There's another way to look at evolution
"Beyond the Infinite," that thought-provoking chapter title from Arthur C. Clarke's classic book "2001: A Space Odyssey," seems appropriate in the current engaging debate of intelligent design vs. evolution.
A former technical colleague at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center put it this way: Let the scientists figure out the what, how and when, but let the theologians and philosophers figure out the who and why.
A&B's Kakaako plan will help residents
I looked at Alexander & Baldwin's latest development plan
for Kakaako. They responded to public comments to the plan with several changes. The biggest winners are surfers; the biggest losers, homeowners. Surfers are a legitimate part of the public and their sport a part of Hawaiian history. Their numbers, considering the universe of the Hawaii population, are not large. The biggest losers are Hawaii homeowners, represented by the Hawaii Community Development Authority and A&B. Homeowners are a substantial part of Hawaii's population.
True, many residential buyers will be out-of-state investors, but many, probably the majority, will be Hawaii residents. Twenty percent of the units will be affordable. I question removing one of the residential pods with its 20 percent affordable units.
Kakaako belongs to all Hawaii residents. Kakaako will generate substantial real property taxes. Property owners took a big hit this year with the increase of real property taxes. Real property taxes generated by Kakaako will reduce the need to increase my taxes. And living close to work makes sense.
Finally, I have two sons who joined to buy a home of their own. A third son and a daughter have no hope of owning their own homes given the price of homes in Hawaii. Please accept this letter as testimony to restore the third residential pod.
Something's fishy about transit contract
This letter is about the city's selection of a subcontractor to do "community survey" work or "bid preparation assistance" work, or whatever the heck it is, for Oahu's mass transit project. Councilman Charles Djou (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 29
) has only asked the first obvious question about this sad issue (why was the first subcontractor changed?).
What I'd like to know is, why are our elected officials paying anyone a million dollars to help a prime contractor prepare its bid? If Parsons Brinckerhoff needs a million dollars worth of PR help to prepare its bid, then something is sadly wrong either with PB or the mass transit bid process. PB should just pick the best system and get on with it. To us regular citizens, the only difference between subcontractors Joe Pickard and Kitty Lagareta is the politician handing out the pork -- and that pork is OUR money being wasted on a needless subcontract.
Meanwhile, our governor and legislators are considering whether or not to tap into our state budget surplus to repair antiquated, crumbling public schools. Thousands of homeless people on Oahu need safe places to live and help getting their lives in order. And our sewers, roads and parks are all substandard.
Why the heck are we spending tax dollars on PR help for big engineering firms?
Use cheap rail plan, then spend on roads
In selecting a plan for the rail system
, it would make the most sense in choosing the plan that cost the least amount of money since the ridership will be low anyway.
Stop letting criminals back out onto streets
As I write this, it's only been a few hours since that paralyzing wreck on Kalanianaole Highway
, but let me see if I can't figure out what might have happened. It probably involved a stolen car and maybe some drugs. Some innocent people were injured or lost property. The suspects have had multiple arrests with previous felonies. They will waste a bundle of taxpayer money going through the judicial system yet again. How about inconveniencing tens of thousands of people who obey the law and pay taxes so said criminals can be tried in a court of law?
And in return the public gets the same criminals set back on streets to repeat this cycle of activity. Who appoints these liberal judges to our courts? More to the point, why can't they be elected to better reflect the communities ideas of justice and safety? The courts continue to fail the public and decrease public safety!
These criminals aren't going to college or working a job and one day decide to commit a crime and then get back to their studies. These are the same people who commit crimes repeatedly. Know anybody who hasn't gotten their car broken into? Me neither. I beg our state lawmakers to reform this preposterous system and make our streets safer for everybody.