Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Tuesday, December 01, 2009

U.S. must focus on home issues

Enough is enough. We need a reality check in the United States. We are no longer the economically or politically strong America of old. We can't take on the world anymore, with a U.S. military presence in 60 countries.

Our health care system is broken. It is bankrupting the nation while 40 million uninsured go without the most rudimentary care.

Unemployment is almost 10 percent. The homeless rate is the worst since the 1930s, while greed still runs rampant on Wall Street.

At least temporarily, we should allow other nations to solve their own problems. Our first priority now is to take care of our own problems. Otherwise we could face riots or terrorism within.

Mark Litchman


B&B bill dooms neighborhoods

The death knell is tolling for our residential neighborhoods with today's 9 a.m. City Council Zoning Committee meeting to vote on Bill 7 (2008) CD1, FD1, to amend the Land Use Ordinance by removing the prohibition on new bed and breakfast homes and to establish B&B homes on a conditional use in residential, apartment and agricultural districts subjected to standard and restrictions and to require a conditional use permit for use.

This bill disregards the 1989 promise of no more bed-and-breakfast permits after grandfathering in those who had illegally operated up until that time. With total disregard for the law, as well as any enforcement, thousands have been allowed to flourish throughout the islands. This has been well documented throughout the City Council hearings.

As in past hearings, most of those testifying on behalf of this bill will be the operators and their organizational leaders who will testify to the glory of their illegal businesses with impunity from the laws they are violating. No one questions whether they are operating a bed and breakfast or if they have ever received a Notice of Violation or Notice of Order from the Department of Planning and Permitting. It makes one wonder.

Susan Cummings


Natatorium plan faces hurdles

Mayor Mufi Hannemann is correct about one aspect of his intention to demolish the Waikiki Natatorium (”;Mayor backs plan to raze Natatorium,”; Star-Bulletin, Nov. 29), which is that it will take years to shepherd his plan through various regulatory obstacles.

Legal counsel for the National Trust for Historic Preservation pointed out in a letter to the mayor's task force that there are at least five federal environmental, commercial and historic preservation laws that stand as hurdles to the demolition plan. The NTHP said those statutes constitute “;very significant legal constraints on any proposal for the city to demolish the Natatorium.”;

The fiscal argument that the preservation option is not feasible is based on loose guesstimate numbers to make the demolition option more attractive. Go figure the fiscal prudence of demolishing the entire structure—pool, bathrooms, bleachers, volleyball courts and parking, which represents $4 million in improvements already spent.

We are not unaware of the fiscal challenges of either demolition or restoration. But we are aware of what is the right thing to do. Demolition is not about fiscal responsibility. How can dumping $4 million in improvements and then spending another $15 million to $20 million to add 150 feet of new beach to a shoreline that already has two miles of beach be fiscally sound? The most cost-effective use of taxpayer dollars is stabilization, followed by a serious look at restoration options.

Peter Apo

President, Friends of the Natatorium

Race of suspects should be included

I am constantly irritated by a policy of idiotic political correctness practiced here in Honolulu that involves both newspapers and all local TV stations.

The audience views news stories that request its assistance in finding a criminal. The stories provide us with an almost complete description of the criminal—sex, age, height, weight, hair and eye color, clothing last worn, skin markings, etc. The story asks that we contact Crime Stoppers with any information that might lead to the apprehension of the criminal.

One element of the criminal's description is almost always omitted: race.

Isn't this supposed to be a serious effort at police assistance? Don't you think the effort would be helped if we knew whether the alleged criminal was black, white, Japanese, Polynesian, etc.? Many descriptive elements are estimated; race could also be guessed.

I presume this omission is so the members of whatever race is involved do not get offended at the mention of their race in a negative way. Racial prejudice could be alleged on the part of the newspaper or TV station.

I have a complaint: A recent description listed the criminal's height as 6 feet, 7 inches. As a tall person myself, I think this part of the description should be eliminated as potentially offensive. It clearly causes prejudice against tall people. My suggested height policy makes as much sense as the current race policy.

Richard J. Saas






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