Honolulu Star-Advertiser

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Letters: Allow youth to vote for neighborhood boards; Those with allergies need vaccine reassurance; Enforce dog leash laws on public property

I appreciate state Sen. Les Ihara, who also represents my neighborhood, bringing forward ways to increase youth participation in government (“Bills would allow 17-year-olds to vote in elections,” Star-Advertiser, March 20).

While efforts to lower the voting age to 16 stalled during this year’s legislative session, lowering it for Oahu’s neighborhood board system has a lot of potential.

Allowing 16-year-olds to vote and be candidates for neighborhood boards could increase participation all around. Boards could become more representative of their communities and student members could garner interest among their peers to attend meetings and take up causes more directly.

The board system is an important conduit between the community, government administrators and elected officials. I would be pleased to see more young adults at board meetings in McCully-Moiliili. I know our next generation has much to offer our community.

Tim Streitz

Chairman, McCully-Moiliili Neighborhood Board

 

HART would waste money on consultants

The paper had a story beyond belief (“Hopes dwindle for more clarity in HART board votes,” Star-Advertiser, March 23).

It seems we are going to spend more than $1 million to help determine what constitutes a quorum for our rail system meetings. May I suggest either consult with the legal staff, or read Robert’s Rules of Order or, even maybe more appropriately, “Robert’s Rules for Dummies” (I did that myself online). But spending $1 million is not prudent.

I serve on a state commission. Both our secretary and our deputy attorney general know the rules. The request is beyond belief.

F.M. Scotty Anderson

Waialae Nui

 

Blowhole sightseers ignore the dangers

Recently, while enjoying whale watching at Sandy Beach, I looked over toward the Halona Blowhole and noticed an individual looking into the blowhole who was then joined by his female companion and subsequently by others.

I watched in disbelief as four more people joined them with backs to the ocean and their heads in the blowhole. These are visitors totally flaunting our laws that are meant to protect them. They show no respect for our island and the power of the ocean.

Lo and behold, in the Star-Advertiser was a large photo showing a person exhibiting the very same illegal behavior (“Close call,” Star-Advertiser, March 23).

It was irresponsible of the paper to print this image. We cannot be responsible if something tragic happens to these people, but we can educate them.

These types of behaviors include the two kayakers who went over Rainbow Falls on Hawaii island. They should be cited and fined for their actions to discourage others from trying these illegal stunts.

Sidney Chang

Punchbowl

 

Those with allergies need vaccine reassurance

I completely empathize with Bonnie Matsumoto (“Help those with allergies get shots,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, March 21).

I had severe reactions to previous vaccines and would certainly appreciate “a place with more sensitivity to people … who need reassurance and (a place that) is medically prepared in case of problems.”

I have been trying to get answers to my concerns but have been unsuccessful so far. I agree that if this option was available to those of us who have allergies, it would alleviate the fear and apprehension we have about taking the vaccine, and more of us would feel confident about taking the shot.

Linda Lee

Aiea

 

Don’t impose religious beliefs on government

Eric Saxton was absolutely right (“America is a democracy, not a Christian nation,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, March 16).

Yes, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution included some religious signers’ reasoning. But the major and specific thrust of both documents is the separation of church and state. Ethics, not religion, are to be the underpinnings of legislation.

It is presumptuous of religious people in general and Christians in particular to suggest that they alone are moral and ethical and have the right to define morality according to their own religious beliefs.

I would suggest that the only appropriate national prayer is like one I heard given by a Unitarian minister. In essence, he asked that we be blessed by whatever source gives our lives meaning, hope, courage and peace, and that many call “God.”

I might also note that while President Joe Biden freely expresses his own Catholic and profoundly religious faith, he never seeks to impose it on others.

Jean S. Gochros

Kahala Nui

 

Enforce dog leash laws on public property

Irresponsible dog owners who let their dogs roam on public property need to be fined in accordance with existing leash laws in Hawaii.

I took my children to Magic Island for a picnic, and over the course of the two hours we spent there, I counted five dogs off their leashes. This shouldn’t be happening.

The law is clear: The only public places where dogs are allowed to be unleashed are in sanctioned dog parks. Who will pay if a child is bitten or mauled on public property?

The taxpayers, because the city will get sued; the dog, because it will be euthanized; and the person who was bitten or mauled, because of the pain, fear and possible deformity or disability — or in the case of a small child, possibly death.

Honolulu police need to step up enforcement to curtail this irresponsible behavior.

Nicholete Ito

Alewa Heights


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