I think most everyone will agree that Oahu has a housing shortage, both on the rental and homeownership fronts.
Last week saw some good news with groundbreaking at Ho’opili and the announcement that units at The Flats at Pu’unui are ready for lease.
The bad news is that we will be paving over/losing some of our prime agricultural land, and that the rental units in Kakaako aren’t going to be accessible to many workers.
The income limits at the Flats at Pu’unui start at $70,400 for a single person, so we aren’t talking about affordable workforce housing (as the units are likely to be leased by those earning near the income limits).
It seems that we will continue to struggle with home- lessness and that “affordable housing” will remain an oxymoron in Hawaii.
Transition delay a danger to Maui
The governor’s, the courts’ and the unions’ irresponsible delay of transition of Maui Memorial Medical Center (MMMC) to Kaiser until July 2017 will make Maui unsafe.
Preventing death from the immediate causes, heart attacks, strokes and accidents, requires the complicated care of MMMC within the “golden hour” — not allowing transfer.
Professional and support personnel are already being lost with few replacements coming. There is no certainty that delay will not again be imposed in 2017 by those responsible for the current mess.
Some employees will be affected by the transition, but others have given much more for the good of all.
If the transfer is not done now, life-saving medical care, Maui and many employees’ jobs will be lost.
Those responsible must do what is right for Maui, ahead of their positions, votes and personal issues.
George S. Lavenson Jr., M.D.
Quit quibbling about Title IX
It’s unfortunate that Title IX, the Patsy Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act, was referred to as an “obstacle” by the Star-Advertiser (“Title IX poses obstacle for new tourneys,” Sept. 2) because the new structure of the state high school football tournament might be delayed.
Title IX has been and continues to be a catalyst for more opportunities for girls to benefit from participating in sports.
It is time that the leaders of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association stop quibbling over what is or isn’t a sport and fully comply with the Title IX requirements. The children of Hawaii deserve better than an association that crosses its fingers and hopes changes in the future will make the current plan compliant. They deserve leaders who eagerly comply with the law.
Jeanne Y. Ohta
Co-chairwoman, Hawaii Democratic Women’s Caucus
Hawaii an outlier in asset seizures
Kudos to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser for shining a light on civil forfeiture and condemning the practice (“Policing for profit: Challenging property seizures in court can be costly,” Sept. 4; and “Tighten rules for asset forfeiture,” Sept. 8, Our View).
As your reporting revealed, 80 percent of seizures were for property valued at $10,000 or less — a far cry from thwarting drug cartels. Those relatively modest amounts indicate that law enforce-ment is policing for profit.
Moreover, forcing property owners to post a bond before they can even challenge a seizure in court is an affront to due process.
Hawaii is an outlier for that law: Only four other states have similar bond requirements.
Although reform efforts in Hawaii’s past session were stymied, other states have been more successful. Eleven states now require a criminal conviction as prerequisite to forfeiture. Recently, New Mexico and Nebraska went even further and abolished civil forfeiture outright. In fact, in the past two years alone, 17 states have reformed their forfeiture laws. Hawaii should follow their lead.
Communications associate, Institute for Justice
Ferry service no longer viable
It’s a shame that the Maui-Molokai ferry isn’t generating enough ridership to keep its parent company in business.
We found that to be true here in Honolulu as well; there aren’t enough people who want to travel by sea to make such ventures worthwhile.
But Sea Link President Dave Jung is being disingenuous when he blames Makani Kai Air and Mokulele for grabbing his passengers (“Operator of ferry for Molokai wants to cancel service,” Star-Advertiser, Sept. 10).
People choose to fly rather than sail because it’s faster and cheaper. And no, the airlines do not use their EAS (essential air service) support from the federal government to lower fares from Maui to Molokai; those funds are strictly dedicated to communities that would otherwise go without essential air service.
If the business doesn’t work, don’t run to the taxpayers for a bailout. Accept that times change and some business models are destined to fail.
Patrick “P.J.” O’Reilley
Honolulu needs a new mayor
Your editorial board should rescind its endorsement of Kirk Caldwell for mayor of Honolulu.
Now that the federal government has mandated the project finish to at least Aloha Tower, the two mayoral candidates now share the same position on the route and future of rail.
However, it would be foolish to re-elect a career politician who has stood by silently as the project has spiraled out of control. Just reading any article on the cost overruns or mismanagement on rail makes it abundantly clear that we need new leadership at Honolulu Hale.
The people of Honolulu need a newspaper leader that will look closer at the issues and not accept the status quo.
‘Star Trek’ star deserves better
Great 50th anniversary story about “Star Trek” (“Beyond the stars,” Sept. 10) — but where was the mention of George Takei?
He was one of the first Asian-Americans to have a major role in a TV series. With practically half of this state Asian, I think we were all owed a picture on the front page of Takei, who was interned in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp as a child. He is a leading TV, movie and Broadway star. He deserves better.
Election coverage has been awful
In Sunday’s “RedBlue- America” column, the question was: “Is media reporting election news well?”
The answer is, “No, the coverage could be described as ‘deplorable.’”
The media is just doing a “He said/she said” without looking at the facts or issues.
To misquote Humphrey Bogart (in “Key Largo”): “When your mouth says one thing and your whole life says another.”
There are real issues facing the state and the country, the state and the city.
Look into what the candidates have done in the past, not just what they say today.
St. Louis Heights