Robbery victim should be the main concern
Let me see ... at 2 a.m. a gentleman minding his business while walking through the International Market Place in Waikiki is attacked, severely beaten, then robbed of his money and personal property by three men ("White House official beaten, robbed," Star-Bulletin, Nov. 22
I have myself more than once walked through the exact same place during the very early morning hours.
The statements by the Honolulu Police Department captain and visitors bureau representative sound way too self-serving for my taste. I'll be interested in whether HPD can locate and arrest those responsible for this despicable and cowardly attack.
Also, I would be interested in how the city prosecutor and criminal court judge handle this case -- if, that is, it ever comes before them.
More police presence, cameras would help
It's a shame that the White House travel director was assaulted outside a bar at the International Market Place (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 22
). What's even a greater shame is one City Councilman's view of the publicity: "I hope it just goes away quickly."
Burying one's head in the sand does not provide a solution, and ignoring the underlying problem does not make violent crime go away or go down. Yes, Honolulu is a large city, and crime follows all cities. But the lifeblood of tourist investment must be respected and protected. Honolulu should consider stiffening penalties for those who would harm visitors. Triple the penalty on all violent crimes.
Before investing in a vacation home in Honolulu, I recently spent two weeks at a hotel across from the market place and greatly enjoyed walking around, eating at, shopping at, and meeting some cool locals and guests at the International Market Place and throughout Waikiki, at all hours. I did not feel unsafe. However, the only law enforcement were the many cruisers driving through the area. Would it be possible to have police officers on bikes riding around 24/7? Also, aren't there surveillance cameras at the market place to dissuade criminals?
Honolulu is an awesome city. Please actively protect visitors.
UH games should be televised on mainland
Why are University of Hawaii football games not televised so that all of us on the mainland can watch them? For two years now, I have not been able to watch them. There are so many of us former Hawaii residents across the country who miss being able to watch our own football team. Last year I had to pay $21.95 to watch one of the games. This year, the games are not even televised in our area.
La Habra, Calif.
UH Warriors aren't serious contenders yet
I have to disagree with Robby Vasquez (Letters, Nov. 22
) when he sings the praises of the Western Athletic Conference. Yes, the University of Hawaii Warriors are having an exceptional year -- exceptional, not normal.
But the Warriors will never challenge for a major bowl or bowl challenge series until they get out of the WAC. And they will never do that because they settle for mediocrity. As long as they have a winning record they get an automatic bid to the Hawaii Bowl. That seems to be the end to their goals, not winning the conference title and advancing to a major bowl on the mainland.
Consider the WAC: Combined, the teams have a 47-49 record (as of Nov, 22), with 28 of those wins coming from the top three teams. As a conference, they have a 0-12 record against top 25 teams. Five WAC teams are ranked in the bottom 25 of Division I. The Hawaii Bowl pits the No. 2 team in the WAC against the No. 6 team in the PAC-10. That in itself speaks of the power difference between the WAC and the rest of college football.
Rolling up scores does not get the Warriors any further than if they won their games by a point or two. The bottom line is, they have to play in a competitive conference against quality teams before they will be recognized as a legitimate contender for anything.
Poverty study relies on flawed data
The article "Poverty still grips Hawaiians" (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 14
) is seriously flawed because native Hawaiians are classified according to their minority blood quantum and all other races by their majority blood quantum. This makes comparisons impossible. Hawaiians with a blood quantum of 25 percent and less should be reclassified into the categories appropriate to their dominant race.
The present statistical aberration is the reason Hawaiians are at the bottom of every economic, health and social category. Common sense tells us that a very small percentage of Hawaiian blood is not to blame.
The delegates to the 1978 Constitutional Convention originated the all-inclusive definition of native Hawaiians because Hawaiians wanted to increase their political clout by increasing their numbers. They also wanted to perpetuate the Hawaiian race, which was rapidly declining.
The delegates and Hawaiian advocates never intended that the statistical data relating to mixed races should wrongly stigmatize Hawaiians because of their genetic heritage. This practice is clearly discriminatory and should be discontinued immediately. It is perpetuating a stereotype that people with Hawaiian blood, even a very small amount of it, are genetically inferior.
