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Off the News

For Friday, June 3, 2011


City's new poll on rail: Money well spent?

Mayor Peter Carlisle, fidgety as Hono­lulu's rail transit authority prepares to begin operation next month, ordered a $24,000 telephone poll of 902 people that shows popularity for the project still exists. He now can breathe easier. Or can he?

Some 57 percent support the rail transit either strongly or somewhat. That is not a landslide, but it is more than the 53 percent in last year's election who approved establishment of the transit authority. One in four told pollsters that they strongly oppose the rail, and that is not likely to change.

As for all the issues of lawsuits and people saying "the sky is falling," Carlisle says the poll results show, "Not so. Unequivocally not so." O-kay.

Pranksters need to get a life, not point lasers

Some people seriously need to rethink what qualifies as a prank. Among them: those aiming powerful laser-pointers at airplanes in and around Hawaii airports.

The Federal Aviation Administration counted 32 laser strikes in the islands in its effort to crack down on the practice. Pilots who suddenly are blinded by a laser strike hold the safety of many people in their hands, so a boost in fines for the practice — up to $11,000 per offense — is warranted.

If only those laser-pointers left an indelible trail. That way it would be easier to find out who gets tagged with the violation — and the bill.

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