No-rail spokesman needs perspective
Stop Rail Now spokesman Eric Ryan's hatred of all things rail has blinded him to the aloha spirit. His remarks about the former transportation chiefs who endorse rail were crude and demeaning (Star-Bulletin, July 15).
The rail project is one of the largest issues facing our island, and I understand that it can inspire passion among pro- and anti-rail forces. But Eric Ryan's remarks about Kazu Hayashida, Ed Hirata, Rod Haraga and Fujio Matsuda -- honorable public servants, whatever your politics -- were simply full of hate.
That is not how we are supposed to behave in the Aloha State.
Rail foes are selfish and shortsighted
I am one of the unheard individuals for rail. Linda Lingle, Cliff Slater and the rest of the Stop Rail Now crowd just do not seem to want rail on Oahu. Now, the lieutenant governor is waffling on whether he wants rail.
We Hawaiians always get the shaft. Most of the locals live in the rural areas of Oahu and rail is only a beginning. Eventually, it will surely encircle the entire island. Maybe Slater, the governor and the Stop Rail individuals can become taxi drivers and help transport people from Waianae and Ewa Beach to Honolulu proper. I do not think that they would relish this.
I know a family of three -- husband, wife and mother -- who all have cars. If their son comes back home, he will also have a car. Our family of three in Hilo had only one car. We children had to walk or take our bicycles or catch a ride to school. Today, the kids have cars. How times have changed.
I notice City Council members Barbara Marshall and Charles Djou are not for rail. How shortsighted they are. Rail is exorbitant in cost, but is definitely needed. Limit the cars in a family -- is two too much for a family of four? Wake up Honoluluans and get with it. Stop thinking only about yourselves.
Good for Lingle for siding with the people
I want to thank Gov. Linda Lingle for taking a stand on the rail issue. The Star-Bulletin, on July 3,
quoted her as saying she will "likely sign" the "Stop Rail Now" petition, and she has since done so.
She also said she is neither for nor against the rail; however, she did say, "I am pro-people, let the people decide." What a concept!
We taxpayers and voters have been told that we had our say when we elected our City Council members to represent us. On the day the Council was to vote on rail, due to a family emergency, one of the Council members was absent. This allowed the mayor to make the decision. Silly me, but I just don't feel like I have had my say, or vote, in this important, costly matter.
If the rail issue is put on the ballot, win, lose, or draw, the people have made the decision, not the mayor, unions and special-interest groups.
Let the people decide!
Where does governor stand on transit?
I was surprised at Gov. Linda Lingle's recent revision of her position on rail. I was a member of the state House of Representatives in 2005 when in her State of the State Address she announced support for rail transit and the tax increase that came with it.
It was impressive because it's unusual and risky for a Republican governor to raise taxes, but her announcement was part of what set the whole project in motion. She allowed the legislation to become law that year, and then the city and our congressional delegation moved forward with their end of the bargain.
In 2008, most of the pieces are in place, and nothing major has changed in terms of public policy, but it appears that the politics are shifting. Now the governor is saying she is "neither for nor against rail." Think about that for a second -- the chief executive of our state has no official opinion on the largest transportation project in Hawaii's history. She initially supported it, and yes, she signed the anti-rail petition, but her position now is neutral.
If the governor has changed her mind and is against rail, that's fair enough. If she's still for it, that's fine too. What I find hard to understand is how she can have no position at all.
Hawaii Democratic Party
Why can't we keep Honolulu clean?
Is Honolulu a clean city? Sure. Is Honolulu a dirty city? Well, yes. Both answers are probably correct, depending on where you are.
One has only to drive through the side streets of Kalihi, Kahala or Waikiki to see the trash, graffiti and decrepit roadways; or to leave a car parked outside overnight to gain a sense of the dirt and grime in the air. Honolulu is on the verge of earning a reputation of being a dirty city.
If elected officials and government workers had the same passion to create a clean environment as they have to create a rail system, the quality of life for all of us would be greatly enhanced.