Letters To The Editor
February 10, 2010 - MidWeek
Kudos to MidWeek for publishing CrimeStoppers’Most Wanted criminals. I’d be interested in knowing what led these 10 individuals to a life of crime - which really means hurting other people - but I’m betting bad schools and bad parenting were factors.
Whatever, I applaud MidWeek‘s efforts in working with HPD to take these low-lifes off our streets before they can harm others.
Best and brightest
After reading Larry Price’s column “The Battle For Talented Workers,” I wanted to cry. Not because of what Mr. Price wrote - I believe he’s correct about companies searching for the best and brightest employees, just as sports teams seek the best players. The sad thing is that Hawaii schools, which have never been ranked close to the nation’s best, are getting worse because of the lack of instruction days. In other words, our kids are falling further and further behind.
Seems to me we’re raising a generation of children who will be well-equipped to work on, oh, a sugar plantation. Oh, right, those are all long gone from Hawaii. So now what?
Thanks to Gov. Lingle - and Rick Hamada - for continuing to question Mayor Mufi’s train. If the federal government questions the financial sanity of the train, it must be really messed up.
Lingle is anti-rail
It’s no surprise that Rick Hamada follows the LingleAiona party line on Honolulu’s Rail Transit Project.
The governor’s record doesn’t support Hamada’s statement that she is pro-rail. Although the governor supported an elevated rail system and tax increase to pay for it in 2003, she quickly changed her position when her Republican colleagues pushed back on the idea.
How can she be pro-rail when she signed the “Stop Rail Now” petition? She even voted in the minority against the rail ballot measure in the 2008 election.
“Let the voters decide,” she declared. And decide the voters did. Now, however, she seems to be interfering with the will of the people of Honolulu by overstep-ping her bounds.
The governor does have a role to play in the approval of the project as it relates to state environmental law. She does not need to revisit the financial plan, as that is the authority of the Federal Transit Administration. She does not need to provide a forum at taxpayer expense so that a self-interest group at this late date can put on a show about a debatable alternative to the plan already on the books and moving through the federal process.
The city has meticulously followed the environmental review process every step of the way. That’s one reason the head of the FTA recently told reporters that it plans to sign a full funding grant agreement and invest $1.5 billion in the Honolulu rail project. The FTA went so far as to include $55 million in the Obama administration budget for the next fiscal year for Honolulu rail, the single largest sum for any city with a new project in its New Starts program.
The federal agency also stated that the city has demonstrated the technical, legal and financial capacity to implement the project.
The Lingle-Aiona administration decided that the Hawaii Superferry did not need to do an environmental impact statement. And because of that decision, the Superferry no longer sails our state’s waters. The courts confirmed that, in fact, an EIS was required.
So it is fair for Mayor Hannemann to question Gov. Lingle’s statements and motives. FTA administrator Peter Rogoff told reporters he found her recent involvement “perplexing.”
If the governor truly is pro-rail, and that’s debatable, she certainly has a funny way of showing it.
Bill Brennan City & County of Honolulu
Spokesperson, Mayor’s Office
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