Honolulu is not exactly flush with public restrooms
It is a natural human function of all human beings to have to use the bathroom a few times a day. And yet in downtown Honolulu there is no public restroom, so people use the one in Macy's department store.
It is absolutely negligent on the part of the City Council that this predicament persists. How many thousands of dollars are lost from Macy's from pilfering and theft? How disappointing for Macy's employees, whose potential customers are only there to use its bathroom facilities.
A city without public restrooms encourages urinating on our streets and increases the smell of urine in places all around Honolulu.
I call upon the City Council to adopt a proposal and set aside funds for building at least one public restroom facility in downtown Honolulu for the human needs of the people of the city. If the City Council members cannot see this tremendous need, then they have no business being on the Council.
Scott R. Hadley
Washington ferries offer great experience
It really is a shame that a certain few people would come out against such a wonderful method of transportation, the Hawaii Superferry. When we visited Washington state, we took the ferry to visit Orcas Island. We paid for our tickets, drove onto the ferry and got out of the car to relax upstairs. They provided food and drinks; we enjoyed spending time together, watched the whales, birds and the beautiful sights.
Later, when we landed, we drove off, one by one, in an orderly fashion. We did the reverse to get back to the mainland. Easy, convenient; no humbug. We didn't have to check in and then later retrieve our baggage and then go look or wait for transportation. I'll never forget this experience. Not only will it create jobs for Hawaii; it's the best thing next to building bridges to connect our islands.
They might as well take away our cars, too
Was I the only one taken aback by the brazen illogic of Charles Chelliah's comment (Letters, June 5
), "Requiring all multidwelling units to be smoke-free by law is one way to protect both the smoker's and nonsmoker's rights"? Yes, I can see all the smokers in Kaneohe strewing rose petals in your path to celebrate your ardent defense of their right to not smoke in their own houses. By that logic, perhaps our legislators will grant us some other freedoms to enjoy, such as the right of environmental radicals to confiscate our cars, thus protecting our right to not burn fossil fuels.
I don't smoke, but that doesn't give me the right to use the coercive power of state government to force that choice upon others. The name "Coalition for a Tobacco Free Hawaii" says it all: they want to make tobacco use illegal, otherwise they would have chosen a name like "Coalition Against Tobacco Use in Public." Isn't it ironic that most proponents of nanny-statism refer to themselves as "pro-choice"?
Pidgin's value depends on the circumstances
Pidgin is OK under certain conditions and circumstances, but sometimes it could turn around and become a scourge and detriment to the user in that it could be a liability to one's self-esteem and diminish the possibility for one's advancement in almost any endeavor.
Copper thieves should repay debt to city
Any punishment for copper thieves would have to take into account not only the value of the copper but also the loss of public safety and security, and the cost of labor to replace that product.
If the thief is of the sort that is a burden on the community, such as no visible means of an honest income, no proven job skills other than being a thief, a career criminal so to speak, they should be given community service (such as cleaning up freeway trash, or cleaning up parks and hiking areas) as a part of their punishment. If they prove to be repeat offenders, a mandatory period of hard labor, the number of days determined by the replacement cost to restore the City and County of Honolulu services to the pre-offense level. If they fail to show up for the community service, an arrest warrant will be issued and their time served in hard labor.
These services that the copper thieves provide will repay their debt to the city, and keeping them busy would allow less time for them to pursue illegal activity.
Justice must not rest for Osama's minions
The judge's decision to throw out charges against Osama bin Laden's alleged chauffeur is a gross miscarriage of justice (Star-Bulletin, June 5).
The next thing you know, the American military courts won't be allowed to try bin Laden's alleged manicurist or his alleged tennis coach.
What are our courts coming to when dangerous security risks like these alleged enemy combatants are allowed to escape justice?
John A. Broussard
'Freedom Rally' raised money for vets' kids
Keith Haugen's argument against the "Freedom Rally" (Letters, June 7
) and his fallacious reasons for the press not covering it only serve to reinforce the fact that those who do not support the war do not, indeed, support the troops. Those who say they do are speaking out of both sides of their mouths.
The purpose of the "Freedom Rally" that Haugen so flippantly disregards was to raise money to send the children of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for this country (and for his right to speak freely) to college. I can't think of a more noble purpose for a gathering of a few thousand, not hundred, as he supposes.
The real story of that night was not who was there, it was who was not there. It was extremely appropriate that it occurred on Memorial Day weekend.
Meanwhile, kids are riding in truck beds
Regarding the "Click It or Ticket" hoo-ha: Enforcement of the mandatory seatbelt law in Hawaii is a joke. Almost all state and municipal jurisdictions, including all military installations, have strict laws prohibiting unrestrained passengers from riding in the beds of pickup trucks. Imagine the irony while a Honolulu Police Department officer is ticketing someone who is not buckled up in their vehicle, while a driver of a pickup truck drives by with a group of children or adults riding unrestrained in the bed? Dah!
