UH shouldn't charge more for housing
The University of Hawaii should not increase its housing fee for students (Star-Bulletin, Jan. 7
). The argument that the new fee is still cheaper than private housing is wrong for two reasons:
» What amounts to a tiny studio apartment with a built-in roommate can be found in the private market for less than the $1,000-plus per month charged by UH.
» Even if the UH price was cheaper, a university is not a profit-making enterprise and shouldn't use the insanely expensive rental market as an excuse to overcharge students.
Students already have enough money problems without paying top dollar for housing.
Rail a tempting target for corrupt interests
In the debate about rail transit, one subject is never discussed but needs to be addressed. Who will profit from it? It will not be the public! Debt for the construction and maintenance of the system will be paid for by this and future generations of Oahu residents. In recent years, numerous public officials and their "friends" have been convicted of corruption and unlawful activities related to their positions in government or contacts with the government, and the question remains, how many more will be caught with their fingers in the till? Unfortunately, the word of a politician is worthless! Safeguards are needed now to ensure we don't have these problems in the future.
Remember that this is money coming out of your pocket, so let's not enrich others at your expense!
Is America ready for atheists in office?
CNN has been running a fine series about prejudice in America. But has CNN considered the persistent prejudice against atheists? If Sen. Barack Obama had followed the example of his father (an atheist) or his mother (witness of secular humanism), what would his chances be to run for president of the United States? Or for that matter, most public offices?
Boogeyman in Iraq really does exist
I hate to tell Joe Gedan this ("'Boogeyman terrorism' a real threat to America," Gathering Place, Jan. 9
), but just because he is paranoid does not mean they are not out to get us.
Whether he -- or we -- like it or not, Iraq was the beginning of our offensive. Hopefully, it will be the end of our offensive if we don't give up.
Terrorism is not going to go away until we all get on the same page. That's reality.
Lawmakers must deal with DLNR problems
The Department of Land and Natural Resources is seeking approval from the Legislature for a substantial increase in funding for its enforcement division
. However, simply authorizing positions is not good enough. The Legislature needs to take a closer look at some shortcomings within the Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement.
Did you know that DOCARE officers are required by Homeland Security to provide security for cruise ships in certain harbors around the state? Why aren't the feds providing their own security so DOCARE can get back to its mandate of protecting our natural resources?
Another problem DOCARE officers face is a lack of blue lights on their patrol vehicles. Blue lights are recognized nationwide as law enforcement; not having this necessary tool severely hampers the officers' effectiveness and safety. These officers often work alone in remote areas in which Tasers would increase officer and public safety exponentially, but they don't have Tasers. There are some much-needed amendments to the Hawaii Revised Statutes the Legislature should consider.
Another problem is the difficulty of hiring personnel. The state's retirement requirement is 30 years of service, whereas a county police officer is allowed to retire after 25 years. The state also does not provide for comparable pay when these officers transfer from other government agencies.
Pointing fingers at this point is unproductive. Let's just fix these problems to ensure the best protection for our natural resources.