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Efforts to open racetrack blocked

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Your article on illegal drag racing at an historic site is mostly shibai (“Authorities struggle to curb drag racing at historic site,” Star-Advertiser, May 3).

Besides the questionable emotional response over the supposed desecration of remote pavement, you miss the pertinent point: Since the closure of the racetrack at Campbell Industrial Park in 1996, there has been no outlet for car and race enthusiasts. Efforts of the Oahu Motorsports Advisory Council to reopen a new track have been stymied.

I believe it is a matter of “land and power in Hawaii.” The big landowners and powers-that-be have determined that a race track is not in line with their development plans and stonewall any such ideas. We are left with almost no venue for motor sports, not even a go-kart track.

There is no benefit to be had with continuing to tilt at this windmill. Nonetheless, it is a sad and tragic commentary on life in Hawaii.

Ron Kienitz


More must be done to make TROs work

Temporary restraining orders (TROs) rarely protect victims from harm.

Too many people are still being harmed even when a TRO has been granted. The names of people cited with a TRO should be posted for public viewing so friends of the victims can better help them when a situation arises.

Police protection is never available. Victims get the TROs but don’t receive the protection they deserve.

The workplace of individuals with TROs should be notified, as well as the victim’s workplace.

A recent killing of a TRO victim could have been prevented.

Philip Ascuncion


Hawaii losing its charm for visitors

My wife and I love Hawaii and visit here every year and stay in Honolulu for several months.

However, I’m very disappointed and saddened by the many changes. Waikiki looks like any mainland city with its high-end shops and restaurants.

The traffic everywhere is terrible and will get worse with condos coming up in Waikiki and Kakaako, and homes in rural areas. What is the city planning department thinking when permits for these developments are approved? City officials are not looking at the big picture and must not mind being stuck in traffic. All this is taking away the beauty of the islands.

In addition, the increase in crime is frightening and the homeless situation depressing. Hawaii is no longer the paradise it used to be and will soon lose its place as a top destination for visitors. Hawaii residents need to wake up before it’s too late!

Dave Wonderland

Zion, Ill.

Outsiders should not screen test requests

Hawaii Medical Service Association’s pre-authorization requirement for patient testing is ridiculous.

The premiums we pay for come from our pockets, not HMSA’s. The money is ours, so why put restrictions on any diagnostic testing whenever a physician requests one?

Isn’t it better to be safe than sorry and avoid being liable for malpractice?

If HMSA continues to provide less than what is expected, our health will definitely decline. It takes money to stay healthy, so give us what we pay for.

We didn’t subscribe to HMSA so it could just hire an outsider to get its authorization. Leave that to our own physicians. We don’t need their permission to dictate what is best for us.

Fran Tomi


Obamacare hurt by compromises

I agree with Francis M. Nakamoto’s assessment (“Health care system still seriously flawed,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, April 5).

We need to remove the profit-making from health care.

President Barack Obama originally wanted a single-payer system, but the Republicans pushed back as they get campaign contributions from HMOs and health insurance companies.

The result was a compromise that resulted in the Affordable Care Act, which has helped millions of Americans.

However, we are faced with problems such as pre-authorizations.

It’s time that single-payer or Medicare for all be considered and become part of the conversation regarding universal health care as experienced in developed countries throughout the world.

Alan Okamura

Pearl City

Rail work lacking good management

The manner in which the rail is being built is thoughtless and wrong.

The executive director of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, who is collecting more than $250,000 per year, seems to be unable to manage the business/money end. The costs seem to just escalate, with no end in sight.

The physical blight the construction is causing is equally unacceptable. Our roads are torn up and lanes closed through what was once-tidy Pearl City. It looks as though it has been bombed.

It seems to me a knowledgeable, experienced leader would not allow construction crews to keep tearing up new areas when the areas they just completed are not finished properly.

Barbara Williams


Let counties keep their share of TAT

I guess since the City and County of Honolulu imposed on its constituents the general excise tax surcharge for rail transit, the state thought it was a good idea to allow the neighbor island mayors the same opportunity.

This is disgraceful. The state allocation of the transient accommodations tax (TAT) to the neighbor islands is theft. The money earned on the neighbor islands through the TAT should remain there. Instead all the Legislature can come up with is raising the GET and other taxes and creating or increasing user fees for anything that moves.

It’s robbery on the backs of taxpayers, often on those who can least afford it. And it’s lazy.

Get down to the hard work of cutting spending and waste.

Michelle Kerr

Waikoloa, Hawaii island

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  • IRT Alan Okamura: Alan, you probably weren’t taught this in school, but America is a Republic. Socialism and communism have been tried many times in different places around the globe, but there isn’t open example of either of them working out. You, like many others, probably don’t even know what it is to be American. You were never taught about liberty, e pluribus unum, or in God we trust. You fail to understand how or why our government was established as limited government.

    • IRT Alan Okamura “Obamacare hurt by compromises” – Republicans pushed back because it was such a flawed law, yet the bill passed Congress without a single Republican vote. Democrats own Obamacare so don’t try to deflect blame. Remember “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor?” Now UnitedHealth is pulling out, and the liberal media is trying to spin it like less choice and a narrower network is a good thing that is supposed to drive down costs. Democrats are always trying to say it’s only rain while they’re pissing on your leg.

      • This page is a great list of everything wrong with Hawaii. Maybe not everything. There is much more actually, police chief, mayor, homelessness, Jones Act, and more.

    • IRT Alan Okamura “Obamacare hurt by compromises” – Republicans pushed back because it was such a flawed law, yet the bill passed Congress without a single Republican vote. Democrats own Obamacare so don’t try to deflect blame. Remember “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor?” Now UnitedHealth is pulling out, and the liberal media is trying to spin it like less choice and a narrower network is a good thing that is supposed to drive down costs. Democrats are always trying to say it’s only rain while they’re peeing on your leg.

      • I will never forget Pelosi’s “We Have to Pass the Bill So That You Can Find Out What Is In It”. In other words, we don’t know what the heck is in the bill but let’s pass it and see what it does.

        • It empowered the local dems to basically do the same thing as they passed an empty bill that they can “revisit” with no public input or transparency.

    • Pure capitalism hasn’t worked out either. Fact is successful economies have elements of both in them. It is not like the US does not have socialism, not when we have the largest military and prison industrial complexes in the world.

      • I have learned through the years people believe in an appealing story, despite facts to the contrary. I really think health care needed to be socialized completely, or not at all. I prefer socialized medicine, so no one has to worry about care. Unforfunately, Obamacare was written by a now discredited academic minion of far left Democrats and passed by Democrats without Republican votes. Pelosi hid the truth from everyone, including members of her own party. The fractures and gridlock between the parties really stem from that callous indifference shown to anyone disagreeing with Pelosi and the arrogance of far left intellectuals who think they know better how to provide care than doctors.

        • “Pelosi hid the truth from everyone, including members of her own party.”

          Gee…you’d think legislators would get into their jobs (careers) and take a few extra minutes to study the laws put in front of them and ask their paid, educated staff for opinions or further info??

  • Re Oahu racetrack. What does illegal trespass and damage on private propriety get excused by lack of a local race track or drag strip. You users/car enthusiasts are to blame for the absence of local facilities. We have had local drag strips, race track, and similar facilities. In each instance, it has gone out of business, because of lack of support by the racing community. If you users paid the operators the money needed to be profitable, they still would be in business. In every case the track has gone out of business, because expenses were more than income. Simple, yeah.

  • IRT Dave Wonderland: Mahalo for your letter. What will happen is the tourists will migrate to the Neighbor Islands over time as word gets out of the observations that you cite. Hawaii will still get their tourists but the percentage of them that come to Oahu will diminish. This, unfortunately will decrease GET revenue for the C&C of Honolulu that it is counting on to support Rail construction and its eventually operation and maintenance.

    The people of Hawaii see the handwriting on the wall and are with you 100%. The politicians of Hawaii, however, either have blinders on so they have plausible deniability as to what is happening or they know exactly what is and will take place and just don’t care because the pay-off for them is with the uncontrolled development and neglect of quality of life issues.

  • Dave Wonderland of Zion, IL, writes that Hawaii is losing its charm for visitors. This letter could have been written fifty or even one hundred years ago…and letters like it will be written one hundred years from now. That’s progress.

  • Government officials need to listen to tourists. I wish more would take the time to share their thoughts with us. Approving towers 110 feet over the height limit and then counting on tourism to generate money, and then to add insult to injury, telling us we need to appreciate tourists more and doing it with our money, is a recipe for disaster.

    • They will never listen because these concerns have nothing to do with their personal agendas. This is just the latest of many letters written to the SA from visitors to our islands – nothing new. Our short sighted leaders are covering our island in concrete all in the name of the all mighty dollar, failing to recognize that we are paving over exactly what visitors are coming to see. Sooner or later, people will stop coming and instead will visit other locations that have recognized and appreciate what makes them unique. Chalk it up as another epic fail by those we have voted into office.

  • IRT: “Temporary restraining orders (TROs) rarely protect victims from harm.” You got some numbers to go along with that statement? I think that they work a lot of the time.

    • Temporary restraining orders would not in many cases even be necessary but for the cheap, stupid, trashy females ready to skip the inconvenience of marriage and vault into the sack with some heart throb du jour. Were young girls instructed in the ways of their great grandmothers – – integrity, chastity, self respect, dignity, and reputation – – these infractions (in which women are treated like used furniture by boys who will never become men) and thus the need for TROs, could be ended in a single generation. But as things now stand, far too many females remain stuck on stupid.

    • “I think that they work a lot of the time.”

      Got some numbers to support that claim?

