Kailua is changing -- getting even better
I was curious about which Kailua Louie Vierra was referring to when he wrote "change ... is destroying all that was good about Kailua" (Star-Bulletin letters, Aug. 18
). Is he referring to the sprucing up of the central business district, replacing rundown buildings with stylish-looking new buildings, a tasteful new parking structure, and planting trees along a grassy median strip? Or is he referring to our new neighborhoods in Keolu Hills?
The people I've met who live there seem just as pleasant as everyone else who lives here. Or is he referring to the plan to tear down the decrepit housing near the central business district and replace it with nicer homes?
Or is Louie upset about the sewers being replaced so we no longer have those delightful sewer line breaks?
I suppose if you're one of those progressives who hate actual progress, then, yeah, Kailua is going downhill. The rest of us kinda like it here.
Akaka Bill is about control of land, money
At last a member of Hawaii's congressional delegation has told the truth about what the Akaka Bill is all about.
Speaking to the House Natural Resources Committee recently, Abercrombie said, "The bottom line here is that this is a bill about the control of assets. This is about land, this is about money ..."
The "land" is state land, ceded land and Hawaiian Homes land.
The money is money currently in the state treasury, or money that would go into the state treasury in the future.
This former state land and money would end up in the hands of a new, separate Hawaiian government, and would be used exclusively for the benefit of native Hawaiians. No haoles, Japanese, Chinese, or Filipinos need apply.
This is what Hawaiian "recognition" means.
Do you still support "recognition" ?
Trade imbalance fuels anti-China stories
I tire of the China-bashing that is currently passing as news. I suspect that the media are playing upon the fear of Americans toward the Asian hordes (the "yellow peril") that was at its height during the late '40s and '50s in 20th century America. That fear is trotted out and paraded around every decade or so.
I think that Chinese-made products are no better and no worse than products we import from Japan, the Philippines, India, Mexico, Indonesia, India, England, France, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Central America, South America, Canada and on and on. Of course there is the suspect food from China that is being held for inspection, but the most recent news about food illnesses is about food that we grow and manufacture in this country. We still buy a lot of Chinese-made appliances, electronics, computers, tools and machines.
It is almost too perfect a media construct. I suspect that this is about our trade imbalance with China and the feeling that China has too many U.S. dollars. OK, it might be our own damn fault. Who can resist that cheap TV, the bargain basement computer, that fancy little personal entertainment device, the extra 6 pounds of dog food in every bag?
But China didn't help. The way they can help now is to revalue the Yuan upwards and buy more U.S. goods and services.
Then I bet this will all go away. But this is a minor economic blip. The problem that I have is with the utilization of fear and racial prejudice to control the population to support a national economic agenda when some simple, honest discussion would give us the freedom to choose the right path. True enough, democracy is messy, but it's working so far. Let's give it a shot before we begin to take away the choices.
Fed manipulates the marketplace
The Business section of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin (Aug. 10) reported that the Federal Reserve put $38 billion into the banking system. It was done because of a "credit crunch." Whatever happened to the economists' claim of "the invisible hand of the marketplace"?
Jerome G. Manis
Register killers? Just keep them locked up
Two murderers were accused of committing violent crimes while on parole. This prompted Sen. Will Espero to promote a murder registry similar to Hawaii's sex-offender registry: "People who are committing these crimes have to realize they have to be accountable."
During a murder, the last thing on the murderer's mind is accountability. Espero also touts SB 932, which, in his own words, "mandates the return of mainland prisoners who are scheduled for release."
SB 932, passed over the governor's veto, caused public concern because forcing the return of violent felons to Hawaii without adequate space in local facilities could result in premature release of felons.
The governor vetoed this bill because she was concerned for the public's safety. Fortunately, the state attorney general reviewed this new statutory provision and determined that it should be interpreted to be "directory, not mandatory." We should help Hawaii's ex-offenders return to being productive members of the community. But where is the priority?
People would much rather be safe in their homes and community than know where every person previously convicted of a homicide might reside.
If public workers don't want job, go private
Here is an idea, but I suspect it will raise a whole different set of complaints from the United Public Workers union ("Union's clout evident in garbage dispute
," Editorial, Aug. 19).
"If" the union does not want to do the job of picking up trash on a dusty, unpaved Kahuku road, why doesn't the city hire a private trash hauler to do the job? I am willing to bet they won't have a problem with doing the job, and it might not cost the city a whole lot of money to boot.
More buses, free passes have greater appeal
Taxpayers, heed transit debt warning
Curtis Kropar's letter on Aug. 18 ("Take rail money -- buy thousands of buses
") was spot-on -- an earth-grounding perspective on a growing mess!
It made me think again of the quote often attributed to Illinois Sen. Everett Dirksen: "A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, you're talking real money."
According to the Congressional Record of June 16, 1965, the colorful senator, speaking about public debt, also said:
"As I think of this bill, and the fact that the more progress we make the deeper we go into the hole, I am reminded of a group of men who were working on the street. They had dug quite a number of holes. When they got through, they failed to puddle or tamp the earth when it was returned to the hole, and they had a nice little mound, which was quite a traffic hazard.
Not knowing what to do with it, they sat down on the curb and had a conference. After a while, one of the fellows snapped his fingers and said, 'I have it. I know how we will get rid of that overriding earth and remove this hazard. We will just dig the hole deeper.' (Laughter.)
So we are digging the hole deeper all the time. I do not know where we shall land, or how deep the hole will be before we are through."
Taxpayers, beware of The Hole.
Free bus passes might reduce traffic
Curtis J. Kropar's letter of Aug. 18 makes good sense. Some time ago, we suggested that the city give a free lifetime annual "family" bus pass to every family willing to give up one car.
That would fit nicely with Kropar's suggested improvements to our bus system. We could improve mass transit, while eliminating the traffic congestion at the same time, removing tens of thousands of cars from our highways and byways.
Three billion dollars could go a long way -- much further than a single set of tracks to carry a handful of people from Salt Lake to Manoa.