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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, September 14, 2006

Letters to the Editor

ELECTION 2006

U.S. SENATE RACE IS ALSO ABOUT THE 2012 RACE

The current U.S. Senate race is not just about 2006, it is also about the election of 2012. Should Sen. Dan Akaka still be in office in six more years, it seems unlikely he will run in 2012 when he will be 88.

It appears the Democratic Party would support Rep. Neil Abercrombie to replace him. Abercrombie will be 74 in 2012 and have no seniority at all in the Senate. Just how much seniority is Abercrombie likely to accrue for Hawai'i for the remainder of his political life?

If the Democratic Party hasn't thought this through, the voters should. With his background as an educator, Akaka should be recommended as a trustee for Kamehameha Schools, where he would serve honorably and with dignity.

Anne Tam
Manoa

DEMOCRATS NEED PLAN FOR SENATE CONTINUITY

Every well-run business has a continuity plan in the event of disaster or unanticipated change. Hawai'i's presence in the U.S. Senate should be managed in the same way.

We've heard Rep. Ed Case make his appeal for transition. Sen. Daniel Inouye is the Democratic Party's leader in Washington. What is Inouye's plan for Hawai'i's representation in the Senate when he and Akaka are no longer able to serve?

Is it wise to keep two senators in their 80s in the Senate? Is Inouye thinking about Hawai'i's long-term interests in the Senate? What does he have to say about the Democrats' continuity plan for the U.S. Senate?

Terry Oyama
Mililani

DAN AKAKA'S STYLE RESONATES WITH VOTERS

The AARP debate between the Democratic Party Senate candidates was very well done.

Clearly, Rep. Ed Case was more comfortable with his debating style and a broad-brushed discussion of the issues.

However, when it comes to whom the electorate trusts, Sen. Dan Akaka may be the winner. His stumbling, but sincere, style resonates well with many voters.

Randy Harris
Honolulu

CONGRESSIONAL RACE

HANABUSA CAN SUCCEED IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

Credentials speak. Political experience speaks. A commitment to constituents speaks.

When the Legislature is in session, Sen. Colleen Hanabusa distributes a substantial report at the Wai'anae Neighborhood Board's monthly meeting. Her responses to questions are comprehensive and quick.

The senator's business relationship with Ko Olina Resorts & Spa was a "sticky" point for me. However, after watching the televised forum from Hawai'i Theatre and reading Sunday's Editorial section, I have a new perspective regarding Hanabusa. It is common on all government levels that politicians have business relationships with their financial supporters. But the conflict of interest begins when they, our elected officials, "forget" about their constituents, and in turn their constituents "remember" to vote them out.

Hanabusa to Congress! Why? Hanabusa has the tenacity to go head-to-head with the male-dominated culture in Washington, D.C.

Johnnie-Mae L. Perry
Wai'anae

ABERCROMBIE

STATEMENT ABOUT DJOU CALLED ARROGANT, GALLING

Rep. Neil Abercrombie sure has the gall to accuse Councilman Charles Djou of being "political." Is this not a classic case of "the pot calling the kettle black"?

I think it fortunate that Djou has questions about some of the outrageous plots and schemes going down in our soon-to-be-ruined state.

These arrogant statements made by Abercrombie (the heir apparent when our senior senators can no longer serve) really scare me. It gives me another reason to cast my vote for Rep. Ed Case.

Pat Meyers
Kailua

CITY

HANNEMANN GETS KUDOS FOR TERM SO FAR

As the midpoint of his first term approaches, I have to give the Hannemann administration an "A". It has simply done an extraordinary job! As Mayor Mufi Hannemann will tell you, it takes a great team to make good things happen, and the folks at Honolulu Hale have been working together as a well-oiled machine.

Hannemann has been active and visible. He is everywhere. This means he is engaged in the city and is in touch with its people.

