The article on cracking down on illegal care homes talks about the legality of the care homes and how they are violating the law (“Health officials crack down on unlicensed senior care homes,” Star-Advertiser, Nov. 30).
The state Department of Health (DOH) should be taking a more proactive approach, like working with the care homes more diligently to get their licenses rather than fining them and shutting them down.
DOH is ignoring the fact that home care is expensive, so many families turn to using an unlicensed ARCH (adult residential care home) because that is all they can afford.
For instance, a temporary permit after a thorough inspection until a license can be obtained would help. Otherwise, what happens to the seniors in the illegal care homes? Does the DOH hope they just die and go away?
A better solution is needed besides citations.
Challenge Navy inaction on Red Hill fuel tanks
I urge everyone on Oahu to read Dr. Ellen Sofio’s commentary on the urgency of dealing with the 20 gigantic, 70-year-old underground fuel tanks sitting atop our main aquifer on Red Hill (“Navy’s Red Hill plans do nothing to protect Honolulu’s vital aquifer,” Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, Dec. 1).
It should send chills down your spine. Washington state has a similar fuel site, which they now plan to modernize at a reasonable cost.
Here, the Navy simply wants to monitor the Red Hill site while they “search” for a solution by 2045. This is ludicrous. Surely, protecting the water supply of more than 400,000 residents and visitors to Hawaii is Priority No. 1.
Please contact your City Council member to voice your opinion and be updated on meetings about this important public issue. Hundreds attended and spoke up at the last meeting. Our public officials need to hear from you.
Fish belong in ocean, not in an aquarium
I had the pleasure of visiting my family on Hawaii island recently and enjoyed the ocean activities on the west side of the island.
Unlike Oahu’s near-shore waters, there were colorful fish and corals. I hope that this beautiful display of nature is not sacrificed for people who want their fish in tanks (“Aquarium trade proposes reopening West Hawaii fishery,” Star-Advertiser, Nov. 30).
In this new age of environmental awareness in Hawaii the taking of our communal resources is unacceptable.
Aquarium trade does not have a place in Hawaii.
2019 storm results show limits of predictions
Regarding “Hurricane season ends with an above-average number and below-average consequences” (Star-Advertiser, Nov. 29): Your readers may be interested in how the 2019 Pacific hurricane season truly compared to 2018.
>> 19% fewer total depressions: 26 in 2018, 21 in 2019.
>> 17% fewer total storms: 23 in 2018, 19 in 2019.
>> 46% fewer hurricanes: 13 in 2018, seven in 2019.
>> 60% fewer major hurricanes (Category 3+): 10 in 2018, four in 2019.
>> 78% fewer total fatalities: 52 in 2018, 11 in 2019.
>> 98% less in total damage: $1.25 billion in 2018, $16.1 million in 2019.
This past spring you reported on a “70% chance of an above-normal hurricane season, 20% chance for a normal season, and 10% chance for a below-normal season” (“Forecasters predict 5 to 8 tropical cyclones for 2019 Central Pacific hurricane season,” Star-Advertiser, Top News, May 22).
Please show you trust your readers by providing more of the facts, even though the facts may challenge reported climate change predictions and prognostications.
Encourage reporting of illegal monster houses
It seems that the City Council is seeking new laws to control the spread of “monster houses” (“Measures seek tougher laws against ‘monster houses’,” Star-Advertiser, Nov. 30).
There is not enough effort being made by the city to control these monstrosities under existing rules. Only five unrelated people may occupy a single- family home in Honolulu. Landlords who build large homes, with excessive bedrooms and bathrooms, and rent to more than five unrelated people, are in violation of city ordinances. These illegal uses have a huge impact on neighborhoods similar to vacation rentals, especially by taking up street parking.
If the city is serious about controlling these illegal uses, it should allow and facilitate affected neighbors to report these violations. Create a hotline and encourage the reporting of violations and hire more inspectors. Strictly enforce the ordinances and limit occupancy.
By all means, strengthen the rules for new construction. But make it easier to crack down on violators.
Press remains bulwark of American democracy
Thanksgiving is over, but I think we should all give a special thanks for a free press, both in print and on TV. True, I’m often disgusted with Fox News and the National Enquirer.
True, I wish more NBC “liberal” news anchors would have “conservative” guests or panelists; I wince when they and CNN anchors do so, but seldom let a sentence go uninterrupted. I hate it when the commentators I like act just like the ones I dislike.
But having said that, I can only be grateful for our journalists. Most of them try their best to provide unbiased reporting, thoughtful commentary and exposure of governmental wrongdoing, I’ve admired the skillful, respectful, yet probing interviews with the many presidential candidates, on PBS, CNN and NBC. Far from being the enemy of society, our press is the bulwark of our democracy.
Jean S. Gochros