Loud talkers are what irritates bus riders
The recent signing into law of Bill 71 that prohibits the use of audible cell phone ringtones on TheBus shows that the mayor is unaware of the activities on the city buses. The problem with the cellular phones is not the ringtones. The problem with cell phone usage is that when people talk into the phones, they tend to raise or even yell into the mouthpiece.
These folks need to understand that the microphone on the phone is highly sensitive. The user only has to talk into the phone with a regular, or low volume and the receiver will hear you loud and clear.
Watada's way might lead to peaceful world
If convicted, Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada faces six years in prison for refusing to deploy with his unit to Iraq and for making inflammatory comments regarding his reasons for opposing the war, which he feels is illegal. He has not been allowed to resign or transfer to Afghanistan or elsewhere. He is only 28 years old and is a former resident of Honolulu.
As expected, letters to the editor have been mixed. Most military men say Watada is a coward and should be punished. Others consider him a hero for standing up for his beliefs. At issue is whether a person in the military can pick his war. My opinion is that World War II would not have happened if the Germans and Japanese had refused to fight. And the Holocaust would have been merely a figment of Hitler's imagination if his soldiers had decided not to participate.
This is an important trial that will have repercussions. Let's follow it closely and pray that Watada comes out the victor.
Glenda Chung Hinchey
Why ship trash? Let's just recycle more
Late-night TV comedians often cite "The Top 10 Worst Of ..." lists. I believe the City Council has already surfaced the worst idea of the year: "Firm says it could ship trash next year" (Star-Bulletin, Jan. 13
) at an estimated cost of $34 million a year.
Why not transform garbage into a job-producing, resource-recycling asset? The first step would be to gather Oahu's recycling companies around a table and ask, "What incentive would motivate you to double the rate of cardboard recycling?" If you look at HPOWER's trash-sorting floor, it's filled with cardboard. Asia needs all the cardboard it can get. An incentive of as little as 1 cent per pound might motivate recyclers to double the number of cardboard recycling sites.
The second step would be to simply mandate curbside recycling. Sparks, Nev., often perceived as a "backward" community, sorted paper/cardboard, glass/cans and trash 15 years ago! If you don't sort in Sparks, no pickup -- very simple. "Progressive" Honolulu should have done this years ago.
Finally, assemble Oahu's construction debris recyclers around a table and ask, "What's going into Waimanalo Gulch that could be recycled if there were incentives?" The three steps would transform much of the "trash" going to HPOWER and Waimanalo Gulch to revenue-producing treasure.
The cost to taxpayers might be closer to $3.4 million, with many jobs created, compared to a $34 million fodder for late-night comedians.
Howard C. Wiig
Crosswalk law puts pedestrians in danger
Concerning the recent deaths of elderly people in crosswalks (Star-Bulletin, Jan. 15
), the law needs to be changed so that when a pedestrian enters the crosswalk, the vehicles must stop, period.
If you let cars and buses continue on when a pedestrian is on the other half of the road, that puts the pedestrian in extreme danger. When one car goes on, the cars behind him will go on too, giving the pedestrian no chance to cross the street.
I once helped an elderly couple cross the street in Waikiki, knowing that they were walking too slowly to get across before the light changed to red. I stepped in front of the cars while we still had the green light so they couldn't move, and then stepped into every lane until the couple could cross the street.
If you want to stop drivers from running yellow and red lights, you should start by ticketing TheBus drivers. They are the worst offenders.
David W. Morgan
Don't close H-1 lanes during rush hour
Monday night's traffic jam was uncalled for. Two Ewa-bound lanes were closed, supposedly for maintenance. However, when we reached the end of the lane closure (Waikele) at 8 p.m., I did not see a single person (or equipment) working. It took me 3 1/2 hours to get from downtown to Kapolei.
So why the early lane closure? Perhaps the thinking was that it was a holiday. Guess what, not for everybody. Many of us worked on Monday.
The traffic jam reminded me of the Aiea overpass collapse lane closure. The difference is, this was a planned closure by our supposed experts from the Department of Transportation. Why not close the lanes after rush hour? There was absolutely no regard for commuters. Whoever had this brilliant idea ought to be fired!