Rent controls create affordable housing
Honolulu doesn't need incentives for developers to build "affordable" housing (Star-Bulletin, Sept. 26
). That will only give them tax breaks (handouts) for housing that most homeless people won't be able to afford.
We need rent controls to solve the housing crisis. San Francisco, which has a population smaller than Honolulu, has had rent controls in effect for decades, along with other mainland cities where rental housing is expensive.
City Council members Ann Kobayashi and Donovan Dela Cruz should focus on establishing rent controls if they are serious about the housing issue and not just talking to get votes in the next election.
Columbia president set example for U.S.
I was incredibly impressed by the comments that Columbia University president Lee Bollinger made prior to recognizing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In his speech, he indicated that "We need to understand the world we live in, neither neglecting its glories nor shrinking from its threats and dangers."
I encourage island residents to acquire either the full transcript or the video of the historic debate that occurred Monday at Columbia between Iran's head of state and our nation's top intellectuals. We need to be cognizant of what our enemies say about us, and we also need to have the courage not only to refute them but to justify why we believe what we believe. So many times as I drive along the roadways here in Hawaii, I see people with bumper stickers that say "Ainokea" -- meaning "I don't care" -- but the fact of the matter is, we need to care.
Bollinger set an example for American freedom by not only inviting the Iranian president but also by refuting him not with politics or emotion but with intellectual might. I'm glad to see that people in this country still care -- it's time the rest of us caught up.
Daniel de Gracia II
Impossible to reason with Iranian leader
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech at Columbia University only goes to show that you cannot reason and have diplomacy with a fanatic leader. It's like trying to establish diplomacy with Osama bin Laden.
Arsenio Ramirez Pelayo
Basic research doesn't threaten university
Having done my graduate work at the University of Washington, where I worked with engineers from their Navy research center, and later spending six years at MIT working next to scientists from MIT's Air Force UARC, I can say that these laboratories are an asset to a research university ("Protests simmer at UH," Sept. 26
). I can understand how some people who have seen way too many B movies that depict generals and admirals bullying poor university scientists might have concerns.
The truth, however, is that the position of the university system in the U.S. science enterprise is that of basic research -- no matter where the funds come from. The thought that the Department of Defense would entrust weapons research to a bunch of flaky college professors like myself and my colleagues is simply silly.
I hope that the regents will realize the value of a UARC to the university. If approved, I'm sure that within a year or so the issues raised by the opposition will have faded and our students, faculty and community will move on to some of the real issues facing the university.
Make a difference at individual level
The Hawaii 2050 Summit Saturday outlined the importance of acting sustainably in order to secure a good future (indeed, a future at all) for Hawaii. The summit, organized by the state, revealed the plan and goals for Hawaii by the year 2050.
What our government is doing for sustainability, however, is little compared to what we, the citizens, can do. Simple things. Turn off the water when brushing your teeth, shaving or soaping up in the shower. Use water-saving showerheads and energy-saving bulbs. Don't leave the computers and air conditioning on all hours of the day. Fill your tires regularly (saves gas). Drink two fewer sodas a week (every can of soda you drink cost four cans to make). And once in a while, buy local and enjoy the tasty, organic foods that come from our own aina.
I don't mean to sound preachy, but come on people, we can do this. It's our kuleana. You'll save money, but more importantly, you'll save the world and our children.
Beware the invasion of maritime trollops
Where is the activism to stop the impending onslaught of the Melissa Ann and Rachel Marie, better known as TheBoat
? These two commuter-ferry harlots must be stopped before they are able to wreak untold afflictions onto a seemingly unsuspecting populace. Where is the outrage of the imminent harm from daily invasions of outsiders with no appreciation for the urban values of downtown Honolulu? Has no one considered the impact on traffic and sidewalk flow when hoards of rural folk are disgorged from the bowels of these wenches at Aloha Tower? Dangerous pedestrian and intersection backups will certainly ensue.
And what of the inevitable effect on freeway patterns from decreased automobile use? Drivers accustomed to a slow, relaxed pace on their morning commutes will be forced to adapt a hyper-vigilance as traffic speeds enter the double-digits. Furthermore, who can deny the devastation to Honolulu Harbor's sensitive marine environment that will result from the invasion of vastly different marine species from the deep waters of Kalealoa harbor?
Surfers, too, should unite and block the ingress of these maritime trollops from transporting intruding surfers with their unfamiliar "country" boards every time there is a decent south swell.
Wake up, residents of downtown, before it is too late. Now is the time to demand long-overdue studies of these and other heretofore-unforeseen negative impacts.