Letters for Monday, October 3, 2011

• Making Kuhio Highway a safer road • KIFB deserve our support •

A dream that defies reality

Making Kuhio Highway a safer road

I would just like to commend KPD and KFD to their responding to the unfortunate traffic fatality that occurred on Kuhio Hwy. on Saturday.

My condolences to the family of the person involved in this unfortunate accident.

KPD was quick to re-route traffic to the temporary bypass routes available to use to get traffic flowing. Although, it was slow moving; we were all able to eventually safely get to our destinations.

A big mahalo goes out to Joel Groomes on KQNG radio for keeping us updated on what was occurring on Kuhio Hwy. and explaining several times the reason for the traffic back-up.

However, I would just like to say, shame on those of you who chose to use the Hanama‘ulu turning lane as a way to pass those of us who were waiting patiently in the right-hand lane that takes traffic to the north side of the island.

Patience is a virtue that it seems some people haven’t quite acquired yet — even living on a small, slow-paced island.

Would it really be worth risking your life or some other innocent person’s life to zoom ahead to get a couple of car lengths ahead of those who do know how to drive in the correct lane and do have the patience to wait in such an unfortunate situation?

I still believe the state DOT needs to seriously look in to making Kuhio Hwy. a safer road to travel on. How many more deaths will it take?

Francine Grace, Lihu‘e

KIFB deserve our support

After watching the tragedy of Hawai‘i Food Bank and its minions in the Honolulu Star Advertiser waste everyone’s precious time and resources try to undermine support for “Kaua‘i’s own” Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank for over a month, I am finally driven to publicly share my continuing support for KIFB.

I was initially shocked at Bob Jones’ two “hit pieces” in Mid-Week Kaua‘i, a publication of the Star Advertiser.

We all like to remember Bob as a responsible journalist. But his back-to-back articles demonstrated not one of the principles of fairness or balanced journalism I studied at UH Manoa. That’s when I started to do some snooping of my own.

What I discovered about Dick Grimm, his relationship with Jones, his position (treasurer) of the Hawai‘i Food Bank back when HFB bailed unceremoniously on Kaua‘i when they ran out of money is worth a Washington Post piece which I won’t attempt here.

In addition to confusing our community, this fracas has seriously slandered one of the best non-profit administrators in Hawai‘i, Judy Lenthall.

Lenthall is a straight arrow, assiduous in her relationships with her board, the community, and funders.

I don’t know how she keeps her composure with all this deliberate defamation, but she has.

She, the hard-working KIFB staff and its board deserve our support. They’ve got mine.

Now we get see the public losses of a single statewide newspaper. Thank heavens for The Garden Island! Thank heavens Kaua‘i folks see through such Honolulu take-over attempts!

Marsha Erickson, Waimea

A dream that defies reality

Michael Mann opens his Sept. 29 letter (“Why duplicate that here”) quoting my inquiry “what other more convenient and cost-efficient means of transportation is now available or will become available in the identifiable future to take the place of vehicles.” He provides a non-responsive comment and then rambles off on tangential discussions.

Apparently Mr. Mann wishes to live in a dream world. He says “If we had other options like a well designed light rail system I probably wouldn’t have a car at all.”

Tell us where do you propose that we find the billions of dollars it would take to build this system — the 20-mile one on O‘ahu is costing at least $8 billion. And then there would be its inevitable operating losses.

A limited number of people are now using our bus system. But it has a half a million annual revenue and a $4 million annual operating loss.

More buses or an extended schedule would simply exacerbate the tax burden.

And yes, a fact check will show that at least 95 percent of our residents use their vehicles for transportation and your question “as if that statistic is valid” is a no brainer — it is at the heart of our debate.

Studies on intermodal transportation may be interesting , but what part of “there is no other viable transportation choice” — bikes, buses and walking are it — don’t you understand?

Your comments on roads are difficult to understand. Roads are, of course, a necessity for all vehicular, including buses, transportation.

You say “building more roads on this island is a surefire way of creating sprawl. It’s insane to even consider it.” But it is developments not roads that create sprawl.

Please, Mr. Mann try to see that we have to live, financially and practically, in the real world with what we have, not with what some dream that defies reality could bring.

Glenn Mickens, Kapa‘a

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