Fighting snakes must take higher priority
There are certain things we might need here and things we can live without, which, compared to other resort destinations, makes this place unique and "hard to beat."
It's one thing to be startled by the report that federal funds will not be available to deter an invasion of brown tree snakes from Guam. And it's another to learn that Guam reportedly has a collection of around 10,000 of these snakes per square mile.
Fighting for the rights and privileges of the USS Missouri, a nuclear submarine called Honolulu or even a brand-new aircraft carrier called the USS Inouye is well meant. But as sure as there is toilet paper in the Senate and House, our senators in Washington know full well the funds required should be top priority.
John L Werrill
Rail will help keep the country country
I am a Windward resident and travel to town each day to work. I see several ways that the planned rail system will benefit everyone, including those on our side of the island. These are both environmental and practical reasons.
Transit can lessen the amount of fossil fuel we consume. If more people use transit, we won't have to build more roads and parking lots or widen highways. It also would give people more ways to get around, with less dependence on the automobile. It might require us to change our perspective on our early morning commute, but it is a necessity with our growing population.
The rail line links east Kapolei to downtown. Planning decisions were made decades ago to put the majority of new development in Leeward Oahu. Transit allows more density in these areas so the country can be kept country.
Our island's population continues to grow whether we like it or not. If we don't act on traffic solutions and alternatives now, the burden will shift to future generations, and our quality of life will diminish. Our unique island state governs that we acknowledge our limited resources and our responsibility to preserve them wisely.
Legislature should move on impeachment
Friday is the deadline for state Senate Concurrent Resolution 83, calling on Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against President Bush and Vice President Cheney, to pass through the Judiciary and Labor Committee. Sen. Clayton Hee, as committee chairman, will decide whether SCR 83 will be heard.
Unfortunately, unless there is a great deal of public response regarding this resolution, the committee seems disinclined to hear it. Please let Hee know that you think this issue ought to be debated and heard by his committee.
If a state Legislature actually forwards a bill or a resolution on impeachment to Congress, then, thanks to the foresight of Thomas Jefferson, Congress must act. I urge the committee to hear SCR 83 and to forward it to the Legislature to be voted on. This resolution reflects the sentiment of a growing number of people in Hawaii and in the nation as a whole. Because of this, SCR 83 ought to be heard.
School to Work a vital DOE program
While I can't address the specifics concerning the Department of Education's alleged plan to discontinue the School to Work program addressed in Lei Learmont's letter to the editor
("Don't let DOE stop student jobs program," April 2
), I do have firsthand knowledge of the value of her program, having worked with her for more than 12 years while teaching at Nanakuli High School.
Hawaii schools must provide students with a "hire" education that addresses the skills they need to survive in today's job market.
Learmont's program provides these skills by helping students navigate through the real and changing demands of the workplace.
As societies change, needed skill sets change, and education must keep pace. The 20th-century industrial workplace required schools to turn out workers who could apply a fixed set of skills (i.e., the three R's) throughout a working lifetime. Society today requires people to learn different things so they can make effective and productive decisions. Today's workplace requires more flexible workers capable of high-order thinking and problem solving.
There is little evidence that traditional curricula meet these needs or actually prepare students for the work demands of the "real" world. School to Work programs bridge this gap.
Try backing the car in instead of out
Your story Sunday
about children being killed by cars backing over them provided some useful tips to avoid such tragic and preventable accidents. Here is one more.
When pulling up to your driveway or parking space, back your car in if possible. That way, when you leave, you have only to go forward and thus have a clear view ahead of you.