Letters to the Editor
POSTED: Friday, March 13, 2009
Pali visibility higher with lights turned out
I can't say how much I have enjoyed driving the Pali Highway at night during the past few months. I thought the state had finally gotten it right, by turning out the lights in Nuuanu. Visibility of the roadway was actually improved, because my eyes were no longer looking into bright overhead fixtures while trying to see a dark roadway. The new reflectors installed on the road defined the lanes clearly and with eyes fully adjusted to the dark visibility was greatly improved. Driving that stretch of highway has been so much easier. But alas, I now find out that the system is "broken" and will be "fixed" in a month or so.
Shouldn't this be studied to see if we really need these lights? There is much evidence to indicate that the type of overhead lights used on our highways makes it harder to see the roadway because the pupils adjust to the lights, making the roadway below actually look darker.
If the lights need to be turned back on, it would help greatly to replace the light fixtures with "full cutoff" lights that cast the light only downward, not into the drivers eyes. These were originally installed on the H-3, but now are being replaced with the offensive lights that shine in your eyes. This might be an infrastructure expenditure to look into.
God's authority matter of faith, not fact
In a letter to the Star-Bulletin (March 11), Jim Gardner argued against legal domestic partnerships for gay couples by saying in part: "We can continue to honor the separation of church and state by not making marriage a political issue. It was ordained by God dating back to Adam and Eve and should be treated as such. Until somebody can unequivocally prove that he or she has more authority than God we must focus on keeping marriage as God intended it to be."
Gardner is doing exactly what he says he is not: making a political issue of marriage by having the state adopt the religious view of Christian fundamentalists as state policy. It is not a fact that God ordained marriage for Adam and Eve. That is a matter of religious belief. It can no more be proven as fact than can the proposition that the goddess Hera sanctified marriage as told in Greek myth. For what it is worth, no one can prove that God exists, let alone the extent of God's supposed authority. The existence of God is a matter of religious faith, not fact.
The state has no business using religious faith as the basis for state law or policy. That would be precisely the "establishment of religion" prohibited by the First Amendment.
Thomas Graham Gans
Dipping into transit funds? Don't you dare
How can the state government take city rail funds to balance the budget? Wouldn't this amount to illegal taxation? What's the deal here? If they take the money, can we deduct what we have paid on our tax return? And how do we determine what that amount would be? This is no different from stealing from the hurricane fund. This is an unfair, unjust and disgusting idea. How dare they!
State and City Council should leave rail alone
Every day there is more national news about rail as an economic stimulus and job creator. In Houston, the city's new rail line extension will create 25,000 jobs in the next four months. Seattle's newest rail project will generate nearly 3,000 construction jobs.
In Dallas, nearly 3,000 construction workers are building a rail extension now, with thousands more jobs to come.
These cities are the examples we should follow. We need the jobs that rail construction on Oahu will create.
Politicians in the state Legislature and the City Council need to stop messing around with rail. Don't they understand how bad the recession is in our state? Don't they understand that rail is the only stimulus project able to generate thousands of jobs during a recession?
They shouldn't be arguing about rail. Instead, they should be pushing it forward with all their strength and create some jobs for us, their constituents.
City's scheduled services off the mark
The bulky-item trash pickup for my area of the island is scheduled for the second Monday of the month. When I set some items out for collection this last Monday, they were not picked up and I didn't see any refuse trucks come through the neighborhood. Tuesday went by and still no trucks and no pickup. I called the closest refuse center Tuesday morning and the gal I talked to stated Monday pick up was confirmed as the correct day, with a little too much sarcasm in her voice for a simple question.
I pulled everything off the curb Wednesday morning and then the trash truck came by just before noon. It is now Thursday morning and another bulky-item pick-up vehicle has just come through the area, not only three days off-schedule but also speeding through the route just as school children began to walk to school. Most everyone else in the neighborhood pulled back their items instead of leaving it all on the curb, and so there was really nothing to be picked up three days late.
If this is the way the city operates things today, it's no wonder it is seeing its budget in the red.
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