I had the privilege to participate in the Black Lives Matter march in Honolulu on Saturday. It was an inspiring, peaceful event. Along the entire route from Ala Moana Beach Park to the state Capitol, police directed traffic and maintained order.
One aspect marred the otherwise positive experience. A truck with revelers paced along the route carrying a sign condemning police. While some of the circumstances elsewhere caused by malfeance by police officers ignited this march, the Honolulu police presence during the march here was professional and polite.
I want to thank our local law enforcement officers and disavow any hostility or ill will to them. They are our neighbors, family and friends, and they add to the aloha in our community.
Improve walk and bike ways, plus add trees
With increased demand for walking and bicycling, government should speed up existing plans to improve pedestrian and bicyclist infrastructure, whether it is fixing sidewalks, adding or improving crosswalks, bike lanes and shared-use paths.
There need to be more trees, as Oahu has lost urban canopy over the years. Trees reduce heat, provide shelter from sun and rain, are beautiful to look at, and make it more comfortable to walk and bike. From a safety perspective, studies show trees have a calming effect on traffic, slowing down cars and acting as a nice buffer from noise and pollution.
In Hawaii, traffic fatalities still outnumber deaths from COVID-19, and are still the leading form of violent death. Everyone, including state and city agencies, should strengthen their commitment to Vision Zero laws passed recently, with the goal of reducing road deaths.
Improving walking and bicycling infrastructure will lead to a safer, healthier, happier Hawaii.
Superferry — now that would be new, different
Our state leaders say they want to diversify our economy, yet have no substantial plan to get there. They throw around the same ideas regarding agriculture, technology (whatever that broad term encompasses) and being a wellness state.
Yet in 2007, these same visionaries could not support the one major transportation innovation that would have made a direct impact on getting closer to these ideas. That simple piece of “tech,” which would have paid huge dividends now, was the Superferry.
Fast-forward to pandemic hysteria, and our apocalyptic economy dependent on the horse and buggy (Young Brothers) to get goods from island to island. Realize that nearly all Pacific island nations have for decades had high-speed ferry systems to transport people, vehicles and products.
So when Young Brothers now pleads for a $25 million bailout from taxpayer money (“Young Brothers lays out dwindling-cash predicament, Star- Advertiser, June 3), one needs to think about a better, more efficient and faster way to get the job done.
After all this talk about doing something different, our politicians need to walk the walk, not spew more rhetoric.
St. Louis Heights
President, govs should join against injustice
It was good that President Donald Trump addressed the nation June 1 regarding justice for the killing of George Floyd and recent violent protests.
However, it would be helpful if the president collaborated with all 50 governors on a uniform action plan to deal with injustice and racism. While governors may feel they should deal with these problems on their own, injustice and racism are national problems and should be dealt with on a national level.
To leave these problems with each state would exacerbate injustice. A collaborative, uniform action plan to deal with injustice and racism would help to prevent tragic deaths and consequent, violent protests.
Mail-in vote integrity recalls WWII patriotism
President Donald Trump has said that mail-in voting leads to fraud. I disagree.
In World War II, my dad was the bombardier in a B-17. During a bombing run over Germany the plane was shot down and Dad spent 16 months in a POW camp. While there he sent a form to the town clerk in Weymouth, Mass., his hometown.
Dad wrote: “Through circumstances which were slightly beyond our control Ward Walker of East Weymouth and I are vacationing in Germany this year. The authorities are reluctant about allowing us to return just at present so we find it necessary to request an absentee ballot. Arthur H. Desmond.”
Those who served fought to protect our freedoms, including the right to vote. When I vote by mail this year, I will think of them and always, I thank them for their service.
Forceful clearing showed hypocrisy of photo op
I think I will always remember the split images on television with President Donald Trump in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church with a Bible in his hand, while peaceful protesters were being cleared of the area with tear gas and rubber bullets so that he could have a photo op.
It not only showed hypocrisy but bordered on being sacrilegious. He does not attend that church and he has probably not read much of what is in the Bible. Also remember that approximately 30% of the population in the country is non-Christian and as a president, he should be representing everyone.
Minneapolis’ ‘systemic racism’ hard to connect
Many recent editorials and articles in the Star-Advertiser and elsewhere have decried “systemic racism” in the Minneapolis police department as the basic cause for the tragic death of George Floyd. But none of the articles mentioned that the Minneapolis police chief, his chief of staff, Minnesota’s attorney general, and at least four of the 13 City Council members (who appoint the police chief) are black.
Or that two of the four offending officers were nonwhite. Or that 12 of the 13 City Council members are Democrats, that Minneapolis has been run solely by Democratic mayors since 1974 and has not had a Republican mayor since 1961.
It’s hard to make the media’s connection to “systemic racism,” but if it exists, it is all Democratic.
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