Don't ignore the law, work to change it
In her Oct. 6 "Gathering Place" commentary
, Pamela Burns would like us to think that there is a newly established policy against feeding cats in city and county parks. It's quite sad that she is resorting to misleading the public, as well as causing polarization and divisiveness through this adversarial approach to the new administration.
In short, the Parks Department changed signs in the parks so that they would all read the same. This is just common sense. It helps insulate the city from lawsuits, like the one against the state that cost millions of dollars for poor signage on its hiking trails. And yes, if someone complains, the law will be enforced uniformly.
If Burns doesn't like the law she should change it, instead of asking people in government to put her above the law.
Who was really fined in sewage-plant case?
The Oct. 12 Star-Bulletin
proclaimed that air pollution at the city's sewage plant led to a $542,000 fine by the state against the City and County of Honolulu's Department of Environmental Services.
The only problem I see with this is that the City and County of Honolulu is not paying the fine -- we are.
This is a political game played by various departments and levels of government to avoid fixing the real blame when something serious goes wrong. One department merely fines another and every thing is fine again.
When this fining process takes place, the only one who pays is the people. We are government's only source of revenue and it doesn't matter whether it is at the state or city level -- it is still our money.
What really should happen is the person or persons to blame (those who actually caused the problem) should be fired. Period. No fines. No transfer of funds from one government entity to another. Just eliminate the offending person(s).
Protect our reefs through education
It is mesmerizing to gaze at brilliant yellow tangs, moorish idols or flame angelfish in a home or office fish tank. So much so that the capture of these special fish from our state's reefs has become big business.
We commend Randy Fenny, owner of Coral Fish Hawaii, for his respect for the reefs as he harvests tropical fish for his business (Editorial, Oct. 11). He understands that the reefs provide for his livelihood and stripping them would be economic disaster.
With Hawaii Pacific University, Oceanic Institute offers courses about this very issue. The classes are designed to generate a healthy respect for the ocean and its fish, and to develop an appreciation for these species that are unique to our islands.
Oceanic Institute's educational outreach, offered to elementary and secondary school students and faculty, includes co-curricular programs that use aquaculture as a vehicle for teaching science, math, computer use and business literacy. Our resources and educational programs are designed to ensure that our reefs will thrive for generations to come.
Bruce S. Anderson
Blame for delayed aid can be spread around
Are we ready here in Hawaii for the next big disaster? It could be a hurricane, a tsunami or a terrorist attack. Do we have plenty of shelters, able to handle several hundred thousand people? Do we have the beds and the food at those shelters? Do the people know where the shelters are? And do we have alternate hospitals ready so we can evacuate people from hospitals to other hospitals and plenty of aid workers available to go from house to house and to clear away debris from streets? Will the hurricane fund be enough?
A big disaster is really impossible to prepare for. Yet the federal government was blamed for being unable to handle hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Perhaps that blame should be spread around to people who built in the wrong places, or built the wrong kind of structures, or to politicians who failed to properly construct the levees that broke. Every one of us is responsible for some disaster preparedness, even if it only includes having on hand bottles of water and extra food.
Even with drop, gas prices still too high
I would like to be the first to congratulate Sen. Ron Menor for patting himself on the back for the anticipated decline in gas prices ("Backers say gas price will prove law is working," Star-Bulletin, Oct. 13
). I would personally shake his hand if it were not for the fact gas prices prior to September averaged $2.75, which is still 25 cents less than the anticipate decline.
I just hope Menor will be as quick to accept blame if and when this law proves to be a farce, and hope he would be the first to jump in and tell his Democratic buddies to repeal it. Remember, Sen. Menor, your constituents do a lot of driving, and it's costing us every single day we drive.
Comfort, convenience make rail magical
Dennis W. Noe (Letters, Oct. 14
) asks what is "magic about a rail." He also wonders why anyone not currently riding the bus would be interested in riding the rail system, thus changing the "habit" of driving.
The rail will be a quick, comfortable ride that is not subject to traffic holdups, traffic lights, inconsiderate drivers or pedestrians wanting to cross the street midblock. It will move from one point to another with a predictable schedule. It will allow the rider the chance to read that newspaper, drink that cup of coffee and apply that makeup in comfort without creating a threat to other drivers.
With the use of monthly travel passes, rail will be considerably cheaper than maintaining and operating a car.
And that, Mr. Noe, is what is magic about our new rail system.
Roundabout will improve safety
This is in response to Janice Pechauer's Oct. 12 letter to the editor
The Foster Village roundabout is still under construction and is not expected to be completed until the end of the year, and many of Pechauer's concerns are misplaced. During any type of roadwork, there will be disruptions to traffic. The city informed and will remind the contractor to take measures to minimize the inconvenience to motorists. The contractor is not allowed to work on the road during morning and afternoon peak hours and must have off-duty police officers present to regulate traffic during construction hours. City buses have been rerouted to side streets during the construction period. Emergency response agencies also have been notified so they can plan alternate routes.
The construction of the roundabout at the intersection of Ala Napunani and Likini streets in Salt Lake faced the same challenges Pechauer cites. That roundabout, once finished, reduced speeding, improved pedestrian safety and minimized traffic congestion in the area. We are confident the one at Foster Village, once completed, will do the same.
Alfred A. Tanaka
Department of Transportation Services