Leaders Aren’t Listening To Public

I get a good sense of what’s bugging people by reading letters to the editor.

I wish our leaders and lawmakers did, too, but I seldom see much connection between what you think is wrong or too much and what they are willing to fix or limit.

Complaints about a condo at Kapiolani and Ward blocking Koolau views went nowhere; nor did those against a MoanaSurfrider tower on the beach.


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Homeless now have a full, permanent colony on the sidewalk at Thomas Square across from Honolulu Museum of Art. Bob Jones photos

A developer wants to add five stories beyond the Waikiki Special District limit for Kuhio Avenue.

Larry Ellison wants a third hotel on Lanai.

Pierre Omidyar’s people want to build on Hanalei Bay’s hillside.

Everybody complains about our roads. You go to dirt-poor West Virginia and the smallest county roads are smooth as glass despite abysmal winter weather.

We’re crowded and full of road rage, and yet our leaders report with glee we can get way more than 8 million tourists and their rental cars this year.

Nothing gets done about the hawkers plying Waikiki’s sidewalks. The “Ask Me Hawaii” merchant erects sandwich boards and parks Segways there.

How about those permanent, often scary tent-campers on the sidewalk across from the Honolulu Museum of Art?

There forever, it appears.

Turtle Bay development offends many for good reasons, but the glare of a bigger taxation base blinds the regulators.

Lawmakers refuse to require labeling of GMO foods, so consumers can make a choice, and cave to the food industry. GMO foods are rated safe, but we should have an eator-no-eat choice.

It’s no surprise we’re leery of proposed public-private development partnerships. Gov. Neil Abercrombie, the Legislature and past City Councils have made us fear deals based on dollars-in-taxes rather than visionary planning.

We’re a major-league tourist town with a minor-league airport. Have any of our leaders ever been to the impressive Seoul airport at Inchon City?

So thanks for all your letters to the editor.

I read them, even if the high poobahs do not.