We should design a better crosswalk
Another pedestrian has been killed in a Hawaii crosswalk (Newswatch, Star-Bulletin, Jan. 18
). How many more needless deaths must we endure before the design of our crosswalks is made safer? Unsignalized midblock crosswalks are inherently dangerous! Especially on wide, heavily traveled roadways.
When a safety problem is found in cars, we develop seatbelts, airbags, anti-lock brakes.
Prosecuting persons involved in accidents might make us feel better, and new laws make for good political theater, but neither will reduce the carnage. Safer designs will, and it's past time for them.
Case is thinking about Hawaii's future
Ed Case is right to run for the Senate now
. Because neither of our octagenarian senators are willing to face up to the reality of their years and retire, it's time someone stepped forward to mount a serious challenge to the good old boy way of Democratic politics in Hawaii. As a bonus, if Case wins, it marginalizes Neil Abercrombie, a shop-worn, leftist of days gone by.
To his credit, Case has shown a willingness to vote what he thinks is right in Congress -- sometimes at odds with what Senator Inouye or the Democratic leadership of the House want. This makes Case someone who can and will be able to deal productively with Republicans early on in the Senate, rather than in 20 years when he might have sufficient seniority to gain some of the deference long-enjoyed by Inouye.
Case's decision may be very important to Hawaii's future. That's because, more than most states, Hawaii slops large at the federal money trough. Much of this federal largesse is due to Inouye's seniority. Case is absolutely right, we need staggered seniorities in our delegation, not two elderly senators who are both likely to be gone within a decade.
Sadly, it's unfortunate that Inouye, Akaka and Abercrombie would put their own egos ahead of the needs of the people they purport to serve. It's time they are forcefully reminded that none of them "own" their seats in the U.S. Congress.
Lawmakers, take care not to misuse surplus
The question of the new year is about what to do with the state budget surplus of $574 million. First one should ask, "How did we get ourselves this surplus in the first place?"
Here's the answer: House Majority Leader Marcus Oshiro put it best when he credited the "sound fiscal policy" of previous Democratic Gov. Ben Cayetano as one of the primary reasons for today's surplus (Star-Bulletin, Jan. 19).
With such smart investing in the future who's to say we can't be in an even better monetary situation in four years?
Right now we need to invest smart, such as encouraging new 21st-century industries and businesses in Hawaii, bettering public schools, aiding the homeless, aiding lower- and middle-class families, buffing up the lagging recycling program and solving our forgotten trash crisis. It is more expensive than ever to live in paradise, but maybe with smarter spending, paradise will be that much sweeter.
Court urges mediation first to solve disputes
A recent letter to the editor expressed the need for Family Court to use mediation and dispute resolution (Star-Bulletin, Jan. 10
). I am happy to report that Family Court actively promotes the use of mediation and has increased the use of mediation and dispute resolution processes over the years.
The Mediation Center of the Pacific is just one resource where Family Court judges refer or order divorcing couples to mediate their differences. Last year, more than 90 divorce cases were opened at The Mediation Center. Numerous private mediators also regularly mediate Family Court cases.
In 2004, Oahu's Family Court created a Volunteer Settlement Master program. A VSM does not take sides or make decisions. Instead, using his or her skills and experience as a family law attorney, the VSM tries to help the parties reach an agreement that is fair, and that everyone can accept. Similar to mediation, the VSM guides the process; the parties create the agreement.
Refer to the Judiciary's Web site at www.court.states.hi.us for more information about mediation and the VSM Program.
Street performers add to Waikiki's magic
I support having street performers on Kalakaua Avenue
. They are well liked by the tourists. They add to the special ambiance that is Waikiki.
Waikiki is not all about the shopping, contrary to the business owners' ideas. Let's keep Waikiki Waikiki -- and let's keep the tourists coming.
A&B development will improve Kakaako
I was excited to see so many wonderful plans being developed for the Kakaako waterfront, and was then shocked when I found out our Legislature is thinking about blocking the project
Is there something wrong with beautifying an area for the benefit of everyone? We need to stop wasting taxpayer dollars by scrapping wonderful development plans just because of party politics. Move forward!
A project such as the one designed would bring money into our economy while also improving a sore spot on our island for the use of residents and visitors.
Yes, we must be sure that our surf areas remain easily accessible with plenty of parking, but the area should be developed for the use of all.
Restaurants would be a benefit to surfers, park users and others. Casual restaurants can be placed in the mix. Shops also would bring people to the area. Two condominium buildings of a height much lower than those in the Ward-Ala Moana area should be welcomed. The sale of these condos will give the developer the money needed for the other improvements that will benefit ALL of us. If you want to slow construction, stop the continued building of high-rises in the Ward area instead.