Legacy Of Leaking Fuel

If only this story was fiction (May 25, 2018)

Reading the eloquent and frightening opinion piece by Colleen Soares (“My Tour Of The Red Hill Fuel Facility That Threatens Oahu’s Water”) about the aging Red Hill jet fuel tanks situated over a major Oahu aquifer brought to mind some other stories that used to keep me up at night like “Frankenstein,” “Dracula,” and most everything Stephen King has written.

The problem with her article is that it is nonfiction!

— Denise Boisvert, Waikiki

Public lacks information about threat (May 25, 2018)

I am writing in reference to the article written by Colleen Soares on “My Tour of The Red Hill Fuel Facility That Threatens Oahu’s Water.”

The issues that Colleen Soares addresses regarding the Red Hill fuel facility need to be taken seriously. The Red Hill case affects systems beyond food and water. It has to do with the safety and health of our island ohana, our environment and the many generations to come.

An interior view of one of the Red Hill tanks. Courtesy U.S. Navy

One major point that caught my attention is that the public lacks information regarding the state of the tanks and their leakages. What we do know about, however, is that the huge leak that occurred in 2014, causing approximately 27,000 gallons to spill into the environment, has not been cleaned up to date. This is in addition to many other spills totaling about 200,000 gallons over the course of the facility’s lifetime.

The Navy has no system in place to clean up the leaks. This is unacceptable, and the public should demand immediate and effective action from the Department of Health and the Navy. We have the opportunity right now to comment on the DOH’s underground storage tank rules and to demand that the DOH hold the Navy accountable to upgrade the tanks as soon as possible, because 20 more years is too long to wait for another leak to happen.

Robinah Gibola, Makiki

Solitary Confinement Defined

To know what goes in prisons, talk to inmates (May 28, 2018)

I believe Civil Beat does its best to get it right, but when it comes to the Hawaii prison system, the only way to accomplish that is to talk to the inmates and go into the prisons to see for yourself. Otherwise, your source of information is from the fox guarding the hen house! (“Hawaii Officials Rejected Anti-Torture Mandates”)

We all know that the Department of Public Safety does not disclose honestly, timely or willingly. On the rare occasion the press is allowed behind the gates, the visit is highly structured, coordinated and censored. We are even warned against speaking to the press ahead of time or we are simply kept in lockdown until the visitors leave.

That being said, I consider Robert Barsocchini’s opinion piece almost a complete failure. “Initial mental health evaluations?’ Never for punishment but maybe for suicidal intentions. “Thirty minute window checks by guards?” Can you hear me laughing from all the way in your office?

Let me make this very clear, lockdown is very simple. The inmate is allowed two changes of clothes, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, towel and Bible. Thats it. Suicides get less. None of the above including clothes. They get a blue, quilted blanket lined with metal with a hoodie on one corner. You wear it like a cape.

Have a wonderful day!

— Rae Hovious, Honolulu

Constitutional Convention

It could provide hope for disenfranchised Hawaiians (May 28, 2018)

A constitutional convention should address fundamental questions of the nature of our society (“Civil Beat Poll: Hawaii Voters Seem Ready For A Constitutional Convention”). I believe one question is of ending discrimination against Hawaii nationals, those individuals who are aware of their Hawaiian national history and the legal manipulation which circumvented international law as well as the domestic laws of Hawaii and the U.S. to take Hawaii as a territory and then a state.

Those who understand their history, human rights and the laws of nations should not be discriminated against because they will not accede to U.S. citizenship. They insist that they have every right to remain a part of the Hawaiian society, yet are prevented under the current laws and policies from obtaining employment, obtaining a driver’s license, passing federal flight inspectors to fly between the islands, from voting or running for office, etc. Their numbers are growing and yet they are treated as illegals in their homeland. Questions of their responsibilities could also be addressed in a convention.

A second fundamental question is the use of Hawaii land as an investment toy which drives the cost of living (especially housing) sky-high.  As a social policy, there should be a declaration that all housing coming onto the market should be limited to those who will use said house as their primary place of residence, that there shall be no more multiple ownership of homes, and no further use of homes as hoarding units which result in driving the prices of homes up out of the hands of the general population.  This law should apply to both foreign and local investors.

— Poka Laenui, Waianae

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