comscore Keep parking lot at the zoo as it is | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Letters

Keep parking lot at the zoo as it is

Honolulu Star-Advertiser logo
Unlimited access to premium stories for as low as $12.95 /mo.
Get It Now

I cringed when I read that the City Council might turn the Honolulu Zoo parking lot into a two- to three-story parking structure (“Council to vote on proposals to fund zoo, parking structure,” Star-Advertiser, May 3).

This would be yet another example of urbanizing the last remaining open spaces in Waikiki.

The existing lot is nicely landscaped, recently repaved and home to dozens of mature trees, making this entrance into Hawaii’s most famous tourist destination a shady, pleasant place.

I have yet to see any multi-story parking structure that even remotely resembles the inviting, serene ambience of the existing lot. Besides, do we really need to double or triple parking volume? I have always been able to find a space in the existing lot since the city raised the hourly rate.

Let’s think hard before we cut down dozens of beautiful trees and concrete over some of our last open spaces in Waikiki for no discernable purpose.

Chip Hughes


Online voting could boost voter turnout

Wow. Over half of Hawaii’s voters vote absentee.

If the state really wants to save some money and increase voter turnout, why not allow voting online instead of mailing out ballots to everyone? You might even be able to reduce the volunteer staff at the polls.

And, by the way, no presidential results should be released until the last poll closes.

Fred Fogel


Just keep up with park maintenance

Our mayor should ask his parks director the following: What have you done to address the many dirt patches, the crumbling walls and warped picnic tables and benches throughout Ala Moana Regional Park?

What about weed control, lawn maintenance and repairing and adjusting sprinkler heads that transform dirt patches to mud pits?

What are the park personnel expected to accomplish on an eight-hour shift?

The $1.2 million spent on consulting fees could have been used to make immediate improvements to the park. I suggest keeping the makai parking and the small bridges over the waterway. That’s the charm of Ala Moana. Forget the Piikoi entry and the wider walkways. It’s a beautiful park. Maintain what is there and provide a safe and clean environment. Most of us would be OK with that.

Ray Otaguro


Iwo Jima flag-raising re-enacted for photo

My father witnessed the flag-raising at Iwo Jima from his battleship, the USS Arkansas.

He told me that the iconic photo that has come to symbolize the American victory was actually a re-staged shot of the event.

If we are to get every detail right, including the names of the Marines in the photo, we need to know that during the intense heat of battle, the flag was raised, but not as the photo depicts it. That came a bit later, after things calmed down.

Jean Risvold

Wailupe Peninsula

Rail is real so critics should get on board

Many have said that they will believe it when they see it.

Well, the Star-Advertiser showed rail with the headline, “Rail makes its first stop,” on the front page (May 3). So believe it, rail will happen.

Let us all get behind the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s board, with its new chairwoman, Colleen Hanabusa, and new member Colbert Matsumoto. HART members are volunteers and are putting the community first.

They will need all the help they can get because the tough part of building rail through urban Honolulu is going to take the maximum effort of all concerned. Yes, there will be more costs. Projects of this size require change orders to solve unforeseen problems and situations.

The Slaters, Cayetanos, Roths and others must now get on the wagon to make rail the best it can be.

Roy S. Tanouye


Health care system still seriously flawed

The controversy over Hawaii Medical Service Association’s preauthorization of imaging tests highlights the underlying cause of our health care system failures (“HMSA pre-authorization policy delaying critical tests, some doctors say,” Star-Advertiser, April 27).

HMSA’s need to cut costs and maintain revenues underscores the need to remove insurance company profit-making from the system. While Obamacare has expanded coverage to millions of previously uninsured persons, the concession to insurers to be made part of the costs of delivering health care is undermining its commendable purposes, as UnitedHealthcare’s abandonment of its insureds demonstrates.

It’s time to reconsider single-payer or Medicare for all to bring America’s health care policies on par with more effective and universal health care systems throughout the developed world.

Francis M. Nakamoto

Moanalua Valley

Charity to homeless often can backfire

Homelessness gives rise to all manner of silly ideas for solutions.

Homelessness will never be solved by giving homeless people the same things the rest of us must work for.

As it becomes easier to be homeless, more and more people will adopt the attitude of “Why work? The liberals and politicians will provide.”

Donald Chambers


Click here to view more Letters to the Editor. Or submit a letter below.

