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Homelessness has hidden costs

The article on homelessness did not touch the deeper costs that all taxpayers are paying ("Removing the homeless from H-1 viaduct," Star-Advertiser, Oct. 5).

Most homeless do not have access to good medical care, so medical problems fester until the issues are so serious they require emergency or very expensive patient care. Feeling isolated and "less than," they have little incentive to obey laws or take care of themselves.

Without practical ways to clean themselves and their clothes, or have a safe place to leave whatever belongings they have, how can they look for jobs or work?

The state has cut resources to help them, and state staffs that are there to help them are overworked, stressed and hamstrung.

This problem will continue to get worse until there is a different approach to solutions.

The cost is and will be far more than quoted in the article.

Thia West

It’s cheaper just to pay homeless

Are you really telling me that last August and September the state forked out more than $2,000 per homeless person to move them out of the viaducts of the H-1?

There is no money to feed or help these people but we have plenty to push them around and destroy whatever belongings they might have? This is just plain crazy.

The state could have saved more than $150,000 and actually helped those people by offering them $500 each to leave and clean up after themselves. The handful that refused could easily have been dealt with. That way we actually could have helped them and moved them at the same time, and saved 75 percent in costs.

I know that isn’t the long-term solution, but some alternative thinking is needed for each situation. Think out of the box.

Mike Young

Natatorium will just disappear

Memo to political columnist Richard Borreca: Shhhhhhhh! Your column this week about the Natatorium is blowing the lid off the secret deal between Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Mayor Peter Carlisle ("Natatorium is a problem that just won’t go away," Star-Advertiser, On Politics, Oct. 4).

You see, the governor has issued one of his super-secret emergency orders that lets Carlisle ignore all environmental laws and public notice requirements to do preventative safety work, chipping away at the decaying wall and deck of the pool. The secret is that the "preventative safety work" will just keep on going for a year or so until the Natatorium, a chip at a time, is all gone — a decades-old problem solved.

Bruce Dunford
Ewa Beach

Fidell’s fidelity to HECO faulty

As he has in his last several commentaries, Jay Fidell continues to promote the Big Wind project by denigrating the motives of the opposition here on Molokai ("Wind and photovoltaic are suited to be 2 legs of a clean-energy stool," Star-Advertiser, Think Tech, Oct. 4).

He characterizes those on Molokai who are taking a stance against the industrial wind power plant as "naysayers" with limited "altruism."

In actuality, the naysayers are the Big Wind zealots who refuse to acknowledge science, anecdotal evidence and history, all of which brand these power plants as far from being "successful" and a "proven technology."

And those whose altruism is ripe for mockery are the giant corporations who are spearheading Big Wind to reap profits under the guise of "green energy."

Having never met a Hawaiian Electric Co.-supported renewables technology that he didn’t swoon over, Fidell might consider that not every alternative is a good alternative.

Gregory Kahn

Horner at BOE has disappointed

When the governor appointed Don Horner as chairman of the state Board of Education, I thought there would be a dramatic improvement in the way the Department of Education operated because he was the chief executive officer of First Hawaiian Bank.

I thought that high on his agenda would be the development of a strategic plan that would move our public school system out of the early 20th century and into the present.

But I was wrong.

The BOE has no intention of developing a strategic plan. The DOE is developing a new strategic plan, but it is too much like the old strategic plan, which has proven to be ineffective.

The high expectations didn’t last long.

John Kawamoto

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