Going Mobile

A solution to homelessness (March 30, 2018)

I wanted to comment on the editorial column advocating the use of mobile homes in Hawaii (“It’s Long Past Time To Allow Mobile Homes In Hawaii”).  

I wonder why prefab residences are not allowed, but “portables” are widely used at our public schools. If they’re good enough for classrooms, certainly they are satisfactory for homes. Good design and landscaping can make a cluster of manufactured houses into an attractive village.

We should decrease our snobbiness and promote the use of affordable prefab buildings as a solution to homelessness and to provide much needed affordable housing.

— Linda Morgan, Ocean View

Prefab homes perfect for Big Island (March 31, 2018)

I applaud your article. It is time to at least allow the construction of manufactured homes in Hawaii. However, the cost of available land is a major factor.

Take what you’ve learned and apply it to the outer islands, particularly on the Big Island where land is abundant and relatively inexpensive. There are hundreds if not thousands of Hawaiian Homelands lots that have all the infrastructure in place (paved streets, county water, power). They are ghost developments with only a few homes built.

Owner and maker Brandon Nishiki extends awning on front of home on wheels featuring a flat panel television and flushable toilet. 28 nov 2014. photograph by Cory Lum
Hello, Puna? A micro home on wheels featuring a flat panel television and flushable toilet, owned and made by Brandon Nishiki. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Combine your coverage of housing with the idea of moving state and federal jobs to the outer islands (the internet makes that possible). The Puna district (where I live) is bigger than Oahu.

I know a young couple who are in the process of building their home here in my subdivision. They are able to do it where land is affordable. He works for a small high tech company that manufactures small measuring instruments that are sold throughout the world (although mostly in the U.S.).

It is a light manufacturing operation. She is able complete her education to become an advanced practice registered nurse taking courses remotely.

— Richard Bidleman, Pahoa

Going Electric

Here’s a simple solution (April 1, 2018)

Thanks to Murray Clay for his thoughtful article, “State Must Strike Balance in Funding Roadways,” that points out electric vehicles need to pay their share of the cost of the roads they use.

How about a simple solution that would include:

  • No change in the current fuel tax.
  • For electric, hydrogen fuel cell and hybrid vehicles only, an annual fee, payable at the time of the annual or biennial vehicle inspection, based on the number of miles driven. The miles driven is determinable because the vehicle’s odometer is read at each safety check. There would need to be a serious penalty for disabling an odometer. The fee rate for hybrids would need to be lower than for electric and fuel cell vehicles because hybrids use some fuel and thus pay something toward the cost of roads.

Longer term, we definitely need a revenue-neutral (to the state) carbon tax that incentivizes people to opt for lower-carbon alternatives.

Full disclosure: I own an electric vehicle.

— Randolph Moore, Makiki

Ige Under Fire

Maybe legislators know better (March 30, 2018)

I tend to like Gov. David Ige’s style of running state government.

But I must admit that nobody has a better read on his effectiveness than the legislators which must deal with his budget, his programs and his ability to lead going forward (“Ige Fires Back: Hawaii Doesn’t Need ‘Backroom Deals’”).

Their un-endorsement must be for reasons greater than just getting on some union/developer/trough-feeder gravy train with Hanabusa.

— Bob Jones, Honolulu

Corruption? What corruption? (March 31, 2018)

This won’t take long.

First, I am truly saddened to have you remove comments from your articles. Listening to pros and cons from other readers often rounded out my views and sometimes filled in missing pieces that I wondered about. Dynamic back and forth citizen dialogue is stimulating and necessary. Please change back.

Secondly, this article about Ige suggesting there is corruption in our government is incomplete.

What corruption? If he represents transparency, have him call it smoke and mirrors. His pronouncements seem like libel or public defamation of character, and I find it manipulative. Veiled threats such as that quote of his about taking someone feels low.

I feel news articles need to be longer in order to flesh out the story. This piece is practically just headlines.

— Giulia Nelken, Kailua

Write a letter to Civil Beat. Send to news@civilbeat.org 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.