comscore Letters: Incompetence built into rail transit project; Union fights for better working conditions; Show sensible courage, allow UH fans in stands | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Letters

Letters: Incompetence built into rail transit project; Union fights for better working conditions; Show sensible courage, allow UH fans in stands

Any 4-year-old playing with LEGOs soon learns what pieces fit and what pieces don’t fit. I’m stymied as to how engineers building a rail system could not sort out the size of wheels needed for the width of the tracks (“HART officials have no answers for Oahu rail’s door, wheel, track problems,” Star- Advertiser, Oct. 5). No one is held accountable for more cost overruns in repairs and added delays after years of incompetent failures.

With doors opening unexpectedly during transit, who will ride? This fiasco has long passed boondoggle status at a taxpayer cost of billions. How many homeless could that house? Or pre-K schools? Raises for teachers?

Rail was approved as a payback to political donors, not as a service to the community. Now even contractors have realized the futility and no longer wish to be associated with such a disaster. Stop it before it reaches Dillingham, where the worst is yet to come.

Kathy Harter

Downtown Honolulu


Union fights for better working conditions

I want to thank U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono and more than 100 other members of the U.S. Congress for their valuable support of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees’ (IATSE) demand for better working conditions and fair wages from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

The congressional group sent a letter to AMPTP stating, “We are united in our belief in the importance of livable wages, sustainable benefits, and reasonable rest periods between shifts and during the workday.”

As a member of the film and television industry for 34 years, I can say that there has never been a time when such support has been more needed and deserved by the union’s membership. Too many years have gone by since dwindling rest periods and reduction of working conditions and pay have been fairly addressed by AMPTP.

The IATSE’s nearly unanimous vote to authorize a strike action is notice that the time for change has come.

Don Tomich



Protect refurbished Thomas Square

After months of work and millions spent, the fences protecting the interior grounds of Thomas Square Park have come down. This refurbished historical gem is beautiful, and congratulations should go to designers and workers.

Better check it out now, folks, because years of past experience show that within weeks it will be marred by trash and graffiti. Doubt it? Just look at parts of the park that were outside the fence.

Our city government needs to set and enforce park anti-littering rules and limit use to daylight hours, much like the grounds of Iolani Palace. Then all sorts of people will be to enjoy the park for years to come, and it will not become a shabby monument to Honolulu’s severely challenged programs for the homeless.

Dan Binkley



Show sensible courage, allow UH fans in stands

I wholeheartedly agree with Richard Borreca (“When it comes to COVID-19 and fans in the UH stands, Ige remains unmalleable,” Star-Advertiser, On Politics, Oct. 3), and a chorus of many others who feel the unfairness and lack of common sense in not allowing at least parents and family of University of Hawaii Warrior football players to attend home games. Why has the state become so timid and fearful even when many in medical science say we don’t need to be?

The governor has stated that he is a fan and looks forward to having fans cheer in person before the season ends. Then he extends COVID-19 restrictions to the end of November. Trouble is, the last UH home game is Nov. 20. I guess he was thinking maybe the Hawaii Bowl in December.

Would he feel safer if, in addition to being vaccinated and masked, parents and family members sit 50 feet apart from other groups, have two physician- signed COVID-free affidavits, their pastors’ signed voucher that they are being truthful, and their promise to cheer at no louder than 70 decibels to minimize spittle propulsion?

I hope he changes his mind. Let’s show the Warriors, their families and the country that we are a people of sensible courage, not fainthearted, with meek unmalleability.

Wayne Tadaki



‘Socialism’ bogeyman doesn’t apply to Biden

Many critics of President Joe Biden’s agenda describe it as socialist and warn it is socialism. James Roller did so (“Build Back Better fight about stopping socialism,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Oct. 4).

But Merriam-Webster defines socialism as a government takeover of private businesses and means of production. That’s not anything Biden is proposing. Government benefits providing a safety net, and some funding to private industry for the public good, are not socialism.

I’m tired of people warning of a bogeyman who doesn’t exist to scare people about socialism and communism.

Lunsford Phillips



A literate country needs free public schools

The author of a letter said he thought free preschool and community college tuition were part of a socialist agenda (“Build Back Better fight about stopping socialism,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Oct. 4).

Does he think the current free K-12 education is socialism, too?

I have no children, but I believe I am better off living in a literate country where everyone can read and write. And I think that the better people can read and write, the better off I am.

I, for one, am willing to pay for it.

Richard Manetta

Wilhelmina Rise


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