Honolulu needs better, cheaper bus service
If our government is really concerned about the working poor and families who are trying their best not to become homeless, what isthe planto helpwhen gas prices reach $5, $6 or $7 a gallon?
One way is to improve the bus service and reduce the monthly pass for adults from $40 to $20 and students from $20 to $5.This would help everyone on Oahu and not just the few on the Leeward Coast.
Doesn't the city's rail plan remind you of a family two paychecks away from the poor house buying a new car because they can make the payments?Both would need another source of income if a newneed for cash arises and, in the city's case, it would need to squeeze more out of the taxpayers or the rail riders.We may all end up in the poor house.
Steel is most practical for city's rail system
Drive rush hours from Kapolei and you'll understand the need for rail. These people face an average two-hour traffic jam every morning and the expected growth of West Oahu will just exacerbate the problem.
Elevated rail provides safety and efficiency, with a minimal impact at ground level. Noise levels will be lower than that of a bus system and regenerative braking would further reduce noise at the stations while abating the net energy used. Modern steel rail requires much lower track maintenance per mile than some road systems.
Maglev would require energy to lift as well as propel its train. Both maglev and monorail require complex switching mechanisms making both track and yard operation more expensive. Unfortunately, no Phileas driverless system is in operation and none of these three systems meets the city's rider capacity specifications.
Steel wheels on steel rail makes long-term fiscal sense as competitive suppliers, at home and abroad, can supply us with better component pricing and subsequent lower operating costs.
If you feel inferior, support popular-vote
The Star-Bulletin reported that state legislators will send Senate Bill 2898 SD1 to the governor that would allot our electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote and that enough votes exist to override a veto ("Popular-vote bill goes to Lingle," April 3)
If the Electoral College is abolished nationally because of feel-good, self-inflicted blindness, those in high-density urban areas like New York, D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston will call all the shots and devil take the hindmost, including Hawaii.
SB 2898 SD1 should be called the "Hawaiian Cultural Inferiority Bill." State legislators -- overwhelmingly Democrats -- clearly doubt their constituents are intelligent enough to vote, so must rely on the wisdom of their cultural superiors (i.e., mainland luminaries). This should reduce our already anemic turnout even further; after all, why bother?
Thomas E. Stuart
Kohala Middle School
Don't transmit votes over unsecured lines
I was a Maui election observer during the elections of 2006.The voters of Maui should know that 100 percent of all votes cast on Maui were transmitted over telephone lines to the state count center at the Capitol.Since voting machines, which are connected to telephone lines, can have a dial-up modem in them, it is possible they can dial an 800 number and get onto the Internet and transmit Maui's precious votes to a remote Web site where they can be "flipped."The election vendor's voting machine at the state count center can then dial the same 800 number and get onto the same Web site and download the flipped votes to be used in the final vote count for the state of Hawaii.
Hawaii has once again auth- orized the vendor to use telephone lines and a Local Area Network (LAN) to transmit votes from Maui, Kauai and the Big Island to the state count center during the 2008 elections.I have filed a legal petition requesting the chief election officer use his emergency rule-making power to ban the use of telephone lines and LANs and instead fly the memory cards to Honolulu to be directly read into the vendor computer.
If you are as concerned as I am about open and honest elections, please call the governor and both your senator and representative, and ask them to support my petition.
Audit of OHA would restore confidence
Transparency and accountability of elected officials are fundamental to any civilized democracy. To accept anything less than an audit of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs would be a travesty of these fundamental principles, a betrayal of public trust and confidence.
Recently this public trust and confidence in government has eroded considerably, as the Hawaii Superferry fiasco has demonstrated. The same has taken place with OHA and its present leadership.
Senate Concurrent Resolution 138, calling for a financial and management audit of OHA, can remedy this unfortunate reality and avert any further divisions within our fragile community. Call and write your state legislators demanding an audit be conducted immediately.