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Rail ridership will take care of itself

A recent letter revealed the writer’s opposition to rail when he said it was unlikely that people who live by a rail station would use the service.

Many people are likely to use rail: those who sit in traffic, then find out that the rail can get them to their work in less time without the frustrations of sitting in traffic, being cut off by rude drivers and finding parking.

People who live close to a rail station are even more likely to use it.

Opponents have predicted delays, cost overruns and low ridership; yet their lawsuits have caused delays and costs.

If rail is a better option for commuters — and there are reasons to believe it will be — ridership will take care of itself.

Tom Koenig

Let private schools take public funds

I was at first very disappointed to hear that only the Hawaii Department of Education was getting state funds for prekinder- garten ("Hanabusa, Schatz differ on changing Constitution," Star-Advertiser, May 11).

But then I was surprised to learn that the state currently is prohibited from contracting with community preschools because they are considered "private" and therefore it would violate the Hawaii Constitution.

It seems a waste of resources to ignore the private network that currently exists.

Thank you, legislators, for putting a constitutional amendment to allow this on the November ballot.

It will take all of us, public and private sector, to give our keiki the early head start they deserve.

Ieva Bytautaite

Internment camps weren’t ‘good’ at all

This is in response to the letter about the homeless and World War II site ("Homeless could live at WWII site," Star-Advertiser, May 16).

It said about the Honouliuli internment camp site: "If it was good enough for 2,000 people of Japanese ancestry … it should be good enough for the homeless people here in Hawaii."

For the record, this camp — or any other internment camps in WWII — was not "good" for the internees who lived in them.

They endured an injustice and suffering that should not have happened in the first place: separation from family and friends, governmental and social ostracism, mental anguish knowing they had committed no crime yet were incarcerated, totally isolated in miserable remote locations, and dealing with the psychological aftermath of returning to their communities after the war with still much prejudice to overcome.

It is incredible that even today, after seven decades, the same myopic view of the Japanese that led to the illegal incarceration of more than 120,000 immigrants and U.S. citizens in WWII still exists.

John Okutani

Touted projects will be black holes

Regarding the front-page stories on May 16 ("Insurers bleed $35.9M" and "Board OKs $57M in change orders"): Obamacare is going to cost us more instead of saving us money, and Honolulu’s train is a fiscal black hole whose maw yawns larger every month.

How can people be so foolish as to believe anything their politicians say ever again?

These politicians seem highly accomplished at one thing, namely, spending money that isn’t theirs.

Michael P. Rethman

Slom right to ask about Connector

I have been following state Sen. Sam Slom’s fight against the sloth, inefficiency and wastefulness that characterizes the Hawaii Health Connector.

I was thoroughly dismayed by this byproduct of mainland Obama administration politics. The agents do not understand the Affordable Care Act, routinely give out erroneous information, and, to be frank, have zero appreciation for the sense of service and ohana that is the foundation of Hawaiian culture.

In one conversation, a supervisor told me that our newborn would not be covered; she only reversed herself after I read text verbatim from the site. And they incorrectly processed our family’s insurance application — twice.

The fight to merely process my family’s insurance application was exhausting.

Regardless of political affiliation, we should all applaud the determination of Slom and others for fighting to protect Hawaii’s ohana against this shameful and fraudulent squandering of taxpayer assets.

Francisco Heftel Liquido

Hawaii involved in worldwide issues

In recent editorials, you have repeatedly highlighted that Hawaii is "thinking globally but acting locally" on climate change, yet failed to mention the global leadership role our community has taken on.

Two examples on the national level are Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s appointment to the Presidential Climate Task Force and U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz’s organizing of congressional hearings and national media events on climate change.

In the May 15 editorial on Hokulea’s worldwide voyage, it was noted how the wa‘a (outrigger canoe) strengthens Hawaiian culture, but ignored the greater purpose of the voyage — "Malama Honua," to care for the whole planet.

Although there is a common view that our islands are merely tiny, fearful outposts destined to passively follow in the wake of "the great powers," the world is fortunate to have our heroic Pacific voyagers, University of Hawaii scientists and other local leaders assertively wayfinding humanity toward international sustainability.

For the sake of all creation, we must cherish them, support them and pray they succeed.

Danny Smith

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



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