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Tuesday, September 16, 2003




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Some bus drivers may have to lose jobs

While no one wants to be laid off from work, isn't it sound business practice to watch one's checkbook? If there are insufficient funds to operate the bus system, something has to go. Layoffs are an option.

While some argue that no bus routes should be cut, I would say that the primary purpose of mass transit is to get people to work and home, so during peak hours, bus routes should be more frequent than the off-peak hours. An audit of the routes would be warranted to determine the frequency of routes and which ones should be maintained or cut.

In the 1970s, the air traffic controllers went on strike and President Reagan ordered them back to work. They refused and they were all fired. Why can't this be done with the bus drivers? With new bus drivers, the wages and benefits would surely go down and there would not be a need for an increase in fares.

Carol Hironaka
Honolulu

Poor roads make biking dangerous

It is sad that our state is so unfriendly when it comes to alternate forms of transportation. Bicycling is just plain dangerous on Oahu roads, and the bike paths we do have aren't useful for commuting. (One could ride on the sidewalk, but a police officer said you can only do that legally in a residential area.) And you can only go so far on Rollerblades and skateboards.

It's also a shame that the Segway can't be used for commuting. Most sidewalks in the city are too narrow, and a Segway can't negotiate curbs that don't have ramps. You also can't use a Segway if you live on a steep hill.

The Segway is a good idea, but in Hawaii it's nothing more than a $3,000-plus toy. Our sidewalks are just too badly broken.

Fletcher Young
Honolulu

Many public servants deserve more pay

Thank you to Mariea Vaughan for her Sept. 8 letter: "Don't pit teachers against bus drivers." I want to add: "Don't pit the police against bus drivers."

The problem is that the police should be making more money.

How can you expect a family to make it on $45,000 a year in Hawaii? Both parents have to work at more than one job to give their families a decent living. No wonder our society is falling apart.

Our school children are unruly? They don't complete their homework? Where are their parents? Their parents are at work -- at all hours -- trying to make ends meet.

Beware! The most powerful tactic of the enemy is to pit us against one another.

Yoshie Ishiguro Tanabe
Waipahu

Bus drivers make our roads safer

TheBus drivers provide a valuable community service to all of us. Along with union workers at Oceanic Time Warner Cable and Verizon, bus drivers provide safe havens for our keiki in vulnerable or unsafe situations. Many bus drivers act as "McGruff" safety personnel on our roads every day. TheBus drivers, Oceanic Time Warner Cable and Verizon technicians have radios that enable them to contact police or fire officials if needed. While they are not police or fire personnel, they are valuable safety professionals on the road every day on regular routes. Just knowing that I can flag down a bus at any stop and ask for safety assistance makes me feel a lot better as a pedestrian and driver on Oahu roads.

TheBus drivers shouldn't be replaced, as some readers suggest. They need to be adequately compensated as the safety and service professionals that they are.

Ashley McNeely
Honolulu




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Planned median strip will be a hazard

The median strip project in Hawaii Kai will make Lunalilo Home Road unsafe. A car must stop in the median before turning left onto Lunalilo Home Road from a cross street. The median will be 10 feet wide. Even the smallest cars must obstruct one lane of traffic while stopped in the median. Drivers must stop in the median and risk being hit from oncoming traffic from the left, or not stop and risk being hit from oncoming traffic from the right.

The median also will allow U-turns at intersections only 26 feet wide. Almost no car can make a U-turn in 26 feet. These issues were brought to the attention of city engineers at the Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board meeting in June.

Contrary to city transit director Cheryl Soon's assertion that all safety issues have been resolved, it is still impossible to fit any car across a 10-foot median strip without blocking traffic or make a U-turn in 26 feet.

Dustin Horie
Hawaii Kai

Don't destroy legacy for Pauahi's 'children'

Will Hawaiian children have a future in Hawaii? When Princess Pauahi married Charles Bishop, they created a legacy of love for all the children of Hawaii. Charles started a school for white missionary children. It became Punahou. Princess Pauahi was similarly inspired to fulfill the needs of Hawaiian children. Kamehameha Schools was the result.

This young Hawaiian princess never had children. The students of Kamehameha Schools became her beloved children. This love of a parent for her children is the real issue. How can a personal will or trust be declared unconstitutional in America? Economic assistance for Hawaiian children can only come from the Kamehameha-Bishop Estate Trust established by Princess Pauahi.

This wealthy trust will continue to entice greedy individuals, large corporations and even our government. What would an honest mother do to protect her children? Princess Pauahi Bishop legally secured that future through her will for the children of Hawaii.

Jane G. Freitas
Honolulu

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The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (150 to 200 words). The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include a daytime telephone number.

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