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Why are tents allowed along city sidewalks?

Every day the number of tents on the sidewalks of King and Beretania streets grows, along with the stench and the filth from very unsanitary conditions.

It really boggles the mind that our government requires camping permits for personal recreation and yet people are legally allowed to sleep on the sidewalks. One homeless man on Dillingham Boulevard has made the bus stop there his residence, and he never leaves the spot except to urinate on the building.

Other states have used abandoned buildings and empty parking lots at night to house the homeless with proper security and sanitary bathrooms in place. They are required to pack up and leave in the morning.

Perhaps a large piece of land could be used for tents on the condition that the area is kept clean and monitored and the campers there could do some type of volunteer work for the state in return for the use of their own clean space.

There are win-win solutions that are better than allowing our parks and sidewalks to become filthy tent cities.

John Shiarella

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 Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published.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 a daytime telephone number.


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

Oahu’s sewage woes need to be solved now

I would like to thank those officials who have spoken up for Kailua in protesting the moving of raw sewage to the Kailua wastewater treatment plant, and for mentioning similar sentiments of some Waianae Coast residents opposed to further environmental injustice against our own community.

Honolulu City Council member Romy Cachola has fought long and hard for his community against the Synagro project, citing numerous concerns of his constituents. The process was still sited in Sand Island, even though not all of the concerns of his community were satisfied. The Sand Island and Honouliuli wastewater treatment plants were targeted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for improvements to meet the agency’s standards. None of these issues were addressed behind closed doors or away from public and media scrutiny.

There is no excuse for either the Council or the city administration to start the "blame game." The blame needs to be shared by all, and the situation needs to be addressed immediately.

Cynthia K.L. Rezentes

Raiding recycling fund is just plain dishonest

This year, state legislators moved $1.3 million from the beverage container recycling program to the general fund. Last year legislators started charging the program millions of dollars for accounting services even though the program has its own accountants. Now they want to raise the fee I pay because the program doesn’t have enough money to operate.

Politicians ask me to pay to support recycling and then siphon off the money. This isn’t a clever way to raise money. This is just dishonest. Democracy can only withstand so much dishonesty.

Richard Krygier

State Hospital patients not ‘mental prisoners’

This is a "Thank you" and "Please improve" note regarding the language used in your coverage of the person from the Hawaii State Hospital who was arraigned in court on charges of assaulting a staff member ("Mental patient to face trial in assault of staff," Star-Advertiser, July 8).

Thank you for using the term "patient" in the headline, as it reflects the term that applies to individuals at the State Hospital.

"Please improve" refers to the use of the term "mental prisoner" in the headline of the story on the next page. People held at the State Hospital are not prisoners. They are patients, as they are in the care of the Department of Health and not incarcerated or under the care of the Department of Public Safety. Terms such as "mental" are stigmatizing to individuals who suffer from mental illness. In this instance, a phrase such as "person with psychiatric illness" would be more appropriate and less stigmatizing.

Bill Sheehan
State Department of Health

Government towing us all to the poorhouse

How unsurprising it was to read that the city plans to cut out two or three small businesses that it currently uses so it can award a single contract to one towing company. It must be terribly difficult to keep track of all those vendors at one time.

I’ve been a small business entrepreneur for 33 years. I’ve seen it happen over and over again, when government procurements go to a sole provider and a whole bunch of small, hard-working, legitimate, principled small businesses get shut out and maybe shut down.

I have no interest in a towing company. I just wonder when our society will realize that our government and its agencies have this huge, insatiable appetite to sustain and perpetuate themselves, and do so at the cost of — and on the backs of — individuals and small businesses.

Kathy Leong

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