Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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August 06, 2008 - MidWeek
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McCain’s age

Dan Boylan, who wrote that John McCain may be too old to be president, and I are about the same age. I was born in 1942 but grew up with a very different political view of America and Hawaii than his. Sen. McCain’s mind is sound and probably sharper than his or mine.

I find nothing in the U.S. Constitution that challenges Sen. McCain’s age except Article II Section. 1: “No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of adoption of this constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been 14 years a resident within the United States.”

Any presidential candidate vetted through the political process by any major political party is qualified to become president of the United States of America. The voters in each of the 50 states will decide who will lead America. Age of the candidate is not an issue. Their experience, leadership and character are most important in leading our great country.

Jimmy Kuroiwa
Honolulu


So few candidates

Dan Boylan is distressed about the small amount of opposition many incumbent candidates will face this fall. There are several things at work here that Mr. Boylan fails to mention. In the case of state legislative races, there are district residency requirements. These limit the number of potential challengers on the theory that voters need representatives who live in their district. Oftentimes candidates have been accused of carpet-bagging when they establish a “residence” in a new district in order to run in a competitive race. The fact that some of these people do get elected should indicate that voters may well prefer someone from outside their district to the choices given to them within. Why shouldn’t voters be given this choice? Isn’t it better than 22 uncontested state House seats?

The second issue is that money isn’t everything. A good, hardworking challenger can beat an incumbent with much less money than various experts tell them they need. Plus there is a state matching fund for qualified candidates that could be upgraded. Simply dismissing under-funded candidates, as the media does, is insulting to the many citizens who take time to offer the voters real choice.

That leads to the third issue, which is the attitude of journalists. Mr. Boylan discussed the “token” opposition faced by Neil Abercrombie. He is opposed by Kaui Amsterdam, Steve Tatii and Li Zhao. Mazie Hirono faces Roger Evens, Jeff Mallan and Shaun Stenshol. When journalists take the attitude that challengers aren’t even worth mentioning by name, it sends a clear message of discouragement to those who would run for office.

Tracy Ryan
Honolulu


Rail for tomorrow

Mahalo for Dan Boylan’s great column on rail transit.

I am an Ewa Beach resident and a strong advocate of rail transit. In talking to friends, family and even business acquaintances who live in East Honolulu or the Windward side, the discussion always seems to center on cost. And unfortunately, when people don’t see a direct benefit to themselves, cost is the easiest argument to debate.

But I ask them, can you really envision our island being choked to death by more cars, more parking lots, more roads, and more traffic? Rail is not just about alleviating traffic congestion. It’s about how our island community will grow. Through transit-oriented development, our children and grandchildren will have choices about how to live, work and play. They can live along the rail line with denser, more affordable housing and give up that extra car and the costs associated with it.

They will live in greener, more-sustainable and energy-efficient redeveloped communities that are pedestrian-friendly and that offer a mixed use of retail, residential, commercial and recreational spaces that allow them to age in place. Through the choices that future generations will make, they will reduce urban sprawl and the loss of our open spaces and agricultural lands. You cannot put a price tag on the quality of life rail offers our children and grandchildren tomorrow.

Alicia Maluafiti
Ewa Beach

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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