June Jones should pay UH what he owes
Former football coach June Jones' "reimbursement" to the University of Hawaii in the amount of more than $400,000 because of a contract dispute should have been resolved at the time he left for Southern Methodist University; it should never go into arbitration. It's in his contract, a binding, legal document that is the foundation for all legal agreements.
Arguments to sweep it under the rug include: The former athletic director, Herman Frazier, gave his verbal consent to forego repayment; e-mails are available to substantiate this action; Jones did a remarkable job in bringing a new image and presence of college football to UH; and the revenues generated from the UH football program, especially from the Sugar Bowl, are unprecedented.
There is a multitude of supporters who say that Jones brought Hawaii into national focus with the football program and that this would more than offset his debt. But bear in mind, that's what he was paid to do ... more than $800,000, the highest-paid elected or appointed state employee.
Since it was Frazier who consented to forego the repayment, perhaps he should be the one to repay UH !
Governor's waffling on rail is disappointing
When does "waffling" become "fibbing" and when does fibbing becomes "deception"? When does political leadership become ineffective? Those are some questions I'd like to ask Gov. Linda Lingle, following her recent comments on the rail transit project.
I remember very clearly that she publicly proposed a rail system, and then she supported the bill to pay for it. How can she now say, that she hasn't taken a position? That clearly makes no sense at all, as her past actions on Oct. 27, 2003, and her current statement can only be called a flip-flop.
For our state's top local elected official to propose a solution to our traffic problems and then wring her hands on the sidelines when the going gets tough, speaks volumes about her lack of intestinal fortitude. We on the West side and Central Oahu, were so hopeful that finally, a solution was being put forth for our agonies with traffic each weekday morning, by the governor's support of rail transit.
Now, after Lingle's recent comments on how she really feels about rail, this leaves all of us very disappointed in her, the very people who voted her into office in the first place.
Homeowners in West will want to drive
The rail transit system absolutely will not reduce any traffic congestion due to the development of all the homes and condos in West Oahu.
Will the new homeowners use the rail transit 80 percent of the time for personal transportation? I can guarantee that each new resident will have an automobile or more. Traffic problems will not be eliminated until 50 percent of businesses and jobs are transferred or established in the West side.
Judge should keep quiet about rail
U.S. District Judge David Ezra's recent comments about the need to repair Oahu's long-neglected sewer system made sense, but I don't understand why he brought up the rail project in court too (Star-Bulletin, July 1
Everyone knows how important the sewer system is, and sewer fees have been constantly rising to pay for the work that's needed. The rail project is completely separate, and I have seen no indication that the sewer work would be slowed or neglected while the rail system is being built. Ezra didn't seem to dispute that the work is moving forward, so I don't see why it was necessary to lecture the city's lawyers.
Ezra said he realized that the sewer problems resulted from years of neglect. The same is true with regard to our traffic problems, which have worsened while some misguided people opposed the rail transit system we obviously need.
Cargo inspection fee will hurt consumers
Your July 10 editorial
asserts that House Bill 2843 -- a measure which restructures the state's invasive species inspection fee to be calculated on cargo weight -- would generate approximately $7 million annually. The true cost of passing this bill is at least $15.8 million per year.
This is based on the fact that the new fee will be applied to bulk cargo, such as cement, sand, and oil; cargo shipped through foreign trade zones; and small packages under 1,000 pounds. The bottom line is, this fee will hurt Hawaii's consumers and increase the cost of living for our residents.
Office of the Governor
Overrides dealt with pressing public needs
Thirteen bills vetoed by the governor were overridden by the Hawaii state Legislature in special session on July 8. Many of our constituents would disagree with your editorial position that these bills should have remained vetoed (Star-Bulletin, July 11
These included measures to improve post partum medical care, funds for community health centers, assistance to needy senior citizens, beginning an early education learning system for our keiki, establishing a measurement for family self sufficiency, funding inspections to protect Hawaii against invasive species, a recycling system for toxic electronic waste, protections against the crime of identity theft, a first step to do something about increasingly crippling air fares for neighbor island travel and a measure to make absentee voting easier that had been supported by the elderly.
As I explained to Honolulu Star Bulletin reporters, and as was reported in your newspaper, the House of Representatives focused on "pressing needs" and took action. Your editorial of July 11 suggests that these needs were not pressing. If taking care of people, the environment, our spiraling local air travel costs and access to the voting booth are not pressing, I don't know what is.
Rep. Kirk Caldwell
House Majority Leader
Both Bush victories are questionable
My old pal Don McDiarmid must not have been paying attention to the news over the past seven years if he thinks the American people elected George Bush to two terms (Letters, July 10
). Five members of the Supreme Court elected Bush to one term and there is a good deal of evidence that the results of the second election were corrupted in Ohio to the benefit of Bush. That's my opinion.