Homeless status quo just isn't working
Everyone agrees that the city and state need to come together and solve the core issues that create homelessness. That said, ignoring them as they trash our public parks is not an acceptable temporary fix. That's why we should reject the pleas of the advocates for the homeless, who seem to want to defend the status quo. It's not OK the way it is ... for them or us.
I applaud the mayor for taking action and reclaiming our public parks for the majority of citizens who just want the clean and safe environment they pay for. He's offered the grassy area by the Honolulu Police Department as a temporary place for them and he's right, the state has to weigh in "big time" to help the homeless because it has more resources than the city.
Panhandling, drugs ruin park experience
I'd like to cast my vote now to make the closure of Ala Moana Beach Park at night
permanent. My mom and I go to the park several times a week for sunset walks and picnics. It has become nearly impossible to get a picnic table or bench because they are all being used as condominiums. When we are fortunate enough to get a place to sit, we are bothered every 10 minutes by some panhandler asking for spare change or cigarettes. I work my okole off and I resent my tax dollars being spent to provide housing for people who won't help themselves.
Just when did it become our responsibility to provide food, clothing, shelter and medical care to people who won't work? I know there are a handful of people who really have fallen on hard times and genuinely need the assistance, but there is an overwhelming number of able-bodied young men sitting around talking story and trading drinks and drugs. I am so sick of watching drug deals and people urinating 15 feet away from where my mom and I are relaxing. It's time to return this beautiful park back to the families.
Say mahalo to a librarian today
I have fond memories of Hawaii's libraries
. I remember the card catalogs, the books neatly placed in Dewey Decimal order on the shelves, the reading tables and chairs and the serious hush that wrapped around you like a warm coat.
Most of all, I have fond memories of the library workers. I could always count on someone there to listen to my problem, suggest a magazine or book and offer a word of encouragement.
Today, as the executive director of the Hawaii Government Employees Association, I am proud to lead many of the dedicated men and women who work in our public and university libraries. We owe a great deal of thanks to the librarians and library support staff who make education and lifelong learning available to all of us.
Today is National Library Workers Day. Today or on your next library visit, I encourage everyone to take a moment to thank our library workers. Hawaii's libraries work because library workers do!
TheBus should follow Seattle's model
Recently Seattle, Wash. (King County) officials made all their bus stops nonsmoking. And they enforce it. It is great.
Earlier they made a law against "reclining" on a bus bench (to prevent the street people from taking over the bus stops), and they enforce it.
They post schedules at virtually all bus stops so people don't have to aimlessly wait, not knowing when the next bus will come. They also have undercover police periodically riding the buses to control the unruly.
In Honolulu, at one bus stop (Punchbowl Street at Beretania Street) some very small "please don't smoke" signs were put up about six feet high; most are gone now, and they were ignored anyway.
The other day at the bus stop on Beretania at Bishop Street, there was a dead rat. It is probably still there.
Can we have someone from King County come here and run TheBus?