Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Monday, December 21, 2009

Many, not few, opposed B&B bill

As a long-time resident of Kailua, from my teens now into my early 50s, I am pleased with the City Council's recent rejection of Bill 7 regarding bed and breakfasts.

I have always welcomed tourists in our town, giving directions and watching them enjoy our beaches, restaurants and local sights. However, in recent years a large number of tourists seem to be residing in Kailua and, as a homeowner, I understand how this would upset the balance of my neighborhood.

I am disappointed, however, with Councilman Ikaika Anderson's comment that the Council was not able to reach a common ground for the entire community and Angie Larson's comment that a “;vocal minority”; opposed the bill hence, “;nobody wins over this”; (”;Council turns down bill to allow more B&Bs,”; Star-Bulletin, Dec. 17). While opponents of the bill were certainly vocal, they are not in the minority. Most of Kailua's residents also opposed the bill but were not as vocal. I submit that the supporters are the minority, made up mostly of those who would benefit from the bill. And I believe common ground was reached for the community by the Council's rejection of the bill.

I applaud those who worked so hard for our community and the Council members who voted against.

Bill Sullivan






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Climate treaty needed to save civilization

A major global climate change conference just occurred in Copenhagen, Denmark. The United States is one of the principal emitters of global greenhouse gases and must sign on to the framework treaty that will radically reduce our carbon footprint as a nation.

Copenhagen represented an opportunity for humans to make a radical shift away from fossil fuels toward clean, nonpolluting energy sources such as solar, wind and anti-gravity.

The threat of global climate change is the No. 1 international security issue on Earth in 2009-2010. All other issues such as health care, war and increased student funding at our schools are at best, secondary and tertiary issues.

Contact the media, your congresspeople and all concerned members of your community and urge them to support and endorse the ratification of Copenhagen with strong, binding agreements to limit and eventually eliminate all carbon emissions into our atmosphere. If global warming is not stopped immediately, expect a 7-10 degree Fahrenheit increase in average global temperatures this century. This would be a fatal blow to civilization.

Steve Jonah



Homeless debate needs firm definitions

As encouragement to our politicians in managing the growing epidemic of homelessness, Catherine An's commentary requires more context (”;Housing First gets chronic homeless off the street,”; Star-Bulletin, Dec. 15).

Statistics are a two-edged sword that have been at least as responsible in getting us into trouble as they have in solving problems. Definitions of terms such as chronic, homelessness, acceptable, etc., differ among various studies and will skew statistical comparisons, causing greater gaps in deviations and variances. Hidden caveats will always arise. We in Hawaii often recognize that, at times, mainland policies are actually destructive to our islands' interests.

Ms. An's is a utilitarian point of view based on cost: The ends justifies the means. Morals and accountability are not in the statistical equation. Utility is the ethic. So, her presumption of this best utility as an overarching policy for our local society must do more to provide us in Hawaii with answers for the long-term effects on related issues such as taxes, welfare reforms, public health, the environment, development, geographical limitations, indigenous culture, the Commerce Clause, immigration, and more.

We recoil at rewarding bad behavior because entrenching such policies will result in their perpetual growth and burden future generations while solving only one myopic, short-term cost initiative. Indeed, it might soon pay to be homeless and on welfare in a tropical paradise.

It is reassuring to know that our local laws require that our cities conduct environmental impact statements, especially concerning the development of homeless shelters in our communities.

Nalikolau Lam



Funding for D.A.R.E. should be reduced

We need to fund drug education that works.

Research has shown that D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) is not effective as a stand-alone program if the goal is to reduce the incidence of crime. We need to shut down the schools-to-prison pipeline by building resilience in our youth so they don't pursue harmful behaviors that can negatively impact their futures.

Parents and caregivers need to have open and frank discussions with their kids about drugs and their impacts.

For more information, download “;Safety First ... a reality based approach to teens and drugs,”; written by a mom, at

Kat Brady

Coordinator, Community Alliance on Prisons


Nations need to stop Iran's nuclear threat

It is critically important to act now to stop the Iranian nuclear threat to the Middle East and the world. The international community must unite to protect itself against the Iranian nuclear program by stopping the exporting of refined oil, stopping banking investments and all commercial exchange with Iran, and doing everything possible to prevent sales of arms to Iran.

It is equally important to support democratic activists in Iran.

Tamar Hoffmann