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POSTED: Thursday, October 01, 2009

Rail's benefits will exceed costs

I shook my head in disagreement after reading the article by my fellow East Oahu resident K.S. Kimura about rail transit (”;Is rail transit really the best use of our scarce dollars?”; Star-Bulletin commentary, Sept. 25).

Like Kimura, I live far from the rail route and won't directly benefit from it. Unlike Kimura, I believe that our island needs to invest in this modern piece of transportation infrastructure. It is a long-term solution for traffic and land use that will benefit communities across our island.

Clearly, rail will reduce the traffic congestion for our friends and family who live on West Oahu, and they deserve it. But I believe rail will also have traffic benefits for those of us who don't live in Kapolei, Waipahu, Aiea or Kalihi. Rail will take cars off the road. It also stands to reason that TheBus will be faster with fewer cars to compete with in town.

Just as importantly, rail will help us make best use of the extremely limited amount of land on our island. The rail system can be a pipeline to new residential housing in Ewa, where there is plenty of space. And because rail will reduce traffic congestion, it will help improve the quality of life for residents already there.

Rail is an expensive investment, but in the end, the benefits will outweigh any monetary cost.

 

Matthew Kealoha

Hawaii Kai

 

Obama looking at next career move

Hey ... you Republicans foolishly dreaming of President Obama's humiliating 2012 defeat, and you Democrats naively falling on your political swords to save him. He won't be running!

If his recent U.N. address wasn't the kickoff of his run for U.N. president, what was it?

Why stay? His lifetime benefits are the same for one term as two. Delivering America's sovereignty and wealth to the U.N. guarantees his ascension to U.N. president next. His policies won't leave much money to spend on his supporters next term anyway.

It's not in his nature. Of his privileged private Punahou education he wrote: “;I kept playing basketball, attended classes sparingly, drank beer heavily, and tried drugs enthusiastically.”; When handed editorship of the Harvard Law Review, he wrote literally nothing. After an amazing (perhaps questionable) ascension to the U.S. Senate, he stayed barely 143 days, voting mostly “;present.”;

He has an easy exit: Graciously hand Hillary her chance to win “;first woman president”; for the Democrat trophy room— and a mop to clean up his economic and security messes, knowing she can't then blame him for anything as he did President Bush for everything.

 

George L. Berish

Honolulu

 

Teachers' deal quite shameful

When I first read my ratification copy of the Hawaii State Teachers Association contract, I wondered how Hawaii's teachers could vote for such a flawed plan.

First, our students would be missing almost a full month of learning due to the furlough days. Shouldn't their education be our primary focus?

Second, the contract compromises our retirees' health benefits by forcing them to pay for their premiums even though they've been retired for the past three years.

I wondered how we could make a decision that would so severely affect these two groups — with neither of the groups having a voice in the outcome. Imagine my shock when the contract was ratified by 81 percent of the teachers.

The present contract clearly does not value our students' education or our retired teachers. Shame on HSTA for offering such a bad contract. Shame on Hawaii's teachers for ratifying it. We could have done so much better. I guess it's now up to parents to make public education work in the islands.

 

Diane Marshall

Kailua

               

     

 

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