Letters 4|07

“Our City on Rails” 03/07
Associate editor Michael Keany looks at Honolulu’s planned mass-transit rail system.

I found the article on Honolulu’s proposed rail system fascinating, and factually detailed. However, it was bittersweet, as I found the magazine in my mailbox the day after our City Council squandered the last vestige of sensible planning for the line by voting to remove the rail link to the airport. What are we left with after the political posturing and cronyism? A rail line that goes from a vacant field to a mall and bypasses Hickam, Pearl Harbor, the airport, Waikiki and UH Manoa.

Rail transit only works when it goes to pedestrian-friendly destinations, activity nodes and employment centers. Thanks to natural barriers, Honolulu was blessed with having all of our centers lined up; it was simply a matter of connecting the dots. At best, our City Council members did not understand this. At worst, they willfully sabotaged our most expensive public works project for provincial special interests, last-minute deals and a few political crumbs.

—Jeff Merz, Honolulu

“Break That Mold” 03/07
Kathryn Drury Wagner’s “Afterthoughts” column discussed the perceptions of the Mainland.

Maybe Hawai‘i’s relative isolation lends to our navel-gazing and dismissive tone of anything and anyone lacking local roots. It’s ironic, given the diversity of these roots, and unfortunate, given our dependence on non-local trade and traffic.

We do have a lot to be proud of, but if the governor really wants to bring Hawai‘i’s keiki home, then our ideas and perspectives—from the Mainland and elsewhere—should be welcomed right along with our luggage. Diversity in ethnicity is meaningless absent diversity of thought.

—Kathryn Harper, Honolulu

“Best of Honolulu” 03/07
We asked our readers to add more of their own “Best of” ideas and nominations.

[Best radio personality:] Maleko, on Star 101.9, because he was the first deejay on the air on the day of the earthquake. When we needed someone to tell us what was happening, he was the only one who knew. His calm, friendly attitude always puts my family at ease.

—Kekoa Lopez, Kailua

“Another Way Home” 03/07
In his editor’s page, A. Kam Napier wondered what else the city could have done with the billions of dollars slated for the rail system.

A. Kam Napier has done it again. His points were those that government people never address. Instead they plan to flush $3.6 billion into what they concede will not address the customer’s key problem—traffic congestion. And then, another fresh look in “Afterthoughts,” by Kathryn Drury Wagner. Ouch. She nailed our smugness to the wall. Thanks to both for brain food.

—Richard Rowland, Honolulu

“Q&A: Ann Rahall” 02/07
Planned Parenthood of Hawai‘i’s medical director discussed Plan B, an over-the-counter contraceptive drug for women ages 18 and older.

As a family medicine physician who provides obstetrical services, I believe one clarification is needed. If Plan B is taken after ovulation, fertilization may have already taken place, and thus emergency contraception may work by altering the endometrial lining so implantation is less likely to occur. For those who believe that life begins at conception, this may be considered as causing an abortion. Her response that Plan B does not interfere with an established pregnancy is technically correct, but omits mentioning the above.

—William Laurence, Fayetteville, N.C.

In our March issue (“Best of Honolulu”), we mistakenly identified the station featuring Guy Hagi, selected by readers as Best Weatherperson. Hagi appears on KGMB.

The 10th Annual Symphony Ball, benefitting the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra, is slated for May 19. The event theme is “Ports of Call,” and the chairperson is Mark Wong. For tickets, call 524-0815, ext. 244.

Letters to the Editor may be e-mailed to: letters_honmag@pacificbasin.net, faxed: 537-6455 or sent to: HONOLULU Magazine, 1000 Bishop Street, Suite 405, Honolulu, HI, 96813.