On your marks, get set, vote early!
July 26 is the first day that the city clerk will accept filled-out application forms for people voting absentee by mail. Will this year be the one in which the electorate tops the 90 percent mark for participation? C'mon folks, whether it be by the above method or early walk-in or voting on election days, do it this year and surprise everyone!
We need people in Washington who will get us out of Iraq, speed up the fixing of New Orleans and the dams and help our folks here in Hawaii who have suffered in the deluge rainfalls.
You can make a difference! VOTE!
Roy E. Shigemura
Taxpayers taken for ride with rapid transit
As I view architectural drawings of the proposed rapid transit system on Oahu (Star-Bulletin, June 23
), I cannot get the image of an amusement park ride out of my mind: The Vapid Transit System.
If planned properly, the tourists and residents will flock to the ride seeking fun as well as transportation.
We can construct the rail system like a roller-coaster ride. A Ferris wheel can take passengers to the six-story boarding platform.
When the train arrives at the passenger's destination, the bottom of the car can drop out and parachute the commuters to ground level, 60 feet below. A "bumper car" extension transportation network can be added (for an additional fee) to transport travelers to their final destination.
Best of all, the entire project's more than $3 billion price tag can be financed by a substantial amusement tax, which can be added to the new .05 percent transportation tax addition to the general excise tax.
Of course, the island residents for whom the system was originally intended will have to wait in long lines, and the Transportation Security Force will no doubt be screening for potential terrorists. Perhaps a security fee can be added to the fare to help finance the system. A small price to pay for "adventure travel."
As an added unintended bonus, the huge 60-foot support posts will serve as an excellent tableau for graffiti artists, who are rapidly running out of space since almost all the available public space is already painted.
Vapid transit. It defies the senses.
Stann W. Reiziss
Democrats should learn from Gov. Burns
The legacy of Gov. John A. Burns should be resurrected by the Hawaii Democratic Party. Burns opened the doors of the party to those who had previously not had a voice.
The party under Burns' tutelage was not operated in the manner of a private club, as it is today. Operating the Democratic Party in this manner is detrimental to the well-being of the citizenry of our state. One has only to look into the professional background of our politically moderate governor to realize that it is the closed-door policies of the Hawaii Democratic Party that launched her career as a Republican.
The party fathers should look to the legacy of Burns and open up its ranks. All the highly capable people who are running for the U.S. Senate and Congress this year should be afforded an equal platform to present their views to the voting public.
No games being played with Round Top dirt
Jeff Liu's July 10 letter to the editor
I, too, was shocked by the triple homicide on Tantalus last week. But Liu is way off base when he accuses the city of playing "political games" regarding the repair of Round Top Drive.
The city owns the road and the state owns the slope adjoining the road. The heavy rains in March washed hundreds of cubic yards of soil and debris from the slopes onto Round Top Drive. The erosion also undermined a portion of the road so severely that it had to be closed until repairs are made.
Presently, the city is proceeding under emergency procurement procedures to stabilize and restore the damaged 2600 block of Round Top Drive. Given the technical challenges, that could take until October.
At an April 19 community meeting, Robert Masuda of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and I said the city and state are working together to address the Round Top slide repairs. We noted at that meeting the necessity to close that stretch of road. Emergency responders were informed so they could make adjustments to their responses. While it was acknowledged that the closure could lengthen response times, it was generally understood that it was too risky to allow any vehicles to use the unstable section of road.
No games, political or otherwise, are being played.
Eugene C. Lee
Department of Design and Construction
City and County of Honolulu