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Letters to the Editor


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POSTED: Sunday, December 06, 2009

Rail will lessen traffic for couple

My husband and I live on the Waianae Coast and commute into Honolulu. We both strongly support rail.

At this time, the drive from our home to downtown can take anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours, depending on the traffic conditions at any one of four critical merging or congested areas. This makes planning for meetings, appointments and work very challenging. Every trip must be planned with an hour's leeway to allow for traffic conditions. We look forward to being able to plan our time more effectively and enjoy a stress-free commute by rail.

We've both experienced rail in different cities and believe it is a win-win for our community.

Dorien McClellan

Maili

Memorial destroyed if pool is destroyed

In your Dec. 2 editorial (”;Mayor is correct on natatorium,”; Star-Bulletin), you state: “;Demolition of the pool should not be considered an affront to those who gave their lives in World War I.”;

On the contrary, it is the demolition of the pool that destroys the memorial. When the natatorium (which means a place to swim) was authorized to be built by the Legislature, it specified that there should be a saltwater swimming course, 100 by 40 meters, to commemorate water sports in Hawaii, exemplified most notably by Duke Kahanamoku and Buster Crabbe.

When the pool is destroyed, the memorial is destroyed. We will be the first anywhere to authorize the destruction of a memorial erected to honor its war dead. As a veteran, I am disappointed.

Ronald H. Yasui

Honolulu

Unions behind crisis in Hawaii education

The plantation days have come and gone, largely thanks to the unions who were created to give fair and reasonable wages to the workers. Schools were out for the summer because our children were needed to harvest the pineapples. The only thing the unions succeeded at was unionizing the workers out of their jobs, and causing once-thriving agricultural industries to pack up and move elsewhere.

The unions are continuing their altruistic and noble actions, this time with the teachers.

The teachers are state workers who are paid full-time wages, with generous benefits most workers do not have. The teachers in our state have always had more days off than days worked even before the furloughs. It's about time the state makes them work full time like other state workers with two weeks off for vacation.

Our children deserve to be given a full-time education so they are able to compete with the children around the world. The state Department of Education, Board of Education and teachers have been oversimplifying the curriculum to meet the adequate yearly progress. This has got to stop.

Our children should be encouraged and educated to rise to the top. Most teachers teach the same courses year after year; the teacher prep days the unions garnered for them during better fiscal days are nothing more than a slap in the face to the families of students deprived of a full-time education.

Pauline Arellano

Mililani

No proof at-grade rail better for business

In response to Larry Geller's commentary regarding economic development along transit lines (”;Street-level rail system would stimulate businesses,”; Star-Bulletin, Dec. 1), I know of no studies supporting the idea that the choice of any particular mode of transit determines economic winners and losers.

Market demand for goods and services is the basic economic driver supporting any business regardless of the presence of transit. Small businesses are challenged with competition, availability of credit and under-capitalization, among many factors. The presence of a fixed-transit system changes none of those.

In Denver, where the at-grade light-rail system has been running through a challenged neighborhood for more than a decade, businesses along the rail continue to struggle with challenges including the elimination of parking and access due to the train. The presence of an at-grade system at your front door does not guarantee business prosperity. The elevated system being constructed here will carry about 100,000 riders a day, more than an at-grade system, providing access to more potential consumers.

The city is examining each station area for opportunities for community-based economic development. We've been actively engaged with residents, businesses and landowners in understanding the unique circum-

stances of their community.

Terrance Ware

Transit-oriented development manager, city Planning and Permitting Department

Medicare can yield big savings—really?

The Democrats in Congress and the AARP believe half a trillion dollars can be cut from government-run Medicare without harming the program by simply eliminating waste, fraud, inefficiency and abuse. If that's true, it must be the most poorly run program in human history.

Bob Lamborn

Honolulu

 

               

     

 

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