For Sunday, May 15, 2011
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, May 15, 2011
Leeward site right for industrial use
I don't believe the Lualualei urban industrial park is unsustainable for its proposed location. In years past, it was common for government to designate open acreage as agricultural, regardless of its location or suitability for farming, thus resulting in large quantities of agricultural-zoned land. A parcel's ag zoning does not qualify it as prime ag land.
The proposed Lualualei industrial park is needed for young and old, and will provide for new and existing businesses to thrive in an ever-changing economy. It is easy to advocate maintaining the status quo if one is already working, retired or just not interested in improving a community. This type of facility will provide our people jobs in close proximity to where they live and raise their families. I speak as a retired part-Hawaiian with more than five decades advocating for community projects that benefit all of our people. This Lualualei project will provide a solid community benefit, so let's all work together towards a positive goal rather than simply opposing something new.
Whitney T. Anderson
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APEC preparations should aid homeless
It is indeed all about relationships, Mr. (Lt. Gov. Brian) Schatz ("Hawaii and APEC: It's about relationships," Island Voices, Star-Advertiser, May 11). Let the productive folks who are helping bring APEC to our shores loose on our homeless relations. Crackheads and crackpots are giving the homeless a bad name and need to be cleaned out before our guests arrive. Is the Host Committee coordinating a sweep in advance of the delegate arrival? After all, what are we to tell APEC-ers, "Oh no mind, that's just Auntie, she loves to lounge about in her own urine and feces" ("Initiative to help homeless falters," Star-Advertiser, May 8).
Many families today have relatives on a challenging path and the lucky ones are those with family to help guide them back into society. And that goes for cities, too. It can't mostly be about making the drive in from the airport prettier for six days in November, can it?
Safety nets lacking for mentally ill
We can find the funds to build a billion-dollar rail system, yet we are unable to help the 70-year-old kupuna who lies in her own waste on a public sidewalk? How does this not pose a serious danger to herself? Are the governor and legislators at fault for cutting services? Does she have Alzheimer's or another mental illness? Since social services have failed, maybe it's better she gets arrested. At least she'll have three hots and a cot.
Recently in the news a young man was arrested for beating his grandfather, who died of these injuries. This young man attended an alternative learning center in central Oahu where he displayed bizarre uncontrollable behaviors. Is there no transition for vital mental health services once a student graduates?
The safety nets for both of the above failed. Both are unacceptable tragedies that should never happen in a civilized society.
Desmond Tutu offers inspiring message
Kudos to the American Psychiatric Association for inviting Archbishop Desmond Tutu to its convention in Honolulu ("Controversy surrounds Tutu's isle appearance," Star-Advertiser, May 12). This holy man is a global hero and inspiration to many people of all walks of life. From personal life experience, the archbishop knows discrimination; he knows persecution; he knows humiliation; he knows dispossession; he knows apartheid; and he has the integrity and courage to speak out against apartheid in its current worst form — in the Holy Land, of all places.
Most readers probably don't know that Archbishop Tutu is the International Patron of the Palestinian Christian organization Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, East Jerusalem, which continually searches for truth, justice, peace and reconciliation for all residents of Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. As a faith-based center, Sabeel strongly advocates resistance to occupation and oppression by nonviolent means only; as in South Africa, nonviolence includes boycotts where there is substantial reason to initiate them.
Robert H. Stiver
Ban on texting? Fix helmet law first
What do crossing the street while texting or talking, and gum chewing on a spinning carnival ride have in common? Both are really dumb things to do and their prevention should not involve the police. However, the no-walk-talk-or-text proposal might be fine with me if we first pass laws that mandate motorcycle helmets and make it illegal to sit in the open bed area of trucks — for all people, not just those under age 13.
Employers can't afford health costs
I couldn't believe what I was reading in the paper about the health care cuts ("4,500 to lose Medicaid coverage," Star-Advertiser, May 11). One of the quotes was in reference to employers stepping up to pay for their employees' health insurance. I am self-employed and I am considering canceling my own health insurance policy because I can no longer bear to pay the $474.94 a month. I certainly can't afford to pay for my six employees. I for one applaud President Barack Obama and can't wait for goverment-funded health care. Social medicine is better than no medicine. When do we stop the bleeding?
Candas Lee Rego
Eucalyptus and coal don't equal clean
The article on AES Hawaii is an example of blatant green-washing of an inherently dirty coal-based power-generation scheme ("Eucalyptus chips in to generate power," Star-Advertiser, May 12). Worse, the AES system continues our dependence on fossil fuel imported from outside Hawaii.
The 5-megawatt boost from adding eucalyptus to the coal is less than 3 percent of the 185 megawatts of total energy produced by the plant. In other words, 97 percent of the energy is coming from imported coal. Even if AES can boost the amount of eucalyptus to the levels stated in the article (without using even more coal), it would only provide about one-tenth of the power output. The AES plant would still get 90 percent of its energy from coal.
Coal is one of the dirtiest energy sources in terms of carbon emissions, and burning it also spews mercury, sulfur and other toxins into our environment. Mixing in a small fraction of biomass doesn't make coal a "green" energy source.
Michael J. DeWeert
Secretary, Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii