Developers allowed to ignore zoning
Hawaii’s representatives can transform the character of our neighborhoods by changing the size, placement and type of structures they allow to be built.
Usually their decisions are guided by zoning regulations that consider existing use and how a change in zoning regulations might impact those living in a given area.
But recently, wind farms have popped up close to schools and back yards, and a forest with a history of Hawaiian settlement was clear-cut to make room for a park and facilities that locals say they neither want nor need.
Now, a four-story apartment complex is proposed in a low-rise, residentially zoned area in Kailua because HRS 201-H 38 has freed developers of affordable housing from statutes and ordinances that once set height, setback and size limits.
Seventy-three apartments with 53 on-site parking stalls would be built on a one-acre site that presently has seven single-family, single-walled homes with carports.
There are no laws to stop it, only public pressure on our representatives to protect residential zoning. Otherwise, a precedent is set where zoning means nothing.
Don’t attack leaders for keeping us safe
Give a break to Gov. David Ige and others who make decisions to safeguard the health and welfare of Hawaii’s people and the aina during this pandemic. I don’t always agree with their decisions but I comply.
Lest we forget:
>> The Native Hawaiian population was decimated by European explorers and other people from different parts of the world, including the U.S. mainland. In the mid-1800s, there was a shutdown to stop the spread of disease.
>> Hawaii is the only state without rabies. Hawaii lawmakers long ago were wise enough to pass a law that required incoming pets have a health clearance and shots by a veterinarian prior to coming.
>> Snakes and other unwanted animals and pests are prohibited by law. There are inspectors, but not everything illegal is detected. That is why coqui frogs are here.
So far our COVID-19 numbers are low due to restrictions. If incoming visitors don’t want to quarantine or follow rules, they can stay away until a future time.
Keep Hawaii safe.
Keep quarantine with cases rising
Don’t allow unregulated tourism from any other locality to infect our state. Because the incubation period is at least of 14 days duration, it is foolish to consider lifting the quarantine for nonresidents at this time.
The West Coast and most of the other western states are undergoing massive increases in their infection rates because they removed the restrictions regulating public exposure to the virus.
Social distancing for public schools
To lessen the spread of COVID-19 among students by encouraging social distancing, the state Department of Education should consider:
>> Reopening public schools that were previously closed, such as Queen Liliuokalani Elementary School in Kaimuki;
>> Leasing or renting closed private schools such as St. Francis School in Manoa;
>> Renting classrooms from underutilized private schools;
>> Paying for teaching materials for parents willing to home-school their children;
>> Increasing the enrollment in online schools;
>> Conducting some classes outdoors.
Hawaii should mark Juneteenth as well
When I first heard of it a couple of weeks ago, I thought Juneteenth was a made-up thing that rose out of the protests against discrimination and violence towards Black Americans.
It’s not. Juneteenth celebrates the day emancipation from slavery finally occurred in Texas, 2-1/2 years after President Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation, and was first celebrated in 1866.
Juneteenth is a good reminder that despite the hard work to pass anti-discrimination laws, harder work must continue before people benefit. Forty-seven states recognize this day. It is time that Hawaii does as well.
Military base names should not change
I did basic training and ROTC summer camp at Fort Lee. I went back on active duty with the 1st Armored Division at Fort Hood during the Korean War. I learned how to be an infantry officer at Fort Benning.
I cared less that those Army posts were named after Confederate generals. I still feel that way.
This is important. When I run into an old soldier, and ask, “When were you at Benning?” and, “Where were you at Benning?”, we have something very much in common.
Politicians (too many of whom have had no military service) have issues much more important to resolve than renaming old Army posts.
William F. Crockett
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