Chinese tourists may increase flu risk
My question is why is there not more discussion and information on the fact that Rep. Ed Case wants to lift restrictions on tourists from China coming to our islands? The avian flu started in China and is out of control. And our state is not set up
to cope with an avian flu epidemic, is it?
'Scramble' crossings would help pedestrians
Every morning I walk 3-5 miles, starting at the state Capitol and working my way home to Pacific Heights. On Tuesday morning, a left-turning SUV almost hit me while I crossed, with the "walk" light in my favor, in the same crosswalk where a girl was killed recently (Pauoa/Pacific Heights).
Laws offer little protection to walkers since Honolulu cannot post police at every intersection to ensure enforcement.
The best solution is to engineer safe intersections through the implementation of "scramble" type crossings at intersections where there are many right- and left-turning vehicles.
The "scramble" pedestrian crossing occurs when all lights are red and pedestrians have the entire intersection free of cars, including a restriction on "right turn on red" cars. Then, after the pedestrians have had their way, cars take over and can turn right or left without concern for pedestrians.
A second solution is to keep shoulders clear of weeds, trees and garbage. Try walking up Pacific Heights and remain on the shoulders. Between trees, weeds, garbage cans and parked cars, I am in the roadway most of the time.
Make intersections and roadway shoulders safe, and new laws that cannot be routinely enforced will not be needed.
Paul E. Smith
Drivers should know pedestrians go first
Recently I saw a letter from a writer who urged that pedestrians observe compassion for drivers, as they are in a hurry, have places to go and it delays them to wait for pedestrians to cross.
My heart bleeds.
The drivers are sitting in air-conditioned cars, with power brakes to stop easily, and 200 hp under the hood, more or less, to get going again. The pedestrian is in the hot sun, or maybe rain, often carrying packages, and with blocks to walk, many crossings to make. That letter writer has things badly, ludicrously reversed!
Before World War II and for some time after, part of the drivers' duty was to watch out for pedestrians. If you were standing at the curb they would stop to see if you wanted to cross.
Shortly after I arrived here in 1938 I tried to cross King Street mainland style, in the middle of the block: Wait for a short break in traffic, run to the centerline, stand there and wait for another short break in traffic and run to the other side.
Well, I got the surprise of my life. The moment I stepped off the curb all traffic came to a stop in both directions, smoothly, and the drivers waited patiently for me to make my way across. There was no horn-blowing or rancorous looks. The pedestrian had the right of way. It was the local custom.
I never tried that again, but nowadays I've seen newcomers from Pacific islands doing that in the middle of a long block, and once with a baby buggy, forcing drivers to stop in consternation! However, it still is legal to cross in the middle of a long block if it is more than 200 feet from there to each end.
Drivers will just have to get used to the idea that they do not have priority, it is the lowly pedestrian on foot who has it.
Only builders want Kakaako development
Congressman Abercrombie and just about all residents in this area who are not in the construction business are against the idea of the state's idea to sell state land for $50 million for three 200-foot tall leasehold condos for a total of 947 units. In this area every square inch of land has 40-story towers going up with 14 at the last count.
Ala Moana Park is maxed out with weekend use exceeding capacity. Usage of the former dump now called Kakaako Waterfront Park is up dramatically; it's a great place to ride bikes and watch the sun set. The small strip of grass in front is used daily by children playing soccer. 25,000 new residents will move into this area in the future, the 30.5 acres are badly needed to help residents and visitors escape the noise.
Open space is the only need for this area for generations to come!
Lottery could pay for prison upgrade
It would be a good idea to upgrade Oahu Community Correctional Center
. It is about time. Allowing the center to be utilized more for drug rehabilitation would better serve the citizens of this state and its purpose as an interim detainment center.
To better facilitate this, a state-run lottery could be implemented to aid the cost of this upgrade and could also be used to improve our school system.
Lotteries have been around for a long time. The forefathers of the United States used them to help in raising monies to gain liberty from England. This state could use one to help our children gain independence from drug abuse and to aid in their education.