Things are bad, and they’re getting worse
Once upon a time in the west, Americans could be cavalier about the future. They could indulge in environmental lunacy. Save the planet from global warming or cooling or overpopulation or whatever the cause of the day might be for a wealthy and indolent few. Now the hard times are on the horizon. The old Russian Bear reasserts itself in Georgia. Israel, threatened with annihilation by a would-be nuclear Iran, prepares for battle. While the U.S., dependent on enemy states for the petroleum lifeblood of its economy, fiddles about energy security, afraid to make the hard choices.
The clock is ticking and one blockade of the Strait of Hormuz or cutoff of oil from Russia to Western Europe and the gas prices of today will be called the good old days.
Makiki celebrates with help of city staff
On behalf of the Makiki community, Friends of the Makiki Library and Hui o Makiki, we want to express a sincere mahalo to the City and County of Honolulu Parks and Recreation staff who assisted in preparations for the first-ever Rediscover Makiki: Sunset in the Park held on July 25-26.
Recognition is also due to the leadership of Mayor Mufi Hannemann and the can-do attitude of city staff from several departments who collaborated with many community volunteers to put on a successful two-day festival in one of Oahu's most ethnically diverse and densely populated neighborhoods.
A joyful spirit of community was palpable the entire weekend! Many were thrilled that the event's activities from the library blessing, Sustainability Center exhibits, citizens' resource center, art mural project, keiki rides, free entertainment, basketball tournament, food booths, crafters and the evenings' movies in the park brought well-deserved focus and attention to the revitalized Makiki District Park.
Norma K. Koenig
Friends of the Makiki Library
President, Hui o Makiki
Della Au Belatti
State representative, District 25
Guns might have added to palace violence
Tuesday's letter by Wilbert W.W. Wong suggests that were we allowed to carry concealed weapons, it would have somehow protected the Iolani Palace employee from physical assault.
I assume the "Kingdom of Hawaii" group also would have been able to carry concealed weapons so they could have shot their way onto the palace grounds and protected their takeover by shooting those who opposed them.
What Mr. Wong proposes could have resulted in a old-fashioned shootout with many people dying instead of just one employee being slightly injured.
Numbers on rail just don’t work out
Like most Hawaii residents, I would like to see a mass transit system but it needs to make economic sense. The current $3.7 billion budget for rail is based on 2006 dollars. If we assume a 5 percent inflation rate, it will cost $6.6 billion in 2018 when it might be completed. For our population of 900,000, that averages $7,383 in additional taxes for every man, woman and child on Oahu. Or put another way, $36,915 for a family of five.
Charlotte constructed a light rail system for $462.7 million. The state and federal government paid 75 percent of the cost, with a net cost to the 1.7 million residents of $68. Our system is budgeted (no cost overruns) at 108 times the per resident cost of the Charlotte system.
If the system is financed through city bonds at 5 percent interest over a 15-year period, the monthly payment would be $52 million. If we assume 13,000 riders a day, it would result in a cost of $133 per trip just to pay the debt service, then there are the operating costs, security, fuel and other costs.
The numbers just don't make economic sense.
Certified public accountant
Why not ride a bike on those shorter trips?
The Aug. 19 Star-Bulletin
warns readers of the back-to-school traffic jam. As I read the article, I kept looking for the words "bike" or "walk." Not once was either one of those methods of transporting ourselves mentioned.
According to a nationwide personal transportation survey, 40 percent of all trips are within two miles of home and 82 percent of trips five miles or less are made by car. That represents an incredible opportunity for people to decrease the amount of traffic on the roads simply by riding their bikes or walking those two miles.
A coalition of stakeholders advocating for pedestrian and bicycle safety, One Voice For Livable Islands, is scheduled to discuss ways to implement the Safe Routes to School program and improve conditions for bicyclists and pedestrians alike. I encourage the media to help decrease the number of cars on the road by raising awareness of biking and walking options as well as this coalition's work.
Advocacy Volunteer of the Year
Hawaii Bicycling League