Letters to the Editor
Give reduced bus fares only to the needy
Give reduced fares only to the needy. Not all seniors are poor. Many, especially from this generation, know about hard times and were smart enough to save for retirement. For those, of any age, having hard times, give them free or reduced fares. Reduced fares should be considered a welfare benefit and not a badge of age (young or old).
On the other hand, free bus fares for everyone? This promotes mass transit, reduces boarding times and pollution, entices tourists and helps unclog roads. Tourists pay hotel and sales taxes, and, as a Honolulu taxpayer, I wouldn't mind spending extra to promote mass transit and help reduce the need for spending billions on new roads.
Increase bus fares; driving also costs more
I just finished reading Mike Leidemann's article on the city's intent to cut bus services or perhaps increase fares. I don't think the proposed increase of rates ($1.75 for one way or $37 for a monthly pass) is totally unreasonable. I recall the days of the Honolulu Rapid Transit and the old O'ahu Bus Service. A ride into Wahiawa was exorbitant for that time (approximately $2.30 to $2.75 one way from Honolulu).
I do not think driving is less costly. The price of gasoline went up another 2 to 3 cents, which puts it up to anywhere from $2.04 to $2.27 off post. Riding the bus is still much less expensive. The monthly pass is still worth buying, even with the rate increase. From an optimistic point, that would be $7 less we would spend on a movie ticket or other frivolity of entertainment.
To cross the Golden Gate Bridge costs $40 every month. The price of gas over there, with a 13 percent state excise tax, is well over Hawai'i's prices.
I don't know if prices will ever come down in the event our economy gains some rejuvenating tourist cells, but I don't think complaining about it will solve the issue. Driving our cars on the highway only exacerbates the traffic congestion. I don't want to see a reduction of services by DaBus.
While I am not wealthy by any means, I would be willing to take the extra expense and help out our state economy by paying a little extra to maintain the current or improved public service.
Offensive van hurts anti-abortion cause
As an anti-abortion advocate, I am concerned that our message is getting lost and our cause undermined by the very people who should be supporting us.
Having that graphic and offensive van drive around downtown every day is not only frightening and disturbing to young children as well as adults, but it is also hurting the anti-abortion cause by infuriating those who come into contact with it.
It is painfully frustrating having factions of anti-abortion organizations that are extremist and prefer to use "shock" methods rather than get their message across rationally and compassionately.
I hope these extremists realize that the methods they are currently employing are not effective and, as recent public backlash has shown, are working against them as well. One thing is for sure, they are not representative of nor appreciated by the majority of anti-abortion advocacy groups.
Asia airports could offer Hawai'i a lesson
The frequency of travel to Neighbor Islands has dropped dramatically for two main reasons: increase in air fares and increase in security.
The airlines have raised their prices due to the increase in operating expenses. The increase in security is the result of terrorist attacks. Both valid reasons, but the effects have resulted in increased frustration and low demand for Neighbor Island travel.
Our family has forgone the customary "Neighbor Island getaway," opting for the Mainland.
I travel frequently to Asia, where the concern for security is second to none, but the experience in airports such as Beijing and Japan is far from what is experienced at Honolulu International Airport. It appears that common sense prevails at these foreign airports where expediency and courtesy to the passengers are the norm.
Do we really need to remove our shoes? Is it really necessary to check every compartment in every bag? Is it really necessary to scrutinize every inch of a bag and every item in the bag on the scanner? Is it really necessary to check IDs two or three times before one even gets on the plane?
Scanners and screeners at foreign airports seem to do the same job, but faster and with more organization.
Maybe we should have our security people trained in Asia.
Money speaks loudly
Rush Limbaugh exposes himself when revealing he does not find it "outrageous that someone can come up with a million dollars and undo an election." Of course, this proves a remark once made by J.P. Morgan: "I can pay half the working class to war on the other half." Sad.