Letters to the editor: 01-09-20

My Turn lacked everything

Jane Dierenfield, letters such as yours full of gross exaggerations and utterly devoid of compassion or solutions and do absolutely nothing to remedy the homelessness crisis in Kailua-Kona, in Hawaii, in the country or the world.


Patti St.Clair


Float bonds for fiber-optic

I have a solution that may help resolve Hawaii’s aging inter-island submarine fiber-optic cables issue. There was legislation considered by the state Legislature pertaining to the issuance of special purpose revenue bonds for ClearCom Inc (HB2267; 2012), and for a proposed Kona Jet Center at Ellison Onizuka International Airport (HB203; 2019).

The state could float these bonds using their sterling credit at a low interest rate. This would be used to pay for part, or all, of the construction of a new submarine fiber-optic cable that would connect the neighbor islands with Oahu.

The owner(s) of this fiber-optic cable, which would be Hawaiian Telcom (and other possible partners, such as CenturyLink), would be responsible for paying off the low interest revenue bonds, not the taxpayers of this state. The state’s involvement would be limited to financially expediting this critical public infrastructure project that Hawaiian Telcom doesn’t seem to want to tackle alone.

There has been at least two major outages involving at least one of the three submarine fiber-optic cables over the last 10 years. These outages, which occurred in 2010 and 2019, affected Maui, Big Island, and Kauai. In both of the cases it was fortunate that Paniolo Cable Company’s cable was available for emergency restoration, but I strongly believe it would be unwise to depend solely on this cable in the future.

Both Hawaiian Telcom’s existing infrastructure (HICS and HIFN) has, or will, reached the end of their lives. The residents of the neighbor islands depend on reliable internet access. As the two main cables enter obsolescence, it raises the possibility of more damaging outages in the future.

Aaron Stene


Visitor sees Kona issues as common and troubling

As a frequent visitor to Kona, I found Jane Dierenfield’s op-ed column “Kona being taken over by homeless” (West Hawaii Today, Jan. 7) consistent with my own observations. My wife and I commented on this even before seeing this column.

What Jane Dierenfield observed is something that is happening across our country. We live in Oregon between Eugene and Corvallis. In Eugene, destructive homeless camps, panhandling of customers, vandalism, crime, and drug abuse have resulted in a backlash by business owners trying to remain viable in an increasingly hostile environment. In Corvallis business owners in the downtown area sued to stop agencies from locating services including a cold-weather homeless shelter near their properties.

Jane Dierenfield calls for “meaningful laws and effective compliance by local and state authorities.” I feel compassion for those who have fallen into homelessness but they should not be allowed to drag others down due to a feeling of entitlement and belligerence. Our founding fathers tried to create a society that was balanced. We need to balance the threats of tyranny and anarchy, and compassion with responsibility.

As a first step homeless should not be allowed to camp on private and community property, should be held responsible for cleaning up their own messes, and should be required to do public work to receive welfare. And I agree that local and state authorities need to be held accountable for coming up with balanced solutions.


George Ice

Monroe, Ore.