Pedestrians, drivers share duty to be safe
Your May 8 article
on pedestrian/driver safety was most welcome. Clearly, public and private agencies are getting their act together on this important issue. I walk at least one hour per day and can attest firsthand to the importance of following the law about jay-walking and obeying traffic lights, and being doubly alert to traffic and careful street crossing.
As an AARP volunteer, I'll be out there with many other volunteers today for our National Day of Service to promote pedestrian safety.
City ignores hazards of rockfalls in Nuuanu
In 1978, the city recognized that the drainage system in Nuuanu
was inadequate and promised to fix it. It never did.
In 2000, the city recognized the danger of rockfalls from steep mountainsides and resolved to address the issue. It never did.
In 2003, Dara Onishi was crushed in her sleep by a boulder that fell off that mountainside. In 2004, Rose Hamakado barely escaped the same tragedy when a falling boulder missed her by only a foot. And what has our city government done about all this? Nothing.
In an effort to encourage the city Department of Planning and Permitting to act with greater care, Peter Young, director of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, wrote, "We believe that with the awareness that we now have of those risks, we would be derelict in our responsibilities to the citizens of the state if we allow subdivisions and homes to be built next to known natural hazards without addressing those concerns."
City Council Resolution 37 and Bill 48, which called for stricter standards for development of hillside subdivisions, proposed by Councilman Rod Tam, were a good start. But the City Council killed them.
Pursuing Akaka Bill is a wasted effort
After seven years of hearings, testimony, debates, wrangling and zero progress, it's time to retire both the Akaka Bill
and the gracious senator who sponsored it. I hate to see the loss of several decades of political capital, the personal loss to Senator Akaka's dignity and the wrong-headed effort of the entire Hawaii congressional delegation continuing, yet that seems to be what the cost is apt to be.
The 1893 replacement of a monarchy with a republic was the best thing for Hawaii. After the representative form of government was dissolved by the various monarchs for the fourth time that century, it was the only choice for a population that desired to protect itself from the absolute and arbitrary authority of a dead form of government -- monarchy.
Concentrating benefits on one racial group and one doubtful cause is just plain wrong.
The U.S. Civil Rights Commission has urged rejection of S147. Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander's May 8 speech on the floor of the Senate sounded the death knell, yet I sense an ongoing effort to ignore our Constitution. Creation of a nation within a nation as proposed by S147 is unconstitutional and wasteful. The Constitution makes no provision for the dissolution of any state nor any part of any state. These back-door contrivances to subvert the law disgrace the state, and bring shame on us all.
There's no more room at America's inn
Letter writer Ken Schoolland (Star-Bulletin, May 7
) attempts to justify the current flood of illegal immigrants by pointing to our country's history of accepting immigrants without documentation. Our country was hungry for population then, but that is not the case today.
He also cites the mistakes our country has made in the past. This is like the mass murderer who attempts to justify his actions by claiming he was abused as a child. That argument doesn't hold water. We cannot dispute or justify the actions of our forefathers; we have to deal with 21st-century reality. That reality dictates that we have a immigration policy based on reason, not emotion.
Most proponents of illegal immigrants point to the positives that the illegal workers provide while ignoring other implications. One of these is the tremendous harm the illegals are having on our social system. It is true that they help deliver cheaper goods to our stores, but we pay higher taxes as a result. They have deluged our emergency rooms and social services that were designed for the less fortunate of our society because the people who employ the immigrants provide minimum (if any) benefits, including medical or unemployment. Nor do many of these employers contribute to Social Security or Medicare on behalf of the illegals. They pocket that money instead.
Most of the employers of the illegal immigrant population are reaping the benefits of cheap labor without incurring the costs that would have to be provided to a U.S. citizen. In short, the illegal immigrant and the taxpayer are both being exploited.
And don't talk to me about fairness. How fair is it to the families in Asian or Eastern European countries who are patiently waiting their turn to enter America, while others are flooding across our borders and cutting to the head of our immigration line?