Mahalo for your editorial and to columnist Lee Cataluna for highlighting the governor’s ideas about Kalihi and some of the dangers in that plan (“Revitalize Kalihi for local residents,” Star- Advertiser, Our View, Aug. 25; “If Kalihi is remade like Kakaako, then what?,” Star-Advertiser, Lee Cataluna, Aug. 25).
I agree with Cataluna that the words “Kakaako development” are very scary. Many of our favorite shops and restaurants are gone in favor of a bunch of expensive condos and shops for mostly out-of-towners.
I have never been in favor of, “we were here first, pull up the ladder,” but catering almost exclusively and unashamedly to rich tourists and investors? Why? Who does that really benefit?
Many used-to-be affordable houses that belonged to residents are rented through such sites as Airbnb. We are surrounded by tourists. It doesn’t bode well for communities. Communities are more than buildings. They are friends living, working, dining and shopping together, making it possible for all of the other people who live here. We are chasing out the heart and souls of our Hawaii.
Call-in trash pickup wasteful, inefficient
Government already has earned its reputation for inefficiency versus the private sector. Now, the city’s Environmental Services Department believes it is smarter than every private- sector industry that also offer residential services (“Bulky item call-in system in works,” Star-Advertiser, Aug. 24).
Whether it be companies that offer water delivery, pest control or landscaping, all of them recognize that “drive time” — driving into the same areas over and over again — is a huge waste of time and inefficient when you have to service a multitude of customers in the same area.
Drive time is time spent not doing the actual job, repeatedly. I’m more than bewildered that those making this decision cannot see that. That really worries me.
Wahiawa trash crew does excellent job
While the city bulky pick-up program is being trashed in the daily newspaper, I have nothing but praise for the Wahiawa pick-up crew. Recently we put out a huge amount of trash consisting of items for home projects we never got around to doing. I was happily surprised and relieved when the whole pile disappeared and there was not a speck of dust left on the ground.
Our thanks and gratitude to the Wahiawa crew, who regularly go beyond expectations in carrying out their duties.
City services already appear to be cut
Wait now: The city has parks in disrepair, the homeless are out of control, the potholes are becoming craters, the water and sewage infrastructure is crumbling, there are “scheduling problems” for rubbish pick-up, public restrooms are either filthy or closed, emergency services are underfunded — and the mayor is threatening to “cut services” even more to fund his rail project.
Susan L. Young
Rail should stop at Alapai transit center
Stopping rail at the Alapai transit center is our most economical choice as the project can be routed over government, rather than private, property.
The Alapai center offers riders almost immediate access to hospitals, police, government offices and express bus services in all directions, including the University of Hawaii, Ala Moana, Waikiki, tourist attractions and more, substantially reducing traffic.
In sharp contrast, routing rail over private property to already congested Ala Moana will cost our great-grandchildren their future, as Kakaako condo prices have increased dramatically over the past 12 months, providing fantastic profits to private property investors. And just imagine what traffic will be like this Christmas after the new Ala Moana wealthy condo owners have moved in.
The choice for legislators and voters is quite clear. Do we want to reduce traffic congestion, or shall we enrich speculators at the expense of our great-grandchildren?
U.S., NATO pushed Russian bear too far
In the articles, “The U.S.’s Putin problem” (Star-Advertiser, Aug. 28), both authors rightly condemn Russia’s annexation of the Crimea, while ignoring U. S. actions that forced the Russian hand.
With the fall of the Soviet Union and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, NATO had a chance to scale back. Instead, the U.S.-led coalition, in a headlong rush to the very borders of Russia, added 13 more nations, including five former members of the Warsaw Pact and three former Soviet republics.
The Russians, with a long history of invaders of their homeland, understandably consider this a hostile act. When, with Western encouragement, Ukraine started to make overtures to NATO, Russia finally reacted.
Ukraine has a thousand-year association with Russia. Its capital, Kiev, was the first capital of Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin has refused to allow this cradle of the Russian people to join a hostile coalition. We can only push the Russian bear so far.
Christianity based on historical truth
Many books have been written by atheist professors and others who set out to disprove Christianity and, based on the evidence, became Christians.
I would humbly suggest that David Cannon (“Religions have no place in government,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Aug. 25) read Josh McDowell’s “The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict.”
At least he can see where Christianity is really coming from based on actual historical truth. It is good to read another man’s perspective sometimes to expand one’s thoughts.
However, I must warn him that he may change his mind.