Chicken ban would bring more crowing
In response to your March 25 opinion, "Eject chickens from residential neighborhoods"
: There are no cockfighters driving to Hawaii Kai from all over the island to dump their chickens in the Hawaii Kai Park and Ride. There are no cockfighters in Hawaii Kai whatsoever. Banning roosters in residential neighborhoods will promote people abandoning the roosters in their areas, causing a bigger feral chicken problem on the whole island.
And the feral chickens, obviously, will not read about the ban and decide to move, nor will the police be able to take the birds away in handcuffs. The City Council is wise not to take up such a counterproductive bill.
Frank De Giacomo
Animal CARE Foundation
Rather than losing it, focus on not gaining
As a public health student and community health worker, I am concerned about the growing rates of obesity in both adults and children in America and especially in Hawaii. Although there has been extensive media coverage of this issue and weight loss programs are widely available, waistlines continue to expand.
To combat obesity, we need to take a comprehensive approach and look not only at the biological mechanisms that contribute to weight gain, but also the increasing costs of fruits and vegetables and the prevalence of environments that promote inactivity. Instead of focusing on weight loss programs and the problems associated with obesity, we should shift our focus to weight gain prevention. While we might not be able to control the cost of an apple or urban development, we can make small changes in our daily lives to prevent weight gain. Simply preventing the average adult's 1- to-2-pound weight gain per year can have long-term health benefits.
So the next time you go to the store, park a little farther from the entrance and order the mini instead of the regular plate lunch.
Molokai 'opponents' are really advocates
It's time those who really are responsible for the closure of Molokai Properties Ltd. stand up and take the jerk. MPL is closing because of financial failures. MPL couldn't provide water to its proposed Laau Point millionaire community and couldn't adequately provide protection for endangered monk seals, plants and Molokai's limited resources. MPL couldn't get the environmental impact statement approved. The previous EIS was almost denied by the Land Use Commission until MPL withdrew the EIS by the prompting of a LUC member.
The "lengthy consultation with the community" concluded the Molokai community was against the development of Laau Point because it would kill our lifestyle, deplete our natural resources and would not protect our endangered species. Were we expected to close our eyes to these important issues and allow developers to destroy the "last Hawaiian island" for their financial gain?
"Opponents" are not just fighting for the pleasure of it. We are advocating our rights as a people and protecting our limited resources. Molokai advocates are scapegoats for MPL's failures and the "loyal employees" are MPL's pawn. Place the credit where it's due, and don't promise what won't be done.
Let's try to turn around the Molokai situation
Your reports of events and consequences about Molokai remind me of a line from Yeats' poem "Remorse for Intemperate Speech": "great hatred, little room."
Replace "hatred," a bit too strong perhaps, with "foolishness" and you are probably closer to the truth.
Is there room, any room at all, to step back from the brink and think this through again? Perhaps the last offer calls for a sweetener that makes sense: In addition to what has been offered the community, the developers might want to consider an endowment of $7 million up front and 1 percent of all gross income in the future to establish a community-based nonprofit whose purpose it will be to educate, inform and do (that is, implement) sustainability projects related to food sufficiency, jobs, protection of the environment including near-shore marine ecosystems -- or something like that.
Between Walter Ritte and Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee Collette Machado, there is close to 100 years of community-building experience. Pity if all of this were to simply go down the drain.
Waimea Valley setting intended to be natural
Mahalo to Michael Rethman (Letters, March 16)
for visiting Waimea Valley for the first time. Perhaps he was expecting a manicured garden like he had seen in Japan. Waimea Valley provides a more natural setting that our visitors often describe as "beautiful" and "awesome."
Since we began stewardship of Waimea on Feb. 1, Hiipaka LLC has spent thousands of hours and tens of thousands of dollars catching up on the deferred maintenance. Those who visit often tell us how pleased they are with the improvements. But beyond just repairing the buildings and tending to more than 5,000 different plants in our collection, we are pursuing our vision to make Waimea a place of Hawaiian culture, a living puuhonua for and by kanaka, for Hawaii and the world. I hope all Hawaii residents will come, enjoy the valley and be part of bringing our new vision into reality. And I hope Mr. Rethman does not wait five years to come back. For more information please call 638-7766.
Hiipaka LLC, Waimea Valley
Be courteous, follow rules for bikes, cars
Several letters have been published recently regarding bicyclists and sidewalks. I would like to take this opportunity to clarify some facts.
Bicyclists are allowed to ride on sidewalks as long as they travel 10 mph or less and are not in a business district or area posted with official signs that disallow it. A business district is defined as 600 feet within a commercial or industrial area and includes most of Waikiki and downtown. When riding on sidewalks, bicyclists are required to yield to pedestrians and give an audible signal before overtaking them.
The standard street gutter in Honolulu is 24 inches. Some streets don't have gutters. Even at 24 inches, however, gutters are not a safe place for bicyclists to ride. Bicyclists are allowed to ride in the lane of traffic when they determine it is safer for them to do so.
I have been riding my bike around East Honolulu for almost 20 years. While legally riding on the sidewalk, I have been told by a pedestrian, who was not in any danger of being hit by me, to get on the road. While legally riding on the road, I have been shouted at by motorists telling me to get on the sidewalk.
We all need to understand each others' rights. Just as important, we need to recognize that with our rights come responsibilities. If we exercise our rights with aloha and tolerance for each other, we will all benefit.
Hawaii Bicycling League Advocacy Volunteer of the Year