Friday, March 23, 2001
Mansho's judgesAre we getting serious? City Councilwoman Rene Mansho is going to be judged by her fellow members of the City Council? Give me a break if you can for just a moment. One councilman claims to have graduated from a university that has never heard of him. Another is running an illegal house of marriage out of his home. Another is fighting for his political life about some funds he took that he wasn't entitled to take for something he can't fully remember doing.
These people are going to be the judges of Mansho's fate? She is going to pay back the funds she spent with contributors' money? This sounds like something out of a comic novel. No wonder our mayor wants to be governor. I would hope that the voters take a better look when they next cast their ballots.
Pursue ManshoAs a taxpayer I am tired of city officials not representing me and the majority of Honolulu voters. Instead, their main concern seems to be extending "professional courtesies" to their fellow councilwoman, Rene Mansho.
Mansho committed several crimes against taxpayers. She has been caught with her greedy hands in the till.
How low can you go when you skim money from a benefit golf tournament for children's scholarships? The thousands of hours spent by her staff working on personal tasks for Mansho cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands.
I do not understand why Mansho is being allowed to dance away with a manini penalty. She should be prosecuted and jailed, if found guilty, like any other citizen who's committed the same crimes.
Strike hurts everyoneSome Hawaii residents may not be worried about an impending teacher strike (both public school teachers and university faculty) because they have no children or grandchildren in school. However, if you think a strike will not affect you, think again.
Teachers on strike DO NOT:
>> Go to movies.
>> Go to restaurants.
>> Buy clothes.
>> Splurge on anything.
Teachers on strike DO:
>> Cause businesses to have lots of absent workers while people scramble for daycare.
>> Buy lots of rice, Spam, bread and frozen saimin (but not other luxury food items)
>> Get community support (but the government officials will not).
>> Want to teach but can't.
A strike will affect every person in this state. Our Hawaii economy will suffer. So let's get this settled NOW, so teachers can do what they love -- teach.
"No. A disgusted 'no' vote." Sen. Sam Slom,
Casting his vote against a bill to raise the minimum wage. The bill had been killed in a previous vote but was resurrected by Senate Labor chairman Bob Nakata and passed 5-2.
"Nursing is a very undervalued entity,
unless you don't have one
when you need one." Roseanne Harrigan,
Dean of the University of Hawaii School of Nursing on the shortage of nurses in Hawaii and the nation
HGEA and promisesRandy Kusaka of the Hawaii Government Employees Association criticized me in a Star-Bulletin column March 9 for voting against the pay raise in the Labor Committee.
He falsely equates the legislative oath to "uphold the law" with blindly funding any union demand. Arbitration isn't law, or a promise to pay. If it were, legislators would have no responsibility to analyze its impact. There is a moral responsibility for those who agreed to arbitration; I wasn't one of them, and neither were taxpayers. I've agreed the award should be considered after other priorities. HGEA dismisses affordability and prioritization. The primary promise of any lawmaker is fiscal responsibility after weighing all evidence and consequences.
I'm accused of "betraying" a promise. What promise? Last year, HGEA campaigned against me precisely because I didn't promise to open the taxpayers' wallets without regard to other critical needs in Hawaii.
I've promised consistently to fund teachers and schools as our first priority to genuinely reform our education system -- with both compensation and systemic changes -- before considering anyone else. That's common sense.
Talking about promises, HGEA shouldn't be so selective: applauding the vote to break the promise of continuing personal income tax reductions and ignoring broken promises made by their endorsed candidates to eliminate the General Excise Tax on food and medicine.
Kusaka holds me "in contempt" for opposing manipulative and threatening demands while supporting sound economic principles. I'll continue to act independently, doing my best to represent all taxpayers.
Sen. Sam Slom
R, Aina Haina - Hawaii Kai
Fear of base closingsDuring the Gulf War, Kaneohe merchants' business went down 35 percent. Marine wives went back to their mainland families. Landlords were affected. Trickle down economics affected everyone.
The federal government spends $10.5 billion on the military in Hawaii. Of our state gross product, this is roughly 25 percent. If we lose the military, we truly will be the "banana republic" that Steve Forbes described.
We are faced with the possible closing of Kaneohe Marine Base and Schofield Barracks if some parameters are not met, namely retention of Makua Valley for training the military.
The closing of military bases would have a tremendous financial effect in Hawaii, and it is not positive.
Inhumane societyAfter reading the March 17 article about the humane society, I was surprised that my family and I are not the only ones who feel the humane society is not for our furry friends.
For the past few months the humane society has been contacting us regarding our 18-year-old family dog's barking. Our family pet was abandoned when he was 11. We took him in and gave him all the love and attention a dog could ask for. We have seen him from a mature handsome dog to an old fragile dog, and yet he is still very healthy.
He barks because he cannot walk anymore. Barking is his way to tell us that he needs assistance -- food, water or a change of diaper. My parents wake up seven or more times a night to take care of him.
And yet the humane society's officers at times are not willing to work with us on the barking problem. They side with our neighbor. The suggestions that were given to us are not humane, i.e. debarking him, building a soundproof house and using sedatives, which the vet said is not good for an old dog.
We really don't know what else to do. We certainly don't want to end his long life.
Supporting teachersAs a parent of a special-ed student who is partially mainstreamed, I am very supportive of the teachers' strike. My child is very fortunate to have some great people working with her and it is about time they benefit monetarily from the fruits of their labor.
Parents need to support the people who are in the trenches day after day because is the end when the Felix consent Decree is no longer around to be used as a scapegoat, the ones who will still be here will be the parents and those dedicated individuals who work with our children.
Joyce M. Allen
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