Prepare for elections by registering to vote
Whither Hawaii? Voters, especially young people, could largely determine our future in the 2020 elections. Many do not realize that Hawaii will have an all vote-by-mail election this year. I am making this my focus for the next seven months: registering young people to vote.
Terrified by the climate emergency and the unwillingness and/or inability of our elected leaders to address it, citizens are searching for answers. We have a chance to make Hawaii a model for the entire world. It starts with exercising our right to vote.
If you know a high school senior or a college student who has not registered to vote, please let them know the process is easy and quick. They can register on their phone.
Have them go to olvr.hawaii.gov, the Office of Elections voter registration website. The process takes five minutes. They will get their ballot sent to their mailbox.
Align wildlife needs with human needs
Kudos to Linda M. Paul for her argument against the FEIS (final environmental impact statement) for the Kawainui-Hamakua marsh project (“FEIS for Kawainui-Hamakua marsh project inadequate,” Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, Jan 2).
She cites many good reasons that “the FEIS conflicts with Hawaii’s long-term environmental policies.” She then suggests many specific ways in which the project can align itself with human/wildlife needs.
As long as we see our human needs separate from that of the ecosystem instead of a part, our future is dire. Those who are stakeholders in this project should look to the model of the Arcata Marsh & Wildlife Sanctuary in Arcata, Calif., which restored a previously polluted, dying marsh to create an innovative wastewater treatment system that naturally processes sewage for the city while providing habitat for more than 300 species of birds, plants and mammals.
It hosts a weeklong bird festival and has an interpretive center that is low impact and eco-friendly. The community uses its trails for biking, walking and picnicking. All this with reverence for the environment and the smallest footprint possible. It can be done.
Include residents in helicopter task force
This is a response to, “Growing air tours crowd isle skies” (Star-Advertiser, Jan. 2).
A task force has apparently been formed to address issues relating to the helicopter industry in Hawaii. This task force is comprised of representatives of the helicopter industry, the Federal Aviation Administration and the state Transportation Department. But they are omitting a major stakeholder from the discussion: the residents.
Hawaii’s residential population is the group most negatively affected by the activities of the helicopter industry and yet have no voice in the discussion.
See what is happening with the telescope on Mauna Kea, the playgrounds in Sherwood Forest and Ala Moana Park, and the wind farm in Kahuku. Local residents are fighting for their rights.
The helicopter issue, likewise, will not be resolved without adequate public participation.
Voters are sick and tired of being ignored.
Show aloha for each other as 2020 begins
Aloha is the standard in Hawaii, a value that allows for a healthy, sustainable community. As we head into 2020, let’s bring out the best aloha in ourselves and each other, supporting friends and family however and wherever they may be.
Let us reclaim that genuine concern for our neighbor and give of ourselves right where we are. We each can make a difference.
To our leaders, be sure that your priorities are right by truly serving the people of Hawaii who work hard to make ends meet while traffic and crime get worse, and housing prices force us into homelessness or to leave the islands altogether. We count on you to be the standard bearers.
In 2020, we need bold leadership built on pono policies that represent the people and not just the politics. Aloha is the key.
Hauoli Makahiki Hou! Have a happy new year, everyone.
Shana Wailana Logan
Strict accountability needed for OHA
Your editorial urging the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) to comply with a state audit, concluded: “It’s time to turn on the lights at OHA” (“Beset OHA should comply with audit,” Star-Advertiser, Our View, Jan. 2).
I totally agree. When those lights are turned on, the rats will scurry for cover.
The latest bad news for OHA was a recent independent report alleging $7.8 million in potentially fraudulent, wasteful and abusive spending. It sounds to me like major corruption, if not outright theft.
But Chairwoman Colette Machado’s response was what we have heard over and over again: “We will do better!”
I don’t believe it. Sadly, accusations of malfeasance are highly likely to continue. The organization will produce yet another costly plan for good deeds going forward, without producing those good deeds.
Unless there’s strict accountability, including jail time for those who might have stolen the $7.8 million, OHA will continue to burn taxpayers’ money. And continue to fail to serve our native population.
C. Richard Fassler