Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Tuesday, December 15, 2009

D.A.R.E. should be scaled back

Kudos to Police Chief Louis Kealoha (”;It is possible to scale back in tight times,”; Star-Bulletin editorial, Dec. 11)! He is brave to admit something that has been known for a decade or so: that D.A.R.E. (the Drug Abuse Resistance Program) does not accomplish what it set out to do. Although D.A.R.E. was entertaining and exciting, prevention programs must do more than engage children with lights and action; they must result in a long-term resistance to drug use.

There are many prevention programs that have been evaluated and proven effective. These are the programs that should be used in our schools. They should be taught by those best suited to the classroom, trained educators.

We encourage the state Board of Education to follow Chief Kealoha's lead and set policy that requires prevention programs to be evidence-based so that scarce resources are not wasted.

Jeanne Y. Ohta

Executive director, Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii

All benefit from hotel industry

A letter-to-the-editor last month berated the hotel industry and spoke for increasing the number of illegal bed and breakfasts. The hotel industry has served visitors and Hawaii well. Hotels pay property taxes at a high resort rate. B&Bs in residential areas pay a lower residential rate and receive a homeowner's exemption on top of that.

Hotels must abide by numerous health and safety regulations and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. They also provide health insurance, vacation, sick leave and other benefits to employees. Unlike B&Bs, hotels have accounting systems that ensure income is reported and taxes are paid. B&B operators decide how much to report, and the city has no way of verifying the true number of visitors and how many were “;just friends”; who stayed for free.

B&Bs serve a beneficial function in parts of the world where there is no abundance of accommodations in close-by resort zoning. B&Bs do not belong 5 feet from our property line in a densely-populated, residentially zoned neighborhood.

Marisa Nguyen


Stop complaining about B&Bs

Kudos to City Councilman Rod Tam for telling it like it is on bed-and-breakfast operations in Honolulu (”;After 20 years, it's time to pass B&B bill,”; Star-Bulletin, Dec. 13)—especially his report that despite all the hysterics from a handful of Lanikai/Kailua beachside residents, the hard fact is: “;Historically, there have only been about three to five complaints against B&Bs per year”; on all of Oahu.

The Keep it Kailua crowd, whose names are concealed from us by their group name, as usual vastly exaggerate their case in their anti-B&B argument, using language like “;mini-hotels”; along with their other outrageous claims about “;social disruption and neighborhood destabilization.”;

Because of attrition in 1989 and the ban on new licenses, a handful still have permits today, leaving the rest to operate without permit or the reasonable controls homeowners want.

Council members need to see through this Keep It Kailua shibai and pass legislation to guide this vital and clean cottage industry in Honolulu's future.

Thousands of other cities, states and nations that allow B&Bs for their visitors are watching and laughing.

Cathy Smith

Mililani Mauka

Nuclear Iran a scary thought

Do we want to live in a world where a few fanatic leaders in Iran control nuclear weapons? It's a scary thought.

Myles Osterneck

Kula, Maui





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