Aid In Dying

Euthanasia Subject To Abuse (Feb. 28, 2018)

The article “Medical Aid In Dying Bill Generates An Emotional 5-Hour Hearing” perpetuates the lie of self administration.

House Bill 2739 uses double speak throughout. Countering the first statement, it should say that over 20 states have rejected this in 2017-18.

Allowing an heir to be one of the witnesses in the sign up process eviscerates flaunted safeguards. “These rigorous safeguards…” are unenforceable. 

Strider Didymus speaks in opposition to HB2739 during hearing at the Capitol Auditorium.
Strider Didymus spoke in opposition to House Bill 2739 during Tuesday’s hearing at the Capitol Auditorium. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

“The lie of self administered” is mentioned 11 times and is used to deflect normal scrutiny, while the provision to have an ordinary witness to the administration is missing. 

Specifically active euthanasia is allowed (page 30 line 16 and page 33 line 8 and 9), which makes this the most unsafe and subject to abuse of all the states, counter to the author’s claim.

Again, like previous offerings, this process can start and end in death in 16 days, all before the rest of the family learns. Immunity for predatory corporations, heirs, strangers, guardians, care givers…is immediate and records are prohibited to be used in investigations.

Reject this hollow, state-sanctioned suicide and euthanasia bill.

— Bradley Williams, President of MTaas.orgHamilton, Montana

Vacation Rentals

Airbnb A Punching Bag (Feb. 27, 2018)

Your article about Airbnb and the collection of Hawaiian TAT and GET has a glaring error: “Airbnb is considered the biggest player in Hawaii.”

Airbnb is about third in the list of platforms of vacation rentals in Hawaii. But they are the only one that has attempted, on several occasions, to craft a bill that permits them to collect and remit TAT and GET revenues for the state.

From my perspective, it appears that the governor and the Legislature need a punching bag, somebody to blame for the lack of payment of taxes and their lack of action to provide affordable housing in the State. Airbnb is the “Kleenex” name for transient vacation rentals. So more bang for kicking their butt.

I urge both the governor and the Legislature to adopt an easy solution. Permit vacation rental platforms to collect and remit our taxes to the state. Develop all the rules and zoning regulations for vacation rentals later.

— David Currier, Pahoa

Dodging Cars

Better Planning Needed (Feb. 27, 2018)

On May 6, 2017 my daughter, a student at Kaimuki’s Kapiolani Community College, decided to walk her assistance dog. After descending Kilauea Avenue, she began to turn onto 18th Street, Diamond Head direction, when her electric wheelchair spun and fell onto the street landing on its side.

In July, on the corner of the accident, my daughter, son and I met with a representative of Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi as well as the deputy director of the Department of Design and Construction and the director and chief engineer of the Department of Facility Maintenance, both of the City and County of Honolulu. We pointed out factors contributing to the accident: the turn is on a steep decline, its bank is sloped to the outside, there is a curb cut in the middle and a lamp post confounds the turn. The City and County representatives felt that creating an “S” turn cut into the adjacent hillside seemed a possibility.

We had feared for my daughter’s safety prior to the fall and had written to the councilwoman’s office about navigating around the streets near our home on 4th Avenue and Charles Street. We listed the numerous problems, many of which you generally refer to in the article, “Dodging Oncoming Cars is a Way of Life in Crowded Kaimuki.” These problems are compounded for the wheelchair user who cannot nimbly hop in and out avoiding cars and who are not as visible.

We are thankful to the Good Samaritans that helped my daughter. She had a bump and was dizzy, but she is now fine. Her wheelchair is damaged but it is still serviceable.

However, in a city where the pedestrian deaths are high as well as having one of the nation’s most dangerous pedestrian intersections, and recognizing there is an increasing population in Kaimuki, we urge planners to design accordingly and citizens to drive change to a policy of zero deaths.

— Gemma Yamamoto, Kaimuki

Climate Change

Contact Your Lawmakers (Feb. 28, 2018)

Hawaii is vulnerable to the effects of climate change, especially sea level rise. One of our iconic destinations, Sunset Beach, has seen severe coastal erosion recently. This will become more common as sea level rises. The conversation has started at both the county and state levels about what to do.

This is an opportunity for concerned folks. Legislation is moving this session that would begin to address the impacts of sea level rise. Letting your elected officials know that this  requires a sense of urgency is a first step that anyone can take.

For more information, go to For actions you can take, gives the nitty gritty details of legislation and how to send in testimony. It requires only a few minutes.

When elected officials hear from us, action is more likely. So please contact your legislators and council members, and encourage them to move on this critical issue.

— Randy Ching, Kaimuki

Killing Comments

Enriching Civic Discourse (Feb. 28, 2018)

I’m in full support of your removing the comment portion from Civil Beat. For me, it never worked — not with Facebook, not direct. It was a good idea poorly implemented. So farewell!

But I do like the “letter to the editor” approach, and I hope it sticks. For one thing, it enables a reader to “comment” on more than one story. For example:

I found the articles regarding the state Office of Information Practices to be fruitful and factual. Despite OIP’s response, that agency has been terribly laggard in helping the public. We experienced this personally: during the Big Wind struggle, waiting (unsuccessfully) for over two years to get some public information released.

And speaking of Big Wind, I’m glad to see Clayton Hee throw his paniolo hat into the governor’s race. Sen. Hee was one of only three senators to vote “no” on the undersea cable that was the legislative lifeline to Big Wind. He clearly got it — Big Wind was about destroying neighbor island resources to support Oahu’s unlimited growth.

So here’s a toast to Civil Beat for its flexibility and willingness to try new approaches, for always trying to inform its readers, and for working diligently to enrich our civic discourse.

— Robin Kaye, Lanai City

Write a letter to Civil Beat. Send to and put Letter in the subject line. 200 words max. You need to use your name and city and include a contact phone for verification purposes. The opinions and information expressed in letters are solely those of the authors and not Civil Beat.