Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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May 30, 2007 - MidWeek
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Espero responds

Recently, letters have stated I am supporting rail because of my current employer. This is not the case.

I first rode a rail system in New York City in the 1970s when I was an adolescent. I’ve visited many cities since then, and have been a supporter of rail for most of my life.

I have advocated for an Oahu rail line well before being a state senator or an employee of D.R. Horton. When I worked for Mayor Fasi in the early ‘90s, I supported his vision for rail.

The current City Council chose the current route, and I believe it is the right choice since it would eventually connect UH-West Oahu to UH-Manoa Rail transit stations along the future North-South Road would accommodate Ewa residents and direct traffic away from Ft. Weaver Road.

This project is just part of the solution to provide traffic relief for Oahu. Car pooling, van pools, the zipper lane, contra-flow lanes, an intra-island ferry, telecommuting, buses, staggered hours, and more job centers in West and Central Oahu will also help alleviate the traffic problems we have today.

Many Oahu residents support my position and know the rail line we build today will accommodate our growing population for the next 25 to 100 years.

Sen. Will Espero


France: not so bad

In Rick Hamada’s recent “French lesson” column, he said socialist policies have made France one of the few industrialized nations struggling socially and economically. That would surprise the citizens of France, which has been named the most livable country on Earth for the second year in a row by International Living, a worldwide magazine based in Ireland. The winner in the magazine’s first 24 annual surveys? The United States of America.

Don’t mistake me for a Francophile. I’ve been insulted by way too many French-speaking people for that. But fair is fair. International Living looks at dozens of indicators such as crime, the economy, cost of living, medical care and personal freedom. Then they ask their foreign correspondents if they feel the numbers accurately reflect the true situation within countries. Like it or not, France’s Socialist governments have gradually transformed it into the best place to live in the world. My niece, a former Reagan supporter who now enjoys cradle-to-grave social care in Paris, agrees.

As for the French economy, International Living points out that despite the tendency of French workers to strike at the drop of a beret, every major corporation has factories and offices in France. The Anglo-French Airbus is driving our Boeing from the skies. Our auto companies are failing, but Renault had enough money left over to take control of Nissan.

Meanwhile, the United States dropped from the top of the survey to seventh last year and fourth this year, partly because of its economy, but more due to the loss of personal freedoms since 9/11. Treating thousands of Hawaii teachers like suspected drug dealers is yet another step in that direction.

The worst nation to live in? Iraq, of course, thanks to the failed policies of the conservative leadership of this country. The French accurately predicted the mess we now find ourselves in. That’s a French lesson we should have listened to.

William Lundquist


Lama lessons

Just returned from a trip to find the Dalai Lama on the cover of MidWeek. I missed seeing him on Maui, and reading the story by Don Chapman was almost as good being there.

On another note, I was shocked that so much security was needed for a man of peace. It’s sad that some people react that way to his message. Anyway, thanks for a great story. I learned a lot.

Iris Lee


Keep it legal

Dan Boylan’s tribute to his immigrant ancestors was nice, but way off the point in discussing illegal immigrants from Mexico. Dan’s Irish grandfather came to America legally, just as my great-grandfather did. “Legal” should remain the only kind of immigrant that we allow. If it takes a fence along the border, build it.

Arthur Pacheco


Hunger at home

Susan Page’s “Just One Cow” column about hunger in Africa was touching, but we should remember that there are many families right here in Honolulu who are also hungry.

Laurie Yamamoto


Send your letters to MidWeek Letters, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 500, Honolulu, HI. 96813; by fax to 585-6324, or by email to dchapman@midweek.com. Please include your name, address and daytime and evening phone numbers. We print only the letters that include this information, but only your name and area of residence will appear in print. Letters may be edited for clarity and space.
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