Waipio and Annapolis, Md.
Wahine gave Hawaii reason to be proud
The Wahine did Hawaii proud! We live in Tulsa, and we promised our Hawaiian daughter that we would go to the College World Series if the Wahine won down the turnpike in Oklahoma City. They came so close, and Coach Bob Coolen and his assistants should be applauded for their team's effort and accomplishments after their 18 days on the road (Star-Bulletin, May 27
). There is so much more to come next year!
We look forward to seeing them in Oklahoma City next year.
Louan and Cathy Jo Torres
How does KSBE affect tax revenue?
We need to settle once and for all what the impact (dollar amount) is regarding the existence of Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate
and its tax exemption. There must be many knowledgeable people out there (certified public accountants, economists) who can be objective and give us strictly figures.
Is the existence of KSBE good or bad for Hawaii? Does the tax exemption cause my taxes to be higher? Is it measurable? Does our state gain or lose by having a KSBE build its own schools, pay its own teachers and educating thousands of children thereby not impacting the public school system? Is there a lose or gain figure if KSBE were eliminated entirely? More or less taxes? Approximation or percentage will suffice.
VIEWS OF THE CITY
Mayor has been making necessary progress
I enjoyed receiving my copy of Mayor Mufi Hannemann's progress report and was pleased to read about the progress he's made on some really tough issues.
It's no secret that our sewer system has suffered from decades of neglect and that our sewer fund was raided repeatedly to fund more glamorous projects. We're paying for that neglect and folly now, and while I'm not happy about paying higher sewer fees, at least I know that the money is going where it's supposed to go.
And then there's the eternal debate over building a mass transit system. Thank goodness we're making progress on that front. Every great city in our nation has a mass transit system, and it's time that Honolulu had one, too.
Mahalo, Mayor Hannemann, for having the vision and commitment to make things happen.
Who's in charge of this sinking ship?
OK, let's see if I understand the recent mayor's and City Council's budget (Star-Bulletin, June 7
). They're going to reduce residential property taxes (cha-ching), putting money back into our pocket. At the same time, they will raise business property taxes, which means the cost of goods from those businesses will increase (cha-ching), taking money back out of our pockets. Then, they're going to increase our sewer fees (cha-ching), taking even more money out of our pockets.
So the formula looks like this: Our pocket money plus savings on property taxes minus increased cost of goods minus higher sewer fees equals we're screwed again by our elected officials. Now I think I understand. And remember, you elected them, they didn't elect themselves.
Again, I would call on our elected officials to cut government cost, waste and mismanagement. Good examples where we continue to pay: hundreds of thousands spent on signage at Hawaii Kai, which had to be replaced (blamed on tourist climbing and sitting on it. Wrong, poor design); and the median strip on Lunalilo Home Road, partially torn up and removed after only a short life. And let's not forget the Kuhio Street debacle with the trees -- now you see them, now you don't.
The taxpayers' ship is sinking and there's no captain (mayor) or crew (City Council) in the wheelhouse.
Mayor is having fine time with taxpapers' money
After the City Council released its budget
, there is every reason for Oahu taxpayers to end the tenure of Mayor Mufi Hannemann in 2008 when he seeks re-election (heaven forbid!). This also goes for members of the City Council, with the exception of Charles Djou, who has always been on the taxpayers' side.
Ever since his election, Hannemann has had a field day with our pocketbooks. The vehicle weight tax has doubled; a fee increase means our sewer bills soon will almost match our electric bills; and the proposed property tax rate reduction is ridiculous. If that weren't enough, the Board of Water Supply was granted a 50 percent fee increase.
And how about the mayor accepting his 5 percent raise, making his salary higher than Gov. Linda Lingle's? In November 2008, let's elect a new mayor and City Council members.
Melvin Partido Sr.
Mayor shows great foresight in pursuing mass transit
As a 17-year resident of Kapolei and an even longer rider of TheBus, I'm extremely heartened by the prospect of Oahu residents finally getting the mass transit system we need and want.
To those who question whether we will get the needed ridership, I say come ride the bus with us and you'll see how committed and dependent many of us are on public transportation.
I, for one, am looking forward to enjoying a form of transportation that will not be affected by the inevitable traffic delays on Honolulu's freeways.
To those who say the system will cost too much, I say it's doing nothing that we can't afford, in terms of cost to our environment, our economy and our quality of life.
Mahalo to Mayor Hannemann and his administration for their foresight and commitment.