Best ag land is for farmers
Recent media statements have maligned the Important Agricultural Land bill as being a pro-development measure rather than an agricultural measure. Nothing can be further from the truth.
I was personally involved in the process for SB 2646 for the sake of my small family farm and my fellow farmers and ranchers. Fertilizer prices have doubled, shipping challenges have been a roller-coaster ride and changing food safety regulations have made farming more costly. The bill provides real incentives to keep our lands in active agriculture rather than letting them lay fallow or changing them to non-agricultural uses.
The bill is a comprehensive package of measures to build up agriculture's long-term foundation and help farms continue or expand their operations. It does not allow landowners to willy-nilly bypass all of the land development requirements, or arbitrarily pull their lands out of the ag classification.
I was thrilled when the Legislature passed this bill. It's time for everyone to join the bandwagon and support this measure to ensure local agriculture will be there for our future generations.
Garcia was right to stick with steel
Kudos to Honolulu City Councilman Nestor Garcia for moving forward with the transit system and sticking with the steel technology. We had five transportation experts in town to look at what is best for Honolulu, and they made a choice.
People might not like steel wheel on steel rail, but I already have the rubber-on-concrete technology on my car. I guarantee you that nobody would like it either; it works well only without the potholes.
Make city officials show personal credit reports
Our elected representatives - the mayor and the nine City Council members - are about to incur a debt on behalf of the residents of Honolulu for the next two generations, the largest debt or public works project in this state's history. It isn't even a state project; it's a city project. It requires the utmost trust and confidence in the judgment of our elected representatives to make the right decision.
My employer required my permission to pull a credit report as a condition of my employment. I would request no less of my elected representatives. I would like - no, I insist - all the Council members and the mayor to publish the first two pages of their personal credit reports that show their credit scores as a condition of allowing this multibillion-dollar project to move forward.
Yes, their personal finances should reflect how they make decisions that affect all of us for the next two generations. If they refuse to disclose that information, I believe their judgment is suspect.
Akaka's endorsement overshadows Hirono's
One positive effect of the Sen. Daniel Akaka's decision to endorse Barack Obama earlier than planned (Star-Bulletin, May 13)
is that Rep. Mazie Hirono's similar decision will be receding to the background. It makes her re-election chances more comfortable.
However, I still support Hillary Clinton for the presidency and urge her campaign to persevere until the last of the six contests are finished and urge her to refrain from throwing in the towel. She will surely fail if she quits.
Arvid Tadao Youngquist
Saint Louis players behaved like others
This is a reply to James Kataoka's letter to the editor ("Why does Saint Louis tolerate bad behavior?," May 15,)
. I also attended that baseball game on May 8 between Saint Louis and Waiakea.
I saw nothing wrong with Saint Louis' behavior. I think that Kataoka is out of touch with high school baseball. All teams react the same way (including Punahou, Kailua and, yes, Mililani). All these years when Saint Louis baseball was down, nobody complained. This year, Saint Louis had a very good season.
Being that the letter writer also had to put in a dig about the egg incident sounds like sour grapes to me.
Taunting opponents is part of baseball
The actions of a few individuals should not reflect on the entire Saint Louis organization as a whole and taunting some players during the game is just a result of friendly competition, not to be mistaken as unsportsmanlike conduct.
The Saint Louis athletics program has proved to be a prestigious and skilled rival throughout the years and will be for many years to come, while showing prowess on and off the field. Many of the athletes are part of one or more sports the Crusaders offer and yet possess the required academic requirements placed on them by the school. We believe Saint Louis School has set the bar pretty high for others to follow.
Don't be hasty to judge juvenile's court case
I am responding to recently published letters
regarding the Karen Ertell case. Unfortunately, people tend to jump to the wrong conclusions about what happens in court cases that are confidential by law, particularly in high-profile juvenile cases.
The tendency to wrongly think the process is taking too long and to prejudge or second-guess what is happening in a confidential case is understandable because the court record and proceedings are closed to the public and the people who are legally involved and who know the facts are prohibited by law from talking publicly about the case, even if it is to correct public misperceptions.
The facts of the case may be reported if and when a Family Court judge - after due consideration of all of the evidence presented by the prosecution and defense and the applicable laws - decides that the juvenile defendant should be tried as an adult.
Generally, most juvenile waiver decisions take only a few months to complete after the court receives the waiver request. However, from time to time, a more complex case may take longer to ensure that all the steps required by the law are done correctly.
It is part of a judge's solemn responsibility to ensure that proper procedures are followed, even in the face of public impatience. Our community expects nothing less.
Public Affairs Office
Hawaii State Judiciary