Who needs phone books? Just get online
Here they come again! Those useless bricks of paper ("Too many phone books end up in the trash," Letters, Oct. 6
). Mine, too, is still sitting outside my door. No, not the recent book, the one from about three weeks ago. The recent one has now joined it. All that paper it takes to print those, what a waste of resources. I have to agree with the letter writer -- pass them out only to people who request them.
I have not looked in a phone book in possibly seven years. I find them about as equally useless as postal mail. I check my postal mail maybe once every two months. Nothing ever but junk and advertisements.
It's 2007. I have the Internet: Google, four e-mail accounts, instant messaging, instant alerts, online banking, automated bill payment, plus a cell phone and laptop with mobile Internet access. I can even order a pizza online and wave goodnight to my mom, who's 5,000 miles away, using a Web camera. So ... why do I need a phone book or postal mail?
Come to think about this, I did not ask for a phone book. Someone threw this brick of paper at my door, and now I have to clean up their mess. Can I report them for littering?
City did consider transit alternatives
In response to James Walling's Oct. 5 letter
: City Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi and Cliff Slater are the ones who are not thinking clearly. They do the public a disservice by promoting transit alternatives that have been evaluated and discarded because they cost too much and do too little.
Busways, bus rapid transit and toll roads were all extensively evaluated before the City Council (of which Kobayashi is a member) selected a fixed guideway system as Honolulu's local transit alternative.
Misinformed critics notwithstanding, Mayor Mufi Hannemann and his administration are doing all that we can to provide Honolulu residents an integrated, multimodal transportation system that will provide reliable, viable choices. We've got an award-winning bus system, are nationally recognized for our expansion of bike paths and are piloting a well-received commuter ferry system. The fixed guideway will be the spine of this integrated system. Looking at the city's track record, I fully expect that the new mass transit system will be successful.
City Department of Transportation Services
Las Vegas is looking better every day
Since we already have reservations at the Pioneer Inn on Maui for this month, my wife and I are still going, though we will be flying and renting a car instead of riding the Superferry. It just didn't seem fair to make the Pioneer Inn suffer for something that was out of its control. The Superferry certainly wasn't going to be cheaper, but the thought of being able to drive our own car, something we're familiar and comfortable with, would somehow contribute to the safety of the Valley Isle's roads.
If all went well, our next trip would have been for some neighbor island camping, since we can't possibly haul all our camping gear onto the plane. Alas, I don't think this will ever happen for us, as the Superferry will surely sail off into the sunset soon and be put into service somewhere else.
Aloha, Hawaii, I think we'll be going to Las Vegas for our next trip.
Public opinion doesn't matter to environment
Without taking sides, I was saddened to see Star-Bulletin editors troll for public opinion
in their efforts to contribute to the dialogue concerning the Superferry issues. While public opinion is important, it cannot trump our responsibility to enrich our collective understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources important to our state and essential to our survival.
The real issue facing Hawaii is whether we chose to ignore or address the profound impact of man's activity on the interrelations of all components of the natural environment.
The Superferry debacle is additional evidence that Hawaii -- its businesses, elected officials and many of its people -- have chosen to pursue economic development over environmental preservation. This is a crossroad event despite public opinion.
Hawaii dropout rates were inaccurate
The recent Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Summit
was a great opportunity for citizens, including many student participants, to envision the future they want for themselves and their children. However, to get to a preferred future, one should start with an accurate view of the present.
In the draft report of the Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Task Force, which was prepared by the Office of the State Auditor for the summit, participants were misled with inaccurate statements that Hawaii has a high-school dropout rate of 36 percent.
Based on published Department of Education data, the dropout rate for the last three years has been 14 to 16 percent.
The DOE data are based on student information collected over a four-year period on respective first-time ninth-grade student cohorts. This method of student cohort tracking is the most accurate method of calculating dropout rates. Because of the DOE's statewide student information system, Hawaii is one of a few states that is able to furnish these statistics by tracking individual students over time.
The data used by the auditor's office are based on estimates derived from formula calculations -- not on individual Hawaii student data. The DOE has repeatedly challenged such estimates released by mainland publications and think tanks.
We ask that all data used regarding the DOE be checked for accuracy and legitimacy.
Superintendent of Education