Letters to the editor


POSTED: Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Dangerous road needs fixing

As you approach the S-turns on Kaukonahua Road (from Schofield Barracks to Waialua) also known as the “;Road of Death,”; “;the Winding Road”; or “;Pine Tree Road,”; you are in a 45-mph speed-limit zone. There is one small sign that says “;Reduced Speed Ahead”; but nothing to tell you what the limit is. There are rumble strips, chevron signs indicating a left turn and a flashing light—but no speed limit sign, until after you get into the second turn. Then there is a small yellow sign, “;25 mph.”;

By this time you have already passed two roadside memorials (urns with plastic flowers, crosses, pinwheels) for at least two previous sites of deadly crashes, the latest of which was three Sundays ago when a motorcycle hit a car, killing the motorcyclist.

This is known as “;Pine Tree Road”; because the trees that line this road are ironwood trees. They are known as ironwoods for a reason. After cars or motorcycles hit them, the score is Car 0, Tree 1.

It is time for the city Department of Transportation Services, the mayor's office and the North Shore Neighborhood Board to do something about this deadly road. I hope that the new police chief will take additional enforcement action.

Tim Haverly

North Shore

B&B bill worse than ever

If there ever was a case of deja vu, it is City Council Bill 7 that proposes to legalize a limited number of tightly regulated bed and breakfasts. A limited number of tightly regulated B&Bs is exactly what we were promised in 1989. We were also promised that there would be no more B&Bs allowed in residential neighborhoods in the future.

The city has made little effort to enforce the regulations it passed in 1989. It has watched passively as illegal operations have proliferated and have turned some coastal residential neighborhoods into resort destinations. What a way to keep a promise.

Now those who have taken the law into their own hands are coming to the table with a list of which regulations are acceptable to them and which ones are not. To name a few, they will not accept minimum distances between B&Bs, addresses in their advertisements, neighbors' consent requirements, and reviews by neighborhood boards. They demand at least three rooms and weakened parking regulations. Moreover, the owner no longer has to live in the B&B dwelling, only on the same “;zoning lot,”; thereby allowing second dwellings on single-family zoned lots. This entire wish list has been incorporated in what is touted as an “;improved”; bill!

Under this bill, I could end up with four B&Bs, 12 rental cars and 24 strangers, all as close as 5 feet to my property line.

Robert Retherford


Hawaii ready for Chinese

Finally, a truly sensible move on the part of Gov. Linda Lingle, instead of staying home to play political dodge ball with the public employee unions and state lawmakers over the state government's fiscal problems.

While the often illogical and emotional battle over Friday furloughs, pay cuts and layoffs plays out on the short-term fixes to a budget deficit, Lingle scheduled a two-week tourism and business promotion trip to China.

With 60 years of strict communist totalitarianism giving way more each day to capitalism, China's first generation of the new fast-growing affluent population is ready to see the world, and I'm sure tropical Hawaii will be high on the destination list.

The Japanese tourism stream that bolstered the islands' economy in the 1980s and '90s could pale in comparison to the potential flood of Chinese travelers to the islands in the next few years, assuming easy visas and airline capacity are provided.

Waikiki is ready, with scores of high-end shopping areas and recently refurbished and upscaled hotels. Hopefully the University of Hawaii and the community colleges will be providing the language skills that will be needed for our guests.

Bruce Dunford

Ewa Beach

Multiple languages helpful

Keith Haugen's commentary calling for more attention to Hawaiian was excellent (”;Hawaiian language has gained but mispronunciations abound,”; Star-Bulletin, Oct. 27). Some might assume that studying Hawaiian harms English and academic outcomes. This is not so. Studies of immersion students show them outperforming their peers in other public schools.

All Hawaiian immersion students are required to study both official state languages: 13 years of Hawaiian and eight of English. Following this precedent, Kamehameha Schools has begun to require its high school students who have not attended an immersion school to take two years of Hawaiian. Two years is a bare minimum. Students graduating from any high school in Hawaii should have had at least two years study of Hawaiian.

In Europe, students generally study three languages: the language of the land, English and an additional economically useful language. We can do the same in Hawaii. Last year, before the state budget cuts, students in Hilo's Nawahi Hawaiian Immersion School studied six years of Japanese in elementary school, two years of Latin in intermediate school and one year of Chinese in high school.

Dr. William H. Wilson

University of Hawaii-Hilo

De Lima's parody says it all

The brilliant, talented Frank De Lima, who spends much time at our public schools, says it all in his furlough parody (http://www.frankdelima.com). If our politicians had half the insight Mr. De Lima shows, perhaps our kids in Hawaii would not be shortchanged where school days are concerned.

Our mainland daughter who went to school here was appalled at the lack of concern for our keiki, and agrees that Mr. De Lima knows how to get the point across. Thank you Frank. Run for governor.

Shirley Cannell






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