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Letters to the Editor

For Thursday, May 19, 2011

LAST UPDATED: 4:52 p.m. HST, Aug 5, 2011

Rail lawsuit was downplayed

The lead headline on Friday's front page should have been, "Lawsuit may stop rail dead in its tracks." Instead the story was buried in the back of the paper.

You could have elaborated that some of our most prominent and best brains have filed this lawsuit to invalidate the project's environmental impact statement.

You could have mentioned the individuals and groups involved, including retired Judge Walter Heen, Hawaii's Thousand Friends, University of Hawaii professor and "Broken Trust" co-author Randy Roth, state Sen. Sam Slom and former Gov. Ben Cayetano.

Pat Lohr

How to write us

The Star-Advertiser welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (~150 words). The Star-Advertiser reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include your area of residence and a daytime telephone number.

Letter form: Online form, click here
Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

Make rail critics pay for delays

Wake up, Honolulu. We can thank the anti-rail movement and its head "expert" for intruding on us for the past 20 years. Bill the anti-rail movement for the extra costs incurred. Rail should have been built long ago.

For those who say "I will not use it" or "It does not service my area," please think: Are you better off today with traffic since the 1980s with no rail? It is "green" and every major city in and outside of the U.S. has a mass rail system, and it works. Tell Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, etc., to use HOV lanes and shut down their rail systems, and see if it works. Go, rail. Go, green — fewer cars, less pollution.

Berni Chu

Rail project needs strict oversight

Now that the Oahu rail system project is in progress, draconian efforts must be taken to enlighten the public/taxpayers of the financial situation on a current basis.

It would behoove the Star-Advertiser, in conjunction with the state and city, to report on a weekly schedule all transactions — both incoming funds and the costs/expenses — throughout the phases of the rail system development and construction. Column headings could include funding entities, consultants, contractors, budgeted funds anticipated, appropriated funds received, funds expended, cost overruns, and current balance.

A monthly "project to-date" summary would tie in the weekly figures. The amounts could be reported in a format that could be adjusted periodically, understandable the layperson.

With these financial disclosures, future participants will appreciate the enormity of this project and hopefully, accept the fares necessary to perpetuate it.

Lloyd Nishina

Tutu's words hateful to Jews

I am writing in response to Robert Stiver's letter regarding the American Psychiatric Association inviting Desmond Tutu to be our keynote speaker ("Desmond Tutu offers inspiring message," Star-Advertiser, Letters, May 15).

I am a Pittsburgh psychiatrist here for our annual meeting in your marvelously hospitable and beautiful city/state. The invitation to Mr. Tutu was extended last year by our association's president, who reportedly had not vetted the bishop and had no knowledge of his views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Ours is an organization that supports and recognizes that people have many views, some of which are diametrically opposed to the views of others or even to those of the majority of our members.

Those of us who oppose Mr. Tutu's being honored feel that way not because of his views but because of his language of hate, inaccurate declarations, and statements that refer to those of us who are Jewish with words that border on anti-Semitism, words that frighteningly echo the exact words which have, since time immemorial, been used to disparage Jews.

Daniel S. Shrager, M.D.
Jefferson Hills, Pa.

Oahu Arts Center mischaracterized

In a commentary piece on a proposed senior affordable housing project, it is unfortunate that six members of the Mililani Mauka/ Lauanani Valley Neighborhood Board chose to mischaracterize the actions and motivations of the Oahu Arts Center ("Mililani Mauka housing project is in community's best interest," Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, May 4).

If the authors had asked, they would have learned that several attorneys concluded OAC had a strong legal position and expressed a willingness to represent OAC in enforcing the agreement with Castle & Cooke. However, after long discussions, the OAC board of directors felt litigation would be divisive, and therefore elected not to use litigation as a means to accomplish its vision.

Rather, the Oahu Arts Center, its directors and its community of volunteers have taken the path of continuing to work with key strategic partners like Castle & Cooke, the city and other entities to work toward an outcome that accomplishes our common objectives.

We are committed to doing what is best for the community, as well as fulfilling the commitments that were made to get there, particularly to those residents in the area who have been waiting for our dream to be realized. The OAC remains steadfast in its commitment to bring to life a vibrant community of culture and art in Central Oahu.

Edmund Aczon
President, Oahu Arts Center, Mililani

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