You are absolutely correct requesting the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to comply with an official audit, especially after legislators cited a 2018 audit that flagged spending irregularities and possible breaches of OHA board members’ fiduciary duty (“Beset OHA should comply with audit,” Star-Advertiser, Our View, Jan. 2). Instead, OHA chairwoman Colette Machado and Vice Chairman Brendon Kaleiaina Lee deny access to complete and unredacted minutes of OHA’s meetings.
Who do they think they are? They are accountable to the state for these funds, and most importantly accountable to Native Hawaiians, who should be outraged about OHA’s shenanigans. In the next election, throw the rascals out and keep them away from the cookie jar.
Force Legislature to act on illegal fireworks
Seeing the firsthand evidence in my area, plus TV news pictures of all the aerial fireworks and sounds of the bombs going off, it looked to me like an in-your-face, “nyah, nyah, nyah, can’t catch me” taunt to the current and past Legislatures that failed to enact any enforceable solutions to the madness. Making any positive impact on control now seems almost impossible when it has gotten so out of control.
Who knows what the real reason is for not taking positive action? At this point it is almost looking like collusion.
Don’t just nag the Legislature for a couple of months, then forget about it. I know everyone is busy. But keep at it until somebody does something positive to make New Year’s Eve a more reasonable event for everyone.
Mary Louise O’Brien
PV systems and planting trees can help climate
This is with appreciation and respect for Colin Yost’s eloquently written, well-informed commentary (“The climate emergency siren is wailing. What should we do now?”, Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, Nov. 17).
While he provides a dictum of what we must timely accomplish, I would add that installing 35 photovoltaic (PV) solar panels dropped our monthly electricity bill from approximately $450-$500 to less than $20. Our monthly electric bill had been high, essentially due to our tenant’s use of the air-conditioning system.
PV is one of the best and most immediate answers to climate change. We’ve since sold our home and now reside in a large condo with no PV system.
Is it possible to plant too many CO2-to-oxygen-converting trees? Let’s give it a try. We can only further enjoy nature’s beauty and rewards.
City asks Legislature for ‘right turn on red’ ban
In 2019, in response to the high number of traffic injuries and fatalities, the City and County of Honolulu asked that the Legislature consider a bill to prohibit “right turns on red” on Oahu as a way to improve safety for all who use our roads.
This legislation is an important measure that would enhance pedestrian safety in addition to keeping drivers’ attention focused on what’s happening when they approach a traffic light (“We need to implement ‘no right turn on red’,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Jan. 2). It is unacceptable that Honolulu roads rank among the most dangerous for pedestrians, and we are all responsible for turning this trend around.
While the bill did not move last year, we are hopeful for passage this coming session.
Deputy director, Department of Transportation Services
Case heeds concerns about helicopter safety
I must disagree with Patrick J. O’Reilley, who accused U.S. Rep. Ed Case of politically capitalizing on the recent helicopter tragedy (“Safer to take helicopter than to drive on roads,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Jan. 1).
Actually, Case has been trying for some time to get the Federal Aviation Administration to regulate tour helicopters and small planes in response to requests from multiple neighborhood boards and citizen complaints. In attempting to curtail increasingly disruptive and dangerous flights, we learned that neither the city nor the state has much authority. Only the FAA can truly do anything.
Our board and at least 18 other boards asked Case for help. Since April 2019 he has been researching the problem and been involved in discussions with state, military and national park jurisdictions also concerned about the flights. To date, the FAA has been largely unresponsive to requests for changes.
Case’s outcry about the recent accident is not a blatant disregard for the facts, but an expression of frustration over FAA intransigence. Please do not call his hard work “grandstanding.”
Killing of Iran general will prevent WWIII
The killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani of Iran has kept America out of World War III (“Trump declares Iranian general’s ‘reign of terror’ over,” Star-Advertiser, Top News, Jan. 3).
He was a terrorist who had to be dealt with. As a kid growing up in Hawaii, I remember my parents talking about the chances the world had to kill Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.
The brave troops did their job to perfection and we must also thank President Donald Trump for keeping our country out of WWIII.
TMT must show it has funds to finish telescope
According to a recent report in The New York Times, the Thirty Meter Telescope group does not have hundreds of millions of dollars necessary to complete the project.
The beliefs and concerns of the Hawaiian people should be more that sufficient to prevent the project from going forward. However, unless and until the TMT group can provide verifiable evidence that it has the funds needed to complete the project and fulfill its commitments to the community, the project must not be permitted to proceed.
There are numerous examples in the past decades of projects remaining unfinished due to lack of funds. This must not be permitted in this instance.