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Thursday, November 13, 2003





Oahu residents stuck on runaway train

Who is watching out for us? I'm told I can't water my lawn regularly, the water tables are low with no solution in sight -- where is this going? The sewer system on Oahu is way past capacity. What can I expect to happen from this? Our children aren't being educated properly. We have a drug epidemic. Other concerns include gas prices, our environment and sovereignty and cultural issues.

Now we learn that in 10 years, at our current rate of growth, traffic will be stalled in areas around Oahu (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 6). Do we have enough water for all these people? Is my neighbor's sewage going to back up into my kitchen sink?

Against her initial principles of spending within our limits, Governor Lingle now says we may have to raise taxes to fund light rail. It's like throwing a chunk of meat in a tank of sharks the way the Legislature is responding. The state can raise my taxes through the roof, but until it addresses the real problems, Hawaii's future is really no better than a runaway train.

Jim Cone
Honolulu

Building rail would add to corporate welfare

Some U.S. cities with light-rail systems report that they haven't reduced traffic congestion and ridership doesn't support the operations. Southern New Jersey Light Rail Transit reports that ridership is so poor, fares were cut to $1.10 for about a 25-mile ride. A bus ride along the same route is $3.20.

A powerful lobby of engineering and other related firms that benefit from rail-system construction have emerged in the wake of the federal government giving cities billions of dollars to fund rail systems. Poor and middle-class taxpayers pay for businesses to profit through this corporate welfare.

An elevated light-rail system in Hawaii will repulse tourists, who visit the islands to enjoy its natural beauty, not to ride around in a light-rail system like they probably have back home. Why should Hawaii become more like what tourists are trying to escape, as light rail further kills the goose that laid the golden egg?

Ron Rhetrik
Mililani

Japan still uses capital punishment

In your Nov. 9 editorial, you state, "Capital punishment is banned in all industrialized nations except the United States."

Japan still has the death penalty by hanging.

Nate Lum
Honolulu

Most who testified reject Stryker brigade

I testified against the Stryker brigade at the hearing at Turtle Bay (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 5). About 60 people testified during the five-hour session. Two were in favor of military expansion; the vast majority rejected the proposal.

This rejection was not by a bunch of "activists," but by people from all sectors of society. The overwhelming number of those spoke at the six meetings do not support the proposal.

As the Environmental Impact Statement reveals, there will be no benefits to human health, cultural resources or the natural environment from this expansion. The military must clean up the mess it has already wreaked throughout these islands before it any other proposals are presented.

It is too bad Senator Inouye and Representatives Abercrombie and Case weren't seated at the head panel to hear the public speak. They are the ones pushing this expansion under the guise of "national defense." But this policy is a belligerent, pre-emptive one when troops can be deployed anywhere in the world within 96 hours.

Tony Castanha
Honolulu

Lingle protects those who exploit the land

I am shocked and dismayed at Governor Lingle's irrational support of land developers' criminal behavior ("Lingle tells developers to cultivate lawmakers," Star-Bulletin, Oct. 16).

We supported her election as a movement to clean up shady government manipulations. The good old boys' network never helped the quality of life here. We hoped for critically needed environmental reforms to protect our way of living.

Exploitation by developers is closing off access to all that we cherish. Who will want to visit the islands when they continually hear of Maui's car-rental gridlock or when they arrive on Kauai only to drive endlessly on highway corridors between gated developments denying access to the beaches, mountains, views and solace?

Outlaw developers are not here to be members of the community. They are not here to build homes for their families or neighbors, or to contribute something positive. They are not even here just to make money. They are here from Los Angeles, Colorado, Arizona, Illinois and Japan to make more money. They give money a bad name.

Sanford Higginbotham
Design Five Group
Princeville, Kauai


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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




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