Most importantly, the mayor and his team handled the Waikiki sewage spill with skill and professionalism. The quick and decisive action the Hannemann team took to prevent this from occurring again should be noted.

Hannemann showed class in honoring former Mayor Frank Fasi. It took a man sure of himself to honor and pay tribute to such a huge figure in our Island history.

The mayor displayed the courage to pursue the transit issue when many of the squeaky wheels lie in wait to criticize him for trying to do good. But as Kent Keith wrote, "Do good anyway."

Bob McDermott
'Ewa Beach

RAIL

POWER OUTAGE WOULD STRAND TRAIN RIDERS

Interesting that the mayor thinks an elevated train would be protection against road blockages. Has he thought about what would happen if the train were to be halted?

When O'ahu has a power outage, what will 100,000 train riders who are marooned Downtown do to get home? Our current power capacity utilization is near its limit.

Is it better to have more road options such as contraflow and light sequencing, or spend $3 BILLION for a train that will stop when there is not enough, electricity or when a rail support pillar is struck by a heavy truck?

Paul E. Smith
Honolulu

TEXTBOOKS

EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM ABUSING ITS STUDENTS

Sharing textbooks in school is good training for sharing jail cells or tent space on the beach or welfare checks or needles and meth pipes.

I came from a working class family, but I always had my own schoolbooks. Talk about penny wise and pound foolish! Scrimping on textbooks condemns students to third-class status and helps ensure their failure in life.

The logo for the DOE shows an open book, while students have no books to open.

It's time to end this farce. Wake up, Hawai'i! Your children are being abused by a system that is incredibly inept and intent on creating a permanent underclass.

David T. Webb
Mililani

TEACHERS

DOE'S POLICY UNFAIR TO LONG-TERM SUBSTITUTES

I'm writing to point out an unfair labor practice by the Department of Education in regard to substitute teachers who take long-term subbing jobs.

These jobs may range from one month to four or more months. Substitutes put in more than 40 hours a week, write plans and may have to do report cards and even parent conferences. There is no extra compensation for doing this not even sick days.

There should be an incentive for subs not necessarily health coverage, but extra pay after 15 or 20 days at the same assignment.

No wonder schools have a problem filling these positions.

PAT PATERSON | HONOLULU

WORLD TRADE CENTER

HAWAI'I MOTHER RECALLS THE MORNING OF SEPT. 11

It was around 6 a.m. and I had just gotten up. My husband was watching the TV morning news when I noticed video of the World Trade Center consumed with smoke.

My daughter had been living in New York for only four months, and I panicked, fearing for her safety. It was a parent's worst nightmare, watching such violence unfold, not knowing the fate of your only child who was right in harm's way.

Three hours later, she managed to call, and was fine. Hearing her voice was music to my ears, and my sigh of relief could be heard for miles.

Rosina Moanauli Valencia
Mililani

ACCIDENTS

SOLUTION GIVEN TO EASE H-1 GRIDLOCK PROBLEM

Traffic management is not rocket science and the solution to problems like the shutdown of H-1 is very simple. It only takes a Department of Transportation and a police department that will look for solutions.

Here is how you do it: Put an openable section of freeway divider every mile of freeway and on every other highway with divided lanes. These sections exist and are installed in a few locations on H-3, but they are never used.

When there is an accident that will cause a road to be closed for a significant period of time (something that happens way too often here, because of the policies of HPD), open one of the median dividers on each side of the accident and contraflow the other side of the freeway for that one-mile segment.

Before letting forward-facing traffic proceed on the contraflow lanes, let the first three rows or so of cars pass, then work forward from the rear of the stalled traffic between the opening and the accident, allowing those vehicles to back up or turn around to go to the opened divider. Once those vehicles are cleared, let the rest of the traffic proceed. The number of contraflow lanes used on the other side of the freeway should depend on the relative traffic load in the two directions.

All of that stalled traffic could have been cleared in a couple of hours if this simple solution had been used.

Bob Gould
Kane'ohe