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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, February 8, 2010

Frank Fasi

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Tara O'Neill, of Waikk, waves a sign at the state Capitol in support of HB 444 on civil unions. The House deferred action on the bill, effectively killing it for this session.

REBECCA BREYER | The Honolulu Advertiser

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MAYOR DELIVERED ON PROMISE OF JOB

I graduated from college in 1969 and returned home to Hawai'i. Mayor Fasi stated he wanted Hawai'i's young adults to return home to work. I wrote him a letter and said I wanted to work.

He said that if I passed the civil service exam, I would obtain employment. He was true to his word. I passed the examination and was hired.

I will always remember Mayor Fasi as someone who gave me an opportunity. We will miss him.

Kamaka Gunderson | Phoa

FASI WORKED ACROSS POLITICAL PARTIES

In my opinion Frank Fasi was the greatest mayor Ho-nolulu County ever had. And I say this in deference to Neal Blaisdell and Johnny Wilson. Mayor Fasi had a hands-on approach to county management that is unmatched even at the present time.

As a Democratic member of the City Council, Frank befriended me when I first ran for public office as a Republican. He voluntarily assisted me by printing up membership cards and instructing me in how to do grassroots organization.

When I was a state representative and senator, Frank worked with me to keep the Ala Wai Canal pristine and our roads paved, established bike lanes at my request and would attend to any problem, from sewage to public restroom cleanliness, immediately.

Frank is already sorely missed and will never be forgotten. Frank was a delight to be with.

John Carroll | Honoka'a, Big Island

CIVIL UNIONS

HOUSE MEMBERS' ACTIONS ARE SELFISH

However you regard civil unions, no one can deny that the House of Representatives' failure to hold a roll call vote was shameful. As citizens, we have a right to know how our elected officials vote on important issues.

The House of Representatives' failure to accord us that right can only be explained by their desire to protect their chances to be re-elected. That appalling selfishness reminds me of their vote to give themselves a pay raise when the state is broke. Is it any wonder people are turned off by politics?

LUNSFORD PHILLIPS | Kailua

STATE DOES NOT EXEMPLIFY TOLERANCE

Hawaii can no longer pretend to be a model of tolerance and a beacon of liberty. We are now officially a state of bigots.

Even the Muslim nation of Indonesia understands the complex nature of gender and sexuality better than we do. It recognizes five genders, and protects the rights of people of all genders, including their right to marry whomever they please.

KURT BUTLER | Wailuku, Maui

GOP

PARTY SHOULD WORK ON FINDING SOLUTIONS

I was amazed that according to a recent article, the GOP's slogan for their meeting on Oahu is "Playing to Win."

There were so many other choices: "Finding Jobs for All Americans," "Solving the Health Care Crisis," "Looking for Ways to Pay Back the National Debt Incurred under Bush," "Finding a Way Out of the War in Iraq," "Taxing Rich Bankers and Other Wealthy Americans Instead of the Poor," "Cooperating to Find Solutions," and so on.

Instead of focusing on finding solutions for the nation's problems, the GOP admits "Playing to Win" is the important thing in 2010. It does make one pause and think.

SUE GREEN | Honolulu

EDUCATION

WE NEED TO STUDY THE BEST SYSTEMS

It's great that the three ex-governors brought more attention to the need for structural change in the DOE and proposed an appointed Board of Education. It's also great that The Honolulu Advertiser weighed in on the issue as well. However, what was missing were any facts backing up the opinions.

Why doesn't The Advertiser do some good investigative reporting and find out which states get the best results for the money spent and then look at how those states' education systems are organized? Hawaii is the only statewide system in the United States, and I think that is best in terms of equitable funding. But in terms of management of the system, what system gets the best results? I'm sure this kind of research has been done before, but is not coming out in the media coverage of this issue.

ANTYA MILLER | Haleiwa

RAIL

WE SHOULD GET IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME

Building a street-level commuter train through Downtown, as AIA Honolulu and others suggest, would doom fixed-rail transit to failure before ground is even broken.

Successful commuter train systems worldwide use the same common sense formula. For less congested areas surrounding a city, feeder lines are built at ground level to save money. Main lines though a city's populated areas are built either below ground or elevated to prevent auto gridlock and insure sufficient train speed on the main corridor.

Many cities not using this formula are now paying a heavy price. Setagaya, Japan, where I lived and commuted, is a good example. As Setagaya developed, train congestion has forced the operator to rebuild much of the original ground level main line to a combination of elevated and underground lines.

This process is taking decades, costing billions, and is an engineering nightmare because the existing line must continue running during construction.

Ultimately, success of Honolulu's fixed rail rapid transit will depend on building sufficient scale. Putting the main line at street-level is a Catch-22: As feeder lines are added and ridership increases, it will choke the rest of Honolulu's transportation network.

So for success, we need an elevated system.

Benjamin Bystrom | Honolulu