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Thursday, November 6, 2003





Look at options before building light rail

Wait! Before we spend $2.5 billion for a light-rail system, have we really pursued all other options? For a lot less, we could:

>> Put "concrete wings" on the existing freeways to create additional lanes.

>> Synchronize the lights on streets like Ala Moana Boulevard and Nimitz at the underpass, and put up signs saying "signals set for __ mph."

>> Build a cut-off freeway from Ewa Beach to the Stadium Mall.

>> Require businesses to stagger their hours to even out the traffic flow.

>> Have set times for travel, depending on odd or even license plates.

>> Limit drive-time access from some streets entering non-freeway thoroughfares such as Nimitz Highway, Dillingham Boulevard, School and King streets, and keep the lights green longer on these streets.

>> Get rid of the car-pool lanes. Hardly anyone uses them; they simply waste a lane.

>> Give tickets to motorists who lallygag when the light goes green.

I've only brainstormed this for a few minutes, and have come up with all the above. Surely experts could do more.

Ray Graham
Waikiki

Once all Kamehameha students were family

Back in another time, Kamehameha Schools students thought of one another as "family," and female students were considered "sisters."

Back in another time, cruelty to others would be quickly and harshly handled by fellow students. Pariahs did not last long.

Today, unless children have an understanding of moral values, they should not have the chance "to improve his or her life," as Kamehameha purports to do -- regardless of test performance or ancestry ("Student sex cases rock Kamehameha," Star-Bulletin, Nov. 5).

If those having the potential to be sexual predators learned "love of ohana" at an early age, they might bring this love with them to campus -- unless they are even more deviant than reported. Their behavior would become a matter of mind over testosterone.

I wish students once again would bravely stand together hand in hand to exert peer pressure against bullies. I wish the admissions department would consider the moral caliber of applicants by examining the values they were taught at home about family.

Arthur Rath
Kamehameha Schools, 1949
Manlius, N.Y.

Lingle is violating her 'no taxes' pledge

Governor Lingle, who signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge (no new taxes) as a candidate for governor, is implying that any who opposes her ideas for increasing taxes are immature. Her remarks that "We need to treat the public like adults" implies that dissenters are like children. That makes disturbing reading.

How many parents endorse lying to children and responding to their complaints by saying that adult-to-adult lying is OK?

A quote from "Cheers" character Norm Peterson comes to mind: "Once the trust goes out of a relationship, it's really no fun lying to them anymore."

There is still time to restore our trust, Governor. Otherwise, a whole bunch of us, including you, are not going to have much fun from here on out.

Richard O. Rowland
President
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

Medicare cards create risk of ID theft

Thank you for the excellent article on identity theft, Star-Bulletin, Nov. 2. Tip No. 1 said "Don't carry Social Security cards in a purse or wallet" and not to give the number to anyone who does not have a legitimate need to know it. That is difficult for most of those on Medicare, as their Social Security numbers appear on their Medicare cards, which they need to carry with them.

It is time for the federal government to assign dummy numbers to the Medicare cards as has been done on the Hawaii driver's licenses. The use of Social Security numbers on Medicare cards further puts our senior citizens at risk.

Lynne Matusow
Honolulu

Abortion ban will help save imperfect babies

It's interesting how so many of those who oppose the ban on partial-birth abortions say that this is just the first step toward banning all abortions.

I'm afraid that it's actually the other way around. If partial-birth abortions were allowed to continue, it would be just the first step toward legalizing the suffocation of newborns in their incubators if they are not born perfect.

Bill Fong
Honolulu

Iraq does play a role in international terror

Congressman Ed Case's comment about weapons of mass destruction being President Bush's main rationale for the invasion of Iraq seems to illustrate his misunderstanding about the war on terrorism (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 2).

Iraq is a battlefield in this war, not the war itself. Iraq under Saddam Hussein and the Baath Party was and continues to be a legitimate target in this ongoing conflict. Why? Because they represent a source of aid and comfort to al-Qaida in its quest to kill Americans.

The current warfare can be likened to the military campaigns of World War II that took place in and against nations that had not directly attacked the United States. The Peloski oil fields of Romania were not bombed because Romania declared war on the United States; they were bombed to deny petroleum to the German war machine. Eliminating Iraq as a source of re-supply for terrorist attacks meets the same criteria.

Paul Mossman
Kailua

Who really believes Iraq is safer today?

On more than one occasion during the past two weeks, President Bush has assured us that the world is a safer place as a result of our invasion of Iraq. I wonder if any one of the soldiers whose Blackhawk helicopter was shot down on Sunday or, for that matter, any of the 7,000 or so Iraqi civilians who have died since the invasion, would agree.

Erik Gardner
Kaneohe


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[ BRAINSTORM! ]


Historical markers?

Other cities have permanent markers signifying historic sites or locations. Shouldn't Hawaii be equally accommodating to students and visitors? What should such markers look like in Honolulu? Design one! Remember, markers on walls require the owner's permission, but markers in the sidewalk belong to the city.


Send your ideas, drawings and solutions by Thursday, November 13 to:

brainstorm@starbulletin.com

Or mail them to:
Brainstorm!
c/o Burl Burlingame
Star-Bulletin
500 Ala Moana
7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

Fax:
Brainstorm!
c/o Burl Burlingame
529-4750


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How to write us

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.

Letter form: Online form, click here
E-mail: letters@starbulletin.com
Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813


Join the Student Union

Student Union is a forum for Hawaii's teenagers to tell the community what's on their minds and in their hearts. It appears on this page every Thursday. We welcome opinions of no more than 700 words on any topic. Please include your name, address and phone number.

E-mail: letters@starbulletin.com
Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Student Union, Editorial Page, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813.

For more information, contact Jeff Finney at 529-4735 or jfinney@starbulletin.com.




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