Editorial | Letters Letters to the Editor By Star-Advertiser staff March 4, 2015 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. GET extension not needed yet The city is in a jam. The rail transit project’s financial calculations have been wrong from the beginning and now there is not enough money to finish the project. The city’s solution is to ask the state for permission to extend the rail general excise tax surcharge forever. The city is putting a lot of pressure on the state as if to say, "If you don’t give us this permission now, rail will fail and it will be your fault." Our elected officials need to take a time-out and do their due diligence before making any decision that will cost every person on Oahu $200 per year — forever. They should ask the city for complete details on rail finances, rail ridership, how rail will affect traffic on H-1 and, finally, what are the alternatives. The city does not need this tax extension this year and the state does not have enough information to make a decision this year. John Brizdle Palolo Valley An Angel shares his expertise Mahalo to Star-Advertiser reporter Nancy Arcayna for her article on a true treasure, Angel Ramos ("Cherishing his roots," Star- Advertiser, March 2). Angel is indeed a tireless, generous and knowledgeable plant expert.Every horticultural fan and aspiring gardener on the island knows who Angel is, but it’s wonderful to highlight his life and accomplishments for the rest of your readers. For all his volunteerism, tutelage and sharing, Angel is aptly named.Profiles of unsung, everyday heroes like Angel are the kind of story that uplifts a community and reminds us to ask ourselves, "What am I doing to help others and make Hawaii a better place to live?" Donna L. Ching Manoa Population boom burdens Hawaii With a state residential population of 1,404,054, according to the 2013 census, and an increase to 8.6 million tourists annually — when is enough enough? Donna Wong Executive director, Hawaii’s Thousand Friends Do a better job on Kalanianaole I am wondering if the company that did such a wonderful and timely job on the east-bound lanes of Kalanianaole Highway is the same one doing the resurfacing on the west-bound lanes?It seems like the project on the west side is not to the same standard and attention to detail as was done on the east-bound lanes. The surface between Niu Valley and the bottom of Hawaii Loa Ridge seems to be very disjointed and uneven.It looks like parts are finished and other parts are left very rough and that workers have moved farther down the road. It seems to be taking a bit longer and not with the same results. Has anyone else noticed this? Denise Mazzanti Hawaii Kai Protect our zoo from exploitation David Shapiro touched a sore spot with me when he wrote about his remembrances of the Honolulu Zoo ("Small agencies like the zoo have big management woes," Star-Advertiser, Volcanic Ash, Feb. 15). I have been interested in the zoo since the time of zoo director Jack Throp, well before I was parks director. Until Throp left for the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, he was outstanding as our director and did an excellent job of developing it and yet protecting it from outside interests. Protecting from development is one of the main jobs of the director for any park that has open space in a desirable, prominent location ripe for the picking. I believe that the planning for the zoo has been wrong. The Honolulu Zoo does not need play equipment, private vegetable gardens, separate landscape areas (that have no relationship to the whole), meeting rooms in buildings or new entrances. I believe that many of these are a feeble attempt to make more money. Open space and aesthetics should be preserved at all cost. Ted Green Kaaawa Obama right about Islam President Barack Obama wisely refuses to frame the phrases "radical Islam" or "Islamic extremist." These phrases form negative images of the world’s Muslim population. Fanatical murderers and rapists of women and children are not a "radical" or "extreme" version of Islam; they are a perversion. When associated with Islam or any other religion, the terms "radical" and "extremist" are insinuating, insensitive and insulting. The use of these words by the leadership of any nation would only serve to alienate that government from the progressive Muslim nations that regional peace is dependent upon. In our nation’s war on terrorism, Obama’s refusal to insult the world’s true followers of Islam shows leadership, intelligence and wisdom. Michael Spiker Halawa 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 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: (808) 529-4750 Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813 Previous Story Off the News Next Story Off the News: HEI, NextEra; 'Birthing houses'