Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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September 05, 2007 - MidWeek
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Coffee is right

I cannot remember when I ever agreed with right-winger Jerry Coffee, but I do agree with his column on rail options - because we have had no real opportunities to review the actual proposals before the City Council on the proposed mass transit system. Mahalo, Mr. Coffee, on this one.

The very first bill before the City Council which actually proposed “possible” routes and had absolutely no costs in it was made public just two weeks before City Council actions. Neighborhood Boards take two to three months minimum to review substantive proposal, thus the calendar was orchestrated by the administration and Council to thwart any actual objective review. Late last summer, my Neighborhood Board asked for a presentation on the possible system by the consultants only to find out that no specific route was going to be offered and no costs were available for any portion of suggested routes. In fact, the consultant at two separate meetings said publicly and on video that the system as originally proposed from Kapolei to UH Manoa would cost “billions and billions” more than the $3 billion put out by Mayor Hannemann to get initial backing for the effort.

Mr. Coffee’s column is grand on many factual levels. That said, it has one drastic characteristic I believe is wrong - the provision of the fixed guideway also being used as a personal vehicle toll way.

Absolutely elitest, but more importantly goes directly against what should be the prime objective of a system which is to encourage no personal vehicle usage. A toll way would only allow for additional growth in personal vehicles and less need to use mass transit. I would take that one out and communicate directly with the public and the City Council to get the proper system authorized.

William E. Woods-Bateman


Another nut-case

In a recent letter, Ann Richards claims that Richard Dreyfuss is the wrong actor to play Gen. Billy Mitchell because of his pro-Bush impeachment and anti-Vietnam War stance, and his mother being a peace activist. There is no connection. Does being a celebrity or an actor deny a person the right to opinions?

Former President Clinton was impeached for lying about a consensual sex act with another adult, about which no one had any right to even ask. Much more should Bush be impeached for being (by his own definition) a terrorist, a war criminal, a violator of the Geneva Convention and having committed many domestic crimes.

Is anyone who disagrees with our president’s and our country’s wrongful acts and policies, in Ms. Richards’ view, a “nut-case”? Color me macadamia.

Gordon Banner


Spreading ‘Folly’

Don Chapman’s column on Churchill’s Folly in Iraq is so important, I want to share it with Mainland friends. Is there a way to do electronically?

Dale Yee Honolulu

Editor’s note: Yes, go to www.midweek.com and on the left side under Editor’s Desk click on Columns.

Right, and wrong

Dan Boylan, a pundit with whom I rarely see eye to eye, is essentially correct when he asserts that the hot-button social and political issues of our time are complex and nuanced.

I must take exception, however, with his inclusion of Gov. Lingle’s scuttled proposal to create more localized school boards. The submarining of that initiative serves as a classic (read: egregious) example of political games-manship, and although her modest proposal might not have constituted a simple and complete “salvation” of our troubled public school system, it may well have been a significant step in the right direction. We will likely never know - the smoke-and-mirrors counterfeit known as the “Reinventing Education Act” has quietly - but effectively - preserved the status quo and forestalled any meaningful reform in our “it’s-broke-but-we-don’t-have-the-will-to-truly-fix-it” system.

Rubbing salt in the wound, Mr. Boylan inappropriately speaks for me (and others) when he claims that Hawaii’s voters knew Lingle’s proposal was unworkable. I don’t recall having the opportunity to cast a straight-up referendum vote for the administration’s proposal on one side of the ledger and the Legislature’s alternative on the other side.

Perhaps that’s just another manifestation of the early-onset Alzheimer’s that my wife thinks is setting in?

David Kammerer


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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