      I’ll bet they don’t work so well when the restraining order is against some out-of-control cop that likes to smack down his kids and spouse or girlfriend

  • IRT: “Hawaii losing its charm for visitors … Hawaii residents need to wake up before it’s too late!” It has to do with how our tax dollars are spent [politicians]. The planning firms that are hired [politicians]. Funding for public projects [politicians]. Votes for politicians [you and I]. I am afraid that whether our politicians are myopic or hyperopic the final resolution gets blurred. It is hard to argue that Hawaii is becoming more charming. The money money money game is so in your face that it is hard to evoke the relaxing images of old.

  • “The workplace of individuals with TROs should be notified, as well as the victim’s workplace.”>> What possible benefit would there be to notify the company of the offender that there is a TRO against one their employees? What would that employer do differently? Fire them? THAT would promote MORE anger towards the victim.

    • It puts the offender ‘on notice’ and is one more way to have others who see offender on a regular basis watching out. As far as them getting ‘more angry,’ they’re already angry. That’s why the TRO was granted.

  • “Hawaii residents need to wake up before it’s too late!”>>> Residents ARE awake. It’s our political OFFICIALS who are asleep at the wheel. Inconsistent enforcement. Residents need to file suit against the city for not doing the job we’re paying them to do.

  • “President Barack Obama originally wanted a single-payer system,” >>> Wow, talk about re-writing history. Here’s a DATED article that reflects reality…

    “Nov 11, 2013 – For years, President Obama promised millions of Americans with health insurance that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan”

  • Lots of the traffic mess is because stop lights are out of sync. This is a problem that the mayor has ignored completely and is an easy fix. I cant imagine anyone who hasnt felt this. Visitors tell me thats the first thing they notice.

    • Agree that this could be a part of solution, but it will not happen because they have to justify the need for rail. This is a perfect example of how rail is not about alleviating traffic, because there are so many less costly options we could have implemented. No, rail is about political agendas, huge contracts and developer deals. MONEY, people – it’s all about MONEY.

    • For those new to the problem. Many years ago it was brought up many times. The”choke” pt. on H1 @ Punahou off ramp(and the whole H1 back from there is due to non synchronous lights as 1000s of cars seek to go to Manoa, Makiki, Punahou etc. The light go green, but ahead are red etc. When DOT was finally “pinned” down about it this is what they said/claimed:
      1. It will take 1M$ or more to re-syc. the computer light s for the area…HUH?
      2. We do not like “flow” but designed the traffic patterns to move in groups or echelons, on purpose. ….HUH?

    • Long ago I talked to a city traffic engineer about the lights. The city purposely sequence the lights to purposely stack up the cars at the lights. They feel more cars can go through the intersection that way. He acknowledged that if the cars speed they can catch all the green lights. Go the speed limit and you catch the red lights. smh. I haven’t talked to a State engineer about their theory, e.g., Nimitz and Kam highways.

      • that doesnt work these days because you lucky if you get plenty across because everybody is texting or dozing off cause the lights are long

    • maybe the traffic mess is because we’re raised lazy and entitled and all we do is DRIVE. we need to get out of our cars find other ways to around.

  • “Let counties keep their share of TAT”…. When this story came out afew months past, I immidiately called our,councilman(Greggor Illigan). He assured me ,that this was not going to happen….said that Hawaii Island will not be funding the Rail?Really? What it basically comes down to,you(Michelle) need to do,is call your district representative,and demand that we stay out of The Rail issue. Because people who possess a Brain,know that this is what it,s going to be used for, Bail The RAIL! For the governor to suggest this,is truly Shameful! Leave the Neighbor alone……The Rail is all yours Honolulu.Imua

    • Fire wiliki, wiliki lies about rail.
      Wiliki claims others lie about rail yet can’t cite one lie told by opponents, on the other hand, wiliki makes up so much things, it’s hard to keep up with wiliki’s lies.

        • I agree, an ignore button would be really helpful, but sometimes it feels good to show how out of touch and how much lies wiliki actually spurts out, especially when wiliki can’t answer it.

  • Any conservatives out there using Facebook? You may want to rethink:

    “Facebook workers routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers from the social network’s influential “trending” news section, according to a former journalist who worked on the project. This individual says that workers prevented stories about the right-wing CPAC gathering, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, and other conservative topics from appearing in the highly-influential section, even though they were organically trending among the site’s users.”

    Reportedly, Twitter does something similar—all brought to you by the geniuses of the tech world who are so arrogantly willing to determine what the peons think.

      • Oddly, in the last two days, I have suddenly seen an explosion of posts from conservative outlets that simply weren’t appearing before. Something has been changed behind the curtain.

        • Oddly coincident with the release of the above news story. Could it be that the nerdy billionaire wizard has decided to take his foot off of the peon’s necks for a while? Temporary, no doubt, because we all know that the genius that came up with the greatest waste of time in human history must know best how to guide our society, our culture. So, soon we can just relax, again, and let the latest crop of masters of the universe rule our thoughts and actions.

  • Ron Kienitz – You cannot just go onto somebody’s property and do what you like to do. If you want a race track, buy some land and build one.

  • Funny conservatives grips about social media yet wasn’t smart enough to have smart nerds get them one. I guess when you conserve, you just don’t gamble or get out of your little circle.

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