Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sending them home is humane investment

The proposal to send those unable to care for themselves back to the safety of their home environment on the mainland is the most efficient, cost-effective and humane way to help Honolulu deal with our No. 2 problem in the state (after the economy): the homeless.

I would personally sponsor sending an individual who would like to return home. If or when they do decide to come back to Hawaii, I would consider the cost of the airfare a loan to be repaid upon return.

Thank you, Rep. Rida Cabanilla.

Shelly Brown

Outages aren't fault of environmentalists

I couldn't e-mail this Saturday—due to a power failure! Lately there's been a flurry of letters laying blame for Hawaiian Electric's massive electrical outage at the feet of environmentalists. They're charged with defeating the proposed Waahila Ridge Oahu grid extension, thereby (indirectly) causing the recent islandwide blackout.

In fact, and if memory serves me, environmentalists' objections were not with the power lines per se, but with the 100-foot towers HECO wanted to erect. Concerned citizens counter-proposed putting the cables underground. But rather than accommodate the public's wishes and burying the lines, HECO simply took its marbles and went home. So, who's at fault here, tree-hugging whackos or a corporate monopoly intent on having its way?

It seems likely that lightning strikes to overhead power lines precipitated the recent day-long downtime. Overhead lines are sitting ducks for lightning and high winds. Underground ones are not. HECO might have saved some cash by refusing to bury the Waahila lines, but that decision has cost us all in the long run.

Don Hallock

Bold moves better than baby steps

Closing Gitmo prison is a good move; leaving Guantanamo Bay and returning it to the Cubans is a bold move and the correct one. We need to stop occupying land that belongs to the people of Cuba. Legalizing civil unions for same-sex couples is a good move; granting legal marriage status for same-sex couples is a bold move and the correct one. It's a civil rights issue, not a religious one.

We need to start making bold moves, not partial baby steps. We need legislators who make bold moves, not safe ones.

Chuck Cohen

Don't use Pflueger as a scapegoat

My friendship with Jimmy Pflueger exceeds 50 years. The Hawaiian phrase “;keiki o ka aina”; comes to mind when I think of Jimmy. From canoe paddling with Duke Kahanamoku to surfing, surfboard racing and bodysurfing, this man met the test of time. In addition, his impeccable reputation enabled him to build a successful business employing (over the years) thousands of people, some of whom are friends and neighbors.

My respect for him was once again validated when he took responsibility for moving the dirt that created the mudslide at Pilaa. Now it is alleged that he filled the overgrown and invisible spillway at Ka Loko Dam. The Jimmy I know for all of these years would step up if he had any involvement with that spillway.

Let's hope the public recognizes his character and achievements that benefited many and not allow him to be the scapegoat.

George Downing
Save Our Surf

Red-light cameras lead to more crashes

It is instructive to note that in the Star-Bulletin's Jan. 19 editorial in favor of a camera system to stop red-light violators, the argument was supported not with statistics showing a reduction in traffic accidents, but in a reduction of violations. Independent research has repeatedly shown an increase in traffic accidents at intersections featuring these cameras. Many drivers slam on their brakes at lights to avoid ticketing, leading to rear-end collisions. Some jurisdictions have shortened the length of yellow lights to increase potential violations and fine revenues.

Traffic enforcement should be left to the police, who are trained to do it. They can tell the difference between running a red light and merely entering an intersection by two feet in heavy traffic on a red light. Police have no financial interest in writing tickets. A private company that profits from every ticket written does.

Ten years ago I was the only person to testify against the pilot program that led to automated speed ticketing in Hawaii. My logical arguments made no impression on legislators brainwashed by tales of increased safety from companies wishing to profit by writing tickets in Hawaii. Let's not make the same mistake twice.

Tracy Ryan




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