Everyone will benefit if schools get surplus
It's nice to hear that the governor is thinking of giving back money to the people ("Gov. Lingle wants to give taxpayers a $300M refund," Star-Bulletin, Dec. 20
). But how much money will each individual receive? If it's only a couple of hundred bucks, then I'd rather it go to help our programs in need.
More of the surplus should go to schools, even more than the amount the governor has indicated. We really need more good school counselors who will reach out to students who are struggling because of a lack of support at home. If these kids, who probably have a long list of absences along with poor grades, continue to keep away from school, our community problems will grow. They will end up with a poor education, lack of a good job and probably end up on welfare or turn to crime and drugs.
I say to the state, keep the money. Put it to good use. Account for every penny spent and make a difference where it will really be seen. If you give back the money to the general public, we'll spend it on a night out at a good restaurant, pay for a plane ticket, buy more beer, buy a video game, buy new shoes, buy a new golf club ... but will that really make a difference in all of our lives as a community? I think not.
I'd rather give the state the money to improve our schools to give support to the kids who need it rather than having to spend the money on expanding our prisons to house those kids that we ignored. Even if you don't have children in school, this community is for all of us and what we do with that money will affect us all.
Turnout shows Iraqis value right to vote
So we are in Iraq, fighting a bloody war in order to teach the Iraqis about democracy and free elections. Hmmmmm! They just had a 70 percent turnout in their election; in 2004, we had what ... 40 percent? Maybe they should be teaching us!
Marine sanctuaries need more protection
Let's hope the governor's proposed sanctuary or refuge for the Northwest Hawaiian Islands has more protections for endangered animals and habitat than the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary ("Lawmakers tour Northwestern atolls," Associated Press, Dec. 16
The sewage of more than 1 million tour boat passengers a year is dumped in the middle of the sanctuary around Maui. This continues during the months when the endangered whales and hawksbill turtles are present. This estimate is according to testimony of the Pacific Whale Foundation, and the number does not include cruise ships.
Lay nets also are allowed in the sanctuary. Lay nets are a most destructive fishing technique, killing nontargeted fish and damaging reefs.
What protections should a sanctuary provide? Much more than the existing whale and marine sanctuary, which allows commercial exploitation but not substantive protections.
Public funds can help with health-care crisis
Regarding Dr. Linda Rasmussen's concern about the lack of workers compensation funding (Letters, Star-Bulletin, Dec. 13
): I wholeheartedly agree. The lack of support from the Legislature is hurting workers and business alike. I support the use of public funding for health care as a solution to our health-care crisis. Rasmussen is right, no one person or business can sustain the ever-increasing cost of health care.
I applaud the Hawaii Medical Association for stepping up and supporting the right of all to affordable and free health care. I urge members of the HMA to support the Hawaii Health Care Task Force, whose job is to develop a plan to implement health care for all Hawaii residents.
Stadium booze ban will end problems
Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona proposed that alcohol be banned inside and outside of the Aloha Stadium for all collegiate and high school sporting events. The ban should go into effect for many reasons. Alcohol consumption contributes to unruly behavior, unruly behavior creates problems, therefore alcohol consumption creates problems.
Alcohol has led to incidents of violence, and placed innocent people in harm's way. The people's safety must come first, before having a good time.
The reputation of the University of Hawaii is affected by sporting events, mainly football. The people of Hawaii want the university to be seen as a first-class school, not a "party" school.
Alcohol consumption creates problems. By banning alcohol, many of these problems will be decreased -- or even done away with altogether.