Put traffic cameras in residents' cars
Traffic rules enforcement cannot be placed on the police alone; besides, police are too qualified and too highly paid to be mainly concerned with that silly thing. The community must be involved. Who of us does not see countless rule violations daily while driving? People speeding, habitually not signaling, running red lights and so on. But they don't get caught. Here is my suggestion, which of course will be rejected by the encrusted backwards thinking of the uninspired majority:
Install hidden, sealed videocameras in volunteers' cars. Construct them in a way that they cannot be manipulated by anybody. They can only be turned on and off by the volunteer and taken to the authorities for reviewing of taped violations. Then come down heavily on the scofflaws.
That would be the end of 90 percent of all intentional violations, accidents and traffic deaths, and the police would be freed for their intended purpose -- to fight criminals!
Souki holds key to Superferry EIS
Rep. Joe Souki (D-Wailuku) has an opportunity this week to carry out the request of all three neighbor island county councils. They all voted overwhelmingly to have an environmental impact statement prepared for the proposed Hawaii Superferry.
As chairman of the House Transportation Committee, Souki should review and pass House Bill 702 that would require the Superferry to submit an EIS.
Since the Superferry could affect harbor shipping, local traffic, the whales and the transport of alien species, the public needs to know how all our lives will be affected. An EIS would not only describe the effects, but more important, would indicate means to mitigate the problems.
The people of Hawaii are counting on Souki to help get an EIS.
Why is another boat such a big deal?
I'm disappointed that a few of our lawmakers are making every effort to make it difficult for the Hawaii Superferry to do business here. I'm not sure who they represent, but most residents I know, and that includes neighbor islanders, want this service. For some of us, it's a simple matter of the fear of flying. The Superferry is more than a viable alternative for those of us who have a fear of flying.
It's a wonder that any company wants to do business in this state when once they've applied for all the permits and followed all the rules, our lawmakers dig up some obscure rule that says otherwise. The ferry is a boat. There are boats all over our oceans, coming and going to the ports in our islands on a regular basis. What's the problem with this boat? The company that wants to run the ferry has included the advice of environmentalists in its planning and training. Why is an impact study needed? What's the difference if we're driving our own cars on a neighbor island versus driving a rental car?
I'm convinced that most of the taxpaying residents of this state want the service of this Superferry. It would be nice if our representatives would would join us and help to expedite this service instead of impede it.
City misrepresented in Councilman's quote
I wish to clarify a statement included in Thursday's article
"Mayor, councilmen clash over rail plans." Regarding City Councilman Donovan Dela Cruz's idea of planning a spur to Mililani, he was quoted to say that a member of the city administration said, "You should do it this way," as if planning the spur was suggested by the administration.
I believe the member of the city administration Dela Cruz referred to is me. Thus, I would like to state for the record that I did not suggest to Dela Cruz to initiate the planning study for the spur to Mililani. During our meeting on Jan. 30 to brief Dela Cruz about the proposed resolution to define the minimum operable segment (the first project between East Kapolei and Ala Moana Center), he hinted his plan to amend the recently approved Locally Preferred Alternative to include the extension to Mililani. I clearly informed him that it was not advisable or even possible given the fact that the corridor to Mililani was not included in the Alternatives Analysis. The Mililani spur is Dela Cruz's idea and not suggested by me.
City Department of Transportation Services
Most who live in Hawaii can't afford it
Newspaper headlines proclaim that doctors are leaving Hawaii because they cannot afford to work and live here.
Since the average income in Hawaii ranks around 25th in the country and Hawaii's cost of living ranks about third in the country, when are the newspapers going to proclaim and when are elected officials going to understand that most of Hawaii's taxpayers cannot afford to live in Hawaii?
Richard Y. Will
UH-Manoa working to improve housing
I'm glad the state auditor's recent report on student housing at the University of Hawaii-Manoa is raising public awareness of our campus dormitory problems and potential solutions (Star-Bulletin, Feb. 7
We have already been moving aggressively to address the issues mentioned in the report. We have broken ground on a new residence hall to be completed in fall of 2008, a dormitory that will provide excellent accommodations for 814 students.
As the report suggests, we are making the Manoa campus an even safer place to study, to live and to attend events and classes. Improvements in lighting have been ordered, and they are on their way. We have hired additional security personnel to patrol the campus 24 hours a day.
But be assured that the Manoa campus is safe. On a typical day, our campus is populated by more than 23,000 students and staff on about 300 acres -- making this one of the most densely populated areas of Oahu. Yet our crime rates are no higher -- and in many cases are much lower -- than the neighboring communities.
We agree with the report's findings that student housing conditions need improvement. We neglected needed repairs and maintenance in past years and now need to work diligently to catch up. We have received funding for and have established an aggressive timeline for completing several major renovation projects that will start in the coming months. By the fall of 2009 we will have invested more that $40 million to improve the physical conditions of our residence halls.
The report questions whether we will be able to fill the beds that we will build. The answer is a resounding "yes," based on the demands from students for more housing and number of applications that we receive from undergraduates wanting to live on campus. Many more students than we can accommodate want to live on the campus to take benefit of the many educational and social activities available.
There are yet more unfulfilled demands from graduate students for affordable housing on or near the Manoa campus. These needs are a clear reason for planning for additional on-campus housing. We plan to offer attractive and affordable housing options for our current campus residents and for others who will need the housing in the future.
Vice chancellor for students
University of Hawaii-Manoa
Civil unions an insult to many isle voters
I'll be brief: Civil union
is the same thing as gay marriage. As a taxpayer, I'm bummed out because our elected officials decided this issue almost 10 years ago. And if I recall correctly, more than 70 percent of the people voted in favor of traditional marriage when they passed a constitutional amendment.
I love my "mahu" family and friends and as far I'm concerned, they can do whatever they want in the privacy of their homes. But legalizing gay marriage and calling it a civil union is spitting in my face and that of lots of other voters, and we don't appreciate it.