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POSTED: Friday, June 05, 2009

Bellows closure difficult on locals

I was shocked to see that the U.S. government has decided to close Bellows to the locals (until July 4). The best part of their explanation is that the locals are participating in “;environmentally destructive activities.”; That takes some nerve for the U.S. government to tell locals in Hawaii that they are polluting a training base, that is part of an ongoing pollution party for the armed forces.

Where would one begin to start listing the atrocities done in the native Hawaiian environments statewide. Unexploded ordnance off the Waianae Coast, filthy amphibious vehicles charging on and off the beaches, and many more. Start by providing enough rubbish cans and clean up once a year. It is bad enough that they break state law in not providing beach access to the public seven days a week. Stop stripping locals of family traditions.

Drew Coats

Waipahu

Rule-breaking deserves penalty

I remember when I was spending the night at my friend's house as a child, my mother would remind me to behave and not be a bother to my friend's parents.

I also remember when attending parties where some of the hosts would state the rules: no wearing footwear in the house, no smoking in the house, etc.

These individuals who are complaining about the closure of Bellows beach (in June to nonmilitary users) seem to forget that when rules are broken there are consequences. The City and County of Honolulu has closed parks between certain hours for the same reasons when rules or what is considered acceptable behavior, whether posted or not, were not followed. End of story.

Dickie Au

Wahiawa

Natatorium upkeep too costly in long run

As a long-time user of Kaimana Beach, I would like to offer my support for the creation of a new “;Memorial Beach.”; According to city-funded studies, a new swimming pool and repaired Waikiki Natatorium structure will cost at least $30 million. A new sand beach with groins to ensure stability, the Memorial Arches moved mauka 60 feet, and new bathrooms will cost about $10 million.

The untreated, football field-sized saltwater swimming pool would require extraordinary maintenance such as constant scrubbing of the pool sides and bottom, the sweeping and mopping of the 2,500 bleacher seats on a regular basis, the cost for electricity to power pumps needed to circulate water day and night to meet state Health Department regulations for clean water, and perhaps the largest expense of all, salaries and benefits for staff and management.

A thorny and unanswered question lingers on the horizon. How will these large operating expenses be met without ongoing governmental subsidies or by commercializing a War Memorial with sunset shows? A new beach will have none of the expenses associated with a restored Natatorium and assures us that the area will remain free of special interests and commercialization.

Finally, visitors come to Waikiki to go to the beach. A Memorial Beach will show respect for the fallen heroes of WWI and provide the community and our visitors with a new, inexpensive and healthy recreational opportunity. Memorial Beach will be an exciting addition to our beautiful shoreline.

Ralph Wheelock

Manoa

Israel water policy could use help

While with one hand Israel practices good water conservation via drip irrigation for agriculture, recycling and desalination, as reported on May 31 (”;Israeli envoy building bridges,”; Star-Bulletin), with the other hand Israel lavishes meager Palestinian water resources on lawns and swimming pools in its continually expanding Jewish-only colony settlements in the West Bank.

That's one of the reasons why President Obama is wisely pressuring Israel to stop all settlement expansion as the critical first step toward peace (”;Obama to give Mideast speech,”; Star-Bulletin, June 1).

As someone personally concerned with Israel's long-term interests as well as those of our country and the Palestinians, Gov. Linda Lingle should convey that message to Israeli Consul General Jacob Dayan along with gathering useful information about Israeli water conservation.

Janet Thebaud

Honolulu

Others should aid in cutting expenses

There's no doubt in my mind that the governor has had to make some difficult decisions to close the gap in the state's budget deficit. I also think that she truly believes that it is not on the backs of state employees. But the reality for me, as a state employee, is that it is on the backs of the middle-income, the “;gap group”; state employee. When the reduction in pay for three furlough days a month for the next two years equates to a 17.5 percent reduction in my monthly income, it does fall on my back.

When the state as my employer passes on the cost of medical insurance to me, it does fall on my back. That by the way equates to $170 more per month to ensure medical coverage for me and my son.

Needless to say, that still does not include out-of-pocket medical expenses. My son was the victim of a hit-and-run accident two years ago and for the last two years, although the accident was not our fault, we have had to endure the medical costs for it. Our quality of life was compromised then and will continue to be seriously compromised for the next two years. How much more are we expected to share? Isn't it time for HMOs, utility companies and housing landlords to also share in the plight of our state's budget deficit? How's about a reduction in your cost to us?

Ellena Young

Kapolei

               

     

 

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