Measures before Legislature would ease traffic flow from Leeward Oahu
In response to Gary Suzukawa's March 1 letter to the editor
, "Stop the lies, there will be no second city," I want to inform Star-Bulletin readers that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
I, too, was subjected to the same gridlock on the Ewa Plain attributable to the pedestrian fatality recently at Renton Road and Ft. Weaver Road. I introduced House Bill 2655 to minimize the amount of time lanes are closed to conduct investigations. The bill would create a Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) using robotic survey systems, digital cameras, computer-aided drawing software and other equipment transported to accident scenes to expedite the investigation. States like California and Washington have implemented MAIT to restore the flow of traffic as soon as possible after an accident and at the same time enhance the investigation process.
Another solution would be to turn over jurisdiction of the area's cane haul roads from the Department of Land and Natural Resources to the City and County of Honolulu's Department of Transportation Services. That is why I introduced language in HB 2205 to get these roads opened up so that they can serve as secondary routes linking Kapolei Parkway, Farrington Highway and Ft. Barrette Road with Ft. Weaver Road.
In addition, passenger ferry service should be made accessible at Iroquois Point immediately until Ocean Pointe Marina is completed. I have tracked down the barge previously used at Iroquois Point during the Wiki Wiki Ferry Pilot Project back in 2000 and am requesting permission from the Navy to utilize this site again.
One of the best solutions to traffic for the Leeward Coast commuter can be summed up by traffic expert Panos Prevedouros, professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Hawaii, who stated that the "Legislature should provide a small sum of money to a qualified geotechnical and transportation consultant to take a preliminary look at a tunnel starting at Ewa Beach, proceeding parallel to the Reef Runway and turning to meet the freeways at the Keehi Interchange and the proposed Nimitz Viaduct. It'll be an excellent way to provide a 4,000-passenger car capacity per hour to town in the a.m. period and out of town in the p.m. period. And if properly contracted, it can pay for itself in less than 20 years, for a zero net public expenditure, and for public profit at the end of the concession contract."
The Legislature concurred with Prevedouros' premise and last year allocated the funding to get the ball rolling. However, the governor will not release the money to pursue the tunnel concept even though military concerns can be allayed, private money is available to build it and congressional support from Congressman Ed Case is at hand.
Meanwhile, after some 30 years or so, the UH-West Oahu campus slated for Kapolei is finally expected to come to fruition per HB 3167. This bill will provide the necessary funding to design and construct the campus by the end of 2008.
If I had it my way, folks on the Ewa Plain would be able to get in and out of Dodge by ferry, rail, cane road and tunnel linking university to university, city hall to city hall, and all the other public and private developments planned for the Kapolei region.
Rep. Rida Cabanilla
D, Waipahu-Honouliuli- West Loch-Ewa
Expanding Turtle Bay will ruin ambience
As a yearly visitor, I write in opposition to the proposed 3,500-unit development at Turtle Bay, and the effect on the North Shore's land, traffic and community.
The North Shore offers serenity and untouched beauty that so many of us appreciate when vacationing in the country. It has been a place to escape the busy city and tourist life of Honolulu and Waikiki. With the recent development of the beachfront homes and new condominiums near the Turtle Bay Resort, traffic on Kamehameha Highway is already affected to and from Haleiwa. Construction of more buildings will consume all of what we dream of -- enjoyment of surfing competitions, and those who just want to relax and soak up the island's beauty in a relatively low-populated area.
After reading on starbulletin.com of the meeting last Thursday night by Kuilima Resort Co., which presented development plans to the Koolauloa Neighborhood Board, I wrote letters to the mayor, City Council members and Rep. Colleen Meyer asking for their help to protect the North Shore.
Mountain View, Calif.
Resort's union bullies the North Shore
Regarding the letter from Turtle Bay Resort's general manager (Star-Bulletin, March 6
): Many in the North Shore community see Local 5 efforts like a stone in the shoe. Their boycott campaign is mere politics for their fat-cat union leaders, and they display little concern for the working families in the North Shore community. Many Turtle Bay Resort union members have personally told me they are against the union boycott and earnestly want to work while appreciating the good life in rural Oahu.
The Turtle Bay Resort is a good friend of the community and Local 5 is the neighborhood bully.
Why give mainland carrier your money?
I enjoyed and strongly agree with Paul Casey's column "Lower air fares will cost isle residents more later" (Gathering Place, Star-Bulletin, March 8
), as did many of my co-workers at one of the local air carriers mentioned. We have experienced the ups and downs of the air transportation industry for years (and, for some, generations). We rejoiced when our state experienced record visitor numbers and tourist spending; we also embraced when this wonderful industry experienced turbulence where our friends and co-workers were forced to be laid off. Those of us who stayed behind dealt with our survivor guilt. And on the home front, we explained to our families about our pay cuts and loss of benefits so that our company would continue to exist.
During the past seven decades our two airlines have been competing for tourists and local residents in the interisland and trans-Pacific markets. Hawaiian and Aloha airlines have sponsored countless sports, educational, economic and community events, and supported local, national and global organizations in marketing our Aloha State.
But you say Mesa Air will offer lower fares. OK, let me ask you this: Where is Mesa's corporate office? And where do you think all your interisland travel dollars will go?"
The bottom line is, Hawaiian and Aloha are Hawaii, and Hawaii is Hawaiian and Aloha.
Don't push racers onto the highways
I am the owner of a small business, Paradise Lua. I have owned this family business for 12 years, serving our state and supporting numerous community events. I also am a spectator, sponsor and participant of the Hawaii Raceway Park. From the depths of my heart and with all the strength within me, I am willing to stand and make a difference for the various racers.
My goal is simple: What can I do to keep the track open?
Its planned closure on March 31 has raised serious concerns. Most important would be that the sole venue for racing will no longer exist. As a parent and participant, I want our streets to remain safe by providing a place for racers to race.
I wrote to Gov. Linda Lingle and Mayor Mufi Hannemann asking them to step forward to condemn the property of the existing motorsport facility, allowing the state or City and County of Honolulu to become the authority. Placing it up for a bid and then the appointment of a Track Authority would be one possible avenue. I understand this to be standard practice in Maui, Hilo and Kauai. I suggest that this become a standard for our island, too.
George Grace III
'Broken Trust' has its heroes and villains
Once started, I couldn't put down "Broken Trust
," Judge Sam King and Randy Roth's spellbinding expose of misplaced power and poetic justice.
Brilliantly written, the book is a must-read for every member of the Hawaii community. A tale of heroes of the Kamehameha Schools and villains of the former Bishop Estate, it ends with a triumphant mending of Hawaiian trust.
Pauahi would be proud.
Learning history can help avoid conflict
Our students must be taught world history and religion in our high schools and colleges in addition to the more popular math and science classes. The understanding of historical borders of countries and their religious differences will, I'm sure, tend to ease world conflicts that are caused by dictatorial boundaries and religion. Once we all can tolerate world religion and historical boundaries, world conflicts will, I'm sure gradually subside.