Letters to the Editor
Monday, November 18, 1996

Rapid transit would bring
problems, not plusses

Have you ever visited New York, Chicago, Tokyo, Paris or London? Did you utilize the rail systems in these cities? Did you huff and puff while walking up and down the stairs to the station, to the platform, to your destination? Did you say to yourself, "Can't beat Hawaii, just get in my car and go. No need walk"?

The people of Hawaii are not ready for a rapid transit system. Ask yourself:

How will I get from my house to the nearest rail station? (The stations will not be as near as the bus stop.)

Will my budget allow me to pay the fare? Will I pay more taxes to help maintain the transit system? Will I be concerned about crime at rail stations? (Look at the crime presently committed at the bus stops.)

If you answer "yes" to all of the questions, then experiment by taking the bus for a month. Can you imagine what traffic would be like with all the construction? What would Oahu's beautiful mountains look like with a rapid transit system disturbing the view?

Rapid transit is and was not the answer. The city would have been in debt more than it is now. We must look at the Second City, passenger ferries and the expansion/computerization of the bus system as serious alternatives.

If we do not change our habit of being a "get in my car and go" society, then we shoudn't even grumble about the traffic which we drivers are causing. (This includes carpenters, too.)

Jill Hirohata

Washington Place named for
the man, not his house

This is in regard to the Oct. 25 article on Washington Place, which states the home was given its name by American Commissioner Anthony Ten Eyck because "it reminded him of Mount Vernon, George Washington's mansion".

The Feb. 24, 1976, Honolulu Advertiser quotes a Feb. 22, 1848, letter from U.S. Commissioner A. Ten Eyck stating he gave the name "in honor of the day which gave birth to him who was 'first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen,' - the great, the good, the illustrious Washington - the United States commissioner . . . has this day christened the . . . mansion of Mrs. Dominis, Washington Place. Thus let it hereafter be designated . . . a memento of the eminent virtues of the 'father of his country.'

The same-date reply from Minister of Foreign Affairs R. C. Wyllie states " . . . retain that name in commemoration of the great and good founder of American independence . . . every one near his majesty, cordially concurs in his desire to do every possible honor to the memory of one of the greatest and best of men that ever ennobled mankind."

The name is in honor of the man, not his house.

Rianna M. Williams

Central Oahu, Ewa plans
to provide ditch water

While I appreciate the time which David Campbell took to give me "a lesson in governmental operations" (Letters, Oct. 22), his time would have been better spent checking his facts.

Both the Land Use Research Foundation's brief to the Water Commission and my testimony (aired over and over these past few weeks on Olelo) clearly state that the two plans (Central Oahu and Ewa), which specifically mention ditch water, are in draft only.

In fact, since we are giving lessons about government operations, neither plan is "stuck in the Planning Commission." Indeed, the Ewa plan is presently before the City Council.

Our point before the Water Commission was quite simple: The eight development plans and the general plan for Oahu - which, as ordinances, do have the force of law - all provide for considerable growth and development on Oahu's Leeward side, which will take lots of water, and vitually no development on the Windward side.

It is difficult to see how such growth and development in accordance with these plans can occur without ditch water, and the Water Commission's own enabling statute binds it to conform to those plans.

David L. Callies
Kudo Professor of Law
William S. Richardson School of Law
University of Hawaii at Manoa

Liberal media ignore gaffes by
their political favorites

All the major liberal media kept us abreast, ad nauseam, of the spontaneous gaffes by conservative Republicans, specifically Presidents Ford and Reagan, and Vice President Dan Quayle's mother of them all, his spelling of "potato."

Where was the media coverage when the following two presidential and senatorial staff-assisted monumental blunders occurred?

At the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II ceremonies at the Punchbowl, President Clinton referred to the battleship USS Missouri as an aircraft carrier!

Several days later, Sen. Dan Inouye, in a written proclamation, placed the historic formal Japanese surrender ceremonies, not in Tokyo Bay, but incorrectly "off the waters of Hawaii"!

Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole's recent off-the-cuff "Bozo" gaffe made prime time TV coverage and front page news here in Hawaii.

Conversely, in this same time frame, Clinton, in a prepared speech, stated that, "When I last read it, the Declaration of Independence mentioned 'of the people, by the people and for the people'! (Tom and Abe, please don't turn over.)

Prime time TV coverage? Front page news here? Hidden in the obituary column? Placed among the "skin" ads in the sports section? Nah!

Taking literary license with a classical statement, may I say to the local populace, especially sailors and students of geography and history, "Hawaii, we have a problem."

More responsible, balanced coverage by the local media of both local and national political news would present an acceptable "Hawaii, the problem is solved."

Donald Barnhart
First Sergeant,
U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)

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