Monday, Sept. 25, 2023 |
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Roth doesn’t get it
I respectfully take issue with Mayor Mitch Roth’s commentary in this paper about the Maui fires (“A call to an action after Maui’s fires,” Aug. 27)
The mayor is correct to urge preparedness. This is part of his job, but it’s the easy answer to a tough question.
He briefly mentions climate change, without recommending any action on that, and then moves on. “Stay informed, develop a plan.” The implication is that climate change does not need action, and is not the most important part of this issue.
But it is the important part. We must recognize the profound dangers of climate change and our role in causing it. There is no issue more important facing us, and we need to address it with urgent action.
Normally, I would give him a pass on this. After all, we do need to be prepared for disasters. But the mayor has been reportedly working behind the scenes to clear the permit hurdles for the tree-burning power plant, Honua Ola, even though the state Supreme Court and the Public Utilities Commission have rejected it, mostly due to its effect on climate.
Because of this outrageous anti-environmental stance, he does not get to brush aside climate change.
There is no climate change issue on our island more important than making sure the tree-burning doesn’t happen. It’s our kuleana as Big Islanders to stop it.
It’s as if we are standing on the deck of the Titanic, and the mayor is concerned about lifeboats. All well and good, so far. But when he steers the boat directly toward the large icy thing, his preparedness concern seems misplaced.
Russell E. Ruderman
‘Half ass’ officials
Dave Shapiro wrote an editorial (in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser) severely criticizing local government officials for being “half ass” in so many of their actions in the past and present Hawaii. He believes that some of these “half ass” moves contributed severely to the deadly Lahaina disaster.
It should be noted that not all local government officials are bad. Some are very good and dedicated servants. But he does make good points that local government has failed Hawaii in many aspects.
However, we can blame the politicians all we want. But we voted for them.
The real problem, though, is that we vote the same people in over and over and rarely hold them accountable.
We never left the plantation. We simply exchanged the plantation owners and lunas for politicians who promise, election after election, to “take care” of us, but do not.
With Hawaii’s absolutely atrocious lack of voter participation, what kind of government did we expect?
Given the statistics, it would seem that some Hawaii voters have gone even less than “half ass” as voters.
One could say that some Hawaii voters take voting as a nuisance that takes up too much time, instead of the right, privilege and honor that others have given their lives for and others around the world are dying for.
Given how much we have let special interests own so many politicians, maybe we should really be worried if they went “full ass” on us.
Leighton H. Loo