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POSTED: Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Residents protected under fireworks bill

Regarding Thursday's “;Gathering Place”; column by city Councilman Charles Djou:

It always helps to read bills thoroughly before criticizing. Djou obviously does not know that the tax on fireworks goes to county law enforcement's fight on fireworks.

In addition, because of the higher price, most would buy fewer consumer fireworks, easing the smoke and disruption. And the House passed a bill on the same day giving the power to regulate to the counties.

It is good to criticize; however, it's best to do your research first.

 

State Rep. Marilyn Lee

D, Mililani


Fireworks bill falls so far short, it's ridiculous

Every year right after New Year's Eve, it's the same old, same old complaints of fireworks, and rightly so. Last year people around here started as early as right after Halloween, and never ended. A few weeks ago some inconsiderate idiot set off some fireworks after the Super Bowl. (What does that have to do with anything?) The worst thing was, it was about 9 p.m. Don't have any consideration for the people that have to work the next day. In the old days we had only firecrackers. Nowadays they have these homemade bombs. When it goes off and you are in a deep sleep, it shakes the windows and shocks the hell out of you.

Now I see that the Legislature wants to raise the price of getting a permit for fireworks. They just don't get it. Why waste all of that money and energy when they know darn well that the permit system is a big joke? It just goes to show what kind of mindset these people have. Instead of raising the tax on fireworks, why not ban the fireworks altogether like the Police and Fire departments suggest? Why don't they have a moratorium and have a vote of the citizens on whether to ban the fireworks? I suggest that our senators and representatives from our district find some kinds of relief for our senior citizens, animals, war veterans and people with respiratory problems.

 

Bill Kapaku

Waianae


There are reasons our rail will cost more

Robert Kruse (”;Letters,”; Jan. 28) made a common mistake in comparing the price of the Phoenix area's new, street-level rail system with the cost of Honolulu's elevated train program. Having worked on both, I will note that while each system is 20 miles long, they are significantly different.

First, our trains will run twice as fast and carry twice as many riders.

Second, each project is suited for different train systems. Trains in the Valley of the Sun run on the ground because Phoenix is flat and spacious, with plenty of room for trains. In addition, the trains run on city-owned streets, greatly reducing land use costs. However, this eliminates traffic lanes for vehicles.

In contrast, land is precious in urban Honolulu, where our densely packed population lives on a narrow strip of land between the mountains and the sea. Our scarce terrain and population density are ideal for elevated trains. While more costly, this technology does not consume our valuable traffic lanes.

Finally, Phoenix's 20-mile line will reach only a small part of the population. In Honolulu our project will serve some of the most densely populated areas of the island.

 

Jerry Gill

Parsons Brinckerhoff


State will lose money with fees at Ka Iwi

The state will lose money by imposing user fees at Ka Iwi's Makapuu Lighthouse trail. And with user fees at Pali Lookout and six other popular visitor sites, we will be driving tourists away instead of welcoming them to Hawaii.

Based on Hawaii Tourism Authority data, 68,000 people hiked to the Makapuu Lighthouse in 2007. But the Department of Land and Natural Resources is mistakenly using a much higher count of 251,000, which includes those who only made the quick stop at Makapuu Lookout.

The proposed fees at Ka Iwi won't even cover the $85,000 cost of an attendant to collect the fees—let alone a ticket booth and other “;improvements.”; If two-thirds of the 68,000 hikers are tourists (approximately 45,000) who pay $5 per car or $1 per head (approximately $1.75 each, based on three per car), then the maximum annual take is only $78,750.

The only way for the state to make money on the lighthouse trail is to drive out residents (who don't pay) and replace them with more and more tourists (which has already happened at Diamond Head and Hanauma Bay).

Ka Iwi should be removed from DLNR's fee list.

 

Greg Knudsen

Hawaii Kai


Danger to children from pit bulls is real

If one brand of cribs made up 6 percent of all cribs sold but were responsible for 65 percent of crib deaths, what do you think should happen? Should “;bad parents”; be blamed? Or should the crib be banned? Of course the answer is a no-brainer. Fortunately there is no such killer crib on the market, but shockingly these statistics are real—they belong to the pit bull. Making up only 6 percent of the U.S. dog population, in 2008 pit bulls were responsible for 65 percent of fatal dog attacks (dogbitelaw.com).

Just as the solution to the hypothetical crib problem is obvious, so too is the solution to our very real pit bull problem: ban these killer dogs.

In recent years 2-month-old Iokepa Loptak, 17-month-old Truston Liddle and 18-month-old Tyran Moniz-Hilderbrand were all killed by pit bulls in Hawaii. Countless others have been injured and seriously disfigured in pit bull attacks.

How many more children will die or be disfigured due to our inaction? Will your child be next?

 

Douglas Kulicke

Lahaina

               

     

 

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