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Uncovering data on rail deserves praise

The editorial, "Cayetano’s rail tactics a disservice" (Star-Advertiser, Our View, March 18) totally obscures the Star-Advertiser’s own lawsuits to obtain information that was unlawfully withheld.

On numerous occasions, the Star-Advertiser has advocated openness in government and has filed successful lawsuits that have allowed it to get information being withheld that deserved to be public. That was heroic and worthwhile.

But when former Gov. Ben Cayetano does something similar with an expensive lawsuit against the city, the Star-Advertiser says his actions were a disservice and politically motivated.

Wasn’t it equally politically motivated for the Hannemann, and then the Carlisle administrations to "hide" the information from the public?

Let’s not dumb down the ongoing arguments for and against rail. Let the public know the information, as the Star-Advertiser has advocated in court in the past, and exercise its right to vote for what it believes to be in its best interests.

Earl Arakaki
Ewa Beach

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 Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published.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

Rail will compete with other priorities

A rail system may be important to many residents on Oahu, even imperative to some.But this most expensive project undertaken by Honolulu deserves consideration in perspective.

Once fully obligated and spent, there will be few dollars for other urgent needs for Honolulu.

Although this rail capability may prove useful to commute from Kapolei to Ala Moana, should rail deserve funding at the expense of past-due remedies for deficiencies in our infrastructure, such as sewer, water and electric power systems?

Emergency medical care, unfunded pensions for our public servants and transit system needs for all Oahu residents are other imperative concerns.

Federal monies are promised are not yet guaranteed.Future rail cost may also increase.

There is compelling need for frugality and efficiency in our budget spending. Thus, our elected leaders must address all of Honolulu’s needs to ascertain our most deserving spending priorities.

Kay Kimura

Naniloa Hotel was delightful to visit

Upon reading your front-page article on Hilo’s Naniloa Hotel, Iam compelled to write in defense of owner Ken Fujiyama ("State of disrepair," Star-Advertiser, March 17).

Recently, I stayed at the Naniloa due to my work as a minister. I was aware that capital improvements were needed,but, more important,I wasimpressed by the hotel’s "can-do" attitude, its friendly professional staff and well-appointedrooms.Daily I enjoyed its spectacular views, clean swimming pool and complimentary breakfasts.

Your article would have been newsworthy had you given greater attention to the progress made by Fujiyama in restoring the historic hotel and keeping it open in the midst of these tough economic times.We oughtto applaud thoseamong us who have the vision and courage to undertake significant challenges for the larger good of the communityat a high personal cost. In so doing, Fujiyama saved us from acquiescing to a mainland conglomerate, as we are apt to do, often to our long-range disadvantage.

WallyT. Fukunaga

Road repaving gets short shrift on Oahu

We have been coming to Oahu every year since 2004 (and hope to keep coming for several more years) and have been staying for more than just a few days each time.

I am very glad that it is not my own car that has to take the beating that the roads here give out.

We are from Delaware and the winters there are hard on the roads, but at least road officials know when to repave them.

I don’t think I’ve seen one road repaved here over all those years, and sometimes it gets hard to dodge all the potholes or put up will all the bumps as we travel around your beautiful island.

Would it really hurt to put some money into the roads?I don’t think so.

Paul Stambaugh
Hockessin, Del.

‘Meth babies’ not same as all students

A recent article reported that a study has found that "meth babies" have behavior problems. ("Study finds behavior risks for children of meth users," Star-Advertiser, March 19).

Public school teachers, counselors and administrators have known this for decades.Many of their behavior problems interfere with their own learning, and their disruptive behaviors interfere with their classmates’ learning.

Many of these "drug babies" have difficulty with even basic learning tasks and will never meet grade-level expectations on standardized assessments such as the Hawaii State Assesment.

Yet under the provisions of No Child Left Behind, they are included in the "all students" who must meet grade-level expectations by 2014.How ridiculous!

Tony Turbeville

Iran dragging Israel into confrontation

With respect to Edward Gaffney’s letter about Israel dragging the U.S. into war: He has things backwards ("Don’t let Israel lead us into war with Iran," Star-Advertiser, Letters, March 18). It is Iran that is dragging Israel, the U.S. and numerous other nations into war.

Until we understand this unequivocally, Iran will continue to get away with its support of terrorism and its disastrous pursuit of a nuclear weapon, the gain of which will destroy whatever precarious balance of power and fear exists in the Middle East.

And note, no other Middle Eastern nations are currently pursuing the bomb because they live in fear of an Israeli nuclear strike. But should Iran gain a nuclear weapon, most experts agree that numerous other neighboring nations will embark on their own nuclear quest. Who, indeed, is pulling the U.S. into war?

Peter S. Glick
Waialae-Nui Ridge

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