Residential units won't hurt Kakaako makai
Parks are nice, necessary, and expensive to maintain. Kakaako has a nice waterfront park that is well maintained and links with Ala Moana Boulevard for a two-to-three-mile strip of easy-access beauty.
Residential units in the makai section of Kakaako would not damage the existing park. In addition, residential units would provide new property tax revenue to the city of Honolulu to further ensure that our parks are well maintained, and to defer increasing the property taxes of other Oahu residents. To keep property taxes from rising too fast is the single best contribution the county can make to the maintenance of affordable housing.
We all win with multipurpose use. Do not let special interests unbalance county land use policies that should be designed to balance the benefits to all.
Paul E. Smith
Kakaako businesses need to be protected
The people in the red shirts shouting "No sale of public land! No residence makai of Ala Moana Boulevard!" are against progress. The small businesses on Queen Street are against improvement; they want to stop progress. Is taking away open public space for residential development progress? Is destroying small businesses progress?
The Hawaii Community Development Authority must step back from the trees to see the forest. Kakaako makai is not a vacant lot for development. Kakaako makai is a scarce, valuable resource -- shoreline public land. Progress is not what can be built here in a few years; progress is what shoreline public land can be preserved for the next generations.
Is it progress to destroy the existing vibrant community of small businesses to put in large improvements on Queen Street and in the rest of Kakaako mauka? Is it progress to encourage this new development, the ID-11 plan? Everybody says small businesses are the backbone of the economy, yet ...
Yes, we must look to the future. But we must first appreciate what we have.
Governor Lingle, let House Bill 2555 pass. Governor Lingle, stop ID-11.
Kakaako Business and Landowners Association
Marine life protected thanks to governor
Congratulations to Governor Lingle on another great example of her tireless efforts to make Hawaii a better place. Thanks to her, the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands now will be further protected as a national monument (Star-Bulletin, June 15
Thank you, Governor Lingle, for once again making good things happen for the people of Hawaii.
Governor should stop resisting mass transit
All of us who are caught in the horrendous commute from West and Central Oahu are getting tired of the foot-dragging
that is jeopardizing the Honolulu mass transit project. We need action, not posturing from the governor. Perhaps the governor and the lieutenant governor should get out of their chauffeured cocoons and spend a little more time in the real world stuck in traffic with the rest of us.
In spite of the governor's best efforts to the contrary, the state Legislature directed the state, not the city, to collect the transit tax. And with the state guaranteed around $15 million a year to cover its costs, one has to wonder what the governor's problem really is. No money to collect the tax? Another misleading one-liner by our governor.
Governor, we're not all Republicans, and we're not all from East Oahu, and there is something else that we are not, and that's expendable.
Need part-time help? Hire a senior
Sorry to read about the ice cream store staffing woes due to a shortage of kid help ("The Buzz," Star-Bulletin, June 11
). To be fair, scooping ice cream is not the easiest job. I was a student waitress at my college dining hall in the 1950s. I still remember hating the nights we had to dish up the hard stuff for a table of 10.
The story does highlight the changing of times and the need for our state civil service to revamp student hire rules. We need to catch up to the mainland in terms of part-time help and not be limited to the employment of needy students. The current terms are so compassionate they even provide sick leave, yet teenage employee turnover is a constant problem.
In my years as a manager of a busy midsize library I have met some outstanding dependable young student workers, but the ones who have just come and gone after three or four months number about seven to each one who stays and does a good job.
The high turnover means constant retraining and constant checking of the errors most often made by the inexperienced. It is a drain of time that should be spent on public service.
In recent years I have attended three mainland library conferences and have queried colleagues about how they cope with the unstable student hire market. Almost half said they use a mix of students and senior citizens.
Maybe the AARP would consider lobbying for a change to permit the hiring of part-time senior aides to civil service departments. I doubt if there would be any other way to challenge the status quo.
Sylvia C. Mitchell
Liliha Public Library
Will locals soon be banished from beach?
I thought it couldn't be done, but Mayor Hannemann has succeeded in ruining not only the water but also Kuhio Beach. City Enterprise Services Director Sidney Quintal had the benches in front of the concession stand removed. These were the benches where the locals came to talk and share every morning. In their place now is an ugly rental surfboard rack and more rental boards cluttering the beach in front.
I assume this was allowed because the rental surfboard company that is Diamond Head of the benches was given such a great deal of space. The illegal "wildcatting" activity Quintal cites has been going on for years, including surfboard thefts, and right behind the police station. So why now?
Please put the locals' beach benches back.
Beside the "no swimming" signs, I hope I never see "tourists only, no locals allowed."
Watada failed those who serve under him
"I will obey the orders of the president of the United States and the officers appointed over me."
These words are the ones that Lt. Ehren Watada is taking so lightly. He is not patriotic; he is being self-centered and selfish. The men and women whom he led since 2003 depended on him. Those same men and women took that same oath.
Yes, he has the right to unilaterally declare the war immoral and illegal, but the Army also has the right to put him in jail for his refusal. How many other oaths will Watada fail to carry out in his lifetime, as a doctor, lawyer, teacher, husband or father?
When life gets too hard, is he going to resign? He had no business being in uniform in the first place, and it is a blessing that he revealed his lack of commitment prior to deploying where he could have been a liability to those who willingly fulfill their commitments.
U.S. Navy, retired
Watada is a hero; war was based on lies
Lt. Ehren Watada should be commended for his stance not to go to Iraq.
He took an oath to serve and defend our country.
The Bush administration lied over and over again about the cause for going to war in Iraq.
Administration officials claimed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
They claimed Iraq was tied to 9/11. They claimed Iraq was attempting to purchase uranium from an African country.
All of these claims were disproved before the Bush administration attacked Iraq. And yet Bush attacked Iraq anyway.
Fighting in Iraq in a lie-based war is in no way defending our country. No soldier should be placed in harm's way because of lies. No soldier should have to give his or her life because of lies.
Mr. Watada, you are an American hero for standing up for what you believe. You are a hero for refusing to fight in Bush's lie-based war.
I salute you.
Why does nobody debate Iraq war?
The media debate about the Iraq war is off target. The discussions and analyses are centered on the peripheral and not on the core issues.
It has been reported that Americans are outraged by the mistreatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo by U.S. soldiers. Editorials condemn the civilian casualties caused by U.S. soldiers at places like Haditha.
Political leaders are frustrated that our form of democracy has not taken root within Iraqi society since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
Our war planners are rewriting strategic manuals concerning the troop levels needed for securing civilian infrastructure and restoring peace once the initial combat objectives are achieved.
What we have not addressed is that we -- our nation -- invaded a sovereign country. Our president, in our name and under the pretense of undisputable intelligence, declared war on a recognized independent member of the United Nations.
These are all crimes detailed within international law. Our nation and the world are less secure now than they were prior to the invasion. Who takes responsibility for that? Where is the accountability? What will be the legacy of this war? Who will be the last American to die for this misguided action? Where is the debate?