to the Editor

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Monday, February 4, 2002

Slower pace improves the trip to work

I drive from Kaneohe over the H3 every day to Leeward Community College. I have been tailgated to within an inch of my back bumper by behemoth trucks driven by tiny people who can barely see over the steering wheel, had a car pass me on my left when I was in the left lane and numerous other scary incidents.

Then I merge onto the H1 going ewa, and more speed demons come out of the woodwork. City and County trucks roar by at speeds far exceeding the speed limit; dump trucks carrying huge loads race past, teenage speedsters zoom by, and I cautiously work my way over to the Pearl City exit. Driving through Pearl City, I meet more SUVs going too fast, and finally arrive at work.

Since the traffic cameras arrived on the scene, the daily drive has changed dramatically. It has become almost pleasant. As much as I don't like driving 45 mph when it would appear to be safe to drive faster, I appreciate the calm on the road. I get to work in the same amount of time, and sometimes even faster because there is no horrendous traffic accident closing down the road. On top of the peace, my gas mileage has improved.

I say leave the cameras, and add more to cover all areas of Oahu.

Leslie Allen
Development Officer Leeward Community College

Quit complaining and slow down

I have heard and read all of the complaints about the traffic cameras:
>> The system is a money grab for the state and company.
>> It's bad for the local economy.
>> The traffic cam vans are a distraction for motorists.

All I can do is shake my head.

The cameras merely enforce the current speed limits, laws that we supposedly should have been following in the first place. The number of those opposed to the cameras as well as the level of anger that some have chosen to direct at the camera operators and toward the camera system in general only underscores the pressing need for the continued use of cameras on our roadways. Obviously, speed limit signs have been largely ignored and inadequately enforced.

As the local media have pointed out, people are slowing down, which is a good thing. I have noticed the change myself on the road everyday. It's unfortunate that some lawmakers would want to change this and again allow speeders to dominate our roads. Speed is not a necessity. Leave earlier. Don't want a ticket? Obey the law.

Les Yanagi


"Fatal accidents are more likely to occur when there are higher speeds and alcohol. In general, those occur when congestion clears."

Karl Kim

University of Hawaii professor of urban and regional planning, on the state's speed enforcement camera vans that began operating all-night shifts this weekend.

"We are just fortunate that we didn't put the entire pot in one investment. There are a lot of people out there with larger holes in their pockets."

Marcus Oshiro

State representative from Wahiawa, after learning that the Hawaii state Employees Retirement System lost $11.3 million when the energy giant Enron collapsed.

Old bottle bill is better than current one

Your Jan. 29 editorial on the beverage industry proposal regarding the bottle bill was right on. We should not fall for its self-serving arguments.

Instead, we should support the bottle bill that was nearly passed last session, only to be held up in committee because of beverage-industry lobbying. This bill would have placed a 5-cent refundable deposit and a 2-cent nonrefundable handling fee on each beverage container sold in Hawaii. The money collected would be used for a recycling program and costs incurred by retailers and distributors.

This would also help us with our landfill problem and remove a significant portion of litter from our public spaces.

Randy Ching

Legislature should pass bottle bill

The bottle bill being discussed in the Hawaii state Legislature is a good thing, although listening to the beverage industry you would not think so. It has come up with a plan that would increase curbside recycling costs and other hauling fees.

On the Big Island, many residents in Hilo do have trash hauling, but it is not paid for by the county. In the outlying districts such as Puna and Kau, most people take their own trash to transfer stations.

The bottle bill would raise the cost of a beverage container by 7 cents, but 5 cents of that would be refunded to the citizens who recycle their beverage containers. The other 2 cents would be a handling fee, but in some areas of the United States where the program is successful the handling fee is less (1.25 cents).

It would be a positive environmental move to support this bill. Those who recycle would have the incentive to make even more money taking their containers to recycling centers and, most importantly, it would significantly decrease the amount of trash that goes to our landfill.

This bill already has been supported by state and county officials in the past and last year was one vote short of passing to the governor's desk. Let's all contact our state legislators and ask them to vote "yes" in support of a bottle bill.

Roberta Lynn Brashear
Kurtistown, Hawaii

UH's anemic schedule accounts for ranking

University of Hawaii basketball coach Riley Wallace only has himself to blame for Hawaii not being ranked in recent Associated Press polls.

One reason is that their strength of schedule is ranked at 147. Georgia is ranked high because its strength of schedule is ranked at 38. It has played quality opponents, while UH has padded its record with the likes of Norfolk State, Alcorn State, Wright State and Northwestern State.

Riley will argue that he can't help that the WAC is a weak conference this year. He should learn from Gonzaga, which was recently 15-2 and ranked number 13 in the AP poll. Its strength of schedule is 48. It plays in a weaker West Coast Conference, but plays a solid non-conference schedule. It gets respect from pollsters because it deserves it.

We fans must cheer for UH to win most of its remaining games to get into the NCAA Tournament. If it loses a few and doesn't win the WAC Tournament, it will be headed to the NIT with Riley crying foul all the way. Riley, you have nobody to blame but yourself.

Gene Hall
Hawaii Kai

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The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point on issues of public interest. 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, must include a mailing address and daytime telephone number.

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