FORMER MAYOR DID MUCH FOR THE CITY
Frank Fasi did great things for Honolulu: satellite city halls, the Blaisdell Center complex and TheBus (we called it "Uncle Frank's Taxi"). However, one thing stood out in my mind was never done, but it showed me the foresight of the mayor.
As a sophomore in 1975, a spokesman from the Fasi administration came to our high school and gave a lecture.
It was the planned construction of a rapid transit system that would stretch from Ewa to Hawaii Kai with feeder lines to Wahiawā and Waikīkī. The spokesman went on to say it was important for the future of Hono-lulu. How prophetic. Thirty-five years later, we could use that system now.
Aloha, Mr. Mayor. Thanks for the memories.
ROBERT K. SOBERANO | Honolulu
WAIANAE BOARD MEMBER INSPIRED
I would like to thank the parents of Michael Anderson for raising such a fine young man.
I became acquainted with Michael through the Waianae Neighborhood Board Education Committee.
He was a gentleman with a wonderful sense of humor. His passion was education, and furlough Fridays were one of his pet peeves. He personified the best in our young people.
I just hope he inspires other young people to try to make a difference in our world. It is so sad that we had him with us for so short a time.
LINDA ASATO | Waianae
POLITICIANS NEED TO STATE THEIR POSITIONS
Monday was the first day to file candidacy papers to run in the upcoming election. So, here are my positions on the issues of the day:
I am for civil unions; against raiding any funds to pay teachers to return to the classroom — they should work for free on furlough days. I would tax future developers in Ewa to pay for rapid transit; give tax incentives and credits for alternative energy development; build an above-ground rapid transit system (in case of tidal wave); and end year-round school so that kids can get jobs in the summer to learn how to handle responsibility and money or go to summer school and have a couple of weeks off to go to the beach.
Since I have clearly stated my positions on the issues, I guess I can't run for public office. Our current politicians don't verbally announce their positions up-front, but hide them until the very last moment, or refuse to have a roll-call vote. So, I guess I would never be elected in this state.
KIMBERLY CASE | Honolulu
PROJECT WILL BE COSTLY FOR OUR KEIKI
So the Federal Transit Administration proposes to spend $55 million next year (assuming Congress approves and appropriates the funds) on Honolulu's risky rail scheme. In the hands of The Advertiser, this somehow morphs into the city receiving its first payment. Talk about counting your chickens. Columnist Jerry Burris is a little more circumspect, writing that "the federal government seems inclined to support the project." Inclinations is not money in the bank.
Meanwhile, it has been reported that the Obama administration will have to borrow on the order of $1.8 trillion dollars to pay for its proposed budget, much of it coming from oil sheiks and China. I guess when we have to borrow that much, what's another measly $55 million, right?
I just feel sorry for our keiki who will be saddled with all this debt in the future, not to mention the ongoing operating expense of rail.
SCOTT SMART | Mililani
TALENT SHOW FUELS CHILDREN'S DREAMS
Outstanding young singers, dancers and bands from 50 Hawaii schools performed this past Friday and Saturday at McKinley High School's auditorium, as part of the revived Brown Bags to Stardom juried talent competition. Each year, students from Oahu, Maui, Kauai, the Big Island and Molokai also participate.
Last year, producer Johnny Kai added a separate concert to showcase elementary and middle school students. Despite furloughs and cutbacks, businesses, teachers, students and parents are working together to encourage children's musical dreams.
Our Farrington students and others are grateful to Johnny Kai for his tireless efforts in organizing both the Music Video Challenge and the concerts.
CHRISTINE HO | Teacher, Farrington High School
DECISION ON FUNDING ASSURES FREE SPEECH
Cordell Haugen's letter (Feb. 1) expresses disdain for the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to remove restrictions on corporations spending money in an effort to influence elections. There are, in the anti-corporation fervor, important aspects that are being overlooked. The campaign law also prevented groups from mentioning an incumbent 30 or 60 days before an election, the time when the public is paying attention.
The restricted groups included what some consider bad and others consider good corporations and organizations, such as Right to Life, The Environmental Defense Fund, National Rifle Association, Exxon-Mobil, et al. Not restricted are "news" organizations that could show the public favor or disdain for certain candidates. Government has no right to restrict free speech of some groups over others.
The court ruling affirms free speech for all.
JOHN MACK | Mililani