Schools need parents to get more involved
Regarding the ongoing discussion on the quality of education -- or lack of same -- in Hawaii's state-run schools, I have a question or two.
When seemly the majority of Hawaii's most educated, influential and concerned parents inevitably send their children to private schools, doesn't it have a detrimental effect on our public schools? After all, it effectively deprives those schools of many of the very people who tend to have the time and motivation to become personally involved in their children's education.
I am sure those parents are only trying to provide their offspring with the best education possible. But if parental involvement, as it is often said, is a major factor in creating and maintaining a sound educational system, might not their involvement in our public schools be what the state system needs most?
Lawmakers did right to fight billboard blight
The Outdoor Circle wants to thank the 2006 Hawaii Legislature for its strong action to protect the scenic beauty of our state by severely restricting mobile advertising. In doing so it has enhanced the quality of life for all Hawaii residents and protected our essential visitor industry from an activity that clearly degrades the beauty of our islands.
House Bill 2708 prohibits "mobile advertising vehicles," which includes trucks, cars and trailers whose primary purpose is to display advertising. These vehicles are essentially billboards on wheels and are the advertising industry's latest effort to make an end run around Hawaii's billboard law. That law, championed by The Outdoor Circle, was enacted in 1926 and has successfully kept Hawaii billboard-free for 80 years. We are delighted that our legislators acknowledge that a billboard on wheels is still a billboard, and agreed to strengthen the billboard law to prevent this new twist on an old problem.
We ask all of Hawaii to join us in rejoicing over this great victory for the visual environment of our beloved islands. This legislation stops the mobile advertising industry at our shores. While this highly intrusive form of advertising thrives in California and other mainland cities, Hawaii has sent a strong message that mobile advertising will not be allowed here.
CEO, The Outdoor Circle
Castro probably has good intentions, too
Why should any loyal Americans be concerned about the National Security Agency's checking on their phone calls?
Loyal Chinese do not object to their Ministry of Public Enlightenment monitoring their phones.
Loyal Cubans never complain about Castro's government surveillance of their communications.
It's only those who have something to hide who object to being watched.
John A. Broussard
Do we really know how many are homeless?
For the past couple of years the state has claimed there were 6,000 homeless people on Oahu, which has 75 percent of Hawaii's population and the highest housing/rental prices in the state. That would logically set the number of homeless at no more than 8,000 statewide.
In recent days, however, two pertinent facts have come to light. The Housing and Community Development Corporation of Hawaii provided services to 14,000 homeless people statewide three years ago when the problem was less severe. And the Big Island mayor wants to cut taxes on rental property to help a growing number of homeless.
I've heard estimates as high as 30,000 homeless in Hawaii. Until the exact size of the problem is determined, there is little chance the state can take effective steps to turn the situation around.
Lingle's leadership, aloha helped homeless
Mayor Hannemann said that the city evicted hundreds of homeless people from Ala Moana Beach Park to force the state to deal with the situation. So the city used these people who have so little already and who need help the most as a political football. Rather than finding a solution, the mayor chose to punt, saying the homeless are not the city's problem.
Fortunately, when Governor Lingle realized that Hannemann had abandoned the evicted homeless people, she and her administration quickly put together a shelter that is clean and safe.
The governor helped those most in need with her decisive action and tremendous aloha. All our elected officials would do well to follow her example.
Illegal aliens put more burden on taxpayers
Why wait another day? Let's identify the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of illegal immigrants living and working in this country, and deport them immediately to their countries of origin.
Why are federal and state laws ignored by our government? Why bother having a law if it is not enforced? In Hawaii alone, I would suggest that on any given day several hundred or more illegal immigrants are working in our fields, or perhaps at the flea market or the International Market Place, to name a few.
Yet this flagrant violation of our very own statutes goes ignored by our local and state authorities.
Beyond that, many or most illegal immigrants are working a cash-only type of business, or are paid in cash; they are not reporting their incomes. Consequently, they are not paying their taxes, either, but are leaving the burden to be paid by the honestly employed, average hard-working residents of Hawaii.
I would suggest, and surely would have the support of many other taxpayers of Hawaii, that we begin now to round up and deport these people.
Dale F. Leslie