Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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February 25, 2009 - MidWeek
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Different rails

In his recent letter, Robert Kruse made a common mistake in comparing the price of the Phoenix area’s new, street-level rail system with the cost of Honolulu’s elevated train program. Having worked on both, I will note that while each system is 20 miles long, they are significantly different.

First, Honolulu trains will run twice as fast and carry twice as many riders.

Second, each project is suited for different train systems. Trains in the Valley of the Sun run on the ground because Phoenix is flat and spacious, with plenty of room for trains. In addition, the trains run on city-owned streets, greatly reducing land-use costs. This does, however, eliminate traffic lanes for vehicles.

In contrast, land is precious in urban Honolulu, where our densely packed population lives on a narrow strip of land between the mountains and the sea. Our scarce terrain and population density are ideal for elevated trains. While more costly, this technology does not consume our valuable traffic lanes.

Finally, Phoenix’s 20-mile line will reach only a small part of the population. In Honolulu, our project will serve some of the most densely populated areas of the island.

Jerry Gill
Parsons Brinckerhoff


We’re not stupid

I am writing this letter to express my gratitude for Michelle Malkin’s honest outrage over the glib, elitist mentality of those on Capitol Hill, especially Chuck Schumer. The idea that the “American people really don’t care” where our money is going in this historically mammoth “stimulus” bill is offensive. The American people are intelligent and, despite what the Congress and president may think, this last election was not a memorandum for the government to think for us. Furthermore, it is highly disappointing to see that the most transparent feature of this administration thus far as been its see-through promises. I guess, regardless of the campaign slogans, more of the same and politics as usual is exactly what we will be getting for the next four years.

Lisa O’Boyle

So join the Taliban

This is in response to the Feb. 18 letter from Burt West about hating America.

The invasion of Iraq was not illegal, no matter how many times war critics recite it. The 17 United Nations resolutions that Saddam Hussein violated by not disclosing his WMD status allowed for him to be dealt with by military force. We did it legally.

To accuse President Bush of mass murders and atrocities while defending Saddam and to suggest anything we do creates more anti-Americanism among West-hating Islamo-facists, who have existed for centuries, is simply absurd.

Mr. West says 9/11 was justifiable ... God help you. I hear the Taliban is recruiting. I will personally purchase a ticket for Mr. West to Afghanistan or Pakistan and assist in any way in revoking his U.S. citizenship so he can join the Taliban.

As for Gitmo, those terrorists will never be treated so kindly and catered to more by anyone as they are by the men and women who wear our uniform. Gitmo is Club Med for terrorists. And there has never been any proof brought forward of any poor treatment at that facility. But since they are all innocent, perhaps Mr. West could open his home to them when the place gets shut down.

Maj. Chris Luther, USMC

Best concerts

The Midweek Poll question “What was the best concert you ever attended?” really put the hook in me.

I’m 63, and have seen everybody from Neil Diamond to the Rolling Stones, but the two best for me were both at the Waikiki Shell, in a long-ago, magical era: Frank Sinatra in a fundraiser for John F. Kennedy in 1960, MC’d by Peter Lawford. (Sinatra was making The Devil at 4 O’Clock on Maui at the time.)

The other was a wonderful pairing of The Kingston Trio and Henry Mancini in 1963. Unforgettable.

Skip Lambert

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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