Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bike plan needs accountability

As a bicyclist who rides every day, I, too, am skeptical of the upcoming City & County Bike Master Plan (”;Smooth ride,”; Star-Bulletin, May 12). Despite repeated complaints to, and meetings with, City & County officials, existing bike paths have not been maintained. The Pearl Harbor bike path surface is marred by potholes and tree roots and used daily by motorized vehicles; the path along Fort Weaver Road has been overtaken by construction vehicles and material.

The article correctly pointed out that large amounts of money have already been directed to the bike-path program, yet it failed to address why the millions have not resulted in safe and adequate bike paths. Who is being held responsible for management of those tax dollars?

Master plans are great, but they are only plans that require individuals and money to implement. Based upon what I have observed over the past 20 years, the City & County needs to ensure that they have the right individuals assigned to oversee the project, as well as an independent accounting of how our tax dollars are being spent to build and maintain the bike paths.

Ken MacDowell




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Casual attitude about flu alarming

Dr. Sarah Park, the state's epidemiologist, has become a daily fixture on the evening news. Her attitude about swine flu (and even about another highly contagious virus that is going around, Fifth Disease, a few nights ago) always comes across as casual, even laughing a bit, when she talks about severe health issues like a pandemic. I understand her not wanting people to panic but she's a bit over the top.

Recently she said with a smile that she fully expects to see more swine flu cases pop up in Hawaii. Dr. Park and the state's policies toward swine flu have guaranteed there are going to be more cases. Of course you're not going to be surprised that there are all kinds of cases showing up. Your policies are tailored so that there are more cases.

The Department of Health is waiting until cases start arising, then they create a policy for physicians, advising — not even demanding — that they test for the swine flu. Why weren't these policies in place two months ago? And why does the state not have a policy in place where doctors must inform the state of any possible cases so it can monitor the situation and try to contain them? This is not surprising since it didn't do anything to keep cases from coming in from the mainland.

At least one thing we can say about the state's policies is that they're consistent — consistently irresponsible and useless.

Jan K. Higa

Call mayor to protest parking fee increase

The mayor and City Council will meet Monday to implement the parking meter rate hike in the Waikiki area at the Honolulu Zoo and streets bordering Kapiolani Park. The proposed hike takes the parking rate from the present 25 cents per hour, to an astounding 25 cents every 10 minutes.

Poor families from Waianae, Waimanalo, Kalihi, Papakolea and everywhere outside Waikiki will strain to feed parking meters while they try to relax at the zoo, park, and beach areas. Crafters, sports teams, event attendees, small businesses and just plain folks will feel the financial slap the mayor and City Council are considering.

Mufi Hannemann said on public television recently that the increase that “;amounts to the price of a plate lunch”; per Waikiki visit is needed so the city can continue to provide “;services to the people.”; I wrote his office contending that reasonable parking fees are a city service. I received no live response from his office.

My wife and a few friends are passing out parking notice fliers this week so the people will be informed of the parking rate increase. Councilman Duke Bainum gave me a hand-shake agreement he would oppose the parking rate hike. Todd Apo's office indicated Apo would probably oppose the hike but they said they had not received much complaint about the issue and would wait to hear from the public ... hence, the flier campaign.

If your readers oppose the parking hike, please attend the Honolulu Hale meeting or at least call the city at 768-4381. Call this week — time is running out! Park and beach access is a city service for all Oahu residents.

John and Rita Shockley

Buying tickets online nothing to sing about

I have been buying tickets to the traveling show of “;Mamma Mia!”; online and have become quite frustrated and irritated.

Remember these are just tickets to see a show and selling them to me should be reasonably easy and convenient and in the best interest of the show sponsors, I would think. First, they give you only one minute to navigate several pages of options including the date of the performance, number of tickets, the price of each, seating location and several other options that you can ignore — like VIP parking — and if you fail in that time you must repeat the process again. Then commonly if you fail this, you must copy a partially disguised two-word password to get back to the purchase page. I know of several persons who have spent well over one hour trying to buy a few tickets for a single performance. Then think of a senior citizen with his limited computer skills trying to do this. It makes one want to boycott the whole show and hope that it fails. This is only to buy a couple of theater tickets, not to break into the Department of Defense Web site.

Douglas Bell

Single-payer system best for health care

Single payer health care is the right plan for all Americans. Even those who presume to govern us and who already have voted themselves the best health-care system in the world know this fact to be true.

I exhort you, please allow Americans to choose a single payer health care system. The time is now, the people are ready and you must catch up. For our children, looking back at you from the future, search your heart and act in solidarity with us now! Mahalo.

Rob Kinslow