For Friday, August 27, 2010
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Aug 27, 2010
What happened to the oversight committee for the useless projects of the state Department of Transportation? The DOT has once again built its bridge to nowhere -- the web site for traffic commuters.
Here again is an adult play toy for the engineers, a complicated and expensive system that shows traffic movement so the driver can avoid bottlenecks. In front of a TV it might be practical, but definitely not to the driver in his car, because he can't see or study it.
Coupled with the road cameras that show traffic, it does nothing more than provide content for TV news. One channel broadcasts the information three times in one 30-minute period -- to viewers, not drivers. Can't someone please put a stop to such waste?
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Former Mayor Mufi Hannemann is already describing what he will do if elected governor. As mayor he took away the much-needed bus stops in Waikiki, which put a hardship on the elderly and tourists. I wrote letters to him and to the newspaper asking him to please return the bus stop on Kapahulu and Cartwright, but he refused. I also asked him to walk the distance from Paoakalani Avenue to Kapahulu, but he refused. It makes a hardship on all of us to have to walk the distance, especially if we have a few groceries. Give us a mayor who cares about the elderly and tourists.
The recently published polls on the gubernatorial and mayoral races simply indicate that impact of union endorsements is fading (Star-Advertiser, Aug. 22-24).
More than four decades ago, union leaderships had a strong grip on the rank-and-file. Not anymore. Union members now are more educated, more informed, more independent and intrepid enough to not be easily intimidated by their leaders. It can be inferred, then, that a candidate who has the backing of several unions does not hold a guarantee of victory.
Democracy is working positively now. Yes, we vote for a candidate, whether he or she be a Democrat, Republican or independent, who we think will best serve the public well.
The Star-Advertiser reported that only 40 people attended a recent Board of Education candidate forum, although a count taken shortly after the event began indicated more than 100 people in attendance ( "BOE forum fields furlough questions," Star-Advertiser, Aug. 24).
Although still modest, the number of people who came reflects increased interest in public education since the Furlough Fridays crisis last year. As one candidate commented, "It is nice to see more people in the audience than there are of us up here."
Those who missed the forum can view the program when it airs on 'Olelo Community Television on Sept. 9 at 1 p.m., Sept. 12 at 10 p.m., Sept. 13 at 6:30 p.m. and Sept. 14 at 2 p.m.
With the voter turnout rate at less than 50 percent, it was a good idea to close 97 polling places.
More should be said about the permanent absentee ballot. No lines to stand in. No searching for a parking space. You get your ballot in the mail, and you don't even have to put a stamp on the envelope; it's prepaid. Just vote and mail it. How much easier can it be?
Absentee ballots are the way to go.
Is Gov. Linda Lingle pulling a Sarah Palin without really resigning, just pushing the hard decisions for the next guy?
First, even though she must know the issue of some recognition of full civil rights for same-sex couples will come up again or even go to the courts, she vetoes the civil unions bill.
Now, she says the state's decision on the Honolulu rail system may have to wait for the next governor?
Even though I'm ambivalent about the rail, mostly due to the fact that the mayor's administration managed to side-step neighborhood board reviews and questions, and that instead of going down state property on Nimitz Highway it's going to destroy much of Dillingham Boulevard as a business place in Kalihi, among other issues, I will hate to see the rail system fail only because Hawaii is too late to the table.