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Letters to the Editor


Halting food aid is obscene idea

For a number of years, as a University of Hawaii-Manoa professor, I have encouraged students to do community service in homeless shelters. They have emerged with greater respect for the courage and resilience of homeless people. The shelters, even with their limitations, are performing a task that surely needs doing.

Yet, a public policy of pushing the homeless into shelters by closing down outside food sources strikes me as a bit obscene. Especially when the policy’s author is the well-fed governor with his more-than-adequate salary, multiple pensions and comfortable house in Manoa.

And isn’t this Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s substitute for comprehensive policies of affordable housing, job creation, mental heath services, raising the minimum wage, etc.?

One has to wonder if the real concern is not the welfare of the homeless, but Hawaii’s image as a tourist mecca in the run-up to the APEC conference.

Noel Kent

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Homeless are not like horses

Nevada wants to cut off water for wild horses, and Hawaii’s governor wants to stop groups from feeding the homeless. Nevada wants the horses to die as soon as possible, and Hawaii wants the homeless to disappear by November.

I pack food for the homeless and needy. Does this mean we now categorize who gets the packs?

Tara Hands

Oahu population can’t support rail

I would remind Berni Chu that Honolulu cannot be compared to Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo ("Make rail critics pay for delays," Star-Advertiser, Letters, May 19).

We live on a small Pacific island with population along the proposed rail route insufficient to support the high-capacity rail line. Rail projects in those cities have dense population stretching for miles on either side of train lines.

Honolulu has a narrow strip of land for the rail with mountains on one side and ocean on the other. No other city is building this overhead rail because the costs are too high.

Do the citizens of Hono-lulu really deserve to be saddled with the most expensive rail line in the world which starts in prime agricultural land and terminates at a shopping center? It will not relieve traffic congestion and even fails to reach the important destinations of Waikiki and the University of Hawaii-Manoa.

Geoffrey Paterson

Unfair to report suspect adopted

According to recent news reports, a man has been accused of murdering his mother. Radio stations, TV stations and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser all felt it necessary to point out that this man is the deceased woman’s "adopted" son.

I’ve listened to and read accounts of this ordeal and have found no correlation between the man’s adoption status and the crime. The fact that he’s adopted adds absolutely no value or relevance to this story. The media never identifies non-adopted children as such when reporting stories. Why label and stigmatize those involved in the adoption triad? Shame on you.

Sarah Hawthorne

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