Your Views for July 13

Affordable housing

State Sen. Laura Acasio’s commentary that was published in the Tribune-Herald (July 11) was way off the mark.

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I believe placing a moratorium on constructing luxury developments and tourism facilities would do more harm than good. Firstly, the construction industry is one of Hawaii’s backbone economic drivers.

A moratorium on these developments would result in major layoffs for an industry that was the only one that added jobs in 2020.

Secondly, who would decide when there is “sufficient” affordable housing to the remove the moratorium? In other words, this is just a back door to block development and harm Hawaii’s construction industry that provides a living wage for its workers.

The real reason why there is a lack of affordable housing is twofold. Ninety-five percent of the land in state of Hawaii is designated either conservation or agriculture. Roughly 5% of the land is designated urban or rural, and 60% of Department of Hawaiian Home Lands parcels statewide are not usable for homesteading either.

These land use restrictions, coupled with Hawaii’s onerous environmental and permitting review processes, make it impossible to develop affordable housing in Hawaii.

Then external costs, such as raw materials, make these affordable housing projects simply unfeasible. In other words, the simplistic view alluded to by Sen. Acasio about this issue in her commentary doesn’t tell the whole story.

Aaron Stene

Kailua-Kona

Voting concerns

I have mixed thoughts about Hawaii dealing with voting by mail.

I always wondered what would occur if the person who I subsequently voted for happens to die immediately before I voted?

Another thing — what happens to all those religious institutions that previously hosted (for a hefty fee) in-person elections? Perhaps the money collected was used to settle sexual abuse claims by innocent youths (and others) against preachers, pastors and various other clergymen.

Same goes for the community associations, where I used to perform the task of in-person voting.

If the religious institutions, and other for-profit entities, were so civic minded, they would gladly open up their doors without receiving any payment from the government. And why should they do that?

How about for patriotism? Or is that a word that is often heard from the various religious and other community associations, but really issued without any meaning?

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Michael L. Last

Naalehu

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