Flying Homeless

This Is Good Journalism (March 1, 2018)

Natanya Friedheim’s piece on the local program to return homeless people to their state of origin focuses on an important issue using bare facts while making it clear that this is a complicated issue. To me this is good journalism.  

I understand the change in monitoring comments. The internet has become a hornet’s nest of irresponsible comments. Journalists can’t support this

— Kathy Titchen, Honolulu

Abandoned Vehicles

Let’s Stop This Ugly Trend (Feb. 27, 2018)

On a recent road trip from Kaneohe to Haleiwa, I counted 17 stripped or burned-out vehicles abandoned along the roadside. Why so many, and why are they allowed to accumulate for so long without governmental action to remove them? Is that really the Aloha Spirit we are selling to tourists?

This issue is growing worse daily. I drive Kunia Road several times a week and never see less than five such derelict vehicles or large piles of discarded household junk. On the way up to Mokuleia Beach this past weekend, I even saw two discarded auto engines in the ditch.

Abandoned car at Nanakuli along Farrington Highway with the Puu Ohulu (mountain). Waianae
An abandoned car in Nanakuli along Farrington Highway. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

What gives, people? Is it lack of caring about our common environment or just pure laziness? Is it a lack of recycling facilities? As a society, we need to ensure sustainable solutions are in place to facilitate environmental compliance, then aggressively enforce the laws.

Right now, it appears law enforcement has taken a hands-off approach to this problem as the junk is simply allowed to accumulate. But each abandoned vehicle has a VIN that DMV can trace to its legal owner. For the common good, we must demand law enforcement get involved in stopping this ugly trend.

— Christopher Shock, Waipahu

More On Comments

So Long, Snarkiness (Feb. 28, 2018)

I like your decision to eliminate comments, since I found them to be mostly irrelevant and snarky.

But I hope you will place the letters with the stories so I won’t have to go through all of them to see the one pertaining to the story.

—Pearl Johnson, Kaneohe

Sad To See Them Go (Feb. 28, 2018)

While the current state of the comments had gotten pretty bad, I am sad to see Civil Beat do away with them. Occasionally there was very relevant information that the article did not contain, or occasionally some good counterpoints were raised.

My feeling is that Civil Beat needed to have clearer rules and enforce them. Simply using Robert’s Rules basic philosophy of “no name calling” and “keep to the topic” would do wonders. I also would posit that a few claims should automatically be blocked, like the Holocaust didn’t happen.

I hope in the future Civil Beat considers a way to bring them back. Heck, make people put a deposit down with a credit card and use their real name, if that is what it takes.

—Bryan Mick, Honolulu

We Need Robust Dialogue (Feb. 28, 2018)

It’s always unfortunate when public participation is cut off in any aspect of the public square.

I always look for comments to broaden my viewpoints or educate myself with additional facts and documentation.  

Unfortunately, we’re also infested with mercenary trolls in most levels of the social media.

These mercenary PR trolls are not interested in a robust dialogue to improve or protect the public good. They’re paid to confuse the message or vilify the messengers to protect their interests or bosses.

Elected and public officials should not be shielded from public scrutiny. Their record and behavior should be open for questioning or rebuke.

There is a marked difference between a public official and a private citizen. I do not believe that such questioning or push back should be censored. However, those who comment own their words and are accountable.

A community thrives with continuing uncensored and robust dialogue, including questioning those in power and authority. There is a way to bring back this critical public participation into this civic square.

Allow only real people with real names to comment — by requiring verifiable information first.

Thus, 24/7 mercenary trolls who hide behind anonymity cannot turn civic square into Disinformation Central.

— Choon James, Laie

Thank You, And Anita Rocks (Feb. 28, 2018)

As a long time reader and supporter of Civil Beat, first let me thank you for doing this. I read Civil Beat every day.

I support the efforts at transparency, and I have found that with your reporter Anita Hofschneider we have a ready ear and helpful person. Please keep it up.

— George Outlaw, Kakaako

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.