Several environmental groups such as Ulupono Initiative and Blue Planet Foundation are presently pushing City Council Bill 2, which reduces the required number of condominium parking stalls in the hopes that owners will ditch their cars to walk, bike or use mass transit.
This is a misguided and premature bill as the infrastructure to walk and bike is lacking on Oahu. Until we have walkable sidewalks, a network of protected bike lanes and very convenient mass transportation, most people will not give up their cars.
Bill 2 would force car owners to waste time driving around to find street parking near their condo.
We all know that street parking is scarce in most neighborhoods and many areas have badly designed, narrow streets with cars parked all over the place.
Let’s build the infrastructure for a more walkable, bike-friendly Oahu first and wait to see what happens with rail before rushing to pass Bill 2.
Neighborhoods need relief from car culture
My neighborhood, Waikiki, is ground zero for benefiting from the parking relief measures outlined in City Council Bill 2. People in my community have chosen to live here because they value walkability, storefront businesses, pocket parks for baby strollers and active “eyes on the street” to keep our community safe.
Many, like my husband and I, don’t own cars and have no use for the mandated parking stall(s) in our condo complex. We have rented our stall out for years and used the money to pay for bikeshare, carshare, dining and entertainment.
Not owning a car has saved us thousands of dollars over the years, with the stall rental an added perk. I agree with the commentary, “Council should make city walkable, with right-sized parking” (Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, Nov. 10).
Forcing residents to purchase parking with their residence only adds unnecessary fiscal hardship to homeowners and penalizes those choosing a car-free life. It is time to pass Bill 2 as written.
Time to stop fighting over election, masks
I will try to keep this simple. No matter where you fall in this discussion post-election, someone is bound to be unhappy.
Let’s for the sake of argument try to agree that we all love this country and democracy. Now let’s all move on under a new president, who was elected fair and square, and wear our masks until a vaccine becomes available for all Americans and the world.
It won’t be easy, but let cooler heads prevail so children will feel safe again and be proud to live in a united country once more.
Bush v. Gore nothing like Trump v. Biden
In a recent letter, a reader said there is no media attention to the 2000 Bush v. Gore presidential race in Florida (“If Gore can challenge results, so can Trump,” Star-Advertiser, Nov. 10).
The difference is there was a slim margin of fewer than 600 votes between George W. Bush and Al Gore, and the winner of Florida would win the election.
Even if Donald Trump prevails in Pennsylvania he would lose the election. He would have to overturn thousands of votes Biden won in Nevada, Wisconsin and Arizona.
Trump told his supporters to vote first by mail and then in person. He is projecting his cheating ways on others.
City will get fresh start with Blangiardi as mayor
A fresh start is welcomed on Oahu with the election of a private-sector executive, Rick Blangiardi, as mayor.
The handoff of the keys to Honolulu Hale will provide some insight into the less-than-stellar performance of the acutely conflicted Caldwell administration. It will underscore a sobering truth in the polls about Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s performance, which showed a grim negative opinion rating of 49% (“Hawaii Poll: Oahu voters disapprove of Kirk Caldwell’s coronavirus response,” Star-Advertiser, Oct. 18).
Caldwell’s two four-year terms were subpar and clearly not the hoped-for basis for an enthusiastic surge of support necessary for higher office.
Therefore, any advice given by Caldwell to Blangiardi should fall on deaf ears — chief among them any recommendation to retain Caldwell’s loyal staff of entrenched partisan department heads, who would continue to help Caldwell become governor.
It’s elementary that when you take over a failed business, no one is indispensable. So you clean house.
We wish the mayor-elect well. When he succeeds, we triumph, and come together for the greater good.
Don’t be afraid to make people wear their masks
Why is this even a question (“Mask mandate brewing,” Star-Advertiser, Nov. 10)? Clearly, we have proven that we can’t be counted on to use good judgment. The wearing of masks and social distancing is treated by many to be optional.
What are our leaders afraid of? Why are they reluctant to make mask-wearing a law and to enforce such a law? Those for whom mask-wearing is a danger can carry a doctor’s note excusing them. But the rest of us apparently need policing. Are our leaders up to the task?
Shop local exclusively to bring economy back
As a community we should be committed to not only staying COVID-vigilant, but also to helping to rebuild the economy in Honolulu.
The National Retail Federation estimated national expenditures for typical annual holiday shopping for family and friends is $659-$959. Gallup put it at $942.
With COVID-19 and the economic recession, it is estimated that Americans will only spend 5% less on gifts this year, but even with that reduction, many people will still spend $900.
If everyone here in Honolulu pledged to only buy at local small businesses, we could help inject hope into our struggling retail market. We can do this together. We can find lovely gifts at our wonderful Hawaii stores.
We understand that many families are struggling financially and are not buying gifts this year, but for those who are, please buy local.
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