Imagine if the city had built an elevated two-lane road instead of the steel-on-steel fixed rail system.
It could have been used by an expanded existing bus system and emergency vehicles. It could have been opened for use as soon as the sections became available.
We would not have problems with mismatched X-shaped “frogs” or nonclosing train doors. We would not have expensive train cars sitting idle for five to 10 years before first use. And, it would have probably been completed by now at much less cost.
Instead of ever-increasing maintenence costs on obsolete equipment, it could have evolved to a mass transit roadway for self-driving vehicles and mopeds or bicycles. Imagine. But the political machine wanted a dinosaur.
Gambling on COVID-19 a dangerous game
Did the COVID-19 virus jump from animal to human via a wet market in Wuhan, China? Maybe. Maybe not. Or did the virus leak from the biosafety level 4 lab in Wuhan, the lab that investigates and handles the most dangerous pathogens? Maybe. Maybe not.
But what flu vaccine, or any vaccine for that matter, do you know of where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended three doses within six months for people 65 and older, long-term care facility residents and certain people with underlying conditions? That should tell you something right there.
COVID-19, being one of the most highly contagious and deadly viruses in the world, potentially could cause your early demise, especially if you have underlying health conditions. You’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky?
Well, do you?
Allow concealed-carry for vulnerable groups
As we near selecting a new Honolulu chief of police, I suggest the committee ask all candidates how each proposes to reduce and/or deter attacks on women and senior men.
I suggest the new chief authorize women 18 years and older and senior men older than 65 years to conceal- carry a small-caliber handgun if they are cleared to obtain such weapons. Even if authorized to conceal-carry, they do not have to do so. However, just the potential of having a weapon for self-defense may deter attacks.
Small-caliber weapons have a lesser chance of killing anyone. But they can indeed scare anyone from attacking physically weaker people.
A shot by a weapon must be reported by a hospital or doctor who treats such a wounded person. This is a very strong deterrent and will make Hawaii safer.
Big Pharma profits from others’ work
Don’t believe the sob story — Big Pharma’s monopoly cries that lower prices will force it to stop developing new drugs. Nothing is further from the truth.
Historically, many breakthrough drugs originated with large pharmaceutical companies. However, this innovation process has changed fundamentally.
The dominant source of innovative therapies now originates in small companies that are spinoffs of university research — mostly funded by our National Institutes of Health (NIH) and philanthropic partners.
Big Pharma’s practice is to slightly modify their existing drugs (many of which were largely developed by NIH research at taxpayer expense), rename them, extend their patents and raise the price to users. As a result, Americans continue to pay three times more for prescription drugs than folks in Canada and other developed nations.
No one should have to choose between paying for food on their table and life-sustaining prescription drugs. Congress must act now to allow Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices.
Courageous journalist deserves Nobel Prize
The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the journalist Maria Ressa was a well-deserved honor and a devastating condemnation of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (“Nobel Peace Prize awarded to journalists Ressa and Muratov,” Star-Advertiser, Top News, Oct. 8).
Ressa courageously exposed Duterte’s brutal tactic of employing “death squads” to eliminate alleged drug dealers without trials.
He has tried to suppress her with trumped-up criminal charges based on her acceptance of funding from foreign nonprofits.
I hope Filipinos will respond to this award by rejecting Duterte and restoring democracy and human rights.
Carl H. Zimmerman
Take baby steps to lift restrictions at UH events
Enough of the negative. For University of Hawaii events, keep it simple and positive:
>> Require a vaccine card, masks and distancing.
>> Sell a limited number of tickets.
>> No food sales or bringing in your own food or beverages (so masked at all times). Football is outdoors and spectators will not die of thirst.
>> Only fanny packs allowed so fans cannot sneak in food or beverage.
>> For the inevitable Manoa mist, only ponchos and hoodies allowed; no umbrellas.
Five baby steps and if they work, do add-ons later.
Yes, I am a graduate of UH-Manoa.
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