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Lack of seating typical for rail

If you’ve ever lived in a big city, you’ve probably used a rail system. Then you know that during most of the day, when most elderly folks and shoppers use the rail, there are many empty seats.

During rush hour you’re happy to get on at all and be able to stand holding onto a pole or strap.

As the train leaves the central city where it’s packed during rush hour, people constantly exit at their stops and seats soon become available.

Thus, it makes sense to have much more accommodation for standing than for sitting. That’s just how it works.

Stephen Ugelow
Hawaii Kai

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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 Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published.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.

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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

 Hurricane fund can be restarted

We would like to clear up some misconceptions about the Hawaii Hurricane Relief Fund.

After Hurricane Iniki devastated Kauai in 1992, many insurers stopped writing hurricane coverage. The HHRF was the state’s response to provide hurricane insurance when there were limited private insurers available.  

HHRF ceased operations when private insurers returned to the market in 2002, and has not collected any revenues since then. The monies remaining in the fund are kept to reactivate the coverage if necessary.

Every homeowner in Hawaii should already have hurricane insurance, which would cover any claims when a hurricane hits.

HHRF will be needed only if a hurricane strikes and an inadequate amount of private insurance is available.

The state will utilize HHRF to address the state’s fiscal crisis, and will incorporate provisions to quickly restart HHRF when necessary.

Gordon Ito
State insurance commissioner


Tokyo resident thanks Hawaii

Though damage from the earthquake was limited in Tokyo, I thought about canceling my trip to Honolulu. But I found myself very tired and having trouble sleeping: Weak earthquakes were still continuing and the TV programs about the disaster and radiation problems soaked me in sadness and fear. So I decided to have a break.

To be honest, I was expecting something harsh in Hawaii because of the radiation problem. But what I found instead were donation boxes and messages elsewhere, trying to soothe and encourage people suffering from the disaster.

I did not have the courage to say “thank you” directly to the people, but I felt very warm and relieved.

Now Tokyo is dark at night due to the electricity limitation, and you find empty shelves at the supermarkets. But the break in Hawaii gave me the power and hope to cope with this fragile life, and I do deeply appreciate Hawaii people and the land for charging me the energy.

Tomoko Ohashi


UH president doing her job

The Star-Advertiser has misfired twice in taking shots at University of Hawaii President M.R.C. Greenwood. First, you complained that she continued taking a hefty housing allowance rather than move into the renovated official UH president’s residence, College Hill.

Well, near the end of that story was the fact that Greenwood’s disabled companion’s needs were not provided for; the companion could not climb the stairs to the second-floor bedroom — hardly an insignificant problem.

Now you have disclosed that Greenwood spent about $130,000 in her first 11 months as president from a fund administered by the UH Foundation, which raises private contributions for the university.

What critics fail to recognize is that the president of a major university is also by necessity its chief fund-raiser. These expenditures are for the essential work of promoting UH and cultivating donors. That is what university presidents do.

The story failed to provide comparable figures for other universities, perhaps because they would be similar.

Carl H. Zimmerman

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