Con Con

Maybe it’s worth the gamble

(“State Constitutional Convention: Let’s Have The Conversation,” Sept. 18)

I was initially ambivalent but leaning towards being against holding a con con.

My main reasons for being against (as much as it is needed and I truly wish we could hold one): a) voter apathy; b) the ease with which public opinion can currently be manipulated (even by hackers); c) the danger that well-financed special interests could hijack a con con; d) the danger of fringe elements gaining a disproportionate voice; e) possible roll-back of the current progressive constitution; f) the current constitution is an amazing, progressive document — but sadly it has not been enforced or fully put into practice and government departments that should be enforcing or implementing its provisions are frequently under-funded; and g) the establishment (by which I do not mean the Democratic Party as such) will simply use it to strengthen their stranglehold on power.

Despite all of the above, your recent editorial has me once again wondering whether it may be worth the risk. The “goodies” you mention, as well as the glacial pace at which our legislature moves, possibly make holding a con con worth the gamble. As you mentioned (using different words), the alternative is a life of quiet desperation.

—Paul Arinaga, Honolulu


The U.S. owes them support

(“Letters: Bashing Micronesians Is Not Cool,” Sept. 20)

In reply to Makiana Mendez, who asks if it’s mainlanders or locals who disparage Micronesians: it’s locals. Mendez lives in Puna, where probably few Micronesians live, and so “never experienced or heard about such bigotry.” But here in Honolulu, where we have a sizable Micronesian population, locals do look down on them.

The U.S. Compact of Free Association allows Micronesians to live in the U.S, and it’s true that Micronesians disproportionately use public services here because Hawaii is the easiest destination for them. Hawaii legislators have unsuccessfully asked Washington to help pay the related costs.

What we all must remember, however, is that the U.S. negatively impacted their societies, with such things as nuclear bomb tests and creating a welfare state. Sorry, but the U.S. owes these people something.

— Sean Goodspeed, Ala Moana

Hawaii Judges

Women should have a voice

(“Why Aren’t There More Women Judges In Hawaii?” Sept. 20)

Why aren’t there more women judges? The same reason they are not more native Hawaiian judges. Why? Hawaii’s antiquated method of selecting judges perpetuated by the one-party power structure.

A panel, no doubt appointed by the governor, sends up a list of qualified — party-approved — nominees from which the governor picks his or her favorite.

If there is a constitutional convention, one proposal that should be seriously considered is direct election of judges based on pre-determined, statutory standards, such as a minimum of 10 years as a lawyer.  he local bar association could also rate the candidates as to their qualifications.

When women have a voice in electing judges maybe you’ll see more of them on the bench.

— Marty Martins, Kihei

Woodcreek Crossing

A buyer’s remorse

What isn’t in your article (“Why Hundreds Of Mililani Residents Must Pay Thousands Of Dollars To Save A Few Homes,” Sept. 20) is this:

The landslide situation is in Woodcreek Crossing and is not visible to most residents of Launani Valley Community Association. I did not know about it when I rented in a neighboring Launani neighborhood, Woodcreek, in 2013 nor when I bought in the same neighborhood in August 2018.

The situation, although very well known to the community’s managing organization, Associa of Hawaii, was not disclosed  in the Project Information Form RR105C, a disclosure form legally provided to all buyers by the association.

In fact, the question (No. 53) which asked if  Associa is aware of any structural problems in the common elements causes by  “…settling, sliding, subsidence, filled land, etc…”, Associa representative clearly marked “NTMK” (not to my knowledge). It would have been impossible for him to have not known about this issue since it has been an unresolved issue at least since 2006 when one of the effected homeowners brought light to the subject in a Hawaii News Now interview on Oct. 6, 2006.

It was also disclosed in that interview that the people who bought the homes with the dirt behind them had signed waivers to accept responsibility of buying a home in this situation. If that is true, than I am not financially responsible for this situation. Why would I be responsible for the bad decisions of these homeowners who bought these homes with the landslide issue clearly visible to them at time of purchase?

In my recent research, I have discovered that some, if not all, of the homeowners of the effected homes received a substantial “rebate” when they bought these homes although I do not know if the rebate was offered for the landslide situation at their backdoor.

Unfortunately, until pressure was applied by the class A homeowners through the petition process, the LVCA Board of Directors had not been transparent or willing to answer any of the members’ questions about this situation and assessment. In fact, without the petition, the LVCA Board of Directors would not even call for a special meeting. Neither would Associa Hawaii.

Of note, buyers settling for their homes in the valley as recently as last month discovered that Question No. 53 on the association’s disclosure form is still being marked “NTMK,” even in the light of the current full knowledge of the issue and assessment. Had Question No. 53 been marked yes, I would not have bought in Woodcreek.

— Cynthia Scheib, class A homeowner residing in Woodcreek

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