September 1992 Home   Newsletters

October 1992

November-December 1992

President's Message (Arlene Ellis)
Testimony before the Planning Commission 9/2/92 (Arlene Ellis)
League Recommendations on Proposed Charter Amendments
Statement on Policy and the Environment - 1 (Astrid Monson)
Statement on Policy and the Environment - 2 (Jean Aoki)
Statement on Policy and the Environment - 3 (Arlene Ellis)
Testimony on Bill 122, Excise Tax Surcharge (Arlene Ellis)
Testimony on Bill 122, Excise Tax Surcharge - 2 (Astrid Monson)
Rail Opponents Challenged to Find Alternatives (Astrid Monson)
Letters to the Editor - 1 (Arlene Ellis)
Letters to the Editor - 2 (Muriel R. Roberts)
Letters to the Editor - 3 (Katherine Kocel (P.K.A. Loew) & Susan MacKinnon)
Letters to the Editor - 4 (Barbara Farwell)


JULY 31, 1992

The Charter Commission on July 28 voted to amend the provisions for initiative and recall petitions by basing signature requirements from the number of those who voted in the last election, to those who registered to vote -whether they voted or not. In 1990, roughly 77% of those who registered, voted. By changing the base, the requirement for the minimum number of signatures required to get on the ballot increased roughly 29%.

We strongly oppose this vote. The principle behind a democratic form of government is that the ultimate power rests with the people. The people delegate power to elected officials to represent them in the creation of laws, institutions and programs to further the health, welfare and security of the nation and its people. The people have the right to keep some of that power to use when they feel their interests are threatened -- power in the form of initiative, referendum and recall.

The Commission turned down the citizen's request for referendum. By now making it extremely difficult to mount an initiative or recall -- to all intents and purposes -they have removed the citizen's last resort to direct democracy. Who's interest will this serve? Certainly not yours or mine. We have only one recourse left. If we want to retain our power to address our grievances by mounting an initiative or recall -whether we ever use it or not -- we must vote this measure down on November 3.

SEPTEMBER 14, 1992

Wednesday, Sept. 23 is "D" day - decision day for the rail transit tax. That's when the City Council is scheduled to take its third and final vote on it. The City administration has warned that if the Council does not approve it on that day, rail is dead.

Well, what if it does? Perhaps the city will finally be forced to look at better and cheaper alternatives it has stubbornly ignored up to now. Foremost among them is a Bus Rapid Transit system, more suitable than rail for cities our size.

The new Federal Transportation Act permits up to 90% Federal financing for busways and transitways. We would get as much Federal money for a Bus Rapid Transit system as for rail, but Oahu taxpayers' share would be much less.

For example, Ottawa has completed and is using a 19mile Bus Rapid Transit way with 28 stations. Its capacity is as high as our proposed rail system. Its buses run at speeds--including time for stops--averaging 27 to 35 miles per hour compared to 13 for our buses now. Their 800 bus system carries 85 million passengers a year. It was built for less then $400 million U.S. dollars.

Ottawa's bus transit system was built piece by piece so people did not have to suffer through years of chaos before any of it could be used.

We don't need the transit tax to improve our bus system. We can do it the Ottawa way -develop Bus Rapid Transit. Let's get started.

SEPTEMBER 18, 1992

The League of Women Voters of Honolulu advocates "Bus Rapid Transit" -- the practical, faster, cheaper, viable alternative to rail.

Transit doesn't need rail to be rapid.

Transit doesn't need rail to carry masses of people.

Transit doesn't need rail to get people to leave their cars at home.

Other cities our size have developed Bus Rapid Transit systems that carry more riders than most rail systems, at speed as rapid as rails, and cost a whole lot less than 3 billion dollars.

Bus Rapid Transit is flexible and adaptable to changing conditions. Bus Rapid Transit can be built a piece at a time and each piece can be used as soon as completed. Passengers can stay on the same bus all the way from home to their destination, without transfers.

The U.S. Transit Administration has stated that the $618 million Federal money allocated to Honolulu for rail transit can. legally be transferred to the construction of bus transitways and a bus Rapid Transit System. The City could save local taxpayers 1.8 billion dollars by rejecting rail and applying for Bus Rapid Transit aid instead.

Why has the City of Honolulu refused to look at Bus Rapid Transit as an alternative to rail?

Ask your Council Member to vote against the transit tax and consider Bus Rapid Transit instead.

September 1992 Home   Newsletters November-December 1992