Use the online form below

(*) Indicates required field

Dear Editor,

Comments (61)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Leave a Reply

  • IRT Francis M. Nakamoto: That’s exactly what Obama and the Dems wanted to hear you say. It has been the plan all along. Create a system that is so wrought with problems, so expensive, that the public will demand socialized medicine. The Dems knew they couldn’t get that right out of the box, but if they screwed-up health insurance bad enough, they knew the public would clamor for single payer. The Democrats, under the guise of insuring 40 million uninsured, have completely destroyed health care in America. It has been the con of our lifetime, and if you think things are bad now, just wait until next year, after Barrack hits the road. This was shoved down the throats of every American by a single party, and a maniacal President.

  • ORT: Ala Moana Park–agreed!! Let’s maintain it–I love that Park. When I see 4-6 landscapers with weed eaters cutting the lawn when ONE with a lawnmower could do the same job faster and better doesn’t make sense or cents!!! Use that manpower to adjust the sprinkler heads!! I would also like to see the HPD on a bicycle tour the Park and cite those dog owners!!!

    • There’s no political new conference for just maintaining a park and keeping it looking good and properly functional day after day, even though that is all we the citizens really want. Better for the election year cameras to let it deteriorate then show up with a pretty rendering of what it will look like (rather, should have looked like) after spending more money.

  • Roy Tanouye is absolutely right that we should all be more positive towards rail which is transportation infrastructure needed for our community’s long range future to provide relief from traffic congestion. Rail is for a better future for our children and grandchildren.

    • Eh, that lie about “relief from traffic congestion” has been disproved by even your side.

      You’re not getting paid the same amount for a half-a $$ed copy and paste like this are you? Couldn’t you have redone one of your longer screeds? In the past the quality severely lacked, but at least our money was spent on a large quantity.

      Now we’re getting neither and still paying you.

    • ukuleleblue says: “Roy Tanouye is absolutely right that we should all be more positive towards rail which is transportation infrastructure needed for our community’s long range future, blah, blah, blah, cis-boom-bag!”

      Look HART and rail has gotten everything thing they asked for and manger to break every promise and be wrong with every projection. It doesn’t serve the traffic weary commuters who need to get from Waianae, Kapolei, and Ewa to UH. It goes from a developer’s new urban sprawl well outside those communities. And it’s stated purpose of going to UH? It goes to a luxury upscale shopping mall for wealthy tourists instead. Not only is it billions over budget, but we paid hundreds of millions to consultants like Parsons Brinckeroff to deliver these flawed and self serving projections.

      Now we have plastic, seatless trains sitting around to decay years before they they will be used. Who thought that was a good idea?

      Would you like me to go on?

      Now, you very much want everyone to ignore all the incompetence, greed, and corruption and pretend like it never happened. You don’t want any accountability, and are only concerned with keeping the gravy spigot open. This gravy isn’t coming from Washington DC though, this money is being taken out of the pockets of struggling working families who have 2-4 jobs just to survive.

      Which brings up the obvious question you still refuse to answer. Where do you live on the mainland and what is your connection to this mess of a rail project?

  • IRT Roy S. Tanouye: Roy, your picture and those of the present and past board of HART, the former and present mayors and city councils and legislature should have been prominently featured in yesterday’s “Keiki Day” issue, so those kids can refer back to those who saddled them with the enormous costs and the bankrupting of the city and state.

    I have a feeling that they won’t be just verbalizing their displeasure.

    • Yes, ukuleleblue is paid to post propaganda either from the mainland or Alii tower. But why should HART get a blank check and no accountability from tax payers? As someone said, HART has gotten all the funds they requested and they are 2 years behind and double the original budget. It is due to POOR PLANNING and POOR MANAGEMENT.

      Our children and grandchildren will be paying for Grabuaskas’ and the city’s mistakes forever.

  • Ray Otaguro the menial tasks you mentioned cannot be done. The main reason is because it would require someone to actually perform a function when getting paid by the Parks and Recreation Dept… Rail will alway be a flat tire expense to the tax payers of Honolulu. Which is why I will never move HOME Too many lazy people looking for a free handout.

    • Reamesr1, With your negative mentality, we are lucky to have you on the mainland. Stay there. Do you think you could convince kalaheo1, Keolu, their windward side and east Oahu friends to move to where you are. We certainly don’t want their anti-West Oahu attitude.

      How about building the new prison and OCCC on the vacant state land at Olomana.

      • Why don’t we build the new prison in Mililani? Kailua has the youth facility and the women’s prison. We don’t mind sharing the Aloha.

