Add Superferry ruling to list of looney news
From the Supreme Court, the City Council, the mayor, the state Legislature, the sewage treatment facility and the Department of Transportation, to highway maintenance, garbage disposal, mass transit studies, the bus, Superferry and traffic management, Hawaii has become a ludicrous comedy of errors second to none.
The latest debacle handed down by the Supreme Court requesting an environmental impact study days before the Superferry was to start up is the icing on the cake of lunacy for the whole world to laugh at, along with all the other headlines of indecision and continuous studies that lead nowhere (Star-Bulletin, Aug. 24).
I ask those on Maui who are concerned about invasive species and the whales' safety, and foot-dragging on roads to handle additional traffic, why not demand an environmental impact study on all tourists?
The one major consolation, regardless of whatever day it is, the printed news certainly promotes humor. Otherwise we would all need serious therapy.
John L Werrill
What about studies for all ships at sea?
Shutting down the ferry system for lack of an environmental study is opening up a can of worms (Star-Bulletin, Aug. 24
). First, if you do an environmental study on the ferry system then you would have to do a study of all the ships that go through the islands. This includes Young Bros., Matson, fishing vessels and all the cruise lines that use our harbors.
Second, all ships and barges stay in the harbors for a couple of days until the cargo is unloaded. Cruise ships stay for several days as necessary for the occupants to enjoy the sights. The ferry stays only for a couple of hours. So if you want to open that can of worms, do it. If not, leave it be and let me enjoy this great form of travel for family and for all the other folks who have been looking forward to this wonderful ferry.
Ferry's popularity has been overstated
In response to the Supreme Court decision on the Superferry (Star-Bulletin, Aug. 24
): All three county councils (Maui, Kauai and Big Island) passed resolutions asking the state for an EIS; 6,000 residents on Kauai signed a petition requesting an EIS, the Senate passed a bill requiring an EIS, which was then sent to the House where it was denied a hearing by Rep. Joseph Souki.
When Hawaii Superferry and the state Department of Transportation held meetings on all the neighbor islands, the comments were 100 percent opposed to the ferry.
These facts seem to have been ignored by not only the media, but by the governor, HSF and the DOT. They keep telling everyone how excited we all are that they're invading our islands. The report that 16,000 toured the ferry is undoubtedly overstated. It was reported in the Garden Island newspaper that 3,500 from Kauai signed up to tour the boat. I was protesting the day the ferry visited Kauai for the public tours. I can tell you that 1,000 people would be an overly generous number. I suspect the same was true on Maui.
On Oahu, if you had another 866 people and 240 vehicles show up each and every day, you'd hardly notice the influx. On the neighbor islands, it's a major nightmare.
We don't have the roads, we don't want the risks.
Judie Hilke Lundborg
Too many trees for environmentalists?
This has to be a first, or I have been living in a green bubble? Remove trees for an environmental gig so that the crowd can see the stage (Star-Bulletin, Aug. 24
How ironic that this particular group is so self-absorbed that it would have asked for natural tree removals so that a man-made stage can grab the limelight.
Don't let fine arts die in our public schools
I enjoyed your article on Charles Higa in the Aug. 21 Star-Bulletin
. When I was a student at McKinley High School we were fortunate to have Mr. Higa and other art teachers on campus. But I was saddened by his quote, "I've sort of given up, with all this pushing of math and science."
At McKinley in the '70s we had Mr. Higa, Henry Miyamura in music, Fely Sera in speech, James Nakamoto in drama and others on our campus. The fine arts department was an exceptional group of teachers and artists. Like most students, I had limited contact with most of them, but their presence on our campus was recognized and appreciated. Through them students were exposed to the fine arts and many given opportunities to excel.
It is unfortunate that departments like that cannot exist in our present educational system. Under No Child Left Behind, the constant underfunding of education and an indifferent state administration, the fine arts have been sacrificed.
I hope that changes will occur before fine arts in schools are lost. Because like Mr. Higa said, "Art is needed; it's where creativity grows."
Congestion pricing bad idea for Honolulu
City Councilman Charles Djou introduced a resolution for the city to study peak-hour road-user charges in downtown Honolulu ("congestion" pricing).
London's cordon pricing is not a good idea for Honolulu (Star-Bulletin, Aug. 22). The December 2006 report from London First, the business group that introduced road-user charges in the UK's capital center found that: "The retail and leisure sectors, small businesses and those close to the boundary of the zone are considered to have been most adversely affected.
"The operational inflexibility of the scheme means that not all business sectors have been able to gain value from reduced congestion. Without carefully considering the profile and needs of local commerce, critical business sectors will experience significant problems, and in some cases, businesses will cease to trade in that area, to the detriment of local communities."
The city ignores many solutions to alleviate Honolulu's traffic congestion that are faster, cheaper and simpler to implement without imposing radical disincentives on motorists in comparison to rail.
There is a vast difference between charging tolls to finance new, increased capacity, and raking in more taxes for using existing road lanes.
The citizens of Honolulu are road-deprived, having only 1.5 miles per capita, the lowest in all of the states and territories. Rationing roads through tolls will add immensely to our traffic problems.
Is this a cosmic fix for trash problem?
According to Associated Press science writer Seth Borenstein, astronomers have found a humongous black hole a mere 2 million light years from here. It's 6 billion trillion miles of nothingness. Now, we only need to find a way to get our opala there, and there would be no more "Waimanalo Landfill Blues."