40 days and nights and still we don't listen
Hawaii has now endured 40 days and 40 nights of rain
and catastrophic flooding. Thunder crashes about me as I write. No one here has built an ark, but scientists say that like the Great Flood of the Bible, mankind has brought this on itself.
Scientists also tell us what to do to save ourselves. As in Biblical times, few listen.
Let's all head down to Sunset in the Sewer
I have a new name for the special events in Waikiki: Brunch in the Bathroom or Sunset in the Sewer ("Sewage puts stain on isles," Star-Bulletin, March 29
). The Harris administration spent millions of dollars on improvements to Waikiki, including new sidewalks, new restrooms and a new police substation. I think a little common sense should have been used to improve the infrastructure before making all the cosmetic improvements.
The sewage spills, water main breaks and potholes all around the city are no new thing. How many more sewage spills and water main breaks do we need before the city gets its act together?
How can this happen in a civilized society?
Did Hawaii become part of a Third World country all of a sudden? How is it possible that sewage can be freely dumped into the Ala Wai canal
"because there was no other option." That is not acceptable.
I understand that the city is working hard to remedy this situation, but the mayor needs to know that civilized societies do not let untreated sewage run through their streets. Put our high sewer fees to work and make sure this never happens again.
Let churches use their property for homeless
The churches should put their tax-free property to good use. The homeless stories
are all over the news and the members of the clergy are clamoring for us to continue to give over our parks, but what about their own property? The churches have vast lawns to pitch the tents and tarps, room for the dogs to roam, parking lots for the illegal cars, restrooms to use, water to wash the cars and fill the swimming pools, and pews to sleep on, out of the rain. The reverends can clean up the mess after the daily church meals instead of using park employees. The lack of brotherly love I see on the Leeward Coast as the parks are overflowing while the church yards are so close but unused astounds me.
C'mon, reverends, get with the program. Your brothers would like to use the parks that we pay for, for the purpose intended, without worrying about stepping on needles or broken glass, and use the facilities without being offered drugs.
Be wary of homeless who claim to be vets
I am writing in response to your March 30 article about the plight of the homeless
people who were evicted from Ala Moana Park. I want to preface my remarks by saying that I have every sympathy for these poor people. I can think of few circumstances worse than being without a home.
My problem with your article is the way you described "Pops" as a veteran of two wars. You stated in the piece that he wouldn't give his name, so I will assume you had no way of checking the authenticity of his claim and simply went ahead and reported it as factual. I submit that this is a example of poor journalism. Every time some poor wrenched soul claims to be a veteran when he is not it is a slap in the face to those wonderful, valiant people who did give their service to our country.
Of course, I don't know if "Pops" was telling you the truth about his service background or not. I certainly hope that he was. If so, he must have spent a considerable amount of time in the service and should be eligible for substantial benefits. He does not have to be homeless.
Peacemakers' methods cannot be successful
I am glad that the three Christian Peacemaker Team members who were kidnapped in Iraq were found and freed. I am sorry that one of their members was killed. However, I quite honestly do not understand what they hoped to accomplish by going to Iraq, nor do I understand the logic of peace activism. In the end, one who is willing to use violence, terror and fear will prevail over one who refuses to use violence, whether it be an individual or a nation.
And what do we suppose will become of Iraq at this point if, as many suggested, the coalition withdraws? That Iraq will suddenly become a peaceful nation of people living in harmony with one another and the world? What indications are there for this belief? If the coalition forces leave today, Iraq will plunge into complete sectarian violence and civil war. The elected government currently struggling to form will be ripped to shreds and eventually, a new Saddam will rise to power.
In a land where force and violence are the only languages truly respected by all, the only way to peace and justice is through force and violence. We all wish it weren't true, but there it is.
Gordon "Doc" Smith
Story about Hispanics was insulting
I found the article "Growing numbers of Hispanics drawn to isles" (Star-Bulletin, March 26
) extremely insulting. It appears at first glance to be a simple profile of the growing number of Latinos in the state of Hawaii. But toward the end it takes a turn toward the bigoted point of view that all Latinos' immigration status is suspect.
Everyone on these islands came from somewhere else. I don't remember ever reading any comments from the Immigration and Naturalization Services in profiles of other ethnic communities -- not the Japanese, not the Portuguese, not anybody.
Like Martin Luther King Jr., I have a dream -- that my Latino brothers and sisters will be judged by the content of their character and not the color of the papers they carry in their pockets.
Standard curriculum better for students
We are writing in support of Senate Bill 3059 SD2, HD1
, which the House Finance Committee is voting on today. The Department of Education should provide a model curriculum for each grade level. Course content should meet the state performance standards and reflect the requirements of the federal "No Child Left Behind" act, and should incorporate all the skills and information considered "grade appropriate" by national standards.
Eventually, it also would be helpful for report cards to indicate not only how well the students did in each of the lessons, but also which lessons were completed and which were not. This would enable parents to keep track of what their kids are supposed to be learning in each grade level, allow them to help fill in any gaps, and would provide a level of transparency and accountability that would be helpful to students, parents and the system as a whole.
Right now everyone is trying hard but it seems rather disorganized. It's time to get better organized. It's understandable that if a class is struggling with a certain concept, the teacher will spend longer on that topic. But by the end of the year, there might be several things that have not been covered. Without a standardized curriculum and tracking of what has been covered and what has not, parents, tutors and summer schools have no information on where to put additional effort.
The first step is the establishment of a curriculum. We encourage the Finance Committee to pass this bill.
Scott and Maria Tome