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“Trains Kill Buses,” September 2010

In his Editor’s Page, A. Kam Napier suggested that instead of rail, “the most unimaginative, 19th-century use of $5 billion we could possibly find,” the city try, instead, a fleet of shuttle vans.

Photo: istock

A. Kam Napier laments that 20 years of rail expansion in Los Angeles has strangled bus service and done nothing to curb traffic. But what he fails to realize is that the reduction in bus ridership is offset by an increase in rail ridership — as is the case in numerous other cities across the nation.

Unfortunately, Mr. Napier’s dream of glorified door-to-door Super Shuttles that magically appear on demand to deliver travelers to their destinations is simply out of touch with reality. Any such system, aside from being subject to the same traffic delays as vehicles on congested streets, would also likely cost far more than public transit, creating options for only those with enough cash to pay the price. And it’s not like it hasn’t been tried before with dial-a-ride systems around the country that never lived up to their promise, except in small towns or low-density suburbs.

In contrast, the city’s rail transit system provides a reliable, efficient and convenient transportation alternative for the same price of city bus fares. With a network of buses and shuttles connecting riders with key destinations, rail is definitely the real deal and the way to go.
Hogan is an engineer with Parsons Brinckerhoff, the city’s contractor on the rail project.

There is a name for such a system of independently routing, share-riding, midsize multi-passenger vehicles: jitneys. They are small, cheap, scalable and flexible. No public investment required. Not only would this solve the congestion problem, it could solve an employment problem, too. This is exactly what the van-pools did (illegally, door-to-door, on demand) when TheBus went on strike a few years ago, and everyone loved it. What’s not to like?

"Goin Atomic," August 2010

“Besides being much safer than conventional nuclear, another advantage for Hawai‘i is the opportunity for co-generation with this reactor. It could easily use its waste heat for desalinization and/or Fischer-Tropsch production of biofuels.”
For more discussion of thorium reactors, check out A. Kam Napier’s story, “Goin’ Atomic.”

 Photo: Olivier Koning

“Outside the Octagon,”  September 2010

Writer Peter Serafin sat down with Hawaii’s most well-known athlete, BJ Penn.

BJ is world class in and out of the cage! I’m a fan for life! Great article. Keep the positive love going.

"Haunted Hawaii," October 2008

“Many say those who live on Oahu are visited by creatures throughout the house such as huge cockroaches and geckos. Some elderly locals say these are descendants who have passed away that are too attached to you, so they keep coming back.”
Want to read more about spooky Oahu legends? Check out our October 2008 story, "Haunted Hawaii." 

Ahana koko lele

In the August “30 Meals Under $30,” the correct website for the Hukilau Lanai is