COLLECT WASTE, DON'T BLOW IT INTO STREET
Certainly most of us have witnessed the infernal leaf blower either by its toxic fumes or annoying noise they generate.
Still, I can understand where an estate, church or park, etc. might need to use them for expedient debris collection. That is to say, if the green waste was actually collected. A church in Makiki and a condominium in Nu'uanu employ grounds-keepers who blow leaves, twigs and paper off their properties and sidewalks directly onto the street, as though it solves the waste problem.
Then rain and wind cause the wet green waste to flow up onto the handicap curb leaving a thick, rotting, slippery mess for our elderly, disabled and bus riders to navigate over and around. The rest of it flows into a nearby storm drain.
If that type of dumping isn't already illegal, it should be. Living green isn't only using a cloth shopping bag. It takes no great intelligence. Just a little thought, care and love for the land as well the ocean.
Maureen Ko | Honolulu
EDITORS SHOULD OPEN MINDS ON POT ISSUE
If The Advertiser's editors had the openness of mind to actually try cannabis as treatment for their likely deadline stress — instead of taking the standard anti-anxiety meds and hitting the bottle come pau hana time — the black-and-white opinion of the Legislature's so-called potshop bill, SB 2213,might have been a little more informed and nuanced ("Marijuana shops? Wowie, what a bad idea," March 10).
Yes,the Los Angeles County Council is seeking to more closely regulate the number and location of their 1,000 cannabis dispensaries. That's why SB 2213 only allows the counties the ability to establish compassion centers — if they want to and as they each see fit.
And yes, it is about the tax revenue — $200 million a year in California. It's high time Hawai'i's No. 1 grossing agricultural crop become legitimized commerce.
Come on Advertiser, don't let the old "it's illegal" stigma keep you from lending some pro-business support on the pot issue.
Shawn James Leavey | Honokaa, Big Island
MAUNA KEA SHOULD BE PAYING MORE RENT
I was struck by the brilliance of a campaign that came through my e-mail this past week. It provides a fresh look at solutions to Hawai'i's budget shortfalls; ideas that have yet to be considered and answers that have been hidden in plain sight.
The campaign calls for fair rents to be paid by the multitude of space entrepreneurs at the current and future laboratory sites on Mauna Kea. These areas, estimated at $50 million worth of rent fees, are going for one penny a year.
Long ago I researched the $1 lease made with the Army to use Mākua Valley for live fire and other training. (The original agreement was to return the land at the close of WWII.)
How many other sweet deals have been made that could be bringing in much-needed revenues so that our children, the most needy and fragile, don't take any more hits?
Nancy Aleck | Honolulu
PROPOSED PLAN WILL MAKE SYSTEM WORSE
As Congress continues to battle over health care reform, it seems that they have completely forgotten what this is all about — making the system better.
If we allow them to pass this massive federal government takeover with all the complexities that will go with it, the citizens of Hawai'i and the rest of the nation will suffer greatly as the government begins the massive tax increases that will fund this.
I urge all citizens to call or write our only representative in the House, Mazie Hirono, and ask her to oppose this reform bill. This is an issue that needs to be addressed by the states, not the federal government.
Furthermore, Congress does not have the constitutional authority to enact such a bill and, if passed, will draw legal actions that will ultimately cost the taxpayers even more.
Victor Limacher | Kailua, Kona, Big Island
NOT FINDING SOLUTION HAS BECOME A FIASCO
What a political and educational fiasco the furlough days non-resolution has become.
Shame on all those self-proclaimed and other leaders involved, particularly those publicly elected and those of the various unions who are working against the values they have proclaimed so loudly for so long.
Almost as thoughtless and morally pathetic has the been the action of parents, using their young children as innocent pawns and parading them before the public in order to gain publicity.
Doug Worrall | Kahuku
AMENDMENTS DOOM PASSAGE OF PROPOSAL
The commentary by Office of Hawaiian Affairs Chair Haunani Apoliona ("Akaka bill, as amended, deserves passage," March 15), tries to put the best face on a bill that OHA knows was terminally damaged by some dramatic amendments.
In a breathtaking case of overreach by Akaka bill supporters, the amendments eliminated the negotiations between the state, the U.S, and the new Hawaiian government over the powers the new government would have. In the amended version, the new government would have sovereign governmental powers, in competition with state powers, the moment the bill is enacted, rather than after negotiations between the state and the new government.
Predictably, the governor and the attorney general voiced strong objections.
To make the bill even more unacceptable to the state government and non-Hawaiians, supporters succeeded in eliminating those provisions that would have put an end to many Native Hawaiian claims in exchange for the new governmental powers and assets. They seemed to envision acquiring huge tracts of ceded lands and large amounts of cash from the state without having to give up any future claims.
The Akaka bill deserves, and will very likely now receive, a quick death in the Senate.
Tom Macdonald | Honolulu
CONGRESSMAN PUT PERSONAL GOALS FIRST
Ex-Congressman and would-be governor Neil Abercrombie has placed his own political aspirations above the needs of his constituents.
This became clear to me last week when I wrote my congressional delegation to register my opinion on health care. I received a reply from Mr. Abercrombie's office that his position was recently vacated, so they could not help.
It appears that after months of political posturing about his desire to pass meaningful health reform legislation, he has abandoned ship at exactly the moment when his vote could be critical in passing a bill. He has, in essence, left his party and its president weaker in order to pursue his own political goals.
In resigning from Congress, Mr. Abercrombie has shown disregard for his constituents in two further ways. First, he has obligated the cash-strapped state government to run an expensive special election. Second, he has left residents of his district paying taxes without congressional representation.
Isn't this what motivated the original Boston Tea Party revolt? It's ironic that his actions should lend credence to his most vocal (Tea Party) detractors. Clearly, Mr. Abercrombie is not good medicine for Hawai'i.
Christopher Tortora | 'Aiea