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Editorial | Letters

Ship has sailed for hemp crops

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The promotion of industrial hemp as a silver bullet to protect agricultural lands from development is a case of misplaced enthusiasm.

Sugar and pineapple have experienced greatly reduced plantings due to cheaper production elsewhere. The 10-year legislative promotion of ethanol in fuel could not induce a single investor to build a plant to produce it. The ship has sailed on industrial crop production in Hawaii due to high costs of land, water and labor.

Legislative enthusiasm to support Hawaiian agriculture would be better focused on improving the water supply to agriculturally important lands, enhanced grower access to local markets via an open statewide auction house and enhanced interisland transportation, such as the Superferry.

Let’s not waste valuable tax dollars on developing a crop like industrial hemp that can and will be more cost effectively produced in other mainland states, if and when it becomes legal to do so.

Joe DeFrank

U.S. Navy could help homeless

A few Navy ships that are in mothballs and decommissioned could solve our homeless problem.

A troop ship or amphibious ship could provide housing for our homeless with possibilities of segregation by gender, if desired. These ships could have boats for shuttles and kitchen and bath facilities. Medical volunteers and job counselors, as well as food kitchens and other services, could visit the ship weekly.

My idea does not need expensive studies, just common sense and help from the U.S. Navy. Sonar has not helped the whales and leaking oil tanks have not helped our water supply, but the U.S. Navy could help us with our homeless problem now.

Richard L. Turner
Princeville, Kauai

Brower should try compassion

Tom Brower is making homelessness a hate crime.

His violent (sledgehammer) and opportunistic (publicity) actions have been neither constructive nor humane.

As a politician, instead of helping the community to find a solution to the complex plight of the homeless, he chooses to imprison their children.

Here’s some old adages Brower might ponder: “There but for the grace of God go I” and, “What goes around, comes around.” Perhaps he will try and find compassion and resolution for this human tragedy that allows children, the elderly, the mentally ill and pregnant women to live on the sidewalks.

Julie Toussaint

Some homeless are just slackers

Hawaii must distinguish between the homeless people who have had bad things happen to them from the driveless crowd who can work but choose not to (“Too close for comfort,” Star-Advertiser, July 26).

Most homeless people will still try to get out of their current predicament, whereas the driveless crowd insists it has the right to entitlements from the community.

The state should not and must not tax those who work hard to subsidize those who refuse to work.

Hawaii’s abundant welfare program for this crowd must be restricted to an emergency basis.

The more you feed, the more will come.

Clarence Lam
Hawaii Kai

Trump tells it like he sees it

I am not a fan of big mouth Donald Trump, but he expresses what he believes.

We call it freedom of speech, our very basic right as a citizen.

We may not agree with him, but we are welcome to disagree and ignore him. It is what it is.

One thing is for sure: He does not speak with a forked tongue, like many politicians.

No, I will not vote for him either, ever.

Rosita R. Sipirok-Siregar

Energy goal will be a hard slog

Gov. David Ige thinks NextEra won’t be able to meet the state’s renewable energy goals by 2045.

He’s probably right. In fact, no one will without the development of a whole new science.

Let’s examine what’s needed applying today’s wind technology. Hawaiian Electric Co. has 1,727 megawatts of firm generating capacity. This is the equivalent of 1,325 turbines operating at 26 percent efficiency. Each turbine has a blade diameter of more than 400 feet. The towers alone will stand almost as tall as a 30-story building.

Then there’s solar. To match HECO’s present generation, we’ll need approximately 20 square miles of solar panels, not including spacing and infrastructure — about 10 percent of Oahu’s usable terrain.

Both solar and wind systems will require a massive energy storage system entailing more capital cost added to the rate structure.

Maybe NextEra is still our best bet for the future.

Wakefield Ward

Rooftop solar benefits public

It’s a brilliant plan for Hawaiian Electric Co. to pit solar owners against non-solar customers by claiming every resident with solar burdens those without.

Will those of us on either side fall for this ridiculous campaign? The reality is, collectively all those with rooftop solar represent a new power plant HECO did not have to build.

Since the invention of the light bulb, utilities have encouraged appliances that would use more electricity.

Every generation uses more than the previous. Utilities capitalize on this upward curve, by investing and upgrading the grid. HECO has failed here and would like the public to believe that the poor state of the grid is because someone put panels on his roof.

As HECO and the solar companies hash this out, who is representing the ratepayer in all of this? It is my hope that we will all look back and say, “maybe Randy Iwase should have been governor.”

Phillip Hino

Build fewer rail stations

In May, Hawaiian Dredging was awarded a $78.9 million contract to build three rail-stations: Leeward Community College, Waipahu and West Loch (“Hawaiian Dredging wins $79M rail station contract,” Star-Advertiser, June 12).

That’s $26.3 million per station. Wow.

In the present rail project, there are 21 rail stations along the 20-mile guideway from Kapolei to Ala Moana Center. People prefer using transportation that will take them to their destination quickly and safely.

To increase ridership, commuter time by train from Kapolei to Ala Moana can be lowered considerably by constructing the rail stations at essential locations only.

Since HART’s cost estimate appears reasonably sound, there will be savings of $26 million for every rail station deleted from the project. Eliminating four rail stations would save enough money to build a new stadium.

Ken Mukai
Moanalua Gardens

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