For Thursday, November 1, 2012
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Nov 1, 2012
Transit alternatives needed for growth
Anyone still considering voting to throw Oahu under former Gov. Ben Cayetano's bus to nowhere needs to take a tour of our jammed-up island.
Start by taking a bus into Waikiki during morning rush hour, walk around a bit and then try to get back where you started. Try the same with Ala Moana Center.
Then if you're tired of waiting for crowded buses, drive to West Oahu through Pearl City and across farmland slated for development with or without rail.
Check out the 15 or so T-shaped concrete pillars Cayetano would turn into a Hawaii Stonehenge. Imagine students walking from a nearby rail station to the new University of Hawaii-West Oahu campus. Check out the new Kroc Center, the Hawaiian Home Lands development and the site for a new regional mall.
Planning and building transport and energy alternatives are good for Oahu's people and environment. Polls indicate voters now are realizing we need leaders who will build for growth rather than pretend it isn't already happening.
Tourists won't ride rail transit system
I really can't let the letter from Art Ratcliffe go unchallenged ("Millions of tourists will use rail transit," Star-Advertiser, Letters, Oct. 29). Honolulu's rail transit system will be only very marginally attractive to tourists, so expecting any significant ridership from that source is just dreaming.
Does rail come close to Waikiki? No, it will be a $10 taxi ride each way to and from Ala Moana, which represents the better part of a day's car rental by itself. Does the rail system go anywhere that tourists want to go? Hanauma Bay, Sea Life Park, North Shore, Diamond Head, Polynesian Cultural Center, the Pali Lookout, even Waikele outlets stores — all no.
Looking at the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation website, I couldn't immediately figure out how many tourist passengers they were counting; I am sure there are some already, but certainly not millions. In truth, I have never seen a ridership forecast for rapid transit before it was built that wasn't at least 25 percent optimistic.
PRP hasn't changed Cayetano's numbers
I don't like the Pacific Resource Partnership ads any more than the next person, but I don't think they're having the effect on the mayor's race that some claim.
The anti-rail former Gov. Ben Cayetano was at 44 percent in the February Hawaii Poll before the PRP campaign started. He polled the same 44 percent in July and in the primary a few weeks later, even though the PRP ads had been running for months. Three more months of PRP ads and Cayetano's most recent Hawaii Poll numbers were essentially unchanged at 42 percent.
The pro-rail candidates, Kirk Caldwell and Peter Carlisle, together polled in the low 50 percent in February and July, and in the August primary. The most recent Hawaii Poll puts Caldwell at a similar 53 percent.
Maybe people want to hear about other issues and think Cayetano is just a one-trick pony.
Blaming only PRP for Cayetano's numbers underestimates the voters.
Caldwell, PRP lack integrity, courage
What would it take for you to reverse your endorsement of Kirk Caldwell to former Gov. Ben Cayetano for mayor? The totally false accusations against Cayetano perpetuated by Pacific Resource Partnership in its campaign ads are unprecedented and unwarranted in Hawaii. These ads are obviously from organizations and people whose intent is to have the rail project continue. It's not right that unnamed donors with their money can influence this election.
Caldwell standing quiet while these ads run just shows the lack of integrity he has, not a quality we want in a mayor. Also his being in the obvious back pocket of the unions is upsetting because he cannot be independent in his future dealing with them in their upcoming labor negotiations.
Sometimes it takes courage for you to do the right thing.
Airport travelers left unprotected
The airport and Hawaiian Airlines both failed miserably to protect passengers landing near the time the tsunami was supposed to hit. We got an in-flight announcement from the pilot, telling us the roads might be closed before we landed, but no safety measures were offered, no buses to evacuate us, not even a suggestion that we remain on the upper level.
Instead it was business as usual once we landed — messages about connecting flights and directions to baggage claim (at sea level!). At the time the wave was predicted to hit, many were in a taxi line with no taxis. No emergency personnel were in evidence. If things had gone as predicted, hundreds could have died.
HPD increases Chinatown patrols
Working in partnership with residents and business owners, the Honolulu Police Department has made significant progress in reducing crime in Chinatown.
We want to thank the public for doing its part by attending neighborhood meetings, following safety and security tips, and reporting criminal activity.
For our part, we have increased patrols and added plainclothes officers. Behind the scenes, we are using the latest crime technology to help process evidence and identify suspects.
Despite these joint efforts, the recent series of business break-ins shows us that there is still work to be done. HPD has opened several burglary investigations, and we are actively pursuing leads at this time.
Maj. Sean Naito
HPD District 1 (Downtown-Chinatown)
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