Government must ensure beach access for residents
Opening Iroquois Point beach is a step in the right direction for beach access. We commend the Navy for cooperating to open this shoreline and thank Rep. Neil Abercrombie, Sen. Will Espero and all who helped. Hawaii law is clear: beaches are public property and beach access is a right. Despite this, there are access-restricted areas all around Oahu.
Oceans and beaches are precious resources for families, fishermen, surfers, divers, swimmers, paddlers and others. Government agencies should work to improve access.
Beaches should be open for all, 24/7, as our law guarantees. Problems such as theft and vandalism cannot be addressed by restricting beach access.
Surfrider Foundation Oahu Chapter
COURTESY OF HAWAIIAN HUMANE SOCIETY / 2005
Stories about animal cruelty draw headlines, but incidents of bad human behavior continue. In one case, the Hawaiian Humane Society seized 64 dogs kept in poor conditions at a Kahuku property in 2005.
How we treat animals reflects our humanity
Lately there have been many news stories and letters to the editor regarding animal cruelty, including the dog that was stolen and killed (for food), the "pet" pigs who were brutally killed (for food), and, of course, the cruel treatment of "downer" cows, which resulted in the largest meat recall in U.S. history.
What is the common thread, the underlying issue, in these cases? The answer is that our culture and economic system are built upon a solidly established, habitual way of ignoring the interests of animals. If we thought of animals as conscious individuals whose lives have value, we simply could not treat them so horribly.
Many people object to cruelty on moral grounds, and are saddened or outraged by acts of cruelty. Others think animals fall outside the bounds of ethics, and to these people I say: Humans aren't the only important species inhabiting the Earth, even though we act that way.
If our culture is to survive, we humans must change our thinking about our relationship to all the others who share it with us. It is in our own self-interest to extend our circle of compassion to include them.
If you're a person who thinks animal rights is a stupid concept, think again. The way we use and abuse animals is linked to the human problems of racism, poverty, world hunger, ecological damage, sexism and war.
Animal Advocate Inc.
Steel rail is too costly, too noisy, too much
We face the terror of years of construction nightmares, high cost overruns, and just plain failure to perform with the proposed transit system. The steel-on-steel project will cost billions and we are told by City Councilman Gary Okino that traffic congestion will be far worse in the future.
The noise level of steel-on-steel is unacceptable.The World Health Organization states that 55 dBA is an acceptable outdoor level and 45 dBA is needed for sleep. The rail will be at 72-80 dBA. It will run from 4 a.m. to midnight. Billions of dollars to have a ride available 20 hours a day.
Salt Lake residents and their schools will suffer from a route here.
In "Honolulu on the Move" by the Department of Transportation, rail's reliability features are: 2- to 3-minute arrival time between trains; 40-minute end-to-end travel with only 20 seconds stopping at the stations.That's a lot of train. We already subsidize TheBus and TheBoat.
Cancel this project; instead, fix our roads, our schools, our infrastructure, create housing.Build the University of Hawaii- West Oahu and get that traffic off the road. Consider dedicated HOV lanes. If we must do this, I support rubber-tire-on-concrete.
Democrats spread aloha selectively
It is a tragedy that the actions of our governor in response to the homeless are not heralded. Where is the aloha, if our legislators don't act to help the homeless before helping businesses?
The Democrats want to limit the governor's emergency power capabilities to respond to disasters, because she stepped forward and declared homelessness an emergency this past year. There are an estimated 4,000 homeless people on Oahu, but Democratic majority leader Rep. Kirk Caldwell asked, "What made homelessness an emergency?"
Now state senators are discussing rescuing Aloha Airlines. No one wants to see any of Aloha's employees lose their jobs, sowhere was this spirit of kokua when there were those who needed our help who work full-time jobs and have no safe place to sleep at night?
House Bill 2664 and SB 2828, introduced to attack this governor only, would significantly hamper our response to emergencies and disasters. It is a travesty that although we can help businesses in bankruptcy, acting to house Hawaii's homeless is seen as an abuse of the governor's emergency powers.
John Kane Gollner
'Barbarian' dispute obscures some facts
Concerns regarding the movie being made about Princess Kaiulani are trivial in comparison to the overarching problem of Hawaiian history being so misunderstood and poorly perpetuated for Hawaiians and the general public.
