Facts support Hokulia development
While it is easy to understand the frustration columnist Cynthia Oi
and others express about the Hokulia situation and proposed legislative solutions
, they have either ignored or failed to find the following facts:
» Hokulia is developed on land which is "ag" in name only. It is unsuitable for any agricultural use except 2-3 weeks' grazing of a few cattle during the wet season. If the classification is a stealth one to preserve open space, that is another matter -- and another state classification. This controversy is not -- or ought not to be -- preserving agricultural land.
» Regardless of the quality of the land, however, what is described as illegal in the permitting process is what the counties have been doing -- with the tacit approval of the state Land Use Commission -- for about 20 years on all islands. Contrary to recent opinions, there is nothing in our statutory framework that forbids what the counties have done, however ill advised it is considered. All the Hokulia developers did was follow the business practice in the industry -- for which, according to our state Supreme Court, a landowner's rights to proceed vest.
» The bill against which Oi and others rail will vest certain ag residential uses of the Hokulia variety, but it will also vest the rights of tens of thousands of other, far less affluent lot owners, many of whom have not yet built on their lots. This is not fair?
» As long as we are talking about "fair," what's fair about a lawsuit allowed to proceed against a development that is two years past the last required permit and into construction? Our collective reputation on the mainland (where much of the financing for all manner of projects, public and private, comes from) for protecting such entitlements is somewhere near the bottom of the barrel right now.
In the interests of full disclosure, I have been "of counsel" for the attorneys representing Hokulia for the past several years, mainly because the decisions coming out of the circuit court in Kona were, in my opinion, turning our established law inside out (and I've been teaching land use and property here for 28 years). I get a kick out of some of the local "public rep." groups railing at my views and politics, since I spent most of my career before coming here representing state and local governments, and have done so here as well.
Kudo Professor of Law
William S. Richardson School of Law,
University of Hawaii
Go after those who hire illegal immigrants
I might see arresting those who hire illegal immigrants to make beds, clean toilets, pick crops, and do other jobs for peanuts. Better, make employers pay a $12/hour minimum wage for such hard work. They might even get some of our lazy teenagers to go to work.
My parents were immigrants.
Special interests work for all of us
A flurry of recent letters has heated up issues such as special interest money, abortion and the ever-popular rail transit. One writer asks if citizens must have checkbooks in hand to be heard by their legislators. Well, the answer is yes, because on the other side of the issue you want to address is another citizen with a checkbook ready!
As concerned citizens and voters, we all need to understand that many voices need to speak as one to be heard: Whether they are for or against abortion, favor or oppose rail or want a new solution to garbage disposal, special interest groups are writing the checks and arguing the sides for all of us right now. And they are also taking care of the things we all need but don't ever think about. Going out for lunch today? Somewhere along the line a special interest helped create sanitation standards for restaurants so you don't have to worry about food-borne illness. The list goes on.
Sure, there are some controversial big spenders in the political world, but before you shame all special interests, keep in mind that half of them are working in your own interest. Isn't that special?
Don't turn patients into guinea pigs
Beth Giesting's "Gathering Place" column Wednesday about House Bill 2589
, authorizing psychologists to practice medicine by prescribing psychoactive drugs, failed to note that surveys indicate that about half of psychologists nationally do not support this or similar bills. Why would these opposing psychologists turn down the opportunity to make a lot more money while ostensibly helping the underserved?
One reason is that the medical training involved is less than half of that required of all other prescribing professions in Hawaii and most states. There is no proof that substandard training is safe. This bill treats Hawaii's poor as guinea pigs. New Mexico is testing the effect of substandard medical training for psychologists to prescribe upon consumer safety. Why not wait for the results of this experiment before subjecting Hawaii's citizens to potential danger?
Another reason for opposition to this bill is that, contrary to Giesting's claims, medical training for psychologists would be costly for the taxpayer. Costs include more faculty and facilities at the University of Hawaii and more regulatory agents.
The lowest standard of medical training for prescribing in Hawaii is that of an advanced practice registered nurse. The university's School of Nursing offers an accelerated training program. Why do the psychologists who want to practice medicine not complete the training that is already available and would not incur additional expenses for the taxpayer?
Elaine M. Heiby, Ph.D.
Recent weather is bad but not catastrophic
Even though Hawaii has experienced 40-plus consecutive days of rain, to compare it to "biblical proportions" is absurd (Letters, March 31
). Please read Genesis chapter 7. Thank you.
Eat healthful fat and get a healthy glow
"Pigs cloned to produce heart-healthy fatty acids," reads the headline of an article in the March 27 Star-Bulletin. Isn't it great that our scientists are focused on this concern rather than changing the weather or colonizing Mars? Dr. Jing Kang of Harvard wants to develop omega-3s in cows next. Just imagine, it might not be long before America's most unhealthy junk food meal, super-sized burger, fries and milk shake, will be among the healthiest.
Hurray for genetically engineered food. Hurray for unnatural food. Glowing in the dark is a small price to pay for progress, especially if your figure is trimmer on a fuller stomach.
Richard Y. Will
Media did good job on homeless story
The Advisory Board of The Interfaith Alliance Hawai'i would like to commend the local media for its excellent coverage of those who were displaced from Ala Moana Park
this week. The light you shined on a problem that many would like to treat as nonexistent helped to provide at least temporary housing, food, clothing and more for those whose voices usually go unheard. Televised interviews put faces on those whom we try to ignore. Photographs and well-written editorials and stories helped move us to action. At least one church has taken in persons who have no permanent shelter, and others are making sandwiches, providing blankets and working with the Legislature on possible solutions.
We urge that future discussions and decisions include some persons who have no permanent shelter and also those who have been their advocates, such as Utu Langi of the H-5 ministry and the Rev. Bob Nakata.
Bishop Richard S.O. Chang Monsignor Dan Dever Rev. Yoshiaki Fujitani Rev. Teruo Kawata Jean Sadako King Rabbi Avi Magid Rev. Barbara Grace Ripple
Advisory Board of The Interfaith Alliance Hawai'i