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LETTERS for April 26 issue

By Staff | Apr 26, 2012

Enforce traffic laws

Did you know that there is a state law about “reconstruction?” What does this mean? It means altering the stock make-up of a bike (scooter, motorcycle) is against the law.

Did you know the operator of a 50cc scooter is not required to have a driver’s license – or insurance – but they CAN run on the highway? They can reconstruct the exhaust by pulling out the core to make it go faster… and LOUDER! They can rip up and down the streets and highways annoying people and waking them up at all hours. I watched a punk on a scooter running up and down Front Street recently – standing on the seat with NO hands. Two cars ran up on the curb to avoid him.

Did you know that if they cause an accident, too bad for YOU! Laws without enforcement; same old story. Everyone passes the buck – “There is nothing we can do; call so and so.” I have called every so and so on the island, and I’m back to square one.

Did you know use of compression brakes is also illegal?

Last night I had to endure a Rojac truck – jake brakes roaring, downshifting faster than a rabbit in mating season, rattling homes near and far. Not needed if they really had a clue how to drive a truck. Highway 30 is not an old logging road, if they were not speeding in the first place. Come on, guys!

Did you know that if some of us called Elle or Roz or Angus or Alan and complained, they just MIGHT require Lahaina Police to bust a move. Let’s get some fines set and some enforcement NOW. We have a new captain and we have new officers. We were hoping for better, but it looks like the same old, same old.



Move the Luakini bus terminal

(The following letter was sent to the County Council and Mayor Alan Arakawa.)

I own the property at 622 Luakini St., Lahaina. I live there.

There has been a buildup of buses using the Luakini side of the Wharf shopping center as a terminal through the years. We now have a full-scale bus terminal on Luakini Street.

We have complained about how conditions have become on Luakini. You are aware of all that.

After hearing us, you had a transportation person assigned to help the residents with the problem of the unlivable conditions.

After many meetings and studies, the homeowners have been rewarded with a direct insult. You, the council, altered the bus terminal for the benefit of the Wharf and bus passengers.

Your transportation person, Jo Anne Johnson-Winer, defended the action by saying that to move the terminal would cost millions. She appears to have an agenda that includes keeping the terminal at the Wharf.

Johnson-Winer says that the terminal is at the Wharf temporarily, until the county gets millions of dollars to move it. We say the terminal should be moved temporarily to another location until we get the millions.

It is not up to us to choose a location from the many that have been suggested. The council has sidestepped the problem by putting it off.

Soon you’ll be telling us how much you love us and want to do things for us so you will be reelected.

Make a decision. Move the bus terminal from Luakini Street. No more excuses. Get it done.



What Europe and the U.S. have in common

Europe and the U.S.A. have many things in common, one of which noted currently is the massive debt crisis both are experiencing because of politicians who fail to learn from history.

George Santayana noted that those who fail to learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them. In both Europe and the United States, power-hungry politicians have been trying to buy votes with money we don’t have, taxing not only this generation but every generation in the future, guaranteeing a lower standard of living for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

These shortsighted politicos, thinking only of the present, seem to think they can go on forever, steadily increasing the public debt by just printing more and more money without an equal increase in goods and services, hoping to find someone to buy our consequently less and less valuable bonds.

As history has repeatedly shown us, this does not work. Every society that has tried this has collapsed.

A prime example is the Soviet Union. If socialism was a better system, we would all be speaking Russian. Previously democratic civilizations and nations that have tried this have collapsed into dictatorship. Some noteworthy examples are the Greeks, the Romans and the post-World War I Weimar Republic of Germany – the latter printing so much money that its currency became virtually worthless, bankrupting the country and resulting in the establishment of Hitler’s Nazi (National Socialist) party dictatorship that brought on the horrors of World War II.

It is time to rid ourselves of such history-ignoring, out-of-touch-with-reality, power-mad politicians. Oust them from power and never let them in office again.



At long last, a historic settlement

On April 11, 2012, in an emotional ceremony at Washington Place, Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed the historic $200 million settlement between the State of Hawaii and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA). After many years of negotiations, OHA has finally resolved all claims that were raised with the state relating to its portion of income from the public land trust from Nov. 7, 1978 to June 30, 2012. The state has now fulfilled its constitutional obligations to Native Hawaiians by providing OHA with fee simple title to lands in Kakaako Makai. The proposal will not affect any other claims against the state.

I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to those who made this momentous settlement possible: Abercrombie, Senate President Shan Tsutsui, House Speaker Calvin Say, the chairs of the House and Senate committees that heard the bill, the Native Hawaiian Caucus and all of the legislators who voted for this historic settlement. I also thank the following Native Hawaiian organizations for their support: The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Hawaiian Civic Clubs, the Sovereign Councils of the Hawaiian Home Lands Assembly, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement and Kamehameha Schools.

The lands that were transferred to OHA will someday generate the revenue needed to support OHA’s many Native Hawaiian programs. This process may take some time, but we are well on our way to someday being completely self-sufficient.

The intent of Senate Bill 682 is to add value to two parcels of land that are among the lands in Kakaako Makai that SB2783 conveys to OHA. SB682 specifically proposes to allow certain lots in the makai area of Kakaako Community Development District to be developed for residential units exempt from public facilities fees, provided that 20 percent of the units are designated for residents in the low- or moderate-income range.

OHA appreciates the bill’s intent and didn’t object to its passage, as long as it didn’t hurt the passage of SB2783. The right to develop residential structures on these two lots would add significant value and provide much-needed revenue for our nation.

It should also be noted that OHA remains committed to the guiding principles of the Conceptual Master Plan and will address these principles in any application for development permits for the two lots. OHA will also be able to request entitlements for the SB2783 properties in subsequent legislative sessions once OHA becomes the landowner.

On April 5, 2012, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that SB682 was likely dead in the House. However, the Senate’s Ways and Means and Judiciary and Labor committees added similar language into a related bill that had already passed the House, HB2819, so if this House bill is approved by the full Senate, the language for SB682 could still be heard in conference committee before the end of session on May 3.

Sen. Clayton Hee, chairman of the Judiciary and Labor Committee, was quoted as saying, “It’s an important bill in terms of economic development, in terms of some of the members who felt – and continue to feel – that the settlement doesn’t meet the amount that should have been settled on.”

ROWENA M.N. AKANA, Trustee-at-Large, Office of Hawaiian Affairs