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Wednesday, October 8, 2003





SENIORS SING THE BUS PASS BLUES
Expect long lines to get pass every year

Requiring that elderly and disabled people renew our bus passes the same month means the crush to get new passes will repeat itself every year. Before this the renewal dates were spread out over the whole year, but not any longer.

There will be thousands of us renewing our passes during the same month next year. The city will have to set up these special registration places from now on, since we can't all possibly get into TheBus Transfer Center during a one-month period.

Ronald L. Edmiston
Honolulu

Voiding old bus passes is breach of contract

As a senior citizen and a bus rider, I have a piece of plastic in my pocket. It reads: "Aloha and Welcome Seniors -- Ride With Us Through 10/04." It was issued by the Department of Transportation Services, City & County of Honolulu. To me, and 70,000 other senior or disabled bus riders, this was a contract to provide a clearly defined service for a clearly defined price. Suddenly, I am told that my contract will soon be worthless.

This is not a big financial deal, but it is a stupid way to do business. Rather than void all 70,000 passes at one fell swoop, they should have let the passes expire on the dates that were agreed to in the contract. In their plan, 70,000 riders have to get new passes in a very brief period of time.

Right now, 3,000 passes expire every month. All 70,000 outstanding passes will have expired before the proposed bus employees' pay raise comes into effect. What's the rush?

Fortunately, they have a few weeks to come to their senses. I hope they do.

James V. Hall
Honolulu

Glad the buses are back, sort of

What a nice surprise to come back from Guam and see the buses running again! I hope the drivers had a nice vacation despite the scowls I saw on some of their faces as I rode downtown last week. They probably didn't notice my face, however, because of the severe overcrowding caused by the free- ride endeavor to lure patrons back to public transportation.

It was nice to see the usual outcasts who manage to scrape up enough money to get on the bus, but it was even more thrilling to watch and ignore the people who normally do not get to ride because of the bus- fare buffer. They rose the awareness level of the riders and also fumigated the stale air with body odor and a smell close to that of cat urine.

I also noticed the spirit of aloha as some riders gave the bus drivers candy for making the lives of people who depend on public transportation a living hell. I'm buying a moped.

Greg Smith

Canada shows more aloha toward gays

Kay Gleason of Kailua responded to an exchange of letters regarding same-gender marriage by asserting, "Personal attacks and character assassination are the only tools that homosexual extremists have left since few people are swayed by their arguments and propaganda" (Letters, Oct. 04).

Gleason failed to notice that whenever her baleful positions are subjected to the scrutiny of the courts and the rules of evidence, they fail, utterly.

She described Mike Gabbard as "a true embodiment of the aloha spirit." We can only say that our experience of Gabbard has been otherwise.

We write with some distress since we are on our way to Victoria, British Columbia, where we have found a government sympathetic to our lives, sympathetic to the realities of human nature. Next week we will celebrate the occasion of our 48th anniversary as a couple by marrying. Nearly a half-century of care and devotion has left us as strangers before the law in our own country and in the supposedly kinder and gentler state of Hawaii.

Ward Stewart
George Vye
Honolulu

Navy needs assurance carrier is welcome

The Star-Bulletin should conduct a write-in or online vote about whether an aircraft carrier should be homeported in Hawaii. We need to find out what local folks think about it.

For the state of Hawaii is means money, money, money! Shipyard jobs, trickle-down dollars to the community.

But what about the military people? What will local folks do to make them truly welcome? How will they be treated? Get haole day?

Will they again be taken for granted? Will auto companies treat them decently?

Will the banks treat them fairly or as high risk, and charge them high loan fees?

If military folks date a local person, how will they be treated by the local folks?

If I were the admiral, those would be my first questions to ask the governor and the business community.

My vote: No! No carrier in Hawaii until island residents change their attitude toward military personnel and treat them with respect.

M. Norman Daniel
U.S. Navy (retired)
Kaneohe

McCubbin is best man for UH chancellor's job

As a graduate of Kamehameha Schools and the University of Hawaii, I join many other women and men who are eager to see Dr. Hamilton McCubbin appointed vice chancellor of academic affairs at UH-Manoa. The university would benefit tremendously from his leadership. He has vast experience as an administrator at a premier land grant university, is an internationally known scholar in child and family studies and has an unrivaled record of major accomplishments in the most competitive academic and political environments. To put icing on the cake, he is Hawaiian.

Contrary to Isabella Abbott's Sept. 28 letter, I see value in having a leader who has faced the hardships of being falsely accused of harassment. We need people who will look at facts, not just accusations. The university does not have to defend McCubbin when there is nothing to defend. What kind of university would UH be if the mere act of accusing someone becomes the sole basis to hire, fire and retain faculty and staff?

So, let's see if UH has the courage to hire McCubbin, a proven leader and the best-qualified candidate.

Keali'i Evans
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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