Letters to the editor


POSTED: Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Homeless policy can yield results

I am writing in support of your editorial supporting the River Street project (”;Better 'homeless' policy needed,”; Star-Bulletin, Dec. 5). I know that this is a hard sell; all of us who work in advocacy for the poor and disabled know this only too well.

The one thing that I wish that we could get across to the public is that we can prove that the math works. Studies have shown that programs that provide housing, medical and psychiatric care, and peer mentors can reduce recidivism by 18 percent and hospitalizations, also. The figure on reduced hospitalization varies, from 0 percent up to as much as 40 percent. It really depends on the individual client.

The reduction in recidivism alone, though, provides the state enough savings to pay for the entire program. In the long run the taxpayers will save money by treating this group of citizens.

Robert “;Scott”; Wall


Debate about values transcends labels

The Associated Press article “;Religious right is flexing”; (Star-Bulletiin, Nov. 30) misses the point. The issue is not about right or left, but family values and social justice — human issues important to Hawaii Family Forum and the Hawaii Catholic Conference. I don't even know what the political affiliations of most of our board members are because it doesn't matter.

It's true that we've organized to get out the vote. In a state notorious for having the lowest voter turnout, how bad is that? Like President Barack Obama, we feel that we need to go beyond partisan labels to common values to fulfill our civic responsibilities. That is why we aim to register 25,000 new voters through our churches. We will also help those who didn't vote last time to vote in November. This is why we're rallying 24,000 people to the state Capitol on Jan. 17. If one must attach labels, just call us “;keiki o ka aina”; who want the best for Hawaii.

Francis Oda


Isle newcomer not entitled to free home

Silvia Jack moves to Hawaii without a home or a job because she wants her children to receive a better education (”;Homeless family finds language, new culture additional barricade,”; Star-Bulletin, Nov. 29). Admirable, but I fail to see how it obligates the citizens of Hawaii to provide a home to her and her family.

What about our own Hawaii families who now live with relatives but would undoubtedly prefer to live in a (free) home of their own? Rudimentary economics tells us we can't possibly provide free homes to everyone. And common sense should tell us that Ms. Jack does not have a high priority among those who should receive one of the limited number of such homes.

Bill Wynhoff


Gambling revenue would be squandered

Robert B. Mac Evitt is right about the positive effects legal gambling can have on society (”;Gambling's good outweighs its bad,”; Star-Bulletin, Letters, Dec. 5), but Hawaii does not have any leaders with integrity to ensure gambling revenue will make Hawaii a better place for our grandchildren to live in.

Hawaii legislators would use the revenue to increase their salaries, benefits, travel and entertainment expenses — and put our grandchildren out in the street. Until people elect legislators with integrity, there is little point in increasing revenue in Hawaii.

Rico Leffanta


B&B bill would hurt hotels in Waikiki

This is not the time to launch 3,000 new hotel rooms (1,200 new bed and breakfasts) in the 2010 visitor market. Competition is stiff between Waikiki hotels. To add 3,000 more new rooms is roughly equivalent to adding a new Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel or 100 small off-beach hotels into the 2010 market.

Why would the city want to put 3,000 community-based mini hotel rooms into the market when hotel owners have their hands full? All hotels in Waikiki are facing a huge increase in their 2010 tax burdens, including an unprecedented increase in the unemployment tax, a larger transient accommodations tax and a presumed increase in real property taxes.

It boggles my mind that our City Council is even considering Bill 7. Who on our City Council would want to expand competition for visitors between Waikiki hotels and our residential communities?

This is extremely poor city policy. For our economy's sake, the City Council must stop Bill 7 now.

Bob Hampton

Hawaii Kai




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