Don't start walking if the sign is flashing
It's interesting that the picture of people crossing Alakea and King streets, from Tuesday's article
"Crosswalk probe may last till '08, state says," obviously shows pedestrians just starting to cross even though the "Don't Walk" signal is on. This is what car drivers have to deal with every time they need to make a left or right turn. Pedestrians are always crying about car drivers in such a hurry, but what about you guys who are crossing against the light? What's your hurry?
Hawaiian music will lure back Japanese
Regarding the Jan. 27 article
on the decline of Japanese tourism, my Japanese friends tell me the reason they no longer go to Hawaii is the lack of Hawaiian and hapa-haole music, particularly with steel guitar.
The Japanese love this music. They can get Jawaiian, rap and acid rock at home; they don't need to spend the money to come to Hawaii to hear it. They have to search for the sounds of Hawaii instead of it being readily available. The tourism bureau had better inform the hotels and clubs to book more Hawaiian and hapa-haole groups and let the Japanese and the world know about it.
Residents helped plan Molokai project
The Jan. 28 letter
from Chris Cramer is disturbing. His arguments reveal he isn't familiar with Molokai or the community-based land use plan he attacks.
He claims that the proposed housing project at Laau Point was unilaterally decided on by the out-of-state chairman of the company that owns Molokai Ranch. Had he read the Star-Bulletin's recent articles about the development, he would know that the land use plan, which includes the Laau Point project, was a result of more than two years of negotiations between the people of Molokai and the ranch, which involved more than 1,000 residents and more than 120 meetings.
To call the ranch's statements on the need for the Laau Point project "ludicrous" shows a willingness to misstate the facts. As the Star-Bulletin also pointed out, the ranch has lost $31.6 million in the past five years and has pumped in $36.9 million to subsidize operations and upkeep of the ranch. Regardless of how successful the parent company is elsewhere, no business can continue generating these kinds of numbers.
I was born and raised on Molokai, and I was a participant in the community-based planning process. During those two years of heated and oftentimes emotional debate, those of us who participated in the process joined together in an effort to find solutions for issues that have plagued our island for generations. While this may not be a perfect plan, many of us can take pride in knowing that we, not someone who lives off-shore, played a major role in creating a plan for the future of our island.
John R. Sabas
Civil unions would cost taxpayers money
Regarding the bills introduced in the Legislature to recognize the union of homosexual couples (Star-Bulletin, Jan. 28
): I don't believe in such legislation because such a relationship is not vital to our society. Homosexual pairings are based on a physical attraction and it is the individual's desire that mostly serves the individual wants.
I am not trying to condemn it; if that is how one is, so be it. You have your privacy rights and you can be discrete about living it. You can hang together in public and I accept it.
Legal recognition opens a can of worms concerning the economic or financial burdens of paying for benefits: medical and government services. I read some reports awhile back that say the relationship breakups and health problems of homosexuals are high.
Too much of my taxes go toward paying for other social woes allowed by politically correct legislation. I don't want another one when nothing is being done to fix the existing ones.
Leave physicians out of assisted suicide
I am a student at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine, and just learned that some members of the state House are again trying to push through a physician-assisted suicide bill (Star-Bulletin, Jan. 31
) without oversight by the Health Committee (and the relevant testimony from the medical community that comes with it). Two years ago a similar bill was rejected by the Health Committee after considering testimony from all sides. A coincidence? I think not.
Of course this is a complex fundamental debate about autonomy and the value of human life. Whatever you believe is right, why does a physician who swears an oath to do no harm need to prescribe and administer death?
If this is so important to the authors of the bill, they should appoint a technician to deliver "mercy killings" and change the name to "state-assisted suicide." Keep those of us interested in preserving and improving the quality of life out of it.
Valet system makes airport parking tough
Am I the only one who finds it more than a bit disturbing that the new valet parking service at the Honolulu Airport takes up two levels of the already overcrowded interisland terminal parking structure?
When all levels of the interisland parking structure are available, parking there is still at a premium. Now, there is construction on level 7, making it inaccessible. This elitist valet service now occupies level 2 and part of level 3. I found it impossible to get a spot in the structure at 8:25 a.m. on a Tuesday!
I believe that free enterprise should reign, and if the airport parking lot management company wants to offer a premium-cost valet service, then it should move the vehicles to a more remote location where stalls aren't as precious. These areas could include the international parking structure, or the one at the commuter terminal.
It's critical that Maui gets new hospital
The final rejection of a new and desperately needed hospital for Maui County by the state Health Planning and Development Agency is an atrocity! It is time for the Legislature to be pono and end this process once and for all. Lawmakers should support Gov. Linda Lingle's request for immediate approval of Malulani hospital on Maui and then end the entire certificate of need procedure.
Auwe people, even the head of the SHPDA, David Sakamoto, says Maui needs this facility, but the antiquated law prevents him from approving it.
People of Oahu, your brothers and sisters on Maui beg you to write your legislators and demand action on this problem, which is literally a matter of life and death. Today the issue is saving lives on Maui. Tomorrow it could be you!
Pageant shut Hawaii out of the process
I am really disappointed in the Miss America Pageant. Pilialoha Gaison, Miss Hawaii, is beautiful and talented, but was not given a fair chance to win the contest.
CMT (Country Music Television) has the rights to televise the pageant. The televised part of the pageant was on Monday at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (3 p.m. Hawaii time). The broadcast was delayed three hours to Hawaii and did not air here until 6 p.m. So even those Hawaii residents who did watch the pageant saw it after it was over -- before they had a chance to text message their votes for some of the categories.
At least "American Idol" is viewed in all time zones with everyone given a chance to vote. The results are given the following night.
I am not against CMT for having the pageant. I am against its unfair method of text messaging in selecting Miss America.
Property tax system should be simple
I've read the various news reports regarding proposals to soften the blow of increasing property taxes to homeowners who live on their properties. I've also read with interest the various letters from other readers commenting one way or another about the proposal, especially those pointing out that renters who tend to occupy the lower steps of the economic ladder might not enjoy a reduced tax take without some complex program to help them.
I agree with many of them that the system being considered would be cumbersome and costly to administer, undoubtedly leading to errors and omissions. That produces inappropriate and unfair results. Why doesn't the City Council simply follow the KISS system. You know, "Keep It Simple Stupid." All they really need to do is adopt a rate that provides for a constant level of city services. Set a rate that will raise the same amount of tax in dollars as the previous year, maybe with some recognition for inflation. Last year's rate already contained a large increase in tax dollars collected due to rapidly rising values.
Enough is enough. It would take only a couple of minutes to adopt a resolution with the appropriate rate, and they could avoid having to hire more public employees to administer a complex program leading to inevitable inequities.
James V. Pollock