Forgive, forget and finally get out
It's time to forgive and forget. Though it has taken almost four years for President Bush to realize how wrong he was in ordering the invasion of Iraq, there's no need to rub his nose in it.
Sure, we've suffered thousands of casualties, spent what may well eventually amount to more than $2 trillion in a pointless war and inflicted misery on a nation of 25 million people, but the end is in sight. We will soon be negotiating with some members of the "axis of evil" so that we can ooze out of the quagmire.
The important thing is to get out of Iraq. If it means we have to allow President Bush to save face in order to do so, that's a small price to pay.
John A. Broussard
Subsidized bus system could be way to go
I believe for any transit system to really be effective it must be cheaper, faster and almost as available and convenient as the alternatives.
TheBus should be free to all and totally subsidized by an increase in gasoline taxes and increased parking rates.
TheBus must be faster than driving. There should be lanes specifically designated for TheBus, not only on the freeways but also on streets with two or more lanes in one direction. Vehicular traffic should not impede the movement of TheBus.
TheBus should run 24/7. The bus routes also need to be expanded and modified. Shuttle buses could run up and down the valleys and ridges and around lower neighborhoods, taking passengers to and from transit centers and major stops along our main corridors.
The buses could be modified to accommodate passengers with surfboards and possibly other bulky items.
If the goal is to reduce traffic, help the environment and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, I believe a free and expanded bus system would be the most effective.
New highway would be cheaper, better used
We are facing a critical point in decision-making on the Leeward traffic problem and all we hear is rail as a solution. I was hoping our mayor and City Council members would consider other options carefully instead of jumping on the bandwagon. Rail works very well in large tight metropolitan areas like New York City, Tokyo, Barcelona and London. But Honolulu is not in that category and does not have the natural resources ever to become that.
Tampa, Fla., is similar to Honolulu in population and is building an elevated tollway to solve its traffic problem. Another highway to the Leeward area, toll or free, would solve the problem in less time and reduced cost to taxpayers. Rail is fixed in place and limited in scope -- how will handicapped people get on? Will each station have elevators? Can you imagine the vandalism? If the rail system has a breakdown, then what?
Another highway has more flexibility for both cars and buses. An example is the H-3 from Kaneohe to Honolulu, which has reduced driving time and is one of the best planned highways in the state. A new highway could be linked to the existing freeways.
The Star-Bulletin had two articles in its Insight section on Oct.1, by David Rolf and Oct. 15 by Panos D. Prevedouros of the University of Hawaii, illustrating highway construction rather than rail as a solution. Rail will never solve the transportation problem and will be a financial boondoggle for the next generation as well as us now because rail systems always are highly subsidized no matter where they are.
Do we want even more vehicles on roads?
Did anyone notice? Damage to a pedestrian bridge over the H-1 freeway in Aiea caused an islandwide repercussion: "Black Tuesday." People were stuck on the freeway for hours and hours, diverted traffic slugged along the Windward side and North Shore, hotels were packed and students were backlogged with homework for the next week or more.
The Pali Highway closure due to a major landslide delayed traffic a bit that day.
There's no doubt that a fixed guideway from downtown to the Leeward side is a necessary element of our transportation network. More buses will just be stuck in the same gridlock. More highways mean more cars on the road, more pollution and more noise. And when there's a major problem on the highway, it just means more stuck cars.
We need a true alternative, and a fixed guideway system can provide that.
Stop development on the North Shore
Kuilima Resort Co.'s idea to expand onto Kawela Bay and extend toward Kahuku is one of the worst ideas I've ever heard. The claim is that there will be more jobs available to residents and more business for store owners. But who are they really trying to please here? Building more hotels will not only cause even more traffic and people congestion, but it will also mark the end of the North Shore as we know it. The country will no longer live up to its name. It will simply be a title used to attract the tourists to the new hotels. The locals will no longer be locals, but rather outsiders with more money, who can afford to pay higher rents.
All I am asking is to keep the North Shore true to its roots -- a beautiful, laid back, humble stretch of coastline free of the everyday chaos caused by big buildings and hundreds of people. The people of Hawaii are more important than the interests of far-off companies and a few locals; and most North Shore residents would much rather drive to town for work than allow the building of these new hotels and see the disappearance of one of the last remaining places of genuine local life.
Save the North Shore. It's worth it.