Allowing copper thefts keeps druggies happy
It really is nice of the police department and the state Department of Transportation to support the drug habits of whoever is stealing all that copper wire from the H-2 freeway lights. It must be too difficult to secure or monitor the area by installing cameras or alarms. Besides, it might embarrass the culprit if he were ever caught and lower his self-esteem. After all, when the thief sells the cut up copper wire, he could have just harvested all that wire since the copper must grow wild in our volcanic soil. Apparently, we have a bumper crop of copper wire growing on Oahu since people keep finding more.
Does Lanikai want everyone else out?
What tourist do you know who is not enthralled by the sight of men and women of all ages and races paddling outrigger canoes? What tourist knows there are 400 paddlers in a canoe club in a small community like Lanikai?
The March 16 Gathering Place column, "Lanikai residents should pull up the drawbridge," by tourist Joanne Inman sounds like it was really written by some Lanikai and Kailua residents who want to keep you out of "their" neighborhoods and off "their" beach. We've heard it all before. But what we haven't heard is the idea to gate Lanikai; no drawbridge needed. This trial balloon has let their best-kept secret out. We now know what some seek for Lanikai.
Sound off, residents, canoe club members, all those who love this beautiful stretch of beach and the access that is your right. What is best for a few is not best for all.
Science, not politics; the EPA is wrong
My response to Larry Connor's advice not to"follow this mayor blindly" on the secondary treatment waiver issue (Letters, March 20) is that he should not follow the EPA blindly.
The EPA appears to have its own agenda. Ending the waiver program benefits the EPA. It would no longer be threatened with lawsuits from environmental groups, the significant cost and effort to analyze the waiver application would disappear and the regulatory functions would be conveniently transferred to the Department of Health.
Two past mayors, our congressional delegation and numerous other lawmakers have supported the waiver. What sane politician would buck the EPA and the environmental groups unless they were absolutely sure that the waiver is the right thing?
Why do all the engineers and scientists support the waiver? Why would engineers be against the secondary treatment projects that would result in more than $100 million in consulting fees unless they were sure it was not necessary? Why would University of Hawaii researchers risk their credibility?
Oahu's early sewer planners were one step ahead of the EPA. They eliminated the need for costly and energy-intensive secondary treatment plants by eliminating most sewage discharges to streams and nearshore waters. The money was invested in deep ocean outfalls where partially treated wastewater can be naturally assimilated into the environment without adverse effects. Read the white paper at www.hwea.org to understand the scientific point of view.
This is not a political issue. Support the secondary waiver even if the mayor is not your favorite politician.
Roy K. Abe
Hawaii Pacific Engineers Inc.
Let's kindly share the roads and sidewalks
Gillian Barnett's March 18 letter is saddening, if not also maddening, because it tells of what appears to be a no-win situation. Cyclists are without bike lanes, pedestrian safety is compromised by speeding bikes on our sidewalks, and insults are added to injury with the use of cursing and racial slurs. It's an ugly picture of our beautiful city.
I have bicycled in Honolulu for more than eight years, on both street and sidewalk. I have never hit a pedestrian, but I've been attacked by dogs and was once struck down by a car on Nimitz Highway. The driver, who after giving me her business card and apologizing profusely while offering to have my bicycle repaired, pretended not to know who I was the very next day when I called her.
I ask my fellow riders to please slow down if riding on the sidewalk. Don't ruin it for the rest of us! We have nowhere else to ride. Many of our streets are unrideable -- extremely dangerous, with no room for bikes except for about eight inches of gutter.
There is a way to ride safely on the sidewalk. We must give walkers the right-of-way and slow down. Many are seniors who get flustered and will accidentally jump into harm's way in an attempt to not be run over. Also, when passing we must give an audible cue. A bell or short announcement, "Passing on the left," goes a long way toward preserving peace and safety.
Let's ride aloha, yeah? And walkers, please bear with us, because the people in cars will not. Thank you!
Obama held to lower standard than whites
Here's an easy test to determine if our dominant print and broadcast "news" media have a predetermined political agenda that finds expression in a blatant, racist double standard. Ask yourself how much stink they would raise if a white candidate for high office attended a church where the pastor bellowed from the pulpit, "God Damn ... AFRICA"?
Would such a candidate -- who later surrounded himself with American flags and gave a pretty speech chock full of feel-good sentiments -- be given a pass by our media because of his youth, clean-cut good looks, soothing rhetoric and the piety of his good intentions, hmmmmm? Would editorial silence be the order of the day in hopes the whole thing would just blow over?
Thomas E. Stuart
Penny-wise is no way to build transit system
If the City & County of Honolulu really plans to build a rail system, they had damned well better get it right, because Oahuans are going to have to live with this multibillion-dollar project forever. The island is filled with penny-wise and pound-foolish projects planned by the City Council. Like buying a cheap pair of shoes that fall apart in a month, they have penny-wisely used cheap asphalt on our Third World roads that pound-foolishly cave in with the first rain. They penny-wisely installed traffic lights around the island that are not in sync with the traffic and pound-foolishly watched as motorists waste thousands of gallons of gas waiting for lights to change. They penny-wisely neglected our sewers for decades and pound-foolishly watched as raw sewage had to be pumped into the Ala Wai canal.
Steel-on-steel might be penny-wise, but it is also pound-foolishly noisy! Rubber tires are penny-wise quiet, but also require pound-foolish expensive replacement. A magnetic levitation system seems to be the pound-wise no-brainer. It might cost more in the beginning, but with no moving parts and no tires to replace, it would be the cheapest to maintain, and the quietest. The City Council should stop penny-pinching and build this thing right. If, in fact, they are going to build it!