Traffic light was needed, wanted at McKinley HighThis is background on the traffic signal at McKinley High School's crosswalk. In December 1997, two McKinley students were seriously injured while crossing the mid-block crosswalk on King Street.
This crosswalk had been in place for more than 30 years and was widely used by students, patients of Kaiser Clinic and others.
We considered the removal of this mid-block crosswalk as we had done in other areas. However, in this particular location, we were able to coordinate the traffic signal timing of the pedestrian crossing with the signals at the intersection of King and Pensacola streets.
The new traffic signal was activated on a trial basis. We also installed a camera so we could monitor the use of the crosswalk by pedestrians. The cost of the entire project was $35,000.
Cheryl D. Soon
of Transportation Services
HPU should not fear new facility on mallHow unfortunate that a highly regarded institution like Hawaii Pacific University would adopt such a regressive position toward the establishment of a Clubhouse facility on Fort Street Mall (Star-Bulletin, July 20).
Clubhouse is an internationally acclaimed program that gives the mentally ill an opportunity to learn valuable job skills and become productive members of the community.
It is recognized as one of the most effective approaches to returning mentally ill individuals to employment.
Clubhouse members are stable individuals who aim to enter mainstream life; they are not an unpredictable threat to the public. Violence and substance abuse are neither allowed nor tolerated at Clubhouses.
Ironically, HPU staff and students are the first to recognize the value of the program. HPU social work, psychology and human services students use Clubhouse programs for practical experience and are looking forward to the opening of the Fort Street Mall facility in the fall. Clubhouse members are even enrolled at HPU.
State Department of Health
Walter Heen is driving Lei Ahu Isa to GOP sideWalter Heen, the Hawaii Democratic Party chairman, expressed concern on learning that Democratic Rep. Lei Ahu Isa had (heaven forbid!) attended a fund-raiser for Republican gubernatorial candidate Linda Lingle.
Heen's intimidation -- that Ahu Isa's presence at a fund-raiser for a non-Democratic candidate might result in censure or expulsion from the party -- is incredible. This is an example of the Democrats' paranoia today. They are terrified that Lingle is leading the way to election in November.
Heen should know that, in the past, Democrats who have been eliminated from the party for support of non-party candidates have become Republicans.
Broader perspectives are seriously lackingAs part of our human nature, many of us get too close to the forest to see the trees. Two recent examples in the Star-Bulletin show why we occasionally need to stand back and see the bigger picture:
John Berger was less than enthusiastic in his July 11 review of "Return to Rosie's Place" at Hawaii Pacific University and his July 16 review of "Happily Eva Afta" at Diamond Head Theatre. Berger missed the essential point that these productions are designed to be fun, entertaining and to provide a thoroughly enjoyable time. That is exactly what they produced.
Nanci Kreidman's petulant July 18 View Point column attempted to diminish the value of the League of Women Voters' report, "Victim Safety in Hawaii." She may be blinded from the value of the League's attempt to educate us about weaknesses in the system, but for those of us on the outside, it was a worthwhile effort. Kreidman's criticism is reflective of the very syndrome she is criticizing. She and her group's essential purposes should instead be thanking the League for its service.
Heco has already desecrated landscapeA.A. Smyser's July 21 column on Hawaiian Electric Co.'s proposed "power freeway" over Waahila Ridge was fairly stated. However articulate and unbiased Smyser is, he may be less than visually sensitive to the harm Heco's steel poles have already caused to our community.
It is impossible to overlook the negative visual effect these electric power poles have had on the Ewa plain, and in Kapolei, Aiea and the stadium area.
Waahila Ridge is visible from the H-1 freeway going east and west, from Moiliili, Kaimuki, Manoa and Palolo, as well as from the Ala Wai, Waikiki and scenic viewpoints on Tantalus and Ualakaa.
It is visible to all sea and air traffic arriving and departing from Honolulu Harbor and Honolulu Airport. Such a prominent landmark should not be desecrated by the implantation of power poles and other visual blight needed to maintain them.
Beauty is a commodity in our state and our economic well-being depends on it. Heco's proposal to put power lines over the ridge is short-sighted.
It does not follow the trends of undergrounding power in enlightened communities.
This "fight," as Smyser calls it, is not about neighborhood against neighborhood. It's about communities demanding intelligent planning by Heco and the Public Utilities Commission for the well-being of our entire state.
Professor of Art
University of Hawaii-Manoa
Stop bad-mouthing Hawaiian organizationI am compelled to respond to recent unwarranted and unjustified attacks against our organization.
There are elements within the Hawaiian community that are portraying us as some sort of evil presence designed to bring disaster to the Hawaiian people. In their zeal, these elements are distorting the facts, making false statements and deliberately lying.
"Ha Hawaii is a state agency." This is simply not true. We are a nonprofit 501C(3) Hawaiian corporation. One cannot be a nonprofit organization and a state agency at the same time.
"Sixty percent of native Hawaiians boycotted the native Hawaiian vote." This is preposterous. Although some people did boycott the vote, there are a multitude of reasons for people not voting. To claim that everyone who did not vote was boycotting the election is irresponsible.
These types of misstatements and untruths must come to a stop.
President, Ha Hawaii
Theft of crops other than coffee is big problem, tooRegarding your June 24 article on the theft of coffee beans in Kona, other crops, livestock, aquacultural development and farm equipment are vulnerable as well.
Due to incessant demands by farmers and aquaculturalists who have been robbed by thieves for years, the Legislature finally passed HB 3403, HD2, SD1, CD2, which I introduced. It makes for tougher theft laws on agricultural/aquacultural lands.
If the governor signs the bill into law, the posting of "Private Property" signs alone, without fencing of crops, will make for easier convictions if theft or trespass occurs.
While this is fine for a start, the original version of the bill also called for confiscation of any vehicle used by a wrongdoer, similar to the federal confiscation of property in a drug bust. However, HB 3403 in its original form met with opposition from civil rights, religious and cultural groups.
Their concerns are understandable, but we cannot lose sight of the fact that diversified agriculture/aquaculture is a fragile $600 million-plus industry.
Merwyn S. Jones
Representative, 44th District
Homosexuals are being denied right to marryBill Paty is right -- marriage is not a civil right (Letters, June 22). But equal protection under the law is a civil right and that is what this argument is about.
Throughout the history of our country, heterosexuals have passed laws granting them rights to marriages protections, benefits and privileges.
They have stated that these special rights are for their use only.
The courts have politely informed them that they can no longer practice this type of discrimination. So what is their answer? To change the Constitution to deny equal protection to a group of citizens.
This is what people like Paty are asking of the residents of Hawaii, for them to support discrimination against a particular group of citizens. Vote to make them, permanently, second-class citizens.
This is an old, old story. Discrimination against one group by another is a common theme throughout the history of nations. But how sad it is that this kind of ugliness will be introduced into the modern history of Hawaii.
Paty knows better. Shame on him. Defeat the amendment.
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