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Waikiki is hurt by the homeless

I have noticed the letters against the governor’s initiative to get the homeless off the streets are not from people in Waikiki.

Tourist dollars paid for the amenities in Waikiki and I cannot take my kids out in the early morning to look at the ocean and drink hot chocolate.

The homeless are all over the sidewalks, on benches, under the cabanas and on the beach. They use foul language, get in fights and blast boom boxes. I have seen them pilfering the belongings of tourists who go in the water.

As an undergraduate, I did research on the homeless and most will not go to shelters because drugs and alcohol are not easily available. Most of the mentally disabled are in facilities and most on the streets are on drugs and alcohol.

Finally we have a governor with the guts to do something about this horrific travesty.

Mark Davis
Waikiki

How to write us

The Star-Advertiser welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (~150 words). The Star-Advertiser reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include your area of residence and a daytime telephone number.

Letter form: Online form, click here
E-mail: letters@staradvertiser.com
Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

Prisoners need bigger portions

In Sunday’s paper, there was a disturbing story regarding the massive weight loss by the inmates housed in Halawa Correctional Facility ("Inmates lose weight, call prison food inadequate," Star-Advertiser, May 22).

Most inmates, in order to survive prison life, must put on weight/muscle because prison is no playground and only the strong can survive. I know Hawaii’s prison system says it follows a formula that is fair to all inmates. Wrong. The amount of food given is designed to feed a normal-size man but not the general prison population.

I am a former correctional officer with the California Department of Corrections assigned to San Quentin State Prison. It was a high-security prison where I experienced three major riots and countless stabbings, shootings, beatings, etc. But never did we waver in the feeding of our inmates the appropriate amount of food for their survival.

Inmates are people, too, and not animals one can toss to the side.

Bob Ruiz
Wahiawa

Isle prison diet improves health

The weight loss reported by Jonathan Namauu and George Rowan appears to be appropriate ("Inmates lose weight, call prison food inadequate," Star-Advertiser, May 22).

Both were obese; now they are down to much healthier weights.

It is unfortunate, but not uncommon, for them and their families to consider their original size healthy.

The prison diet is free of the junk food so many live on — no beer, candy or chips — and the portion sizes are not supersized like so many expect. No wonder they feel deprived.

The issue should not be weight loss, but maintaining a healthy weight. The prison system has a responsibility to inmate health, and has helped these two inmates, whether they recognize it or not.

Cynthia Burdge
Kailua

Where’s water for Ho‘opili?

So D.R. Horton-Schuler is alloting 251 acres of its Ho‘opili project land for farming ("Developer revives 11,750-unit project," Star-Advertiser, May 18).

Is that really supposed to replace the acreage of Aloun Farms (1,100 acres) and "several other farms"?

Our government talks about the need for sustainability because we import so much of our food, then grants permits to cover farm land with houses, roads and buildings.

And where is the additional water for this development going to come from? In an earlier application, desalinization was mentioned. The one attempt at that has not been a success. Perhaps a preliminary requirement for approval should be proof of a satisfactory water supply. Demand always-available water.

Mandy Bowers
Honolulu

Charter schools serving a need

Rather than invest all of our resources into developing yet another bureaucracy to oversee charter schools, perhaps we should use some of those same resources to take a good long look at why charter schools are in such high demand to begin with.

Parents are seeking alternative choices for their children and want local control over the funds allocated for their education. They’ve seen the results that the top-heavy state Department of Education produces and they want a change.

Whether you call it a charter school “review panel,” a “task force” or any other euphemism, it reeks of micromanagement, DOE red tape and more funds allocated to redundant administration and away from students.

More state regulation does not automatically correlate with increased efficiency, student achievement or better use of funds.

Sarah Guay
Kailua

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