Editorial told readers to break the law
With Monday's editorial
, "By car, bicycle, skateboard or on foot, go vote tomorrow," the Star-Bulletin advocates illegal activity. Yes, illegal.
Maybe you didn't know, but skateboarding is illegal in most parts of Honolulu. It is only enforced in Waikiki and downtown, but cops have the discretion to ticket anyone they see skating on any sidewalk in a business district. Telling readers to skate to the polls is tantamount to telling them to run red lights on the way to vote, since skaters often get large, large tickets.
TV news gave GOP candidates short shrift
Yesterday at 5 p.m., I watched as KGMB news interviewed Sen. Daniel Akaka at length, then showed Cynthia Thielen walking into her polling place. I watched Mazie Hirono talk with people as she campaigned yesterday, heard an extensive interview with her campaign manager, then saw a quick shot of Bob Hogue's campaign headquarters with no one in it.
I thought the media were mandated to give equal press during an election. Or is that only for Democrats?
No number of lanes will ever be enough
The reason multiple advisory panels since the Fasi administration have said Honolulu should build a rail transit system is that their studies focus on one primary goal: move the largest possible number of commuters in the most efficient way the city can afford, on the routes that will serve most of us best.
No number of additional road lanes will ever be enough to keep up with our growing population. We know this from the experiences of a hundred other growing cities that ruined countless acres of their best land with highway lanes -- and their commuters are still stuck in traffic.
As for how well any system will work after an earthquake or other natural disaster, emergency operation and survivability are issues for the engineers. We shouldn't choose a system based on how well it might work on one or two days of the year. Like the experts on those advisory panels, we need to focus on a fairly narrow goal: Make daily commuting in the south Oahu corridor as affordable and painless as possible for the largest possible number of real commuters.
Take independence or federal funds, not both
In response to the letter "Consider future costs in assessing transit (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 4
), I believe that getting federal tax dollars is a waste of money. As often as I hear about the state needing independence from the mainland (or the outright secession), I also hear the whining that the federal government doesn't put enough money into Hawaii.
Every time there's an emergency, everyone demands money from the mainland (earthquake ring a bell?), but probably not more than five minutes earlier they were complaining about the same people from the mainland meddling in the affairs of the islands.
You don't get it both ways. Either find a way to pay for your own infrastructure or shut up and deal with mainland politics.
Start charging tolls for highway use now
Toll roads are used throughout the United States, Europe and Japan, and are an everyday part of life around all large metropolitan areas. Mayor Mufi Hannemann and the City Council should give serious thought to installing toll booths on each of the major highway arteries. This would not only add additional dollars to help ease the tax burden for the future rail, but they would also be a great incentive for commuters to start car pools or catch TheBus.
Toll revenue by itself is not the long-term answer, and I would hope that once the rail system is running that the toll roads would be abolished, but until such time, it appears to this one bewildered taxpayer, a viable means to ease our traffic now as well as create critical revenue for the new transit system. I've been a bus rider for more than 10 years, and I cringe at the thought of ever-increasing taxes forcing me to pay for something many years down the road so that all of the single driven vehicles can continue clogging our streets today.
St. Louis pulled it off, but next time -- Mets!
Having lived in St. Louis, I am happy that the Cardinals won the World Series. St. Louis is a great baseball city going back to the days of the Gashouse Gang with the Fordham Flash, Frankie Frisch, Joe "Ducky" Medwick, Dizzy Dean, Enos "Country" Slaughter and later on Red Schoendist, Stan "the Man" Musial and Bob Gibson.
But to revive a refrain from the old Brooklyn Dodgers, "Wait till next year." Go, New York Mets!