Your Views for December 19
No speed traps
In response to “HPP speed trap” (Your Views, Dec. 15), the writer incorrectly assumes I have the power to set speed limits. I am flattered that the writer thinks I have such power, but the Department of Transportation (DOT) sets the speed limit. They have reduced the speed limit in the construction zone for driver and worker safety, not to create a speed trap as the writer suggests. I had no say in that, nor in their decision to make the reduction 24 hours a day. I agree with the writer that most drivers do not obey the reduced limit after hours, but I am not aware of any “speed trap” operations as a result.
As for the reduction to 45 mph along the HPP portion of Highway 130, I did request that DOT consider this, along with a couple other suggestions. The DOT analyzed my suggestions, rejected some of them, and agreed with this one. Up until last year, Highway 130 was the most dangerous road in the state, in the fastest-growing district in the state. Along with DOT’s improvements to several intersections, the speed reduction has improved the safety of this road. The delay caused by this speed reduction, if you travel the full length of it, is about 50 seconds. I have never seen a speed trap along this section, either.
I‘m grateful for the DOT’s willingness to consider community input, and I greatly appreciate that the widening of the highway from Keaau to Shower Drive has been prioritized and is proceeding well.
Sen. Russell Ruderman
Invading our privacy
It is sad that so many of our young people don’t realize what they are being denied.
In contrast, those of us who have been around for several generations can remember the rights to privacy we once enjoyed, protected by Article IV of the Bill of Rights. But since 9/11, this basic right has been attacked and diminished under the guise of terrorist threats to our safe pursuit of happiness. It is acknowledged that some security adjustments have been necessary but many feel that the NSA has gone too far in collecting millions of our once-personal telephone calls and amassing personal dossiers on millions of law-abiding Americans.
A watershed ruling on Dec. 16 by U.S. Federal Judge Richard Leon declared this type of snooping to be unconstitutional. To say his ruling has far reaching consequences is indeed an understatement. For example, Associate Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously declared “They: The makers of the Constitution conferred, as against the government, the right to be let alone – the most comprehensive of the rights and the right most valued by civilized men.”
Stay tuned as this ruling, sure to be appealed by NSA’s representatives and others, as it travels through the courts. Our right to privacy is big and it is basic to our guaranteed freedoms as United States citizens.
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