Letters to the editor


POSTED: Saturday, October 24, 2009

Questioning bids in the rail plan

Contractors bid low because the low bid usually gets the job, and such is the case with the first phase of the multibillion-dollar Oahu rail transit project.

The city's estimated cost for this first phase was $575 million, and the bid came in at $482.92 million. To put this low bid into perspective, maybe our local news media can offer some historical context which might or might not reassure taxpayers.

When the city or the state accepts low bids on projects totaling multimillions or hundreds of millions of dollars, how often are the projects completed under bid, at bid or over bid? And how much under, at or over can taxpayers expect?

Kenneth L. Barker



Medical cannabis enters new era

Thank you for your Oct. 21 editorial urging legislators to compel the governor “;to accept a system for patients to gain access to marijuana without having to do business with illegal drug dealers”; (”;Put state pot law to use,”; Star-Bulletin).

The governor's continuing opposition has prevented legislators from revising Hawaii's 9-year-old medical cannabis law and better serving seriously ill constituents.

Now that the Obama administration is honoring the autonomy of the 14 states that have legalized medical use of cannabis, we hope that 2010 will see legislators and the governor working together to ensure that Hawaii's program fulfills the original intent of the law: to serve sick and dying patients in Hawaii.

A Medical Cannabis Working Group, consisting of patients, physicians, caregivers and advocacy organizations, will make recommendations to the Legislature to improve the program. The public is invited to the Medical Cannabis Talk Story at room 329 of the state Capitol on Tuesday from 6:30-8 p.m.

Pamela Lichty and Laurie Temple

Co-chairs, Medical Cannabis Working Group


Oppose proposals in health bills

Do you agree that:

» The government has authority to force the entire citizenry to purchase something?

» You should be fined or jailed for failure to comply with mandatory purchase?

» Cutting doctors' fees won't drive doctors from the profession?

» The IRS should have direct electronic access to your personal bank accounts?

» Fees, fines and increased premiums are not a tax under different names?

» Fees on health care providers won't be passed on to consumers?

» The government option and co-ops won't eventually eliminate all private insurance and eliminate competition?

» Dumping more citizens on Medicaid won't bankrupt already cash-strapped states?

» The $1 trillion estimated cost of health care reform will be the real cost?

» Tort reform need not be addressed?

The answers to these questions are all NO. Yet these and many more terrible mandates are in the health care reform bills being crafted to be forced upon us.

Call your U.S. Senate and House representatives and urge them to reject legislation with these mandates.

Richard Webster

Lahaina, Maui


Catholic Church shields its wealth

Oh no ... not again! Delaware's entire Catholic Diocese of Wilmington is the latest to join the problematic parade of parishes with alleged pedophile priests seeking to protect church assets through bankruptcy proceedings. It's just another example of how the Catholic Church has legally maneuvered to protect church treasures from alleged victims.

One can hardly blame the church for wanting to protect assets, since it has already paid out almost $3 billion to victims to date with no end in sight.

The question is what can be done to protect our children here in Hawaii and on the mainland from the continuation of this unfortunate chain of events.

Walter Mahr



Road accident closure too long

The Honolulu Police Department owes the public an explanation of why it closed Kalanianaole Highway at Makapuu for nearly six hours last Saturday.

A one-car accident that was actually off the highway would not seem to justify a total closure of a main thoroughfare for six hours.

This is just the latest in a long series of lengthy road closures that HPD imposes, almost casually, while it “;investigates.”; It doesn't seem to care a whit about causing untold disruption.

The Star-Bulletin has previously reported that the California Highway Patrol manages to clear and investigate even major multicar fatal accidents in an average of two hours.

If California can do it in two hours, HPD can do it in two hours.

Unless, of course, HPD people are not as competent as CHP people.

Tom Macdonald





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