Future voters should use paper ballots
As a graduate of Kids Voting Hawaii, I appreciate the positive effect the program has on encouraging young people to vote. However, I was dismayed to read suggestions that Hawaii's current election system is "saddled with legacy" and somehow inferior to the system students will be using.
The accuracy of the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections has been the subject of significant controversy. Numerous news stories have pointed out security flaws in e-voting machines that could make the removal or addition of votes trivial and undetectable. Even Kids Voting Hawaii's online ballot lacks basic SSL encryption, which could allow a knowledgeable person to read or alter votes using free software available on the Internet.
Voter turnout and accurate results are two separate problems. I believe Kids Voting Hawaii is leading to higher participation in the polls. However, moving away from verifiable paper ballots for Hawaii's real votes would be a mistake that would damage the credibility of our elections for years to come.
Maybe Case will stand in and debate Thielen
I'd like to see Daniel Akaka debate Cynthia Thielen. It's wrong for someone to run for office and not have to defend their record. If Sen. Akaka is afraid to debate, perhaps Ed Case could offer to stand in for him and explain Akaka's views. This would leave Akaka the not-so-fun choice of debating, and maybe not looking so good, or certainly not looking good when his rival points out his views.
Sixth-grader, Aikahi Elementary
See, it really is all Clinton's fault
A recent scientific study indicates that sunspots are decreasing. In the past, such decreases have led to dramatic and sometimes tragic changes in the Earth's climate.
Now it may be just a coincidence, but those sunspots started disappearing during the Clinton administration.
That's something to think about.
John A. Broussard
Tollways a superior option to rail transit
I read the Insight section article on Sunday headlined "Lanes not Trains
" with interest. I have been wondering for years why Honolulu has never entertained the idea of toll roads. Many other cities and states have beautiful toll roads that alleviate congestion, are well maintained and use electronic readers so you don't have to stop to pay. I have been saying for years that we should do that here. It would be far cheaper to build, especially if private-public partnerships are used, and the tolls would pay for maintenance, freeing up taxpayer money to pay for enhanced bus service. You can use existing rights of way by building toll roads as viaducts.
Rail will cost billions to build, billions to maintain, won't be sustained by fares and will be used only by people already using the bus. You could even open the toll road up for free to allow traffic to go around road closures. Everyone I speak with agrees, toll roads are the way to go!
Crossovers would keep cars moving on H-1
Anyone who was driving on the afternoon of Sept. 5 will agree that traffic was horrendous everywhere after a crane damaged the H-1 pedestrian overpass in Aiea.
A low-cost solution to future highway closures is to install crossover points in the median about one mile apart along the entire length of the freeway. These crossover points would provide emergency openings in the concrete median and contraflow barrier, which will allow contraflow lanes to bypass the blockage. Openings at the crossover points should be large enough to allow at least two lanes of traffic to contraflow the necessary distance (at least one mile) to bypass the traffic problem.
The freeways have at least five lanes each way, which will allow at least two lanes each way for contraflow. Contraflow movement can be safely controlled by on-site policemen, portable blinking lights, directional arrows, warning signs, traffic cones and other traffic safety devices.
In addition, to warn other drivers of this situation, the state and city should activate all communication systems, including the state emergency warning system.
This emergency contraflow system can be implemented despite statements by government officials that "contraflow on the freeway cannot be done."
These crossover points will require installing "quick-disconnect segments" of the portable contraflow barrier as well as installing openable points along the fixed concrete median divider.