Wednesday, July 18, 2007


"Bad for us poor folks"

I didn't think of the pedestrian safety issue that way before, but it should have been obvious to me.

A neighbor ran into me today and said he had seen me on television. He thought it was something to do with Hawaiian independence. I said, no, more likely something to do with the governor not releasing money for traffic safety improvements, my latest hot issue.

He said something like, "Yea, that's bad for us poor folks." Or something close, I was carrying things and couldn't mark down his exact words.

Yup, the governor has her shiny SUV to get around (Cayetano's was even bigger). You can see it parked right in front of the guard window in the State Capitol lot. She may never cross the street the way the rest of us do. She also has her bodyguards, including that imposing new guy imported from the Philippines.

I just can't imagine them scurrying across the street, dodging turning cars, carrying a bunch of Safeway bags, the way we do all the time. No Philippine bodyguards for us. All we have to protect us is our stink eye for the speeding motorists. Does the governor even shop in a supermarket?  Ha!

It's unfair!

If the governor had to walk the streets like the rest of us, the money for SB1191, the pedestrian safety bill that became law despite her veto, would not only be funded quickly, the money would be doubled or tripled. Because the paltry sum appropriated by the Legislature is only a beginning. Much more needs to be done.

Neglect has resulted in dangerous intersections all over Hawaii. So the withholding of money to correct the problem and save lives turns out to be a class issue, not affecting rich folks in SUVs or our governor in hers. Just us poor folks.

It's only we poor folks who will be killed 'cause a measly small sum is withheld by our administration.

Am I overdoing this? No. Really, everyday people's lives are at stake. The rich got their $74 million tax credits, the rest of us beg to get $1.5 million for two years to fix the intersections. For lack of that money, for sure, people will be killed. For real. Truth. Poor people. Avoidable deaths and injuries not avoided.

You can call the governor at 586-0034 and ask that the money be released. Don't worry, you won't get an argument, she has people who answer the phone for her, of course. If you listen to talk radio, call them. Let your fingers do the walking, as they say in the phone company commercials. It's the safest way to walk in Hawaii.


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