Homeless received state, city compassion
I was elated to see the churches, the city and now the state becoming involved in sheltering the homeless. Vacant, unused state facilities with minimal security staff are an excellent outlay of public funds for our fellow citizens who find themselves in need of temporary shelter.
This is indeed in keeping with the Hawaiian spirit of aloha we convey to the world and to our unending flow of visitors.
The governor and the mayor should be lauded for their compassion and farsightedness.
Larry T. Hayashida
If you take handouts, then follow the rules
As a taxpayer of many years now, hit with rising costs all around, I can sympathize with the homeless regarding their situation. But how far will this sympathy take me?
The city did shut down Ala Moana Beach Park, but provided the park adjacent to the police department -- which was turned down, since it was too close to the police. If you have no illicit things to hide, why would you say that? I wouldn't mind residing in an area with optimal police presence.
Now the state has provided a shelter at no small expense to the taxpayer, $200,000 just to set it up. I was for Governor Lingle's proposal that those admitted should be screened so those who need help are sent to the right places. Now some of the homeless people are saying it's too restrictive and they want more self-governance (Star-Bulletin, May 4).
I expect the state to have policies and procedures in place, as it is the responsible thing to do. You can't expect to be masters of your destiny while wanting handouts from others.
But then, what's provided is never enough. Give them a hand and they expect the arm.
Democrats failed to intimidate Lingle
I commend the governor for vetoing House Bill 2454 HD1, SD2
"Relating To Filling Legislative Vacancies." This ridiculous abuse of power by the state's Democrats is but a string of bills designed to weaken the governor.
Democrats need to stop crying about their loss to Linda Lingle and start focusing on the people of Hawaii and the issues confronting them daily.
Sonar disturbed whales' inner ears
I have a theory about the whales' behavior during the Navy's tests ("Navy sonar cited in beaching," Star-Bulletin, April 28
As in the case of humans, the whale's inner ear provides equilibrium besides communication among the whale community.
High-level sonar signals cause havoc among the pod. While not directly fatal, the damage can be temporary or long lasting. This loss of hearing while disturbing the animal's equilibrium also results in the loss of intelligible communications, causing panic among the pod members. Thus the instinct to cluster for protection and follow the leader to a safe sanctuary.
This sense of vertigo is described in medical textbooks.
Leonard K. Chun
'United 93' credits passengers' courage
My husband and I have just seen the movie "United 93" and want to urge everyone to see it. I read some articles about the screening of this film referring to the "agony" and "pain" suffered by tearful viewers who said it is "too soon" to relive that fateful day. With some trepidation, I stuffed extra tissues into my purse as we entered the theater. I never used them and shed no tears. Instead my feelings were these: rage at the perpetrators of the monstrous deeds of Sept. 11 and overwhelming admiration for an incredibly well-done documentary about the brave passengers and crew who fought back.
The 40 people who lost their lives on United 93 are not named in the film, although we came to know some of them afterward. For those who now want to know more about them I refer you to a wonderful book called "Among the Heroes" by Jere Longman, which tells the story of each of them, including photos. Two of the passengers were Honolulu residents Christine Snyder and Georgine Corrigan.
Let taxpayers decide how to spend surplus
I would have preferred to have my hard-earned tax dollars refunded to me instead of having the state determine how the surplus would be spent on schools.
If you feel school repair is important, then you would have the power to decide which school gets your money for repair AND you would get to write off that donation as well. That to me is a win-win situation.
Remember, since the state kept your refund, it will determine how it will be spent -- and you won't get to write it off. Your kid's school might not benefit from as much as you'd like, and you don't get the deduction; you get slammed two times. I'd rather take the surplus, thank you. It is our money!
DOE wins another victory against subs
Well, it's happened to subs again. Our employer has won yet another victory in their "money, power, politics" agenda and their on going program to step and spit upon all subs. Our "destiny" is still on track.
» Abused daily for decades by employer, the Department of Education
» Pay withheld for almost a decade in the millions of $'s
» Win class action lawsuit only to face appeal
» Pay cut "awarded" same day teacher get raises
» Bill to acquire collective bargaining rights killed
» DOE breaks rules daily using educational assistants as subs because of sub shortage
» The beat goes on ... and on ... and on! What's next?
To top it all off, Hawaii's attorney general files big suit against those dirty drug companies that steals and cheats the state. Big deal! The DOE has been stealing and cheating the state, their employees, parents and children for decades. Ask Judge Karen Ahn.
A.G. Mark Bennett stated, this time the state "has fairness and justice on its side." Where's the "fairness and justice" for substitute teachers? How about prosecuting the DOE?
Substitute Teachers Professional Alliance Inc.
State should have decriminalized pot
Legislators recently let several chances go to reform Hawaii's dysfunctional marijuana policies. It is now too late for the Legislature to act on bills that would have dramatically improved the medical marijuana program and replaced possible jail time with a fine for possession of less than one ounce of marijuana by adults age 18 or older.
Removing criminal penalties for the possession of small amounts of marijuana would be a wise decision. Twelve other states already have adopted this sensible law and these states report great success: improved criminal justice systems, reduced overcrowding in prisons and the freeing up of law enforcement to focus on more pressing and dangerous problems -- specifically, violent crimes.
I hope that next year the Legislature will do the right thing and make Hawaii's marijuana policies more sensible and just.
What if Akaka never learned English?
Sen. Daniel Akaka recently introduced in the U.S. Senate the Native American Language Amendments Act. He wants to ensure that individuals are "never forced to relinquish their language or culture." His office issued a news release in English: "This bill is of particular importance to me because as a young child I was discouraged from speaking Hawaiian ... because I was told that it would not allow me to succeed in the Western world."
So at age 82, does Akaka now disagree with what he was told so long ago? Can Akaka really believe that he'd be a U.S. senator if he was fluent in Hawaiian instead of English? Bizarre reasoning such as this makes it clear to me that it's time for this kindly man to retire.