        Not sure why you are so gung ho about the rail. It won’t serve Mililani or make your commute any better. In fact, if you’re a bus rider, your commute time might double with the wait times and transfers to and from the bus/rail/bus.

        I think you don’t get that rail was not and will not be about traffic relief. It was about political paybacks for construction unions and the land developers. And the Oahu taxpayers are taking on the chin because of the ambitions of a few politicians.

      • MililaniGal says: “Do you think you could convince kalaheo1, Keolu, their windward side and east Oahu friends to move to where you are. We certainly don’t want their anti-West Oahu attitude.”


        Back when this thing was still in the planning stages and before Mufi, Kirk, and the boys revealed themselves, I use to hear “you don’t care about west side families you big meanie! Once the train is built, commuters in Ewa, Kapolei, and Waianae will be able to read and nap in big roomy seats on their way to UH and Waikiki!!” Remember that? Because I heard it a lot.

        Then guess what happened? The route got changed to go to a powerful developer’s previously undevelopable land instead of Ewa, Kapolei, and Waianae. Then the changed the end from UH Manoa to the fancy tourist mall. THEN they replaced the big roomy cabin promised in Mufi Hannemann’s virtual train ride to a cattle car with a few tiny plastic benches AND THEN they broke the promise of the temporary tax on food, medicine, clothing and rent to pour into the pockets of these developers and constructions insiders with zero accountability.

        And you DARE tell me that I don’t care about west side families!!!! Like ukuleleblue’s “taxes are barely felt” and wiliki’s “rail is paid for” you are not fooling anyone.

        You know when HART is going to remember the west side? It’s going to be when they need a place to put the new electrical boilers for the massive electrical infrastructure they are planning on being “completely surprised” by. Then they’ll remember where Waianae is!

        The west side get dumped on (literally) again again again and it’s never been worse that what HART and Mayors Hannemann and Caldwell have done with this train and Ho’opili. Think traffic and getting in is bad now? Just wait until DR Horton pours the last yard of concrete and flies their private jets back to Texas.

        You can put your your circa 2009 “rail critics don’t care about the west side” card away, because you can’t to play it anymore. Not after what HART and Mayor Caldwell and Hannemann did to the west side.

        • I will add in for Mililanigal,

          Even though I’m against the rail (for about 7 billion reasons), I’m not against traffic relief measures. Frankly I believe rail is the most expensive and time consuming option.

          There are many ways to reduce traffic that haven’t been implemented. I have mentioned them here before but I’ll spare you the repeat unless you want to hear them.

          Let’s start at the root of the problem. UH Manoa and private schools. When they’re on break, traffic is relatively light.
          So let’s build a rail to Ala Moana? Seriously?

        • If you’re going t call me. A liar, then you need to point out what you think I’m lying about.

          Otherwise, it’s just one more wiliki lie, liar.

        • Should comments also be like the actual letter to the editor and limited to 500 words? Berg and Kalaheo Kauai always of on a tangent of antiness.

      • Wow a westider that actually cares about what happens to the west side? Not likely, more like a contractors wife or a city worker with a Caldwell forever bumper sticker.

      • I agree about Olomana… Not much people there too – not to mention the huge amount of state land available.

        We have a huge population and a housing shortage on the West Side and Central side of the island. No need to aggravate that by putting big prisons and jails on this side of the island.

        People want to commute to the more rustic side of the island to see their loved ones in jail or prison.

  • Yes, there will be more costs. Projects of this size require change orders to solve unforeseen problems and situations. Roy S. Tanouye

    So Mr. Tanouye, If I may ask you. Being over a billion dollars over budget, just about 2/3 done, and not knowing what the rest of the project is going to cost, I ask, how much is to much. When does one say enough already, this is more then what we can afford.

    • Delays have increased the cost of rail but we need to keep moving since we have made great progress and we can afford it while our economy is strong. Rail infrastructure will absolutely be needed for the long range future and would cost much more decades from now and be cost prohibitive. The public knew this was our last best chance to get rail built and that’s why they voted for rail.

      • Another lie? Two in a couple of hours.

        Before you got your job with HART, we had a ballot question that asked if we wanted steel on steel or another type of train. We were never asked if we wanted the train at all. We were told we were going to have one, no matter what. You would have known that if you were here at the time.

        There never was a yes or no vote on whether the People wanted rail or not.

        • If people definitely did not want rail they would have voted against any measure that dealt with rail and any candidate that supported rail.

