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More people fear getting smallpox shots

Although your May 22 editorial attributed the low number of smallpox inoculations in Hawaii and nationwide to a more realistic assessment of the potential for a smallpox outbreak, there is another reason. The vaccine has proven far more dangerous than the assurances given to the public and to "front line" health care workers.

A May 7 report by CBS described "serious and unexpected adverse events in the first people to get the shots. ... Already considered the riskiest of its kind, the smallpox vaccine may be even more dangerous than anyone thought."

Unusual heart inflammation, blood clots and unexpected deaths make fear of the smallpox vaccine more persuasive than the fear the Bush administration is trying to maintain with regard to biological attacks.

Larry Geller

Pali slowdown will help old and young drivers

Hurrah to the government and citizenry for making compliance with the law possible in the residential areas of Pali Highway! This can increase the safety of us all. We oldtimers with slowed reaction times now can obey the speed limits without being tailgated and cut around so often as to become a danger ourselves. I hope some of the young people who are now learning socially acceptable lawlessness on our highways (go as fast as you can in the space available) will be impressed to see their elders slowing down and speeding up according to the signs posted.

I agree that going 25 mph on an entire half-mile freeway exit, as the law requires in some places, may be more than is necessary for public safety. But reducing the carnage and lawlessness on this residential street is surely a purpose for which we can all cooperate.

JoAn W. Boggs

Light synchronization would ease traffic

I applaud your effort to highlight the chronic traffic problem in Honolulu in your May 19 editorial. However, I disagree with your conclusion that "government officials have few choices for traffic fixes." I contend that much of the traffic congestion in our city is caused by poor traffic-light synchronization. Many main arteries have a complete lack of coordination in the timing of the lights. On Ala Moana it is rare to get through three green lights in a row. Punahou Street is another example of this.

It also is inexcusable that at many intersections, the timing is set so that a small side street with light traffic is given a green light as long as the one for the busy street it intersects. Rush-hour traffic on Beretania Street backs up every morning due to a lengthy red light that allows but four or five cars through the intersection at Victoria. Dole at Punahou Street is another example.

I remember driving with my father as he complained about the very same thing 35 years ago. Unfortunately, things have improved little, if at all. If the city's traffic engineers were more diligent, traffic flow would improve considerably with little or no added cost.

Matt Pietsch

High fare discourages use of mass transit

The proposed increase to $1.75 for riding the bus is sure to push more people to use their cars instead of public transportation. I certainly won't use the bus now to go out to a movie or dinner. I'll take the car instead. It would cost my wife and me almost $7 to take a bus to and from our Waikiki apartment to Restaurant Row.

I just returned to Honolulu from an extended stay in Holland, where we didn't have a car and never missed it. Buses, trams, trains and bike lanes made public transportation a preferable way to travel.

It is sad to see the current state of transportation options on Oahu.

Brad White

Fare increase should go to bus operations

It is not fair for the city to raise bus fares to balance the budget. Most of those who depend on the bus are low-paid workers who can't afford their own vehicles. They should not be called upon to fill the city coffers.

If there is an increase, all the money should go directly to bus operations. This could help the city budget because it would mean less bus subsidy. I ride the bus daily and I am willing to support the bus operation, but I don't want my fare paying for anything beyond that.

I agree that $27 for a bus pass that I use daily is a wonderful bargain and I can understand an increase for the pass, but I want my increase going only for bus use.

Caroline L. Steele

Club's friends made Portland luau possible

The University of Portland Hawaii Club would like to thank our families, friends and local businesses for their help in making our 27th Annual Luau a huge success. Our luau, "Tropical Nights," would not have been possible without the people who have helped and supported us throughout this process.

We appreciate all the support we have gotten from our parents both at home and in Portland. We would like to thank Raymond and Terry Spencer and our Oahu parent coordinator, Thomas Perkins, for all their help in getting the local donations to Portland. Without the help of our families and friends, a luau would not have been possible. We also would like to thank all of the local businesses for their help and support.

We really appreciate the many donations we received, especially in these tough economic times, and hope that we will continue to have the support of the Oahu Community.

Aimee Cama Lance Okuda Cheryl Shitabata

University of Portland Hawaii Club Luau Committee


How to write us

The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (150 to 200 words). 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 and include a daytime telephone number.

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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

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