Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Thursday, December 10, 2009

Overhead rail only way to go

Why are we still having this no-brainer argument about the rail system being at-grade or an overhead system? Why can't these people grasp these simple truths — that there is no room to accommodate both a rail system and a roadway? If you have an at-grade system every time the train comes to a crossing, all traffic will stop at the crossing and back up for miles.

The overhead system will eliminate any potential problems that are on the ground. How about accidents at the crossings? Why do people keep going back to square one concerning the debate about rail?

An overhead system was picked because there are no other alternatives.


Steve Curty






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B&B bill would be ruinous, costly

Under Bill 7 you will have no control over where a bed-and-breakfast will pop up in your neighborhood. The proposed law allows one on every side of you. If you don't like the noise, or if you have safety concerns, you can call the police. But only if they can prove there was a problem can you submit a complaint to the city Department of Planning and Permitting. The DPP must give the operator 24 hours notice prior to any visit. You can see how effective this enforcement will be.

Council member Ikaika Anderson expresses compassion for homeowners who purchased their home a long time ago. He says they have to operate a B&B to pay their higher taxes. He hides behind the skirts of “;distressed grandmothers”; while promoting a bill that would help people who have two homes on their property, people who could rent one to locals rather than tourists, if they needed extra money.

If passed, the bill will also require taxpayers to help foot the bill. The cost of enforcing a new B&B law would be paid in part by the permitting fees, but the DPP has testified that those fees wouldn't cover the cost of establishing a new enforcement division.

If retired homeowners are having difficulty paying higher taxes, the City Council should put its energy into passing a bill that would provide them some relief, rather than undermining the residential character of our neighborhoods and costing taxpayers more money.

Pauline Mac Neil



China rail lines forging ahead

During a tour to eastern China that included the Shanghai-Nanjing-Suzhou-Hangzhou area, we noted the concrete pylons being erected for an elevated 1,116-mile rail line from Shanghai to Beijing, and a 186-mile line from Shanghai to Hangzhou.

The 1,116-mile line will be completed in four years. How far along will Honolulu's be in four years? Our guide said that China had installed a 18.6-mile demonstration Maglev (magnetic levitation) system in Shanghai but abandoned further expansion because of the noise and fear of radiation. Thankfully that wasn't adopted for the Honolulu line.

Ronald Wong



Gaming issue a sure vote-getter

The state of Hawaii is still in a tailspin. Losses in the state are still mounting and there is no end in sight.

I say 70 percent of the voters would show up just to vote for gaming in Hawaii.

One way or the other, isn't that (voting) what government is really all about? The majority wins, not the minority.

Offshore gaming, for starters, would work, and it would bring back a lot of cruiseliners.

Year after year, 60-70 percent of voters don't even show up to vote. Why not put something on the ballot that would draw voters to the polls? Let's vote and stop this merry-go-round.

Bill Littell