Make no mistake: I and most of my family and friends favor installing red-light cameras.
They are needed at all dangerous intersections and, if we can afford it, at most intersections. I can’t speak for other parts of Honolulu, but along the Kalanianaole Highway from Ainakoa to Lunalilo Home Road, I’ve had drivers overtake me as I stop for a red light and blow right through the intersection. It happens all the time, including morning and afternoon school hours.
I can hear them stepping on the gas and accelerating behind me. I tell my wife to watch this car coming around us. I wish I had a dash cam to record them.
This has to stop. These speeders and red-light runners are putting innocent lives in danger. Another intersection worth watching is Atkinson and Kapiolani, where it is so dangerous to be a pedestrian.
St. Louis Heights
Residential A rate needs to be reformed
It’s refreshing to see that at least some City Council members have come to their senses regarding adjusting the limits of the Residential A tax threshold.
The evolving irony of the Residential A tax category, which was instituted as a deterrent against off-island real estate speculation, was the intention to increase rental housing for locals. However, as real estate values rise, more and more local families will not be able to afford renting housing that falls under the Residential A category. Is it outside the realm of possibility that someday, all Oahu property could be valued at $1 million and thus fall under Residential A rates?
An adjustment clearly must be made. The fairest adjustment would be to limit the Residential A category to properties that were valued over $1 million at the time the category was implemented. The city will still benefit from increasing taxes as these properties appreciate, but local families renting “non-luxury” properties would not be adversely affected.
Joseph W. Turban
Stopping Blaisdell renovations a good call
It’s good news that Mayor Kirk Caldwell has halted plans to renovate the Blaisdell Center (“Blaisdell restoration halted due to cost of rail,” Star-Advertiser, Feb. 4).
Apparently, it would have been too costly at a time when the city is still struggling to pay for the rail system. I wondered where the symphony orchestra and opera theater would be performing, if not at the Blaisdell. The renovation would have taken three or more years. That’s a long time to be deprived of a good concert and opera venue. So, hurray for keeping the status quo for now.
Meanwhile, the city will continue to repair certain parts of the center to keep it well-maintained.
I love the acoustics, the wide seats and the ample leg room at the Blaisdell Concert Hall. What a wonderful experience it is to sit there and listen to glorious music!
A baby born alive has fundamental right to life
The letter to the editor by Rita Kama-Kimura is a no-brainer (“Senate bill would save survivors of abortion,” Star-Advertiser, Feb. 6).
A baby who has been born deserves the full protection of the law and the application all medically necessary and appropriate services for its survival. An overwhelming majority of our citizens agree that pre-conditions (e.g., a botched abortion procedure) should not be a barrier to receiving medical care.
The baby has not signed away its right for medical services and therefore must not be denied what he or she needs to continue living. No person owns another individual. A viable baby’s life cannot be terminated based on someone else’s wishes, regardless of relationship or intent.
I hope to see Senate Bill 2237 scheduled for a hearing soon. Our legislators should pass it in a landslide and Gov. David Ige needs to sign it effective immediately.
Minimum wage drives away young people
As a senior in high school, I am at a crossroads in my life — to stay or to not stay in Hawaii.
I have chosen to stay because I love this community, but most of my friends have chosen to leave.
They do not believe that there is any opportunity for them here, so they go to mainland colleges and get mainland jobs. The sad thing is that my friends are right.
The data from the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism shows that a single person with no children and who gets health insurance from his or her employer needs $17.63 an hour to be “self-sufficient” in Hawaii. $17 would be the bare minimum wage.
How can I blame my friends for leaving as quickly as they are, when the Legislature is considering only $13 in four years?
We need to increase the minimum wage to $17.
Protect U.S., borders from germ warfare
The most deadly and lethal form of weaponry that is undetectable and can easily infiltrate and compromise the integrity and security of our borders, inflicting devastating and deadly consequences, is the use of germ warfare.
Therefore any president, regardless of his party affiliation, who protects Americans and our borders first is a force to be reckoned with and not taken lightly.
Yes, President Donald Trump could use an attitude adjustment in diplomacy, but remember: He is our elected leader and members of both parties need to address this concern directly with the president for a better and more cohesive working relationship on behalf of the American people and the world leaders.
We are the most powerful nation because we all know and understand that united we stand, divided we fall.
God bless America!
Patrick N. Custino