All DOE employees should be drug-tested
The recent arrest of Leilehua High School teacher Lee Anzai for using and selling crystal meth (Star-Bulletin, Oct. 12
) has raised a serious issue for employees of the Department of Education. Should DOE employees be tested for drugs? Some, including attorneys for the teachers union, say it is a violation of privacy and that teachers and school staff should not be forced to submit to such tests.
As a DOE employee and a father of a student, I have to disagree. I for one welcome random and mandatory drug tests. I'll even volunteer to be the first one tested. Why? Because I have nothing to hide.
Common sense says that if you have done nothing wrong, then you have nothing to fear. We are talking about the people who are responsible for our keiki five days a week, about seven hours a day. As a parent, wouldn't you want to know that the person who is teaching your children is coherent and drug free? If teachers are going to tell their students to stay off of drugs, wouldn't it be more effective if the students KNEW their teachers were drug free?
Flashing lights would make crosswalks safer
I thought Oahu had some of the most dangerous crosswalks on the planet Earth. Now it is confirmed that we are the most dangerous in the nation for those over 65 (Star-Bulletin, Oct. 11
). However, your article referred only to crosswalks with signals. Heaven help anyone trying to cross without a signal!
All crosswalks without signals should be eliminated -- or signalized. Pedestrians have a false sense of security in them. Just because a pedestrian sees a car, he should not assume the driver sees him. Haven't you been driving along and all of a sudden there is a pedestrian in front of your car? How about at night?
Tragically, this topic is near and dear to my heart because I had a young friend and University of Hawaii student athlete killed in one of our unsignaled crosswalks a few years ago. Tammy would probably be alive today if we had blinking lights running across the street to alert drivers of pedestrians. I've heard other cities have these lights installed.
How many more people have died since Tammy was killed? How many more will die before we act to rectify this dangerous situation?
War will end only if Democrats take power
The Star-Bulletin, in an Oct. 11 Associated Press story, revealed that "The U.S. Army has plans to keep the current level of soldiers in Iraq through 2010." It also reported that the "Baghdad civilian toll hit 2,600 last month" and also that "655,000 Iraqis have died in three years."
Add to these deaths those of Americans, plus far more seriously wounded, and even Republicans must realize that this foolish war will be ended only by a Democratic government.
Jerome G. Manis
There's an easier way to sort out casualties
The Defense Department now has a more comprehensive way of listing what's happening to American troops in Iraq.
Currently, it lists two broad categories: the nonmortal casualties and the mortal casualties. The latter used to be referred to as deaths.
Nonmortal casualties include those who were wounded and needed medical air transport and those who were wounded and needed no such transport. Also listed under nonmortal casualties were "nonhostile" injuries such as self-inflicted wounds, those caused by friendly fire and "accidents."
Then, of course, nonmortal casualties included those suffering from any physical or mental diseases where medical air transport was required.
If the above is confusing, then it can be simply reduced to the figure of 44,779. That's the number of wounded, sick, dead or dying American service personnel resulting from the Iraq invasion, as of yesterday.
John A. Broussard
Will president try to fake attack by Iran?
In the wake of his failures in Afghanistan and Iraq, the commander in chief appears ready for Phase Three. President Bush issued a prepare to deploy order for an armada of ships led by an aircraft carrier to sail to the Persian Gulf, due to arrive off Iran's western coast around Oct. 21.
The president has violated the Constitution and went to war on mythical WMD, so do you think he might try to recreate a "Gulf of Tonkin"-like incident, feigning attack on U.S. ships by, say, Iran?
Why? Recent polls illustrate that the Republicans might lose both houses of Congress. So as Bush expands the war he expands his options, appealing to the electorate to support his polices because he's allegedly fighting terrorism, or if that fails, during the ensuing chaos he could declare martial law and postpone the November elections indefinitely.
America has to stop Bush from his October surprise. Contact your representative ASAP and demand that Congress put a stop to this madness now.
Resort expansion will destroy Oahu
I have heard the North Shore residents' concerns about the effect the Turtle Bay Resort expansion project will have on the environment, traffic, infrastructure and quality of life. I have participated in the sign-waving and presentation of 5,000 signatures on petitions to review, amend or modify the 1986 Special Management Area Permit for the project. Even though I do not live on the North Shore, I believe all of our communities on Oahu are interconnected and that this development will drastically affect our neighborhoods.
The City and County of Honolulu must recognize that we live on an island with finite land where proper land use planning and growth management are essential. The county is entrusted with protection of our watersheds, wetlands, shoreline and open spaces, as well as enforcement of our laws when developers come before it, but it has failed miserably in its duty to be a watchdog for the public. I have grave concerns that there is a lack of oversight by the Department of Planning and Permitting if it allows Turtle Bay Resort to build five new hotels with 3,500 more condo, timeshare and hotel units on Kawela Bay based on a 20-year-old agreement and land use permit.
Is the mayor's vision to pave over all that we love and ruin our quality of life? Or does he have a vision of conservation and possess the leadership necessary to listen to the people?