Cayetano offered better ceded land deal
I am writing to confirm former Gov. Ben Cayetano's statement in the Star-Bulletin's Jan. 22 article
that his ceded lands settlement offer to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, while he was in office, was a better deal for native Hawaiians than the proposal now before the Legislature. I was the chairwoman of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in 1999 when he offered OHA $251 million plus 20 percent of the ceded lands, which is estimated at 365,000 acres.
Following OHA's victory in the Heely court case, the state of Hawaii appealed to the Hawaii Supreme Court, which then ordered the state and OHA to negotiate a settlement.
After only a few months, Haunani Apoliona, Collette Machado, Frenchy DeSoto, Louis Hao and Mililani Trask voted to halt the negotiations because they didn't understand that the $251 million was for the past due revenues to OHA and the 20 percent of the ceded lands was to settle future claims.
While it would have been a final settlement, imagine how great that would have been for our people if we had received the 20 percent of all of the ceded lands back then. Not only that, Gov. Cayetano was willing to consider many of the lands that OHA wanted. Our intention was to take the offer out into the community for input, but we never had the chance because of the shortsightedness of those trustees. As a result of OHA walking away from the table, the Supreme Court ruled the Heely act void, and told OHA to go back to the Legislature for a remedy.
Office of Hawaiian Affairs
Transit panel usurps Council responsibility
Where is the accountability?
On Jan. 23, by a 6-3 vote, the City Council adopted a resolution that approved the technical expert panel to select fixed guideway technology and by doing so, rendered a disservice to the taxpayers of Honolulu.
How can we, as elected officials, surrender our fiduciary responsibility to a non-elected panel that does not have to follow the ethics and open-government laws? The City Council will not have the opportunity to ask questions about the whole process or be able to provide status reports to our communities while the selection process and evaluation take place.
Where is the accountability? The establishment of a panel limits the technology selection process, preventing transparency or community input. Open government and free discussion are critical to an honest $6 billion transit decision. The people have the right to know details being discussed among the transit panel members.
The Council should not shirk the responsibility to be involved in the spending of $6 billion of taxpayers' money.
Donovan M. Dela Cruz
Ewa traffic problem needs attention now
I am an Ewa Beach resident who is, unfortunately, stuck in traffic everyday of the week. Traffic is a rapidly growing problem in the West Oahu district. Our government isn't trying to improve our traffic problem quickly enough.
I go to school and have to do homework, which can be time-consuming. Traffic only restricts my study time. I'm certain that people in the Ewa district have noticed that the traffic is not only caused by accidents, but also by unsynchronized traffic lights and road work. Both create more mayhem on the streets.
Thirty minutes in town traffic is a small amount of time compared to an hour or more that Ewa residents spend in traffic. As new home developments increase, so does the amount of time spent in traffic. My parents and Ewa neighbors pay taxes, so I think they should be used to address our immense traffic problems.
Our government needs to quickly build and widen roads to accommodate the growing number of vehicles on our roads. Fort Weaver doesn't fit our growing needs.
Offer of parking space reveals heart of aloha
My daughter and I will never forget a person who we briefly met while driving to the Punahou Carnival. This person proved to us that aloha is still alive and well.
While searching for parking, an elderly lady called me over and told me to park in her garage! No questions asked. She went back into her house before I was able thank her properly. We also knocked on the door when leaving, to no avail.
Thank you, ma'am. Not only for the parking space, but more importantly, for teaching my daughter that kindness is a virtue.
What's so super about Tuesday?
What's all this fuss I hear about Paul Ron, why does he have two first names? And that guy called Hunkabees? I always thought a hunkabees was called a beehive. And that Scottish Mac Cain guy thinking he can change our sugarcane growth into energy. What's that all about? And that guy Clinton, I thought that he could not run again. And how could somebody named O'Bombyou be against any war? Oh, he is a Punahou alum, well then, never mind.
Carl L. Jacobs
Thank Frazier for winning season
Had former University of Hawaii athletic director Herman Frazier arranged an '07 football schedule similar to Notre Dame's, our year could have ended 3-9 or 2-10. Colt Brennan's glitter less golden, June Jones' reputation diminished, and the islands deprived of the fun and excitement that all year prevailed. Despite all the criticism of Frazier, he was the architect who made it happen.
John S. Klarer
Don't count doctors who retired in Hawaii
Recently, I saw a news story about the doctor shortage crisis we have in Hawaii. The federal government has programs to address these problems, but Hawaii actually has an overwhelming supply of doctors. The problem is, most of them are retired.
The many doctors who have retired to Hawaii from all over the United States have kept their medical licenses active. This allows them to write prescriptions for meds needed for personal use. The problem is these doctors with active licenses count as working doctors, which means federal programs don't get triggered.
Two solutions come to mind. The feds need to redo their criteria on how they interpret data or the retired docs must give up their active licenses if they don't practice medicine full time.