Drivers do worse than talk on cell phones
Regarding "Army enacts car cell phone ban" (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 16
): It is a sad day when an Army general issues an order to ban cell phone use by all drivers on Army property. I have seen many traffic accidents in my 35 years of driving and seen the driving habits of numerous drivers. I have watched the behaviors of drivers, on and off the freeway, that are more dangerous than using a cell phone.
I have seen a male shaving while driving, a woman doing her makeup, numerous people eating and/or drinking, women disciplining kids, drivers trying to read maps, people reading newspapers, someone reading a book while driving 85 mph, and the worst -- people driving while talking to people in the rear seats (they turn and look at the people they are talking to).
People should use better judgment. People should use their cell phones while driving only when necessary. Contractors and vendors on the road need to use their cell phones for business. Please, everyone, review your use of cell phones while driving. Then we won't need a ban.
Ban all cell phone use on isle roadways
Regarding "Army enacts car cell phone ban" (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 16
): Finally, someone with guts makes the hard choice and the right decision. I ride a motorcycle, and every day I must dodge someone who has a cell phone stuck in his or her ear.
Come on Navy, Air Force, state of Hawaii -- jump on the band wagon and do the right thing: Ban cell phone use when driving, period. Show us that you have the guts to stand up and show concern for our safety, and not your status or the next election.
The Navy will make me wear many layers of clothing that do nothing more than make me hot, but they will not protect me from drivers who have forgotten that they are in a car, not a phone booth.
Do what you know is right.
High school seniors, consider teaching
I would like to see many graduating seniors in our high schools consider teaching as a future profession. Those seniors, especially ones who come from immigrant families, could help the newly arrived children as well as the fairly established ones to overcome the difficult task of learning English. Having gone through similar experiences, they could aid others in understanding the meanings of most of the words that appear in the textbooks and on tests.
The challenge is there for you senior students. Will you take it?
Roy E. Shigemura
Jesus doesn't want you to vote out Democrats
Regarding Melvin Partido's letter "God wants you to vote out all Democrats" (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 17
): Like many Democrats, I asked myself "What would Jesus do?" The Lord might respond that "He who is without sin cast the first insult against thy neighbor's political affiliation."
Mr. Partido is incorrect when he says that Democrats are wrong on the issues of abortion and gay marriage. Democrats believe the issue of "choice" is for a woman (and her spouse) to responsibly decide. Democratic legislators acted responsibly by proposing the marriage issue be on the ballot for all Hawaii voters to decide.
As God's spirit is everywhere, I believe there is a bit of Democratic spirit in everyone, some more blessed than others. Many believe that Jesus is a liberal. If so, perhaps his four English "Apostles" -- John, Paul, George and Ringo -- said it best: "All you need is love," Mr. Partido.
Democratic Party of Hawaii
What happened to Paki Hale renovation?
A local news station recently featured a story about the closing of Paki Hale at Kapiolani Park in November 2004 for a planned four-month renovation that had stretched out to 11 months due to "unplanned" discoveries, such as mold in the walls and termite-damaged doors. What kind of engineers does the city of Honolulu have that they failed to observe such deficiencies in the site inspections prior to outsourcing the work to contractors?
The news story mentioned that the renovation was now complete and the facility would be returned to public use in September. However, two months later, Paki Hale is still not available for public use.
A response from "Mitchell" at the City and County tried to give the laundry list of "unplanned" structural deficiencies as the excuse. However, he also admitted that the termite-damaged doors that required replacement had still not been ordered as of Nov. 16, as the engineers had only just finished the design specifications for the doors. When the order is finally placed it will take another 60 days for the doors to be shipped. Mitchell could not give an estimate for when Paki Hale would again be available to the public.
Mufi Hannemann was supposed to clean up the morass that existed in the City and County's design and contracting bureaucracy. Maybe he needs to spend a little more time at home instead of on the "Road to Bali," Japan and the Philippines for Christmas shopping? Auwe.
T. J. Davies Jr.
Charge performers for use of sidewalks
There is such a simple solution to the street performer situation (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 10
). Why don't we charge them? They are making money on public sidewalks. Let's have them purchase a permit for, say, $500 a month. That should cover the tax that they are not paying plus rent of the sidewalk as a business establishment (Waikiki rent is pretty high these days). The city also can hold a quarterly lottery for the more popular areas for the performers so they cannot cluster in certain areas. Corners on any street should be prohibited to performers.
The tide is turning on support for war
Bravo, Congressman John Murtha (D-Pa.)! Our citizens are way ahead of our elected officials. Look at the polls. Americans increasingly disapprove of our administration's strategy. President Bush's approval ratings continue to drop. We are not stopping terrorism. Our presence in Iraq is promoting terrorism. With each passing day, the hatred toward us increases. This unjustified war is not making our country safer.
From a military perspective, we have done all we can do. Our "staying the course" has meant an increase in terrorism worldwide. With each passing day, the insurgency becomes more determined. Our troops continue to put their lives at risk. And for what? The best way we can support our valiant troops is to bring them home now.
Military Families Speak Out-Hawaii
Why don't we kill the terrorists' leaders?
Why are we not going after Osama bin Laden, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and all the leaders who are responsible for all these crazy bombings and all the insurgents in Iraq? Instead we are just killing the endless amounts of insurgents.
The Democrats are saying that we should pull out, and the Republicans are saying we should not pull out until the job is done. When is the job going to be done? What is the progress? We should get to the leaders first.
Francis K. Ibara
Youngsters should work for trip money
Recently a family member told us about her child's sports team winning a state competition. The team now has an opportunity to travel to the mainland to compete in the finals. To defray some of the trip expenses, they have decided to resort to a practice that is becoming more and more common -- they have decided to beg for money.
Team parents and their kids have been setting up fund-raising stations around intersections, blatantly asking for money with fishnets in their outstretched arms. Letters have even been mailed soliciting money. Maybe I missed the memo, but when did this become OK? When did selling chili tickets or chocolate-covered almonds become too difficult? Have we finally given in to indolence and lost our "local style" sense of hard work?
The kids should at least have to work for their earnings. Events like car washes or Huli Huli chicken cookouts are a great way to get everyone involved, and in the end the team will feel as though they earned their right to go.
Double standard for special ed students
Your Nov. 16 editorial
about the Supreme Court ruling placing the burden of proof on parents in special education law is disturbing. It admonishes special need families to "use mediation" as if parents request hearings to "game" the system. It's the typical double standard: the rights of the less fortunate are expected to be less than the well-to-do.
The last reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act requires a pre-hearing meeting to review issues with the school. I believe this procedural safeguard requirement exists in few (if any) other laws protecting individual rights. This is considered acceptable by the second-class status of special needs children. Face the truth, it's designed to remove rights of parents and allow states to dictate programs of lowered expectations for special education.
The steady safety net erosion for the unfortunate at birth is reinforced by your editorial.