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Letters to the Editor


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POSTED: Sunday, August 16, 2009

Rail is a move into modernity

It does my heart good to open the newspaper in the morning and read positive stories about rail, like the article that we are receiving several million in stimulus funds for rail. I may not live on the rail route, but I believe that we need rail to put a dent in our traffic problem and make it easier to get around.

I write from personal experience. Whenever I visit a city with a rail system, I make it a point to ride the trains. I almost always come away impressed with how modern the trains are and the wide array of people on them: business people, blue-collar workers, families, students.

Our island should move into the 21st century with a modern rail system.

Jaxon Watanabe

Nuuanu

Think twice about overdevelopment

Twelve thousand more homes on the Ewa Plain? This island is way overbuilt. What's wrong with the politicians? Is it only about padding your pockets with developers' money? What about us? We need agriculture, and don't want it moved to the North Shore.

What will be our legacy? Everything green will be cemented over except for the occasional tree planted by the developers.

Come on people, don't sit there and let this happen. Speak up.

Adrienne L. Wilson-Yamasaki

Wahiawa

Beware loud voices from small numbers

One day, while scanning the classifieds in his local newspaper, a man came across an ad reading, “;Hurry, last chance. Frog skins $1 each.”; Caught up in excitement over the deal the man immediately sent off a check for $100. A few weeks later a box arrived. In it was one frog skin, a check for $99, and a note which read “;Sorry, the noise fooled me.”;

The moral of this story is, of course, that a few noisy frogs can give the impression of great numbers. We need to keep this in mind as we try to tackle the complicated issues of health care reform, and not get caught up in the excitement — and hysterics — of the moment.

Shouting and rude behavior at town-hall meetings is “;news,”; but excessive coverage in the media only creates false impressions of how many “;frogs”; there really are out there. We should not allow a vocal minority, ironically claiming to be the “;silent majority,”; to control the discussion. As Detective Joe Friday used to say in the old TV series “;Dragnet”;: “;Just the facts ma'am.”;

J.B. Young

Honolulu

Politicians need contribution limits

Now, more than ever, we need our lawmakers focused on addressing the critical issues we face, including creating jobs, fixing the economy, expanding access to health care and dealing with climate change — and not spending their time fundraising for their next campaign. For years in our private money-driven election system, our elected leaders have spent far too much time at $1,000-a-plate fundraisers and taking money from wealthy industries they're supposed to be regulating. We're now dealing with the results of this system.

The Fair Elections Now Act (S.752, H.R.1826) would free our elected officials from the fundraising treadmill and allow them to focus on their constituents' needs. The act would allow candidates to run a viable campaign with a mixture of small donations and limited public financing. Candidates would qualify for limited public funds by raising a specific number of small donations from members of their communities. Once qualified, they would receive a four-to-one match on the small donations, and be prohibited from taking any large donations.

With pay-to-play scandals on the front pages of our newspapers, and the unprecedented challenges we face, we need our lawmakers focused on doing the job they were elected to do — solving our nation's problems.

Paul McKimmy

Honolulu

               

     

 

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