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Letters to the Editor

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State should not buy slaughterhouse

The state is considering purchasing the Hawaii Livestock Cooperative slaughterhouse in Kapolei for $1.6 million.

With the state facing a $1 billion deficit, taxpayers shouldn’t have to subsidize a cruel industry that harms animals, people’s health and the environment.

The slaughterhouse is in an environmentally sensitive area, and its wastewater — so close to the ocean — is a potential source of pollution that could create dead zones in the water, suffocate coral reefs and kill fish.

A slaughterhouse will be a financial drain on the state. Taxpayers’ money would be better spent to fund schools, roads, affordable housing and health care.

Please tell your legislators to vote against Senate Bill 249.

Stephanie McLaughlin
Mililani

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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

 

City comfort stations difficult to keep clean

Robert Rodman and Fred Clemett (Star-Advertiser, Letters, March 23 and 27) recently commented on the deplorable conditions of several comfort stations at city parks. I agree. However, let me provide some background.

First, many comfort stations are in excess of 50 years old. In the past, the city built new facilities but did little to maintain or upgrade the old ones. In these tough fiscal times, capital monies are being directed to the repair and maintenance of our present facilities.

Many of our parks are not manned full time and have to be serviced by a roving crew once a day. Unfortunately, once the crew departs, the parks can be trashed. It happens all too frequently.

As of Feb. 14, the Department of Parks and Recreation reinstituted a procedure to have a dedicated crew power-wash our comfort stations quarterly.

I personally inspect every park, including the comfort stations, on a monthly basis, and order corrective action as the situation dictates.

DPR is committed to cleaning and maintaining our parks for all to enjoy, and we are making progress.

Gary B. Cabato
Director, city Department of Parks and Recreation

 

Government workers are not the problem

There has been a lot of griping about labor unions and public workers benefits, but little has been said about private benefits plans.

There would be no private benefits plans if it was not for the labor movement. Further, there is no proof that public or private employees with benefit plans are lazy or bad workers.

The Pensions Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) is a federal agency created by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to protect pension benefits in the private sector. HawaiianTel benefits were just protected by PBGC.

The problem is not the worker. It rests with the elected officials who cannot budget properly.

Roland W. Clements
Honolulu

 

Broadband speeds in Hawaii too slow

Hawaii’s broadband speeds are absolutely pathetic. The top residential DSL and cable modem speeds are 11Mbps and 15Mbps through Hawaiian Telcom and Oceanic Time Warner Cable. This pales in comparison to the speeds available on the mainland.

Hawaii’s broadband duopoly is the root cause of this issue. Oceanic Time Warner Cable has no incentive to offer mainland-type speeds because of Hawaiian Telcom’s ongoing woes. For example, Oceanic recently suspended offering its Road Runner Turbo Plus tier (20Mbps/2Mbps) and upgraded the Road Runner Turbo tier to 15Mbps/1Mbps. This change put Oceanic’s service offerings more in line with Hawaiian Telcom’s.

Enticing more companies to overbuild Oceanic and Hawaiian Telcom networks is the solution to this problem. This could be done by offering tax breaks and creating a state-level universal service fund.

The Internet is increasingly becoming an important facet of our economy. However, Hawaii will be left behind unless changes are made.

Aaron Stene
Kailua-Kona

 

Reject bills that put cost on the public

Thank you for covering state Rep. Cynthia Thielen’s views on Senate Bill 755, the poker measure, and Senate Bill 367, the interisland electric transmission cable measure.

With both bills, it is the constituents who will pay the cost.

Gambling does not create new money. Gambling absorbs existing time and resources, which reduces productivity while exposing Hawaii to an economic addiction.

As for the interisland cable, I question who pays and who benefits. Can Oahu supply its energy needs using publicly owned solar, wind and biofuels at a lesser price? Where is the objective comparison of what brings each island its best combination of alternative energy?

Mary Guinger
Kailua

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