Mental Hospitals

That’s no way to treat the mentally ill (June 9, 2018)

I strongly object to the article about bringing back mental hospitals. (“Health Beat: Bring Back The Mental Hospitals“) These were often used in days past to confine people for life. Modern medications have enabled most people to benefit from short hospital stays for stabilization. There remains a great need  for appropriate specialized community housing with supports. At a local cemetery there is a memorial to over 600 people who died at the Territorial Hospital. Many of them were forgotten. They lived lives of quiet desperation and there was nowhere to go; as in large institutional warehousing, a thing of the past.
— Randolph Hack, Honolulu

North Shore Beach Access

Open the pathway to the beach (June 9, 2018)
We are stunned by the news story regarding the closed public access to Ho’omanu Beach at Mokulea (“An Illegal Rock Barrier Blocks This North Shore Beach Access“). How is it that a private entity can simply close off a public right-of-way and get away with it? We sincerely hope the Department of Parks and Recreations as well as the Mayor’s office gets involved with this situation and corrects it as soon as possible.
If any law is being broken, we hope property owners, Grand View Apartments, receive the strongest punishment the law allows. A public right-of-way should not be summarily closed for four years without some kind of resolution. How is Ocean Safety supposed to reach someone in distress? Just because someone owns beachfront property does not give them liberty to close off the public from entering a public beach.
— John and Rita Shockley, Makakilo

Democratic Convention

Unfair treatment by the party (June 9, 2018)

Raymond Cantania, co-chair of the platform committee, had one minute to speak about the new Democratic Party of Hawaii platform (“Hawaii’s Future Is At Stake, Hanabusa Tells State Democratic Convention“). Within 15 seconds, as he listed progressive goal after progressive goal, he had the convention floor on its feet. His passion so stirred the crowd that cheers drowned out what he had to say.

Raymond is an unapologetic Sanders supporter so everyone knew his stand. Stephanie Ohigashi, past DPH chair, dampened that spirit as she pleaded that we come together to heal the divisions within DPH, which have never been so bad. How do we come together when the party establishment cheats? They recognized they did not have enough (Kealii) Lopez supporters and so recruited several phony delegates to arrive just in time for Sunday’s vote to elect a paid lobbyist as party chair.

Well, Ms. Lopez: “I still ain’t votin’ for no damn corporatist.” So who’s side are you on?

— John Zwiebel, Kalaheo

Thoughts On A Con Con

Fundamental considerations (June 8, 2018)

The column “Political Volatility Could Affect Hawaii Constitutional Convention Question” listed several topics that might be considered by a con con should it be called. I would just like to add I think there are two fundamental things that ought to be considered by a con con should it happen. 1) Public financing of all state and local elections (the reform that makes all other reforms possible) and 2) The use of ranked voting for all state and local elections, so that in a three-or-more-candidate contest if the voters cannot agree on their first choice but agree on who their second choice is, that person wins.

— Bryan Mick, Honolulu

Rail Financing

Spread the risk (June 7, 2018)

Bonds for the rail? An excellent idea, but I noticed that your story didn’t mention revenue bonds that get their payoff from ridership and fares, and instead only cites general obligation bonds that stick the entire population with the tab (“Feds May Require Honolulu To Sell Bonds For Rail Project“).

Revenue bonds would be a great way for rail supporters to get their checkbook out and buy bonds that might (or might not) pay off when the rail does (or doesn’t) pan out. Revenue bonds let the project pay for itself and also let the risk of it fall to the investors who put their money where their mouth is, instead of putting our money where their mouth is.

Not surprisingly the feds have given the project a good hard look and don’t want a bite of that rotten apple as it’s structured. All of those who endorse the rail can show the rest of us how much you believe in it. Get out your checkbook and buy a few rail bonds with repayment pegged to operating income. Regrettably, that simply won’t happen. I got $50 says that there isn’t an investment bank on the planet that could offer these bonds and have a successful offering once the prospectus got issued.

— Michael Ford, Kailua