Magazine reporter wasn't nice to Wie
Open letter to Michael Bamberger of Sports Illustrated (see Oct. 17 Star-Bulletin story
I live in Hawaii and I'm a Michelle Wie fan. If you are truly a sports fan, why didn't you give this kid a break? When you first noticed or had an inclination that the drop could be questionable, why didn't you yell out to Michelle to recheck her measurements?
Your excuse of being in the reporter mode sounds like a weak justification for your conscience. Granted, it's not your responsibility. But wouldn't it have been a better story if you had warned Michelle, and she took your advice or called for an official?
You had an opportunity to be magnanimous but choose to be otherwise.
Russell Stephen Pang
Key to rental crisis is all in the Ohana
From neighborhood boards to the governor's office, every politician in the state seems to have a solution to the affordable housing crisis. The easiest and most cost-effective option, however, is never raised: revise our Ohana Housing Ordinance to allow more rental units in existing neighborhoods.
Under current rules, Ohana units in most subdivisions are limited to 700 square feet, must be in a single structure and must be occupied by extended family members. Personal experience with several recent residential building permit applications have made clear that enforcing these restrictive regulations is one of the top priorities in the plans review process. Even so, one does not have to look far in any neighborhood to find illegal rental units.
Nationwide, increasing rental housing in existing neighborhoods can provide more jobs close to where people live, reduce economic ghettos, increase public transit ridership, increase property values and provide extra income to older homeowners. Reducing urban sprawl has been the Honolulu city policy for decades, while our well-meaning land-use ordinances encourage carpeting Ewa and central Oahu with new subdivisions.
Home prices and homelessness have reached record proportions. More flexible and realistic rental housing regulations can provide relief to both homeowners and potential renters. Private enterprise will provide the funding and initiative. Our elected officials must make sure that bureaucracy does not stand in the way.
Timing gasoline fill-ups is a headache
Ever since this gasoline price cap was implemented, I have had to take two aspirins every week when the newly adjusted price is posted.
The roller-coaster ride of prices is meant to keep profit margins to a more manageable level.
You may feel good when prices are adjusted downward from the previous week, but in reality, it does not matter if prices go up or down. It does not matter because the same amount of profit margin set at the oil companies is built into each gallon regardless of the newly posted price each week.
Instead of waiting and hoping to refill when the price is right, perhaps I should just refill like I did before and not be so concern about timing the price market.
Kauai voters keep their officials in office
Mahalo to state Rep. Mina Morita of Kauai's North Shore for her ingenuity in bringing the state of Hawaii both the both the gasoline price cap and the bottle bill. Kauai will re-elect you every time; we're just stuck on our elected officials, regardless of incredibleness.
Hanabusa didn't tell whole story on raises
In an Oct. 11 Star-Bulletin article
regarding the state budget surplus, Sen. Colleen Hanabusa expresses her concern that the other employee unions will want the same 9 percent and 11 percent raise that the University of Hawaii faculty will receive in 2007 and 2008 respectively.
She is quoted as saying, "How are you going to tell one group of employees they don't deserve the pay raise you already gave to another group?"
The senator knows full well the answer to this rhetorical question. The faculty received significantly lower raises than the other unions during the early years of their six-year contract, and that is why they are getting larger raises at the end of their contract.
The average raise for the faculty over their six-year contract starting in 2003 is 5.1 percent, not the 10 percent it appears to be when looking at just the last two years.
This is yet another case of a politician telling only half the truth in an effort to mislead the public.
John P. Wendell