Letters to the Editor
ALL OUR BEACHES OPEN TO ISLE RESIDENTS, VISITORS
Recent letters to the editor regarding a travel agent familiarization tour of Lanikai and the Mokulua Islands are extreme overreactions.
By supporting tourism, we are not "selling off O'ahu to the highest bidders." Visitors enjoying a quiet kayak paddle off Lanikai Beach is not "eco-terrorism."
Visitors to our Islands support our economy. With the dramatic rise in fuel prices, airline ticket prices will continue to rise as well, making Hawai'i unaffordable to many travelers. As our economy slows, we will need those same travel agents to bring visitors to our shores and jobs and income to our residents.
Visitors to O'ahu want to experience new activities and enjoy the natural beauty that our island home has to offer. They should not be restricted to the confines of Waikiki. They should be welcomed and treated as the guests that they are.
Lanikai beach, like all beaches in Hawai'i, is public and is open to all residents and visitors alike. I do agree that visitors should be informed that Lanikai does not have public facilities and illegal vacation rentals should be shut down.
The Mokulua Islands, like all bird sanctuaries, need to be protected. Rules need to be adopted and laws enforced to assure that these fragile environments are kept pristine and can be enjoyed by generations to come. In order to preserve the tranquility of this precious resource, there should be daily limits on the number of kayak rentals allowed on the island.
With common sense, courtesy and aloha, we can continue to welcome visitors to our beaches as they in turn support our fragile island economy.Dana Edmunds
BE CAREFUL OF WRONG CAMPAIGN INFORMATION
Brace yourself for the upcoming flood of hysterical election-year disinformation.
I got some in an e-mail today. Its title read: "We have limited time to save America or the Supreme Court as we know it." It went on to list things a presidential candidate supposedly stood for and did or would not do. But no references were offered. I was being asked to take the author's word without question — and to pass it on to family and friends, who would then assume I approved the message.
Sorry, e-mails like this are potential Internet hoaxes, and I refuse to pass them on unless I can verify their content. I hope others will do the same.
A good place to start if you have questions about the accuracy of a slanderous e-mail is www.Snopes.com.
According to Snopes, there were major distortions of fact in the e-mail I just received. I am glad I didn't add to the spread of disinformation.J. B. Young
THERE ARE OTHER WAYS TO CURB TRAFFIC NOW
There are many letters, discussions and the like on the building of future mass transit, which is good.
Unfortunately, by the time the transit system is built, I will not be using it due to age. In the meantime, I am paying for it in my taxes.
There are minimal discussions on how to curb the traffic now.
Cheaper and quicker suggestions would be:
If the bus ride is more convenient and pleasant, I bet people will rethink driving solo to work.
In the bus, we can take a nap, read, listen to music, meditate, balance a check book or just plain relax. And it is much cheaper!Rosita Sipirok-Siregar
WHY MOTORCYCLISTS DON'T WEAR SEATBELTS
It's time for the Click It or Ticket campaign again, and this year I'd like to beat the car drivers to the punch.
Every year at least one person writes a letter (and you guys print it) asking why car drivers have to wear a seatbelt and motorcyclists don't.
The answer is simple: The last thing a biker wants to have happen if the bike goes down is to be pinned under a few hundred pounds of hot metal. If you go down you just hope you can get away fast or at least have had crash bars installed so that if you do go down you can get out from underneath all that hot metal.
Those pipes and engines are hot enough to cook meat, which is why smart bikers wear boots and jeans. It's not just to look cool while we're out riding around.Michel Grotstein
LET'S CAMPAIGN TO STOP RED-LIGHT RUNNING
While I applaud the efforts to get everyone to buckle up, I would like to suggest another campaign: Run it Red, Walk Instead.
If you are caught running a red light, you lose your license for one month.
I am consistently shocked by the number of drivers who break the law and run red lights. Recently in 'Aina Haina when I was going home from work the light turned yellow, so I stopped. The car pulling up next to me waited until it was nearly red and went straight through. I caught up to the vehicle at the next intersection and since her window was open, said, "The light was red." Without batting an eyelash, and with her son still wearing his private school duds in the front seat, she replied, "I saw yellow."
What a great lesson to teach your child. I wish I could have shared with her that my three sons and a friend were hit on July 4, 2007, by a woman who ran a red light in Hawai'i Kai. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries, although they were pretty shaken up and the truck had to be repaired.
Another campaign would be Flick it and Pick it! Do you know that if a police officer sees you flick a cigarette butt from your vehicle, you will receive a $100 littering ticket and have to do four hours of community service? Could you imagine the humiliation if you had to pick up cigarette butts along the road in your neighborhood for a few hours in front of your friends?
If you choose to smoke, be responsible and keep your 'opala in your car.
Click it or Ticket, Run it Red- Walk Instead, Flick it and Pick it. Any suggestions for an anti-drunk driving campaign?Lane Woodall
RIDING BICYCLE SAFELY IS AN ACQUIRED SKILL
While I agree with the main thrust of your May 16 editorial, "Honolulu must speed up its bike transit effort," I disagree with the underlying premise that "charting a safe bike course from here to there can be difficult."
The statistics supporting the supposition that Honolulu's roads are more dangerous than places that are rated more "bicycle friendly," such as Portland and Seattle, are simply not there. What is present is the perception that our roads are unsafe for bicyclists and The Advertiser editorial serves to perpetuate this misconception.
Riding a bicycle comfortably in traffic is an acquired skill. The key is to remember that a bicycle is a vehicle and should obey all the traffic laws just like other vehicles.
If you show respect for the other road users and ride in a predictable manner, motor vehicles will show you respect as well.
This philosophy has served me well in my 20 years of riding my bicycle to work and all around O'ahu.
Those who are uncomfortable riding in heavy traffic should start on roads with less traffic and as their skills improve move to the more heavily traveled roads.
More information on effectively riding in traffic can be found on the League of American Bicyclists Web site.
Don't wait for the bike plan to be implemented, start enjoying the benefits of cycling on O'ahu now.John P. Wendell
SCHOOL CHANGES COULD HELP IMPROVE TRAFFIC
School vacation is coming in two weeks and the island can expect a substantial improvement in commute times. Have the powers that be ever noticed this phenomenon, or are they too involved in getting a mass transit system?
If some action were taken by the state and Department of Education, maybe we could experience some commute time reduction year-around.
We have freedom of choice in this country, but schools were built specifically to accommodate the population in a given area.
Maybe it's time to require public students attend the school nearest their home.
Maybe for the first two years of general college education students should be required to attend the nearest community college, including UH-West O'ahu.
Actions other than mass transit need to be taken, especially when they don't cost a billion dollars that have minimal impact on the commute.Paul Miller