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‘No lying down’ bill is missing the point

We in Hawaii go year after year talking about creating more "affordable" housing, but predictably, we seem to always wind up with little or no progress, more complaints from businesses and tourists and residents — and even greater demand.

The unfortunate results include ridiculous bills like Bill 59, which would ban lying down on sidewalks.

Really? Let’s finally get serious, right now, about building decent, affordable housing of all types.

If folks are so down and out, exhausted and confused that they’re lying down and sleeping on sidewalks, and if lawmakers are then writing and passing laws prohibiting it, very likely that means there needs to be a much more thorough and honest examination of the corruption and political failures that have gotten Hawaii to this sad point.

David B. Cannell

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

‘Stairway to Heaven’ closed long enough

Thank you for the editorial correctly pointing out that the "Stairway to Heaven" is a wonderful island asset that needs to be implemented ("Cooperation should allow public to climb scenic Haiku Stairs," Star-Advertiser, Our View, Oct. 17).

It is sad that a small group of disproportionately influential local homeowners has been able to hold back progress in order to punish all of us today for some valid grievances they had against a few trespassers in the past.

The editorial points out correctly that their continued opposition is, in fact, the cause of any problems that might still exist. Time to move on.

Bill Myers

Voters still have right to vote on marriage

According to our state Attorney General David Louie, the Legislature has the authority to enact a bill on same-gender marriage during the special session later this month.

During the 1998 elections, the voters of Hawaii voted on a measure that gave the legislators the right to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples. However, we the voters were not abdicating our rights. At the time of the vote, Baehr v. Miike was before our state Supreme Court. In order to prevent the Judiciary branch of government from making the decision, we voted for the lesser of two evils, which was the poorly worded measure on the ballot.

Many of our legislators today may be too young to recall the events that led to the vote. Others may have forgotten and still others are choosing to ignore the message the 1998 voters, of which I am one, sent. Fifteen years later we ask our elected officials to respect and honor the spirit in which the measure was approved. Do not take our voices away from us. Bring the measure back to the ballot and allow the people to decide on marriage.

Marsha Krieger

Special session will pay for itself quickly

Letter writers who keep claiming a special session to approve marriage equality will waste taxpayer money should follow the money ("Special session will ignore priorities," Star-Advertiser, Letters, Oct. 14). A special session is expected to cost $25,800.

If Hawaii approves same-sex marriage, local businesses and government will benefit to the tune of more than $100 million a year, mostly in the wedding and honeymoon businesses and the additional tax revenues those activities bring.

So put another way: Approving same-sex marriage will pay for itself in about two hours, and it will generate hundreds of millions to spend on schools, road repairs and other worthy causes.

Those who oppose a special session by citing the costs are using that as a smokescreen to hide the fact that they favor continued discrimination against our gay brothers and sisters. Fair enough.Just be honest and say that instead of making false claims that a special session is a waste of taxpayer money.

Amanda Suckow
Salt Lake

Handicapped cards need to be reined in

Since the canine and service animal community is banding together to find ways to identify legitimate service dogs from the fakes ("Fake service dogs cause real trouble," Star-Advertiser, Oct. 11), maybe our medical community can provide the same service for our human handicapped community.

We’ve all seen it: an able-bodied person pulling into a handicapped space and bounding off to wherever he or she needs to go.I know you can’t tell if a person is handicapped by watching them walk, but as a critical-care nurse of 20 years, I have a pretty keen eye. I saw a lady pull into a handicapped spot at Ala Moana Park with her placard in place and take off jogging. She didn’t appear to be handicapped — certainly not by the definition of a person in a wheelchair who could now no longer find a handicapped space.

The real failure here has been by the medical community, specifically primary-care physicians, who because of either their loyalty, sympathy or stark lack of moral integrity have passed out handicapped eligibility like Santa does candy at a Christmas parade.

Pat Kelly
St. Louis Heights

There’s no basis for proposed ‘Koreatown’

I could not agree more with Lois U.H. Lee ("‘Koreatown’ should not be state creation," Star-Advertiser, Letters, Oct. 15), regarding the naming of a respected and much-loved area in Honolulu as "Koreatown."

I am a locally born and raised resident living in the Ala Moana and Keeaumoku Street area for more than 30 years.

I am highly offended by the idea to name this area Koreatown."Over the years, I have seen this area turn from a multi-racial, respected and beloved business area into a noisy hodgepodge of bars crammed together, with many so-called"massage parlors."

We never had the crime rate that we see in this area here today, especially between 2 and 4 a.m., when the bars close.

So what constructive contribution has been made to this community to warrant this area to be called "Koreatown"?

Barbara Gonsalves
Ala Moana

Gaming revenues could fund services

The people of Hawaii need to find new revenues to meet their increasing demands on the state and county governments for better services ineducation, transportation and highway maintenance, emergency medical services, public safety (police, fire, water), courts systems, social services, sewer and water and refuse collections.

Yes, I am referring to the untapped revenues to be gained by openinggaming statewide.

The state needs to retain the right to establish the parameters of gaming and a lottery, and each county should be given the option as to whether it would participate in raising revenues through gaming and/or a lottery.

During the upcoming legislative session, the Legislature should give the people of the state the power to decide on this issue.

If this form of new revenue is turned down by the people, then they should live with bad roads, services and governance until they are able to find monies for their demands.

Roy S. Tanouye

Congress should pay for own health care

The best way to hold members of Congress responsible for their inability to govern and deliver solutions is to require them to log into, fully complete and sign up for their health care plan, and pay for it themselves.

Kurt Wollenhaupt

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