        • Ukulele? Seriously? The election was bought by the construction unions and the land developers.

          Even a rail shill like yourself has got to know that.

        • ukuleleblue says:
          If people definitely did not want rail they would have voted against any measure that dealt with rail and any candidate that supported rail.

          People may have wanted rail back then, until all the lies and misinformation started to become exposed. Not to mention another 5 year tax increase. More and more people are becoming former supporters for this never ending money pit.

        • There have been many votes taken. The next vote taken will be when we fire Ernie for delaying rail.

      • Delays that were caused by poor planning and mismanagement by the city and HART. So I’ll ask you, how much is to much. A project that was supposed to cost 3.6 billion dollars when first proposed is turning out to be a 6.5 billion dollar and rising project that’s only 1/4 done with even harder areas of construction ahead. When do you say enough already, or do you want to keep taxing the, as you call us, “average locals”.

        And since you wrote something new and actually replied to a post, why not tell us where you’re from and how you’re connected to this project.

  • “What are the park personnel expected to accomplish on an eight-hour shift?”>> Better yet, POST that maintenance schedule so the public can help police what’s NOT getting done when it’s supposed to. Or – just choose not to so you can keep your head buried in the sand claiming “We didn’t know”.

  • “The Slaters, Cayetanos, Roths and others must now get on the wagon to make rail the best it can be.”>>> You don’t get it. There IS no “best”.

    • Is that what you would tell your daughter when a stranger assaults her? “Hey, honey – just make the best of it”. WE are being FISCALLY assaulted.

  • Roy Tanoye: Have you read that Hawaii is percived to be the most corrupt in both the legslative and executive branches. Google it! And yet you want us to trust these thieves with our tax dollars and our precious state?

  • Hey Roy, Ala Moana Park is the phony mayor’s new scam. He sells it as park improvements but it is really for contractors so he can get more dough. Just like all his other ideas like the development division, his homeless stuff, all of it. He is pushing a nice mainland looking park with a carnival feel. In fact I doubt he has even set foot at the park except for his commercials. He is going to reduce the parking stalls to mini stalls that cannot fit a local family truck. Watch your car doors going be plenty nicks in your paint job.

  • IRT “Our mayor should ask his parks director the following: What have you done to address the many dirt patches, the crumbling walls and warped picnic tables and benches throughout … ” most of our parks island wide? Her answer should be well Mr. Mayor if you adjust your priorities [or had a different set of values] … then you would approve a budget that would allow for those essential kinds of things to happen. And, Mr Mayor when money is budgeted you do not release it for improvements to move forward. You, Mr. Mayor, are not the biggest problems that our parks have.

    • Another instance of where we can’t maintain what we already have, yet spend millions on planning for improvements that we don’t have money for, only to let it fall into disrepair all over again. Most of all, Mayor Caldwell, be honest for a change and call it what it is – a park for all of the rich folk moving into those condos that local families can’t even begin to afford! A new entrance from Piikoi and removal of parking stalls because they can just walk across the street – who do you think you’re fooling?

  • IRT: “So believe it, rail will happen.” What I have learned from following this is that the general public was/is not critical enough. It is our tax dollars [hard work] that is moving this catastrophic blunder of mythological proportions forward into still unknown dimensions. Oh yes it is happening. I am not sure I posses the flexibility it takes to endure much more .. I must be getting weak in the knees.

      • Rail will never run out of money. That’s the whole point. It’s why it’s happening. Politicians knew they had one of the largest deep green pools imaginable to dip their beaks, and “dip” they’re doing. When they need more, they simply raise taxes. Whose going to stop them; the voters? Yeah, right. When pigs fly.

  • IRT: “Keep parking lot at the zoo as it is”. I do not disagree but/& … OK so how do you solve the problem of Where am I gopng to park? Are there other areas to have parking lots near by? Does it become a bicycle park? Or, take the train to the stadium and catch a bus to Ala Moana and then catch another bus to Waikiki. Oh, but there is no room for my beach toys. Good plans and planners are hard to come by. Change flies in the face of status quo.

    • Hopefully, there will be a separate fund for the zoo that the society can manage.

      The Council wont fund the parking lot but they will spend 500K for a study. Better to give that money to the society’s fund. The society will spend that money very well.

      • It’s more important than a parking lot for construction of zoo exhibits to be completed and the whole area improved for better fundraising for the zoo.

        The zoo can rent out its facilities. It would be a big draw for special events and shows for tourists.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up