Granted, any portrayal of Hawaiian monarchs is cause for caution and sensitivity, but we cannot confuse historical facts with romantic notions and personal perceptions.
Sen. Clayton Hee's statement that "there is no dispute that Princess Kaiulani is neither barbaric or the last princess" reflects the ignorance of Hawaiian history that is at the core of the disputes.
Kaiulani's visit to the United States in 1897 was referred to, in American papers, as that of a "Barbarian Princess," which was later decried by other reporters.
She was also, by law and under the constitution of the Hawaiian kingdom, the last proclaimed princess and heir-apparent approved by the Legislature. There can be no other princesses, no matter how much we might proclaim it, until a legal Hawaiian legislative body is in place to make that change. Titles of nobility were not inherited, they were officially, and legally, appointed.
Senate obstructs bureau automation
For the first time in more than a decade, there is widespread agreement that the recording process of the Bureau of Conveyances needs to be automated.
Gov. Linda Lingle, Department of Land and Natural Resources director Laura Thielen, the managers and staff of the Bureau of Conveyances, the leadership of every industry that utilizes the bureau services, and the state House are all ready to immediately move forward with automating the Bureau of Conveyances.
The one exception is the state Senate, which is blocking a bill to allow the system to be automated, and is instead proposing yet another study. This is despite four recent studies that concluded an upgrade is needed. The Senate does not explain why another study is necessary, or why we need to study the feasibility when hundreds of bureaus of conveyances across the country are already automated. In fact, the Legislature recently permitted most other state agencies to automate their consumer reports, and the Departments of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Taxation and Labor and Industrial Relations have automated filing systems. But the Senate is balking at giving the bureau the authority to automate.
Automating the bureau will benefit the people in Hawaii by offering a faster and more secure system to record deeds, mortgages, liens, financing statements and other documents. Neighbor island residents in particular would benefit from being able to record transactions online. Given that automation will address the many concerns about the slowness of the recording system and the lack of the latest security protections for consumers, the reluctance of the Senate is inexplicable.
The DLNR is prepared to implement the automation plan. The only thing needed is for the Senate to follow the House's lead and provide the authority to automate the bureau operations.
Nicki Ann Thompson
Bureau of Conveyances
None of the candidates has what it takes
What's all this talk about Sen. John McCain being "battle tested" and more capable for commander-in-chief status than either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama? McCain was a POW 35 years ago, and now is 71 years old, and looks every year of it.
And the infamous 3 a.m. White House phone call? McCain isexhausted and asleep, Clinton is trying to locate Bill on her GPS cell phone and Obama is listening to Rev. Wright's sermons on DVD.
McCainwants to continue the war in Iraq that no fewer than six military generals have said is a loser. He walks around Baghdad in a flack jacket, 20 soldiers in tow andcouple of Apache helicopters overhead, a Secret Service security detail, and then says, "The place is secure, open for business." Yeah, I'll book my next vacation there.
Clinton misspeaks and misremembers her Bosnia trip with sniper fire and her shielding Chelsea from a near death experience. A total lie. Obama sits in a church off and on for 20 years where the reverend spews anti-American, anti-Semitic and racial slurs.Then says he's just like an old uncle. Ridiculous.
Is this the best we have to choose from? Where are the FDRs, Eisenhowers and JFKs? I'll take a Winston Churchill.
and Lahaina, Maui
Don't blame Bush for homeowners' decisions
In the mist of the growing divide between Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama supporters, prominent Democrats such as Sen. John Edwards have attempted to direct attention toward their common foe. After all, identifying a universal adversary can be the ideal battle cry for unity. His response to Sen. John McCain's speech in not playing politics in pursuing an economic bailout for the housing crisis, however, is a bit peculiar.
Edwards claims that McCain, like the president, is simply ignoring the economic crisis -- a crisis "the president himself has led us into." Like a growing number of Americans, I can place some blame on President Bush for the mismanagement of the Iraq war, the lack of intelligence on weapons of mass destruction, and even on the growing federal deficit. However, to claim the president is at fault in making individuals purchase a home costing more than they can afford is quite comical, and asking the government to financially bail them out along with overzealous lenders is even more so. Although we do not have much to say about making foreign policy, our personal finances are of a different matter.