UH money could be better spent on dorms
The University of Hawaii-Manoa might spend $55 an hour for some off-duty cops to hang around campus, ostensibly to make the place safer (Star-Bulletin, Sept. 13
). This is in response to an incident ("Sex assault in UH dorm alarms students," Aug. 20) that could have been prevented by putting a $9-per-hour undergrad in a chair to could check IDs.
This, to say the least, is absurd.
I've got a better idea. Hire some more help for the dorms (original problem solved), and with the other $300,000, do something to make the campus livable. That way, students will actually enjoy spending time at the dorms, instead of avoiding them as much as possible. If students enjoy living in the dorms, there will be a sense of community there, and students will care about the place and they'll notice when a shady guy is hanging around menacingly -- and, in turn, will do something about it.
Why not put cops on campus full time?
To increase on-campus security at night, the University of Hawaii might be hiring two off-duty police officers. What does that say about priorities? Don't university students deserve full-time police coverage? Is the Honolulu Police Department spread so thin it can't step up its campus presence to counter what seems to be a mini-crime wave?
Something doesn't feel right about the rent-a-cop solution.
City never planned to remove park trees
Jay Abel's letter yesterday, "For every tree cut down, plant two more
," is well-meaning but shows him to be terribly misinformed. He dredges up false information regarding "the story of tree removal in Ala Moana Beach Park." There was never
any plan by the city to remove trees at Magic Island
(Ala Moana Beach Park) to accommodate a planned festival. The story was a rumor that was repeated and given credence by overreacting individuals.
The Hannemann administration is proud of Honolulu's "Tree City USA" designation. Hannemann has planted many more trees than he has had removed or relocated, and then only when they are diseased, damaged or jeopardizing public safety.
Abel then asks, "What is he doing for the responsible citizens who are doing what they can to reduce traffic and our dependence on oil?"
The mayor just last week unveiled the city's sustainability plan, which details the city's plans for expanded public mass transit, both bus and rail, hardly an automobile-oriented policy. It also includes a bikeway master plan and incentives for hybrid and biodiesel vehicles. The city practices what it preaches and is now rated as the No. 2 best U.S. city for the use of alternative fuels in its own fleets.
The city's sustainability plan is available online at: www.honolulu.gov/mayor
Member, Mayor's Energy & Sustainability Task Force
Senior adviser, Department of Information Technology
City & County of Honolulu
Ferry EIS exemption was appropriate
The Superferry controversy has struck an emotional chord with our residents, caused division and disintegrated into accusations and finger-pointing. Unfortunately, many opinions reflected in the "Letters to the Editor" stray from the original issue: whether or not it was appropriate for the state to exempt the Superferry from undergoing an environmental assessment.
It is simply inefficient and bureaucratic to force every transportation improvement to undergo this review. Wisely, Hawaii's environmental laws direct the department with jurisdiction over transportation matters (the Department of Transportation) to require that an environmental assessment be conducted when the improvements are "incompatible with the intended use of the facility." All other improvements are exempt from the process.
We now know that numerous projects, such as those involving cruise ships, airlines and barges, have been exempted from the EA process. Why? Because the improvements needed to accommodate these projects fell under the scope of the intended use of the facility.
My question is this: To accommodate the Superferry, the state has installed boarding ramps and made other harbor improvements. Are these improvements compatible with the intended use of our harbors?
Locked gates don't belong in Kailua
I put on my sunscreen, had my hat and a cup of coffee, and headed to the beach like every other Sunday morning for the past 27 years. The neighbors on L'Orange Place in Kailua have just erected a locked metal gate at the end of their "private" street blocking our access to the beach (Star-Bulletin, Sept. 11
). Locked out of our beach! I raised my kids on this little stretch of Kailua beach. Yes, I live across Kalaheo Avenue. Yes, there is a beach access 200 yards away, but it's long, scary and smells.
These neighbors have no aloha. Shame on the City & County of Honolulu for allowing a permit that restricts access to a beach. Kailua residents can call or e-mail Honolulu City Councilwoman (firstname.lastname@example.org) and voice their concerns. Alone, I won't be able to do anything about this gate. But maybe you can help save your beach street access before it's too late.
Warriors have no ties to Maori culture
Enough already, since when do University of Hawaii football coach June Jones and quarterback Colt Brennan claim to have any affiliation with New Zealand and the Maori culture? If I recall correctly, there are no Maoris let alone Kiwis on the Warriors football team. For Brennan to opine that this is a cultural part of the team is utterly ridiculous if not blasphemous and an insult to all Maoris, Kiwis and New Zealanders ("Brennan defends haka
," Star-Bulletin, Sept. 11).
This is a dance to be performed by Maoris and New Zealanders only. The famed All Blacks have been doing this for years, and is has never been repeated by others until only recently when it seems that others from the Pacific, California and other regions have taken it upon themselves to start performing this sacred dance and chant at various functions.
To Brennan et al.: I call upon you to disassociate yourselves from continuing to perform the haka and to find a Hawaiian warrior dance to reflect the Hawaiian Warrior spirit if you wish to reflect the Warrior spirit of the islands. Consult with the Hawaiian Studies Department at the university to find a dance that is going to be respectful of the Hawaiian culture and for what it stands.