Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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September 02, 2009 - MidWeek
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Kapiolani notes

Thank you for featuring Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children and our Centennial celebration on the cover of the Aug. 19 issue.

We’d like to clarify one point in the piece. In 1890 Queen Kapiolani founded the Kapi`olani Maternity Home to care for Hawaii’s young mothers. Soon afterward, Dr. James R. Judd and Gov. Sanford Dole realized there should be a hospital dedicated to the needs of Hawaii’s infants and children. Their vision inspired others, including Albert and Emma Kauikeolani Wilcox, who generously donated $50,000 for a children’s hospital. It is the founding of Kauikeolani Children’s Hospital, which opened 100 years ago on Nov. 25, 1909, that we celebrate this year.

In 1978, Kauikeolani merged with Kapiolani Maternity Home to form the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children we know today. This nonprofit hospital continues to carry out the vision of our combined founders Queen Kapiolani, Dr. Judd, Governor Dole, and Albert and Emma Wilcox. It is through the generous support of special donors like these that we can continue to provide the highest quality of care for the community, especially its most critically ill keiki.

Thank you again for your continued support and interest in sharing our story with your readers.

Michael Robinson
President, Kapiolani Health

Nothing’s on

Bob Jones’observations on the state of today’s media is right on target. A hundred TV channels and nothing to watch. At least (we thought) the three network affiliates and KHON Fox-2 would provide broad and balanced news coverage with focus on local affairs. What we have is Cheap Eats and reports on who’s who on American Idol, all on formats that once focused on hard news that impacted our lives. Stations competed for the best-looking weather girl and other frivolous features as they pandered to the 18-25 demographics.

Here’s a bulletin: There are 77 million Baby Boomers in America who, for the most part, are articulate, established, financially secure and actually know that Chicken of the Sea is really a can of tuna and that France is a country in Europe. They lived “reality” and don’t need to watch the fake ones on prime time. Thanks to the Telecommunications Act of 1996 signed by Bill Clinton, media corporations now can own hundreds or even a thousand stations that control everything we read, see and hear. Bigger has not proved to be better. During the acquisition frenzy that followed, corporations payed too much for stations and now are cutting back on local staffing and good programming suffers. Corporate media boosts their sales staff while cutting the very people who produce the product sold to advertisers.

It is no longer about serving community. It is about getting stock prices up and appeasing to their investors. Liberal or conservative - it doesn’t matter. Raycom Media president and CEO Paul McTear proclaims that consolidating KGMB, KHNL and K5 will provide better coverage “produced on multiple platforms - television, Internet and mobile devices.” That is not a platform! Supporting diversification of viewpoints is. What may have been three points of views is now one. The bottom line! That is all corporate media cares about and we, the public, suffer.

Keaumiki Akui

Slanting right

Although I enjoy reading most of your news and articles, I get extremely tired of the mostly drivel from such right-wingers as Jerry Coffee, Michelle Malkin and Pat Buchanan. I would have thought the MidWeek would have dropped Malkin years ago! She is more on par with the likes of Rush Limbaugh. I am for balanced news, but your slant is too obvious.

Paul Mizue

Slanting left

MidWeek has become so liberal - between Dan Boylan, Bob Jones, Arianna Huffington and even in the letters to the editor section, I am on the verge of canceling my subscription. Lose the slant or lose me as a reader.

Art Miller

Wrong on rail

Bob Jones’ assertion that Honolulu has to have an elevated train along the entire 20-mile route is incorrect. The American Institute of Architects in Honolulu opposesconstruction of the proposed elevated train for a variety of reasons, including destruction of all view planes along its route.

If the train is going to be built despite all the objections, the initial construction from Kapolei to Waipahu can and should be at grade. There is absolutely nothing in the route path for the first five miles that would require an elevated, expensive, heavy rail be built. If rail is truly being built to relieve congestion, it must be done in such a way as to be affordable so it can be started and finished without exceeding the $5.4 billion price tag. At grade for the first five miles would save at least $300 million from the $971 million being budgeted.

Cynthia Frith

Rail support

As a working architect and active AIA member, I strongly object to Geoffrey Paterson’s letter about rail. While Mr. Paterson may have a history with the AIA, he does not speak for our profession. I completely support Honolulu’s elevated rail system, which was chosen after a long, multiyear process.

There are a number of local architectural firms that support this project and have been engaged by the city’s rail team to help design elevated stations. And several architects have given rail station presentations to communities in Kapolei and Waipahu, where the rail line will start.

As far as his complaints about rail, they are full of misinformation. Mr. Paterson cites huge maintenance costs for overhead rail. This is not true. The elevated rail line is projected to operate at a cost less than half that of TheBus, according to the city’s studies. This is partly due to the fact that the trains will be automatic and won’t need drivers. This will help keep long-term costs down.

Mr. Paterson also is inaccurate in his characterization of Vancouver’s transit system. The first 18-mile length of its elevated system started construction in 1982, when its population was almost identical to Honolulu’s now. Vancouver, known as one of the most livable cities in the world, has extended its elevated system since its inception and continues to do so.

Honolulu’s rail project has been thoroughly planned and scrutinized. These 11th-hour tactics are a disservice to everyone. As far as this architect is concerned, we need to move forward with elevated rail, because any unnecessary delays will kill the project forever.

Roland Libby,
AIA Honolulu

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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