Letters to the editor


POSTED: Sunday, July 12, 2009

Turn over school to the homeless

The Department of Education has closed Wailupe Valley Elementary School. The board's Committee on Administrative Services recommended that the property be turned over to the city. This small school, with a little alteration, could supply simple housing for our homeless families, many of whom are working but cannot afford to rent apartments and so are living in their cars.

The school has bathrooms, a cafeteria and presumably a kitchen, which could be used communally. Tenants could share the cleanup and the maintenance of the grounds. Classrooms could be divided by cheap partitions. A bus stop is nearby, and there is parking for those with cars.

There certainly can't be any cheaper way to supply low-cost housing than to make use of a building that is readily available and in good repair.

Roxie Berlin


No plan in place to cut hours for tutors

Diane A. Kingsley (”;School leaders poised for cuts,”; Star-Bulletin letters, July 9) states that Superintendent Patricia Hamamoto and school officials have planned over the last seven years to reestablish 500-plus full-time educational assistants as part-time, hourly paraprofessional tutors. Her assertion is false. No plan exists.

Educational assistants and paraprofessional tutors augment student learning and are valued employees in the state Department of Education.

Bruce Shimomoto

Personnel management branch director, state Department of Education

Rail system plan touts benefits

I would like to correct the misinformation about rail in Lawson Teshima's letter to the editor (”;Pricey rail will take toll on taxpayers,”; Star-Bulletin, July 7).

One of the fundamental reasons for doing the proposed rail system is because it is cheaper to operate and maintain than a bus-only system that provides an equal level of service.

The Honolulu Rail Transit Project is affordable with our funding sources. No additional tax increases will be necessary.

The Federal Transit Administration has vetted and agreed with the financial plan in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, which clearly spells out that the funds will come from the general excise tax surcharge and expected federal funding.

A great benefit of the rail system will be its ability to reduce traffic congestion between West Oahu and town by taking thousands of cars and trucks off the road each day.

The rail transit system will be environmentally sound by running on clean energy, encouraging people to get out of their cars and reducing the amount of emissions released into the air.

Wayne Y. Yoshioka

Director, city Department of Transportation Services




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