As cost estimates for completing Honolulu’s rail project have risen beyond what our city can afford, and additional funds are not available, Mayor Rick Blangiardi and the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation board are looking at stopping rail short of Ala Moana Center.
City Council member Radiant Cordero (“Stopping rail at Middle Street won’t save money,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, May 5) and others fear we would have to repay federal funds that have already been spent. This is not true. The final payment per the existing agreement might be reduced in proportion to the reduction in scope.
The Honolulu Rail Transit Project Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) is not set in stone. Our federal partner, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), has a process for formally requesting changes in the scope of a rail transit project. This can be seen in Chapter V of the FTA’s “Full-Funding Grant Agreements Guidance.” A reasonable deal should be possible.
Landscapers send debris into city storm drains
It was sad that Robert Bourke failed to mention in his commentary, “To clean up Oahu’s coastal water, focus on storm drains” (Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, May 4), that just about everyone who goes for a walk in the morning will see landscapers blowing debris from the sidewalk into the street, and from the street down the storm drain, and there is not one single police officer who will cite them for clogging the storm drains.
Require a negative COVID test before flying
I presented my negative COVID-19 test results to airline personnel prior to boarding. They gave me an orange wristband, which allowed me to exit the terminal without further processing.
Travelers who had not tested were allowed to board and were sharing the confines of the aircraft for six hours with hundreds of others. There was no semblance of social distancing. We were packed in our narrow seats shoulder to shoulder, row upon row and, while boarding and disembarking, we shuffled in aisles with negligible spacing between travelers.
Upon return and only after COVID-19 had been given all that time and opportunity to do its evil, those without the wristbands were then processed for testing and /or quarantines. Seeing all this brought to mind the old adage about the late-closing barn door.
No one should be allowed to fly without presenting a negative test result. My hope is that public safety and health are not compromised by economic concerns.
Liz Cheney shows her fortitude against GOP
Most members of the Republican Party in Congress and the Senate have been cowed by former President Donald J. Trump. They know better, yet they bury their heads in the sand for one reason or another.
Hence, it is so refreshing to have the likes of U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming, who stands up for the truth and will not budge (“Cheney challenges Trump over election loss statement,” Star-Advertiser, May 4).
It’s cut and dried that Trump lost the presidential election in November 2020 fair and square. Trump’s assertion that the election was “fraudulently decided” is sheer nonsense. Additionally, many Republicans, elected and not elected, have swept under the rug the insurrection on Jan. 6 and the very likely interference by Russia in 2016.
I wonder if they examine their consciences. It seems clear that many of them don’t care or just want to be favored within Trump’s orbit.
Lawrence M.O. Chun
GOP adopts racist views from 60 years ago
I thought I had turned on Fox News when I read the letter from John Fergie about Marxism and the Democratic Party (“Today’s Democrats more Marxist in their outlook,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, May 5). He will never lose his dog with that whistle.
The old saw about the roots of racism in the Democratic Party is not false, but what escapes his notice is that over the last 60 years those who promoted racism have left to join the GOP, where those views unfortunately are all too often welcome.
I note he identified our first elected Black vice president as guilty of thinking that Black lives do indeed matter. It is beyond sad that he seems to think critical race theory is demeaning to the white race.
Hawaii must reduce its carbon footprint
Mahalo to the Legislature for its historic climate emergency declaration, the first state to do so. Hawaii will be among the first to feel the climate crisis’s destructive effects: intense storms, rising seas, loss of beaches and protective coral reefs, and major shoreline damage.
We must lead the world by acting now. By 2030, stop burning fossil fuels to generate electricity and power vehicles. Install solar, wind, battery storage and energy efficiency. Require electric vehicle infrastructure in parking lots for malls, hotels and apartments. Draw atmospheric carbon into the ground through regenerative agriculture and planting trees. Grow bamboo to replace carbon-intensive building materials like concrete, steel and wood.
Show the world the way to a safer climate future.
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