Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Saturday, August 01, 2009

Bus stops defiled by homeless

My husband and I are seniors who use TheBus exclusively, and it is getting harder and harder to use the benches as the homeless are “;camped out,”; prohibiting anyone from sitting.

A few days ago we left Wal-Mart/Sam's with several packages only to find a homeless woman who obviously had urinated all over herself, was filthy, and the smell was so offensive that no one could even stand anywhere near TheBus stop. In fact we just decided to walk toward our home.

TheBus stop at Makaloa Street and Kalakaua Avenue has two homeless people who occupy the benches regularly. Their shopping baskets are overflowing and parked so one would have to walk around them. Almost everyone who uses that stop is a senior and laden with packages from Don Quijote.

Realizing this is a controversial, sensitive subject that has been discussed many times, it is our hope it can have a solution soon. It is a sad situation for all of us and certainly not an image that we want our tourists to go away with.

Dennis and Benay Smith



Rail system will be too pricey in the future

I am sick and tired of people saying how the elevated rail transit will alleviate traffic. It has to be elevated because there is no space to build it on the ground. We live on an island and I guess there's nowhere to go but up.

Traffic on this island will never be resolved, no matter what we do. Face it, as long as our island doesn't somehow magically increase in size, and with population growth and cars, traffic will be a routine thing for the rest of our over-taxed lives.

Think of the years to come of nightmarish congestion and re-routing as this project is being built. Think of the soon-to-be-displaced business people and residents who will be affected as this monster comes through their town.

Mayor Hannemann, why not use some of the funds and fix our existing pothole-infested roads and freeways? After all, wasn't that one of your campaign promises you made while running for mayor? Why build a multibillion dollar project when you can't even maintain what we already have?

Paul Meacher



University layoffs should start at the top

Former UH president David McClain has announced that layoffs are in order because of financial “;exigency.”; OK. Then let the layoffs begin at the top.

At the Manoa campus there has been an explosion in both the number of top administrators over the past 15 years and what they get paid.

Since 1994 at Manoa, while the number of students has increased by less than one percent, and the number of faculty has decreased by one percent, the number of UH system and UHM administrators has increased by almost four times from 62 to 234.

Salaries have also escalated wildly. Whereas a decade ago, UH President Kenneth Mortimer received $160,000, McClain got $414,000, Manoa Chancellor Hinshaw gets $363,000 and so on. So the UH mission of instruction, research and service is sacrificed to pay for the fat-cat salaries of administrators. They have, in effect, hijacked the university for their own purposes. Meanwhile, faculty and staff are facing layoffs and students cannot find the classes they need to graduate.

Noel J. Kent



Start a 'beer summit' at the state level

What a great idea from President Barack Obama. Let's propose an annual “;beer summit”; between Gov. Linda Lingle and the two legislative leaders a month before the Legislature convenes in January.

The purpose of the summit would be to discuss priorities and budget constraints, if appropriate, before the “;party”; begins. This year again, as has happened too frequently in past years regardless of the political party of the three key personnel mentioned above, the results at the end of the legislative session have been mediocre.

According to the letter grades given by the media — often a “;D”; — the results desired could have possibly been much better if the parties concerned had met and talked over a cup of liquid refreshments about what is important.

For example, did the Legislature know that the civil unions bill would take up a lot of time and result in emotional demonstrations? Did Lingle assume that the Legislature would address ways to tackle the budgetary deficit? Did anyone know ahead of time that there would be an expensive Superferry fiasco costing the state about $40 million?

Has everyone noticed that budgetary matters are becoming more and more important as time goes by? Gov. Ben Cayetano did the best he could by stating upfront that his predecessor left him with $200 million deficit to work with for the next four years (and possibly longer). He told everyone that in his inaugural address so that the “;mud balls”; would be kept to an absolute minimum when his tenure was over.

Donald Mack






How to write us

        The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (~175 words). The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include a daytime telephone number.

Letter form: Online form, click here
        E-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
        Fax: (808) 529-4750
        Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210,  Honolulu, HI 96813