Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Thursday, November 20, 2008

Rail route games look like child's play

I remember when our neighborhood gang would set rules for street games and then the bigger guys would change the rules in the middle of the play. We would say, “;That's chicken.”;

Look at all the people who are against the city leaders and City Councilman Charles Djou trying to alter the rail route through Damon Tract instead of Salt Lake and Mapunapuna (”;Rail route changes trigger harsh words,”; Star-Bulletin, Nov. 17).

Councilman Romy Cachola and the determined members of the Salt Lake/Aliamanu/Foster Village Neighborhood Board spent lots of time planning the Salt Lake Boulevard route. Those against the plan now are throwing a monkey wrench into the rules. That's chicken.

Len Withington Jr.






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Cop makes his quota, thanks to tourists

As a Canadian who frequently visits Waikiki, I have to comment on a matter that happened earlier this year. I was ticketed for jaywalking, at the end of the month. The first question the policeman asked of me was, where I am employed? I can only think as to why he posed this question of me. There are many homeless people and perhaps he wanted to find out if I could pay the fine or not. After I told him I was gainfully employed, he wrote me up.

Needless to say, he felt the need for backup. After writing me the ticket, he turned to his associates and said, “;I met my quota for the month.”; After returning home I decided to write a letter to the judge. The judge discharged my ticket.

During the course of that afternoon, I observed many police officers writing tickets for such things as skateboarding, riding one's bike on the sidewalk and so on. Please tell me this is not a money grab. With all due respect to the men and women in blue, there must be other ways to go after revenue for the city!

Francis Wydooghe
Mississauga, Ontario


Now let's put racism aside in Hawaii, too

Now that we have elected an intelligent man to run our country, let's try to put race aside, especially in our racist state of Hawaii where everyone is labeled by their ethnicity.

Barack Obama said, “;There are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America there's the United States of America. There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America.”;

We are the United States of America and we are Americans even on this land of “;aloha.”;

James “;Kimo”; Rosen
Kapaa, Kauai


Have you read the Constitution lately?

The presidency is a simply an office under our U.S. Constitution. The president is just that—a person who is elected by the people to fill the office and whom we call the president, be it a he or she. It does not matter if they come from a different race or color, religion or culture, he or she is limited by the language of the U.S Constitution. Isn't that wonderful?

He or she can never become a lord, a king or a queen. He or she is not a god or a messiah. He or she is limited to two terms and must be re-elected every four years.

The 43 former and current presidents were all elected to work for the people not their parties; that why it is the third branch of our government and has limited powers by our Constitution. The people can re-elect or fire a president should he fail to serve the people.

This is a wonderful time in America to move forward while still reminding all of our leaders of their roles and whom they serve, including those in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

When was the last time you or your children read the U.S. Constitution?

Bill Littell


Data show coquis have hurt Big Isle housing

While some may agree that “;Coquis can be an enjoyable part of Hawaii,”; (Star Bulletin, Nov. 16), the claim that the frogs have not affected property values on the Big Island is incorrect. The invasive frogs have reduced the value of Big Island homes by 0.16 percent. While this drop in value may pale in comparison to the recent tumble in the stock market or the dive in the value of your portfolio last month, the hit to Hawaii County's housing market is real, and it adds up.

Consider that the median sales price of a single family home in Hawaii County last year was about $400,000. A decrease of 0.16 percent adds up to about $600. There are more than 50,000 single family homes on the Big Island. That's $30 million in lost value should the frog spread to every neighborhood on the island, which appears to be a promising prospect given the frog's swift spread across all corners of the island.

Granted, Hawaii's current housing market might be facing more challenging problems, with record foreclosures, rising unemployment and frozen credit markets, but the noisy little frog is certainly not helping.

Note: See Kaiser, B. and K. Burnett (2006) Economic Impacts of E. Coqui Frogs in Hawaii Interdisciplinary Environmental Review 8(2) 1-11, (uhero.hawaii.edu/EEgroup/publications.html) for details on the housing price analysis.

Kimberly Burnett
University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization