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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, May 10, 2010

Rail project


Ex-governor Ben Cayetano has reinvented himself as a proponent of clean government since leaving office. He's employed that theme in opposing the rail transit project and he's dusted it off in his latest, and we might add, unsubstantiated broadside, with an assist from Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi.

His claims regarding the process we used to hire firms working on rail are spurious. The City and County of Honolulu has been prudently, if not meticulously, complying with all federal, state, and county procurement laws and regulations for the rail project. That's been confirmed by federal reviews of the financial plan, an analysis by the Hawai'i Business Roundtable, and an audit by the city auditor.

And here's the kicker: The procurement law the city has been following was proposed and approved by the very person now complaining that we didn't follow the law — Ben Cayetano. Hawai'i Administrative Rules, Section 3-122-66, states that "if the names of less than three qualified persons are submitted the head of the purchasing agency may determine that negotiations may be conducted provided that the prices submitted are fair and reasonable, and other prospective offerors had reasonable opportunity to respond."

As a longtime friend and supporter of gubernatorial candidate Neil Abercrombie and a backer of Kobayashi's 2008 mayoral ambitions, the ex-governor's claims should be labeled for what they are: baseless, politically motivated rubbish and a waste of the taxpayers' time and money.

Rix Maurer Iii
Chief procurement officer, Department of Budget and Fiscal Services, City and County of Honolulu



When are people going to learn? It doesn't always happen to someone else. Ask the parents of the young lady who died Friday.

It brings back memories from the mid-'80s when we lived in Maryland. One night, coming home from work, I came across an accident with emergency equipment and police on the scene. A pickup loaded with high school children had struck a tree.

Initially, rescuers thought there were one injury and one dead. Then lights of an arriving fire engine revealed bodies in the tree; children, riding in the bed of the pickup catapulted into the tree and had been impaled on tree limbs; none survived. The final count: one injured, six or seven dead.

Maryland law regarding riding in open pickups was changed and Hawai'i should consider the same. Life is not worth an "open air ride." Wake up, it can happen to you.

Bernard Judson



The state of Hawai'i's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2009, has yet to be issued.

Perhaps the governor is holding up the report because she doesn't want to face the public outcry when the auction-based securities that were written down by $114 million in 2008 are written down by even a larger amount in 2009.

If the anticipated additional write-down occurs, the combined amount will be substantially larger than the $184 million in the Hurricane Relief Fund.

Unfortunately, it appears we can add fiscal mismanagement to active volcanoes in the attributes we share with Iceland.

John P. Wendell



Isn't it funny that during the debate over the financial bailout and health care, the citizens of Hawaii received no call from our national leaders to obtain our position or to inform us of these issues?

It is also funny that Rep. Hirono is not calling.

What kind of team will we have in the U.S. House of Representatives?

Perhaps it's time to elect a Republican who may call us to inform us of issues in Washington, D.C.

It is discouraging that citizens only hear from elected officials when they need help with their campaign, asking for donations or asking us to vote in a directed way.

Do they just forget the average citizen when they don't need help?

Loke Leong



I'm glad to see that Gov. Linda Lingle will consider all points of view before deciding on HB 444, which allows any adult couple to enter into a civil union with the same rights and benefits provided to those who marry.

Gov. Lingle must let HB 444 become law because by doing so she will be carrying out her oath of office to support the Hawai'i Constitution.

Adult couples who cannot marry are being denied the enjoyment of the rights and benefits that the state provides to those couples who marry.

As a practical matter, adult couples who cannot marry are being discriminated against on the basis of their sex.

Article I, Section 5, of the Hawai'i Constitution provides:

"No person shall ... be denied the enjoyment of the person's civil rights or be discriminated against in the exercise thereof because of race, religion, sex or ancestry."

Because it is clear that same-sex couples cannot marry and are thus being denied the rights and benefits given to those can marry, Gov. Lingle must allow HB 444 to become law to support the Hawai'i Constitution.

John Ishihara



Charles Djou and Ed Case criticize Colleen Hanabusa for advocating the so-called excessive government spending. Republicans pooh-pooh Franklin Roosevelt's recovery program during the Great Depression. They say it wasn't FDR it was World War II.

It wasn't WWII. It was deficit spending. In 1944, it was 56 percent of gross domestic product. And most of the stuff produced was junked after the war.

What does this mean in terms of the election now in progress? It means that President Obama needs all the support he can get to ensure a solid recovery. With high unemployment, high foreclosure/bankruptcy rates and dependence on oil, we have a long way to go.

Colleen Hanabusa is closer to Obama's policies than either of the others. Charles Djou's call for "change" is really just a step back to the old Republican tax-cut ideology. Ed Case's "independence" is really a disguise for opportunity (think Joe Lieberman). I recommend voting for Colleen Hanabusa.

One last thought. No matter who wins, we need to change our state Constitution to require a runoff election if no candidate receives at least 40 percent of those cast.

Geoffrey Hill