Free Internet access would draw bus riders
Honolulu transit planners should consider providing free Internet access on our transit system. It can turn car-centric commuters into enthusiastic transit riders. In the near future it makes sense to try this on the long-distance express routes.
According to Governing magazine, California's Riverside County spent $47,000 last year to equip three buses on one commuter bus route for an Internet test. Ridership increased, and 43 percent of the new riders were using the service. The new riders rated WiFi access as the top reason for commuting by bus.
It sounds great to me. You can read about other experiments around the country at the magazine's Web site at www.governing.com/articles/7tech.htm.
Robert J. Conlan
Letter brought good memories of governor
My children and I were so touched by the warmth of the recent letter from John A. Burns of Aiea that I felt compelled to respond ("Namesake of governor has much to live up to," Star-Bulletin, July 18
Mr. Burns captured Pop's essence amazingly well. And for him to take the time and energy it took to express his thoughtfulness in a public letter is impressive. He sounds like a good and caring soul. I thank him for sharing his experiences with us and for using them to remind us to be diligent in caring for our homeland. And, most of all, for the smile he brought to many of our faces as old memories surfaced!
Me ke aloha pumehana.
Mayor does support resident homeowners
This is in response to Ruth Powell's July 24 letter to the editor
. Mayor Hannemann has never indicated that he would seek a re-evaluation of real property for people on fixed incomes, but he has repeatedly stated his intention of providing some form of tax relief for them.
Hannemann is definitely not on the side of speculators. He encouraged and approved a $200 tax credit for all homeowner occupants for the current tax year and signed into law an amendment to the ordinance providing for greater tax relief to lower-income homeowner occupants. He also lessened the impact of the City and County of Honolulu's rising property values by approving a reduction in the improved residential and apartment property tax rates to $3.59 per thousand from $3.75 per thousand. For this tax year, the mayor also signed into law a provision that increases the basic homeowner exemption amount to $80,000, and to $120,000 for those 65 and older.
In addition, Hannemann introduced a bill to create a new homeowner classification for homeowner occupants that would have provided an avenue for future reductions in the property tax burden of island residents who don't plan to sell their homes. However, he was unable to find sufficient support from City Council members, who ultimately set property tax rates, to pass the measure. Honolulu is the only county in the state without a homeowner classification. Hannemann plans to reintroduce the idea again next year.
The mayor is most definitely on the side of the island people who live and work here.
Mary Patricia Waterhouse
City director of Budget and Fiscal Services
Maui Memorial doesn't provide adequate care
This letter is in support of the proposed Malulani hospital. I myself had a small surgery at Maui Memorial Medical Center and contracted an infection. I was told that this was commonplace. I have always given strict instructions to pack me on ice and get me off the island before attempting to get medical care at Maui Memorial. I would rather take my chances on the flight than subject myself to the antiquated facilities on this island.
I cannot believe but am not surprised that the pockets of a few are in the way of a benefit to the masses. Those who stand in the way of this project should be allowed to receive services only from Maui Memorial at whatever the cost.
It would be great to have a facility to go to here on Maui without worry of infection or facility capabilities.
Kihei , Maui
Tunnels' namesake deserves better
Kudos to Gov. Lingle for restoring Tetsuo Harano's name on the H-3 tunnels, even if it took three years to get the job done.
However, on first seeing the new lettering a few days ago, I must admit to being disappointed at the cheap-looking material used.
Supposedly this material is aluminum, but to me it looks like plastic and something more appropriate for a Wal-Mart sign.
Since former Gov. John Burns' name was spelled out in glorious shiny brass letters, which looked like solid gold, surely Tetsuo Harano deserves the same.
Are fertility clinics next on the hit list?
If the opponents of stem cell research were sincere in their stated belief that human beings are being murdered, wouldn't you think that they would take urgent measures to stop the "murders" in fertility clinics? When embryos are discarded, isn't that murder by their definition?
Those opponents should be "adopting" those embryos by offering their own or (usually) their wives' wombs. How can they stand by and allow theses mass murders?
Candidates should live in their districts
Those candidates running for the 2nd District seat at the U.S. House of Representatives should be from the 2nd District. If not, they should be required to move to the 2nd District prior to the primary elections. With the unemployment levels being so low, those who aren't from our district should take on U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie or find employment elsewhere.
To have the first event at McCoy Pavilion in Ala Moana Park is a slap in the face to the 2nd District. Why wasn't it held in Haleiwa or, say, Mountain View? If the candidates want to have debates in the 1st District, they should run for that seat. The 2nd District makes up the majority of the state's geographical area and needs a dedicated congressman or congresswoman to represent it in conducting the nation's business.
Voters should consider only those candidates from the 2nd District.
'No gambling' rule ruins Hawaii cruise
I booked a cruise to Hawaii and was disappointed to learn, after booking, that there is no gambling in Hawaii even when the ship is out of port. I wish that my cruise booking agent would have told me that -- I might not have booked it.
Shelia M. Schulz
Republicans must counter voter apathy
It saddens and worries me to hear about the increase in voter apathy and ignorance among Hawaii voters. I am particularly concerned that this attitude might result in negative outcomes for the political races this year, namely the governor's race.
Everyone keeps saying that Gov. Lingle has it in the bag, so no need worry about voting for her. But let's remember there's never been a Republican governor re-elected in the state of Hawaii.
And we certainly need one re-elected this year! Any Democrat who runs, however inexperienced, automatically gets 25 percent of the vote just because they're Democratic. I hope voters will take the races seriously this year and get to the polls.
This is another opportunity to make and be part of history. Hawaii needs another four years of Lingle's leadership, and we can't let apathy ruin this chance for Hawaii. It will be a shame on all of us if we end up going back to the old days of one-party rule and abiding by the status quo.