Transit system makes no sense if no one rides
Do you ride the bus? If you do, you are performing one great job for the environment.
If you don't, why would you change your habits and ride a bus on rails?
It makes little sense if building a rail transit system will block traffic for the next 10 to 15 years if people won't ride it.
If the bus is too crowded with riders, I am sure the city will place another bus right behind it to hold more passengers.
What is the magic about a rail that makes us think our lives will change for the better?
Dennis W. Noe
Re-election year is good time to cut taxes
How nice to hear that Governor Lingle has balanced the state budget
on the backs of the working poor, the unemployed and the homeless among other designated losers in island society.
Now she wants to help them by lowering their taxes. Wait, isn't she running for re-election next year? Hmmmm.
DOT is to blame for Ewa road delays
I disagree with Garry Smith's conjecture ("Ewa road widening seems never-ending." Letters, Oct. 6
) about the widening of Fort Weaver Road being the solution for traffic problems and that building a tunnel under Pearl Harbor is not needed.
He failed to note in his letter that his own state representative, Kymberly Pine, a Republican, also favors the tunnel concept. More importantly, a tunnel through Pearl Harbor, which, according to Smith resembles a "pie in the sky," is what I and many other residents want to "taste."
The Legislature has done everything in its power by funding the entire road project, giving the state Department of Transportation all the tools it needs to complete it.
Placing blame for the road-widening delays on Sen. Willie Espero and Rep. Rida Cabanilla, when they were brought upon by the DOT's misguided awarding of contracts to unqualified contractors, is pure political garbage.
The administration should be doing a better job of checking on the solvency of those contractors before awarding contracts to ensure these types of delays do not keep reoccurring.
Rep. Rida Cabanilla
Ray Bumatai shared his gift for performing
Many people have stories and memories of the late Ray Bumatai (Star-Bulletin, Oct. 7
), and I'd like to add something as well. Ray cast me as "Maddy" in "Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding" back in 1996. That was where I was first introduced to improvisation.
Ray studied at Second City in Chicago and shared with us some great improv exercises as well as his own insight into the craft. He encouraged me and made me feel confident about my ability.
I can say without a doubt that he was one of the driving forces that led me to Chicago to do what I love. I know that he was proud of me and that made me feel good.
He was such an amazing, talented man, and he shared his gifts so easily. He helped me discover my passion, and for that I will always be grateful.
I'm very saddened by his death. As long as I'm performing, I will have him in my heart. I wouldn't be on stage without his encouragement.
Hawaii likes tourists from Japan the most
I've just returned from an 11-night stay on Oahu as part of a group of seven women.
We rented a house in Makaha/Waianae for a week, then spent four nights in Waikiki. We were all dismayed to see how merchants cater to the Japanese, who I know make up a large number of tourists in Hawaii -- by listing prices in Japanese.
Even at ABC Stores, prices on the front of products are in Japanese and in English on the back.
Well, excuse me, but isn't Hawaii part of the USA? I didn't realize it belonged to Japan.
I think everything should be in English first and foremost, then other languages second or on the back. We stopped going to one Waikiki shopping mall because the last time we were there (in 1991), we were offended by clerks who ignored us, and listed every price in Japanese.
Lost wallet made shark tour scarier
I wanted to let you know about my experience while vacationing in Hawaii. On Friday, Sept. 23, my teenage son and I were enjoying our last day in beautiful Oahu. We had booked a fabulous vacation that included incredible scuba diving from Island Divers and on Friday we went bold -- we booked a tour on North Shore Shark Adventures.
Our driver, Tracy Wraith, promptly picked us up from the hotel and drove us to our destination. Afterward, Tracy returned us safe and sound. However, to our horror, my son's wallet was missing.
Frantically we searched everywhere and called Shark Adventures because we feared the wallet fell out in Tracy's car. Within two hours of our call, Tracy was waiting downstairs with the wallet in hand to return it to a thankful 17-year-old.
What made this story so touching was that my son's driver's license was returned and 100 percent of the money still remained.
I would like to tell you what a fabulous experience I had in Oahu, and I am so appreciative of the aloha trusting spirit in one of your citizens -- Tracy Wraith.
Mainland Chinese conspicuously absent from Asia-Pacific Center's Waikiki meeting
Another 10-week Executive Course started last week at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS) in Waikiki.
Now, with more than 100 military and civilian representatives of the United States and other Asia-Pacific nations attending, and a mandate since 1995 to cover regional and global security issues ranging from terrorism to natural disasters and cooperative approaches to cope with them, this course is again conspicuous for its lack of Chinese attendance.
This should be a matter of interest to all Americans, who pay through their taxes to support the center, and it should be of special interest to Hawaii residents, in the midst of whom the center is located.
Actually, Chinese did not start attending the center courses until the end of 2000, after former Secretary of Defense William Cohen, during a visit to China, personally invited them to attend. They began to hesitate after the Defense Department announced a new policy in November 2001, by which China and Taiwan would be invited to attend courses on an alternating basis. After experiencing major leadership changes themselves, the Chinese finally backed out altogether at the beginning of 2004. Course attendance to date has comprised official civilian and military representatives of attending countries. Taiwan is the only "unofficial entity" attending and, for all outward appearances, alternating on an equal basis with China.
In view of this situation, one might question former Secretary of State Colin Powell's late 2004 assessment that "... it's the best relationship that the United States has had with China in over 30 years," at least in the defense arena. One might also question the credibility of the multi-million dollar APCSS without attendance from one of the world's fastest-growing powers; or how effective a negative defense-oriented policy toward China will be in the long run.
Will Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld choose to address this issue during his possible trip to China this month and if so, how? The president may also go to China this year. Is he even aware of this issue?