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TEN FOR TODAY

BATTING FOR BIZ

I am honored to be recognized by Hawaii Business as one of Hawaii’s “Ten for Today” (page 38). Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend your “20 for the Next 20” event on March 9 due to spring training. The recognition I receive in Hawaii means a lot to my family and me. I hope to continue to be a role model to the kids of Hawaii but also to business people and businesses, and to help Hawaii grow nationally and globally. Hawaii is the most beautiful place on earth and we need to do what we can to keep Hawaii’s businesses going and expanding!

—Aloha from my iPhone
Shane Victorino

Steering Growth

A big mahalo to Hawaii Business for a timely and visionary issue on Smart Growth (January 2010). Bringing together a diverse and high-quality panel of political, business and community leaders helps us understand that there are smart choices, but that we all need to participate to bring these ideas to reality.

Tim Dick

D.G. “Andy” Anderson thinks Oahu must be the business hub and we should look to the Neighbor Islands for ag lands. But some of us on Oahu like our countryside because we don’t want to be city dwellers. We want to hike into the mountains and know our neighbors and be able to plant vegetable gardens in our backyards. If you continue to stress people out with crowded conditions and high-decibel noises, Hawaii will become like Los Angeles.

Posted online by Koolau

In the roundtable discussion on urban growth, Micah Kane made the best comment about government directing infrastructure to steer growth but failed to note that is exactly what Mayor Mufi Hannemann is doing with rail transit. To protect our open and ag spaces, we must build higher density. The best way to do that is via transit-oriented rail development.

As for affordable housing, government should entitle housing to meet affordable-housing demand, not subsidize it, because the taxpayers can’t afford it.

JoAnn Yukimura holds up Portland as a model for growth, but it is flawed. I was at a symposium where a Portland official explained how that city contained growth within its urban growth boundary. When I asked him what happened to the median price of homes, he confessed to some ridiculously high percentage increase in prices, comparable to Hawaii and much worse than the rest of the Pacific Northwest.

Craig Y. Watase, Mark Development Inc.

Special Funds

The purpose of a special fund is to protect certain monies from the political whims of whoever is in power in a particular year (January 2010). Even legislators realize that certain projects and programs must be protected even when times are tough. It’s easy to say let’s not have a museum or let’s forget about taking care of our beaches for a couple of years while the economy improves. But that kind of thinking is shortsighted. Sometimes we have to have a mechanism in place to protect us from ourselves.

Posted by PTF Boy

Special funds need to be abolished. They indicate poor planning by an inept legislative body that wants to micromanage the executive branch. When will bills in Hawaii be screened for legal and financial sufficiency before they are passed? We cannot expect our elected officials to have the wherewithal to understand the legal and budgetary complexities of running a state. In a democracy, it’s not how smart you are, it’s how many people like you. That’s OK, but we need a better system to support them.

Posted by Publius808

Losing Our Music

What a tremendous asset to Hawaii that Makana is (What’s It Worth? February 2010). It’s a shame that we can’t hear him more in the Islands and that he has to tour so much away from Hawaii to make a decent living. What happened to all of the music that was once in Waikiki? Sad.

Posted online by Akongdr2

Envision Laie

I need to say yes (Should Envision Laie Be Built? January 2010). Better planning for economic and development growth will justify the needed affordable housing. Utilize the lands in the back hills and plan better infrastructure to include a recreational center, a vocational center and a transitional center, and invite small businesses to operate from a new business area near the new development. Don’t waste our agriculture lands: use them to plant crops that can be sold to the local communities.

Posted by Laie Girl

Hawaii Reserves Inc. says the vast majority of people support its project. That’s misleading because HRI counts all participants as its supporters. Its consultants paid $100 for interviews. It counts its missionaries, students, relatives and employees.

Posted by Independent Kamaaina

Use Runoff Elections

Interesting “Spin Zone” discussion on proportional representation (February 2010). Typically, proportional representation is a feature of parliamentary systems rather than independent executive systems. Our current “first-past-the-post” system has resulted in a heavily skewed Legislature, but a return to multiparty districts is not a viable solution. A required majority runoff or instant runoff would probably serve Chuck Freedman’s goals better within our constitutional system.

Posted by prairie2paradise

Correction & Clarification

In the profile of Native Hawaiian Veterans LLC (SmallBiz, February 2010), we misidentified two of the company’s founders. Puni Akana and Mike Jones are both Army veterans. Hawaii Business regrets the errors.

A story called “Early Education” (January 2010) did not make clear that state subsidies went to more than one program supporting early education for low-income children. The total state subsidy of $10 million begun in 2005 (with $8.2 million for Preschool Open Doors back then) had dropped to $3.2 million last year.

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