Get out the scouring pads
If we do go ahead with the rail transit system and we do choose the steel wheels on steel tracks technology, please be sure to use the same rust-resistant steel used to build our beloved Aloha Stadium.
Voters lack confidence in elections officer
I am appalled by chief elections officer Kevin Cronin's utter disregard for the law and his job as a public servant.
» First, he registered to vote only after serving a full six months in a job that by law required him to be a registered voter in Hawaii. He said he was too busy.
» Second, he allowed the Democratic Party to appoint a replacement for Kirk Caldwell's candidacy for state representative when the deadline to do so had passed. He said it was a minor technicality.
» Third, he has gone ahead with the printing of election ballots without allowing the Democratic or Republican parties their right by law to review them for inaccuracies. He said it wasn't one of his high priorities.
How can we trust someone who refuses to even follow these basic laws to run our elections? He should be fired, along with his attorney who apparently condones breaking the law.
Candidate filing list can't be trusted
I have downloaded the posted candidate filing lists after 4:30 p.m. July 22, the absolute hour and minute for filing. There were differences in the first printout from the second.
Today I looked again and found a "certified" list from July 25. Would you believe, this list still has Kirk Caldwell on it as a candidate for House District 24 and for City Council District 5, even though it is totally against election laws to run as a candidate for two offices. (Caldwell was formally disqualified by the city clerk on Friday.)
Then there is Chrystn Eads, who was disqualified, but there she is, listed as a candidate for the House seat, District 24. Not only was she disqualified, but the elections office says someone can be appointed to fill her place, even though she was not legally in that place to begin with. This is mindboggling.
This whole episode reflects on the elections office and puts its integrity in question. If this much can go awry with filing candidate papers, what can we trust about the final accounting on Election Day? We should all be very concerned.
Political game-playing irks many voters
I like City Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi and Duke Bainum but this latest stunt they pulled makes you wonder. An old saying goes, "With friends like these, you don't need enemies."
The purpose of residency requirements is to make sure that the office holders have a vested interest in that district they are representing. How can you have a vested interest in a district if you are only a transient, opportunistic resident?
There is no doubt that the only reason Bainum rented his apartment and registered to vote in District 5 was so he could run for Kobayashi's seat. What he did might be legal but it is unethical. There is no way he could have managed to get all this done without Kobayashi's help. No wonder people have low opinions of politicians.
The Falls of Clyde must be resurrected
There must be some way to save the Falls of Clyde (Star-Bulletin, July 24).
Tourists and locals alike will be sorely disappointed if her historic masts no longer rise above the harbor.
A real entrepreneur could refurbish the ship, hire a crew and run very exciting adventure sailings between the islands. I'll buy the first ticket. Couldn't the vessel be sailed or towed to a foreign port where refurbishing would cost less? Or couldn't the Navy League or the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard take on the repair project as a public service?
Sending this symbol of our maritime past to the bottom of the ocean would be a terrible waste. As a last resort, I'll bet it would command a very high bid on eBay. C'mon! Let's brainstorm this!
Maglev system is cheaper and better
University of Hawaii professors Fred Harris and Eric Dodson (Letters, July 20),
responding to Amarjit Singh's July 17 guest column, obviously misunderstood Singh's commentary to say the magnetic levitation defies gravity and Newton's third law of motion. Maglev science has been around for 40 years in contemporary engineering.
There is no doubt that the train quietly glides a few millimeters above the rail by magnetic levitation -- flying in the air if you will. The HSST maglev has magnetic modules on each side of the train that allow near perfect distribution of the weight along the length of the guideway. In "steel wheel on steel rail" technologies, weights are supported at each of the wheels that are the supporting points of contact. That requires heavier structural members to support a similar weight than a continuously distributed maglev train load. This same point of contact also creates the offending wheel squeal of "steel on steel" rail.
The design of the guideway is typically a dual monobeam that is far smaller in cross-section than the "steel on steel" guideway now proposed by the city. The city proposes a much wider solid bridge with sound barrier walls that must be large enough to contain any derailment. The size of this bridge must also be larger to support its own weight. This means much more concrete and reinforcing steel, and more construction labor on the largest element of project cost.
Singh understands the physics, but Harris and Dodson do not understand the trains, the cost engineering and civil engineering.
Consultant to Itochu International Inc.
New York City
Return of train brings memories of railroad
With the need for the railroad in Honolulu once again, I remember my boyhood days in Waipahu in the 1950s. I lived in the country then and I remember one day noticing sand in a railroad car by railroad tracks not far from where I lived.
I took advantage of the situation and had jolly good time playing in that railroad box car with sand until dark! One other thing I did was try walk on the rails without falling off.
My father, Francis, told me that his parents had a 30-acre rice farm in Waipahu and used the railroad to transport their rice for sale to town. The railroad system was advantageous then, transporting sugar cane, general merchandise, soldiers, sailors and Marines to downtown Honolulu.
I look forward to a train experience once again, thanks to the hard work of Mayor Mufi Hannemann and our City Council.
Local art will make trains a must-see
After the rail system is completed there will be lots of beautiful locations for art work. With paintings and sculptures at the stations, children's art in the train cars and designs on the outside, the train will be moving vehicle of art. It will be a must-see thing for tourists. It will be one of the few train systems in the world to have local artists.
The big picture is that the rail system will benefit everyone directly and indirectly ... and future generations will be able to reap its full benefits. I hope I live long enough to get a chance to ride it.
Teachers should honor their contract
Dear teachers: As United Public Workers union members, we accepted drug testing along with our pay raise. The testing has begun. It's time to honor your contract.
Armed forces need unqualified support
As the wife of a retired Air Force colonel who spent more than 30 years in service to America, I find it upsetting that there are people of the younger generation who say that being a good American means that we should not compliment, praise or thank our troops in any way, shape or form because of their involvement in the Iraq conflict.
People who feel that way ought to remember that every person who enters the military swears to "obey the orders of the president of the United States and the officers appointed over me" as part of their enlistment.
What makes servicemen and women so praiseworthy is that they obey orders even when it hurts them and their families. They can't call in sick, tell their officers that what they're doing is not in their contract or selectively choose which orders to obey. They use words like code, honor, loyalty and service before self.
It's time that we made ourselves a nation worthy of defense and stop criticizing them out of a manic obsession to bring down their commander in chief.
Bel Santa Elena-de Gracia