Letters To The Editor
November 29, 2006 - MidWeek
I wanted to extend a warm mahalo to MidWeek for that wonderful cover picture on your Nov. 22, 2006 issue featuring some of the outstanding men and women who serve our country. With so much negativity in the media about Iraq and other military issues, I found the cover (and the accompanying USO article) a sobering reminder of the sacrifices that those who take up the call make every day. I am so proud to be an American, and so proud and thankful for the brave and selfless men and women who serve. Mahalo, MidWeek, for this much-needed reality check during the holidays.
Not rail vs. potholes
I share Don Chapman’s concern about the condition of our roads, but his column “Funds For Rail, Not Pothole Repair” is misleading. According to Honolulu City Council Bill 40, passed in August 2005, funds received from the general excise tax (GET) increase that takes effect in January are to be expended for “operating or capital costs of a locally preferred alternative for a mass transit project.” The bill further states that “no moneys received from the surcharge shall be used to build or repair public roads or highways ...”
It is quite clear that the GET increase, along with anticipated funding support approved by the Federal Transit Administration and obtained through the efforts of our Congressional delegation, must be used for a mass transit project. Those funds will not be available for roads - including the elevated reversible toll road being touted by mass transit opponents as an alternative to rail.
Federal funding for roads, as much as 80 percent, comes through projects approved by the Policy Committee of the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization. It needs to be made clear to your readers that receipt of funding for roads will continue. The funding initiated by passage of Bill 40 will either be expended for mass transit - or not at all. The issue really is not rail vs. pothole repairs; it is rail or no rail.
I just read Don Chapman’s column on pothole repair and all I can say is “Wooray!”
I remember when Mayor Mufi was running for office, he hammered incessantly on former Mayor Harris about the condition of our roads, and how he would fix our infrastructure. Well, here it is two years later and, if anything, the roads are worse than before and the parks are crumbling.
Average folk like me might write a letter to the editor but it seems we can expect a nasty response dismissing our concerns from the Mayor’s PR folks in a couple of days. When someone of the MidWeek editor’s stature makes the same complaint maybe, just maybe, our city government will wake up and do something.
I won’t hold my breath though.
Thank you to Don Chapman for his column on the pothole situation that continues to be ignored. A friend of mine was recently here for business for a week (conservative, middle-aged woman). After returning home to San Diego, she received a bill from the Honolulu rental company for a dent in the hubcap of her rental car which she received from hitting a pothole. The pothole situation is an embarrassment and reflects on our community pride and aloha for the tourists we depend on to support our community. How can government possibly consider a rail system if they aren’t able to support our roads first?
Billions for a few
Raising taxes for all, but to help a few - this is nuts!
Billions of dollars for maybe 40 miles of rail service. People want to have their cars. This will never change. This is not like the Mainland, where there is a lot of space. Because this is an island, we must look at using the water as a means to get around, a ferry system of some type.
Wake up Hawaii, it’s our money. Say no to this rail system!
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