Letters to the Editor: February 14, 2021

A better approach

Sen. Dru Kanuha introduced legislation, Senate Bill 1011, which allocates $30 million toward widening Queen Kaahumanu Highway Extension and Kuakini Highway. The Department of Transportation’s testimony regarding SB1011 briefly details their plans.

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This includes adding an additional lane w/contraflow with this funding. This will pose challenges between Lako Street and Kamehameha III Road where the topography leaves little room to add additional capacity with having to resort to acquiring right-of-way.

The DOT also stated in its testimony, a bonafide widening of Queen Kaahumanu Highway Extension/Kuakini Highway is estimated to cost $150 million and require right of acquisition from 150 property owners. In other words, the proposed $30 million allocation is only 20% of what is necessary to truly widen this congested thoroughfare. They also stopped work on the required environmental assessment for the widening of this highway, which will have to resume if its the intention to add additional capacity.

I suggest the DOT seek additional Federal Highway Administration matching funds to do a genuine widening of these highways instead of this Band-Aid approach using only state funds. Yes, the cost of doing that is roughly $150 million, but the work could be phased as funds become available. This would be the preferred approach to accommodate future population and traffic growth.

Aaron Stene

Kailua-Kona

COVID reporting

WHT does a great job of keeping us up-to-date on coronavirus stats. We learn daily case counts for the state and each individual island. But for our purposes, wouldn’t it be helpful to know which part of our island cases came from? The Big Island is eponymously a big place — 4,028 square miles big. Vast distances of beautiful nothingness separate our communities. This info would enable those in the affected area to double-down on preventative measures, while the rest of us remain common sense vigilant.

John Bingham

Kailua-Kona

I hoped for too much

I am so disappointed with our present U.S. senators and representatives. Does anyone think George Washington, John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Ronald Reagan, or Barack Obama would have hid under their desks on Jan. 6? Would a bullhorn in the hands of one of these courageous, articulate, and impassioned men have carried a leader’s words into the halls where mayhem, violence, and confusion, were escalating? On Jan. 6, was there not one fine elected official in the capital, with the voice, words, and presence to be game changing, in the face of the mob of Americans who believed they had been wronged? Perhaps, I hoped for too much.

Barbara Feliciano

Waimea

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