Sunday’s tragic killings on Hibiscus Drive dramatize the need to pour resources into crime prevention in Hawaii, not just into punishment and incarceration.
Jerry Hanel was mentally ill. He had been terrorizing his neighborhood for some time, had retraining orders out against him, and was under frequent police surveillance — yet he managed to cause such destruction. Clearly some other kind of intervention was needed earlier on.
Crime prevention can’t depend on police alone. We currently expect our short-handed police force to deal with the homeless, the addicted, and the mentally ill as well as criminals.
We do need to invest in more training for police in recognizing and dealing with the mentally ill, who may be incapable of following police orders.
But we also need an established emergency social and mental health services team that we and they can call in early when someone is behaving irrationally and may be a danger to self or others.
Drop EV subsidies first, then talk road-use tax
I just received a letter from the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) inviting me to complete a survey regarding the proposed transition from our current gas tax per gallon to a road usage tax based on miles driven. From the HDOT analysis “helpfully” provided, the yearly increase given my 8,717 mileage in 2018-2019 would be a mere $21, or a not so modest 18%.
Delving a bit deeper into how it arrived at that number, I discovered that HDOT assumed my vehicle averaged 24 mpg. In fact, my average is 36 mpg. Adjusting its formula for this 33% error, my yearly increase jumps by $61, or an astounding 77%.
HDOT also implies that the state and county gas taxes would be terminated upon imposition of the road usage tax. Does anyone believe that would happen?
Eliminate the generous parking and taxpayer subsidies to electric vehicles first, then we can discuss tax increases.
Refocus UH athletics’ millions into education
Regarding “Community needs to invest in UH athletics” (Letters, Star-Advertisr, Jan. 19): We’re not investing enough? $35 million a year? There are a few states where the athletic programs pay for themselves, and add some profit, but not Hawaii.
What is the job of the university? I thought it was education.
How many students would that $35 million support? Swell that University of Hawaii provides entertainment to “sport fans” — if they are willing to pay for it. But I’m not, and neither are the many students who are required to pay a fee, even if they never attend games.
It’s way past time to wake up, put the “athletics” nonsense where it belongs, and focus on education of our youth.
Even heading elsewhere, Coach Rolo is class act
I was overwhelmed to see the full-page ad that Coach Nick Rolovich and his wife, Analea, posted in the Jan. 17 Star-Advertiser.
Under a big MAHALO, it said: “Mahalo for allowing me the opportunity to be the Head Football Coach at the University of Hawaii. I am forever grateful that you blessed me and my family with warmth and aloha!”
I have seen seven UH football coaches come and go — four were dismissed (Bob Wagner, Fred VonAppen, Norm Chow and Greg McMackin), three left voluntarily (Larry Price, Dick Tomey, June Jones) — and now Rolo.
But I have never, ever seen such a show of class as this one — a full-page ad thanking everybody. He conducted himself with “Pride Rock” and “Live Aloha/Play Warrior” throughout.
It will be hard to boo Rolo if he ever brings his new school here to play, but one thing’s for sure: it should also be Hawaii thanking him.
Time to update building code for cleaner energy
Bill 25 in the City Council would require new construction to have solar hot-water-heating systems, solar- adaptable roofs and charging stations for electric vehicles. These changes ensure that buildings avoid energy waste and take advantage of our abundant sunshine.
This seems like a no-brainer: save money for the consumer in the long term, and eliminate a source of global warming. But Hawaii Gas is working hard to interfere with this obvious step forward, so that its fossil-fuel profits are maintained.
I’m a gas customer, and I love cooking with gas. But if I were buying a home or a condo, I would be happy to go all-electric. The city, the state and the planet deserve it.
Problem not FAA rules, but in unabiding pilots
The Federal Aviation Administration has had in place for decades regulations covering flight in both by Visual Flight Rules (VFR) and Instrument Flight Rules (IFR).
U.S. Rep. Ed Case, who is not a licensed pilot, should understand that the problem is not with the rules, but rather with pilots not following them.
Litany of trumped-out lies all proven false
Yet another phony Donald Trump claim against his perceived enemies has been debunked by a Department of Justice investigation ordered by another Trump attorney general.
Trump’s baseless accusation that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton allowed Russia to acquire uranium and that the Clinton Foundation improperly benefited from her actions were investigated by the DOJ and no evidence warranting prosecution was found.
Trump whipped up his rallies with chants of “Lock her up!” based on another of his concocted lies.
Birtherism, Clinton emails, spying by Barack Obama, origins of the Russia investigation, and now the Bidens: all trumped-up lies he has spewed out over the years and all have been proven false.
Don’t expect an apology or even an acknowledgement that another costly DOJ/FBI investigation came up empty.
Francis M. Nakamoto