should follow sheriff's tough style
The state government could easily reduce the need to send criminals to the mainland if it would just handle incarceration the way Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio has done.
On Aug. 3, 1993, he started the nation's largest tent city for inmates. More than 2,000 convicted men and women serve their sentences in a canvas compound surrounded by a chainlink fence. It is a remarkable success story and has garnered the attention of government officials and media worldwide.
Equally impressive are his "get tough" policies. Arpaio doesn't believe in coddling criminals. He banned smoking, coffee, pornographic magazines, movies and unrestricted television in all jails. He has the cheapest meals in the country, too. The average inmate meal costs less than 20 cents.
I just don't understand why, here with this year-round nice weather, Hawaii doesn't do these same things. Prison is not supposed to be some place one doesn't mind going.
Gordon "Doc" Smith
Save our harbors for maritime industries
Limited space in Honolulu Harbor for maritime use is gradually being eroded by nonmaritime interests
. In recent years, portions of Pier 1 and Kapalama have been taken away for other uses. Part of the problem is that control of Honolulu Harbor is shared by the Hawaii Community Development Authority, the Aloha Tower Development Corp. and the state Harbors Division. Each agency has its own agenda, but only the Harbors Division is really concerned with maritime interests.
We are all failing to look 15, 25 and even 50 years ahead. Projections by the state Department of Planning and Economic Development indicate anywhere from 1.5 to 2 percent growth per year. There is a direct correlation between state growth and cargo demands. How are we going to meet our need for additional cargo handling space if our needs grow by 50 percent in 25 years?
State planners and our major cargo carriers need to start planning together. Are they already doing this? If so, do they have a 25-year plan endorsed by the governor to take care of our projected needs?
Thomas T. Fujikawa
Retired state Harbors Division administrator
Dream of returning to Hawaii snuffed
After reading some disputatious letters concerning Waikiki, I examined apartment rentals on Oahu, recalling that I once rented a one-bedroom on Princess Kaiulani Avenue, a block from the beach, for $90 a month.
I left Hawaii in 1968, hoping I'd be permitted to return one day. Things change.
As a Canadian, equipped with a master's degree from the University of Hawaii and three other degrees, I imagined I might be considered for employment in your fine state.
No "green card" for me, however. Despite 37 years of post-secondary teaching experience, I'd have to wait at least 6 to 8 years. By then I'll be too old to entry the United States under any circumstances.
Meantime, I'd love to be able to choose any location from the Palolo Valley to Makiki Heights (or Kaneohe, Kailua or even Waikiki) where 40 years ago I was a grateful graduate student and spent warm days without complaint.
Bush hasn't been honest about nominees
Several letters have condemned President Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers, sans judicial experience, to a lifelong appointment to the Supreme Court. Who cares? This elite court just accepted former Playboy playmate Anna Nicole Smith's case out of the 1,900 petitioned. Last convening, they ruled on eminent domain, allowing the federal government to seize your home for improved economics. All these Harvard Law School grads and they come up with this insanity?
Bush & Co. are so far to the right they talk to Jesus, and the president says he hadn't spoken to either Chief Justice John Roberts or Miers about their views on abortion. Yeah, sure. Can the White House lies get any bolder?
If, two to three years from now, Roe v. Wade is overturned, then who in their right mind would ever vote Republican?