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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, February 17, 2008

Letters to the Editor



$9.1 billion! Kamehameha Schools, buy Turtle Bay Resort, as well as La'au Point, and build another campus.

Michael Danner



House Republicans remain committed to pushing for openness in all procedures involved when state funds are being awarded.

The series of articles written by Rob Perez and the Feb. 10 Focus section column by Rep. Della Au Belatti confirm the need for a clean and consistent grant-in-aid process.

The GIA process, which awards millions of dollars to nonprofit organizations, should be open. Formal criteria and guidelines should be published and be readily accessible to the public so that there is no question as to how and why a particular organization was selected to receive a government grant.

Rep. Belatti goes beyond just simply stating that there is a problem. I believe that her proposed modifications provide a solution to the problem. Rep. Belatti also defends these modifications by countering criticism with common-sense answers.

The candor in Rep. Belatti's piece should be commended, and I would like to thank her for being so committed to developing a more transparent and accountable process for the taxpayers and nonprofit organizations of Hawai'i.

Rep. Lynn Finnegan
Minority leader, State House District 32



Mahalo to all those involved in the collaborative effort to provide 911 signs at public beach accesses.

From my perspective as an emergency physician and resident of Kailua, this is certainly a life-saving measure.

However, I urge the public and elected officials to look at the bigger issue. That is, should we allow private individuals to close off accesses to our beaches, thereby denying EMS and fire crews the ability to quickly get to an injured or dying person? If your child was involved, would you rather paramedics hike 100 yards down the beach or half a mile, as is currently the case with the public accesses?

A few minutes makes the difference between life, death or brain-damaged forever.

And what if it were your family member who was out windsurfing, paddling, or kiting on Kailua Bay, and there was an accident? Would you want them to have to hike a half mile to get to a public access and get help?

As an emergency physician, my primary focus is always on safety for everyone, but then there is a matter of our beaches and the ocean. These are some of our greatest treasures here in Hawai'i, and we must honor and preserve them for all to use.

I encourage everyone to join in and make your wishes known to your elected officials.

Let's keep our Hawai'i filled with aloha for everyone.

Torrey Goodman, M.D.



Yes, we have one of the best bus systems in the U.S., yet we could be better.

In regard to Ted Kanemori's Feb. 10 letter ("O'ahu should try out free bus service first"): TheBus should be free, or no more than $1 as a compromise. How about making it a "green campaign" (Do your part for the environment, etc.)? I use the bus now more than my car.

Any unused city buses should be used immediately to re-vamp routes, such as adding service to some areas of the island or adding more frequency to under-served areas.

One glaring example: Bus service is not frequent enough on Kapahulu Avenue, considering its many restaurants, retail shops and the new Safeway store. I hope the Safeway people are pushing for better bus service on this commercial corridor of the city.

So many people agree that there is a doable, feasible, realistic and immediate solution to the gridlock of this island. Forget the fairy tale of light rail.

Karen Hansen



I agree that something needs to be done to reduce the number of plastic bags.

I see them floating in the air, half-buried in the sand on our beaches, laying in dirty puddles against our curbs, hanging from trees, etc.

If I were a CEO of those companies with their name and logos on those bags, I would be upset to know I was part of the problem.

So, if a ban is unpopular, how about customers paying for the bags directly?

Has Carol Pregill, president of the Retail Merchants of Hawai'i, suggested this to her members?

I can assume that more people will be part of the recycling process when they see the direct impact to their wallets if they don't participate in a solution.

Sue Meyer



This state has a long way to go if it's serious about recycling.

I have been recycling my newspapers, boxes and cans at the convenient school recycling bins in 'Ewa instead of throwing away recyclables in the garbage.

However, the city has now removed the last of two recycling bins on Renton Road in 'Ewa. The closest one to 'Ewa is now at Holomua Elementary School, not convenient to the folks in 'Ewa Village.

I would like the city to explain why the recycling bins were removed, and what it plans on doing to promote recycling rather than making it harder to recycle.

Melanie M. Ochmann
'Ewa Beach



Transit reporter Sean Hao's Page One article on Feb. 10, "Transit system likely won't improve traffic," presents a variety of numbers taken from the November 2006 Alternatives Analysis Report, which was widely discussed with the Honolulu City Council and the public more than a year and a half ago.

The article omits some key points about mobility options expected in the year 2030 that were part of that public discussion in 2006.

Traffic conditions in 2030 will be worse than today, even with the state of Hawai'i and City and County of Honolulu implementing about $3 billion in highway expansion projects.

There will be 27 percent more vehicle trips every day and 44 percent more congestion (as measured by vehicle hours of delay).

The Alternatives Analysis explored three transit alternatives added to these highway improvements, TSM (expanding bus service), managed lanes (building a new viaduct for buses and other vehicles) and fixed guideway.

Of the three, the fixed guideway alternative resulted in the greatest reduction in vehicle trips and the largest reduction in congestion (hours of delay) by offering travelers an option to avoid much of the congestion using a fixed guideway line separated from the highway system.

In addition to providing a reliable trip avoiding congestion for transit patrons, implementation of a 20-mile fixed guideway line from East Kapolei to Ala Moana Center would benefit drivers on the roadway system by reducing 2030 congestion (hours of delay) by 11 percent compared to what 2030 conditions would be like without the fixed guideway line.

Mark Scheibe
Deputy project manager, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Honolulu High-Capacity Transit Corridor Project