Letters to the editor


POSTED: Friday, December 25, 2009

A holiday poem with aloha spirit

There's more to aloha for Christmas
Than just candlelights and cheer;
It's the aloha spirit of ohana friendship
That brightens all the years;
It is the kokua and thoughtfulness
It is hope that Hawaii's foundation
Is strong again for the New Year

For our loved ones who
Are not here for Christmas,
Although we may be far apart,
We're together, heart to heart.
Keep us in thy loving care,
You'll always be in my Christmas prayer.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Arsenio Ramirez Pelayo



Hawaii actually better than report indicated

I am writing in response to your Dec. 21 editorial (”;Improve Hawaii's preparedness for health risks”;) and Dec. 16 news coverage of a recent report by our organization, Trust for America's Health, which examines state preparedness for health risks (”;National report details Hawaii's readiness for health emergency”;).

After the original publication of the report, Hawaii officials provided information that there is a statute in place that would limit liability against organizations that provide volunteer help during emergencies. Hawaii then moves from a score of 7 out of 10 to 8 out of 10 on our scale of key indicators of public health emergency preparedness. In addition, the state has discussed with federal officials changes to the reporting requirements around the availability of hospital beds during emergencies like the H1N1 outbreak for the future.

Overall, our organization would like to recognize how well Hawaii has managed the response to the H1N1 influenza outbreak. It shows that the investments the state and the country have made toward improving preparedness have made a big difference.

However, the outbreak has also demonstrated that there are a number of ongoing concerns in the core public health infrastructure that must be addressed. Without a sustained and sufficient investment in preparing for health emergencies, we will all be left at unnecessary risk.


Richard Hamburg

Deputy director, Trust for America's Health


Let's put a bit of Christ back into Christmas

Could we not put a bit of Christ back in Christmas?

Political correctness seems to have caused us lately to overlook, fail to remember, or even outright reject the blessed event generating the cornucopia of holiday greeting cards deluging us with jolly-cheeked, red-suited Santas, elves, racing reindeer and similar apathetic ilk. To say nothing of admonition to “;shop till you drop”; in place of remembrance of the genesis of all such joyful wishes and invitations.

Perhaps if we put just a bit more Christ into “;Merry Christmas”; — and the usage of that phrase — we would enjoy the peace, blessings, love and care for one another inherent in the occasion and which, to a certain degree, we currently lack. Merry Christmas, peace and blessings to all.


Bill Scanlan



B&B bill was promoted for the benefit of a few

The recent editorial on the defeat of Bill 7 was correct to say, “;The City Council should satisfy complaints about the enforcement procedures before revisiting the issue, which should not be allowed to die”; (”;Killing bill doesn't resolve B&B issue,”; Star-Bulletin, Dec. 18). But it did not cover important faults with the legislation that were brought out in the testimony.

The “;limit”; of 1,275 homes in nine Council districts, with one-third (425) of those ending up in one Council district, would have lasted only a couple of years — until locked-out, would-be bed-and-breakfast operators from the other Council districts would run to the Council crying foul, with justification.

The whole limit scheme was designed to reward the currently illegal operators in District 3 to get the 425 permits (with no spacing requirements) with the other eight districts sharing the remaining 850, approximately 106 each, if evenly distributed.

As news spreads about how profitable the B&B use can be, folks in all Council districts will be clamoring to cash in; the Council would be busy raising the limit for years.

The bill's enforcement language was confusing and inconsistent. In a single paragraph, the same event starts as “;a disruption by guests”; then becomes an “;alleged violation”; then a “;violation”; then morphs into “;conduct,”; then changes to an “;infraction,”; and finally is only an “;issue.”; The same paragraph requires the city Department of Planning and Permitting director to investigate the event only if the neighbors' complaints are verified by the police, Health Department or other agency; neighbors have no standing.

This was bad legislation promoted for the benefit of a few. The Planning Commission saw through it, unanimously. It should have fallen 0-9 in the Council.


Larry Bartley

Executive director, Save Oahu's Neighborhoods (SONHawaii)





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