Highways are just as noisy as rail
Steel on steel ... noisy? Have you experienced a modern rail system on the mainland? I'll take that option any day.
Those who oppose rail because it "might" be noisy probably don't live near the H-1. I live on the 33rd floor above the H-1 freeway and even with the lanai doors closed, the noise is deafening. The constant sound of cars and trucks zipping down the freeway is heard throughout the day, everyday. The dust and soot from the cars are relentless. Constructing HOT lanes for more cars and buses is not the solution. The solution is to build a rail system.
I support rail because it will help preserve our environment and to manage urban sprawl. A rail system will give us an alternative to driving on the freeway. We have to be proactive and ensure that our keiki will have enough natural resources to support them through the next millennium. In order to meet the increasing demands of our limited island resources, we must support rail.
There's an easy answer for every problem
How to fix everything:
If it concerns doctors, medicine or insurance ... let the attorneys decide what to do. They do anyway.
Problems with business or the environment? Let Jeff Mikulina decide. The papers and evening news seem to think he's the only person with a qualified opinion.
If it concerns public education, do what the public teachers wish they could do if they got paid enough: send your kids to private school.
Moaning about traffic? According to the mayor, you can do one of four things. 1. Build a train. 2. Build a train. 3. Build a train. 4. Build a train. So shut up already! Who cares what you think.
What to do with opala? Let no one decide what to do. No one has, anyway.
If it has to do with efficient, effective, thoughtful, reasonable and financially responsible legislation ... elect someone else.
Let's try public funding of political campaigns
The state Legislature has a great opportunity to reform the campaign contribution system and remove the influence of moneyed interests who can bankroll the candidates of their choice. HB661, HD1 would create a comprehensive system of public funding for candidates who show grassroots support by gathering large numbers of small contributions.
This is a tested concept, tried and proven in several other states.
HB661, HD1 would use the 2010 Hawaii County Council races as a pilot test. It has been endorsed by the Hawaii County Council.
Let's give this important reform a try so that a candidate's message is more important than the money behind it.
Bill changing pardons is too punishing
The Star-Bulletin March 9 editorial
brought to my attention the Senate bill passed on changing the pardon process for criminal convictions. I would like to give a personal perspective on how our punitive laws affect individuals trying to make their lives honest and productive.
As a single mother I raised a young man in foster care for 13 years. As with many boys, whether they be foster or birth, he had difficult teen years and experienced young adult exploits. He never had a violent record or serious crime until 1999. To save on bills at his apartment in Waikiki he tampered with an electric meter. He paid in full the $636 bill upon receipt. But authorities pursued this as a felony crime.
Between 1999 and his sentencing two years later, he was law-abiding and employed full time. In September 2001 he was confined to OCCC for three months. He was released on parole, which ended in 2003. From 1999 until today he turned his life around, and has had no further difficulty with the law. He has married and has a 4-year-old son. He moved to the Northwest in 2004 to seek an affordable life style. He has been hampered in his employment opportunities by this record dating back to 1999. He has an excellent work ethic and does well until employers are required to pull his record and regretfully have to let him go.
He has recently applied for a pardon. Only a pardon will make this record go away. All pardon applicants are not hardened criminals, they are people who made a mistake, paid for that mistake and should have the right to regain their lives. Changing the pardon procedure will delay even further his chances to regain his civil rights.
M. H. Au
Reagan myth ignores his many mistakes
Ben Boychuk writes that, for an actor, Ronald Reagan "did just fine" as president (Insight, March 9), which is pure, though widespread, fiction.
Reagan gave us Iran-Contra and his war in Nicaragua, a huge deficit, and he fired our air traffic controllers (which has put us all in danger, except those on Air Force One).
Reagan was in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's disease during his debate with his opponent Walter Mondale for his second term, obviously. This lionizing of actor Reagan is nothing but hogwash and more Republican "Big Lie."
Nancy Bey Little