Pick up some litter even if it's not yours
I believe that the beaches here in Hawaii are getting very cluttered. With so many people enjoying the beaches, I don't think it's too much trouble to ask citizens to pick up their own trash. Even if they don't have any trash of their own, I think they should still pick up at least four pieces of trash on their way out. People would want to come to the beaches when they are cleaner.
State has obligation to elevator users
The state was derelict in its duty to inspect dams until the horrible Ka Loko tragedy happened and life was lost. We seem to have a similar situation with our elevators where the state has a six-year backlog in the agency charged with inspecting elevators and keeping us safe. The state's tactic of hoping the private elevator companies will inspect their own work and fix any problems seems a bit like letting the foxes guard the henhouse. Perhaps our governor should stop paying so much attention to what goes on at City Hall and worry about getting her departments up to speed.
We should spend more on teacher pay
With Hawaii's cost of living skyrocketing, we must support our teachers' efforts for wage increases. Gov. Linda Lingle's opposition to such an increase underlines her lack of foresight concerning Hawaii's children. As wages remain stagnant, teachers either flee for the mainland or are generally demoralized, resulting in oversized and unmotivated classrooms. We need a strong academic atmosphere to catapult our children to compete successfully in the future. Therefore, we must value our teachers as much we do our future. We should all tell the governor that we value our future.
Young has done much for the environment
I am forever disgusted with Hawaii's Legislature and others constantly pointing their crooked finger toward Department of Land and Natural Resources director Peter Young's vision
on improving the state's environment.
Let's start at the beginning: Young inherited a mess! But he has lobbied the Legislature hard for more funding for the DLNR, only to have his purse strings cut short by ignorance, making the department do an awful lot with little.
He's set up various community organizations that get people involved in safeguarding the environment, like the Mauka-Makai programs. He's facilitated partnerships between the state and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Trust for Public Lands, City & County of Honolulu and more.
He's directed the biggest clean-up of state parks in the history of the state.
Young was the top player in the preservation of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, now a national monument.
One thing I do know is that Peter Young is always on trial and on the brink of losing his job. It's a problematic department and he's the easiest one to target.
Good reason for using caution with GM crops
In response to Don Gerbig's April 8 letter
about Monsanto's Kunia plans and GMO myths and "never any mention of reliable scientific evidence of harm to humans or the environment":
Mae-wan Ho, who has a doctorate in biochemistry and 30 years of research and teaching in biochemistry, evolution, molecular genetics and biophysics, has published a scientific paper that lists 12 incidences of detrimental effects from genetically modified crops, including human and animal deaths and organ damage. Most notable is a recent finding that rats fed with a diet of rat chow and GM soy beans had a 600 percent increase in early offspring mortality (more than 50 percent of pups dead in three weeks) and 100 percent sterility of the surviving second generation. These are the same soybeans currently being planted all over the United States, Monsanto Roundup Ready 40.3.2. (See www.i-sis.org.uk/GM_Food_Nightmare_Unfolding.php)
I am unable to comprehend why it is so difficult to allow that we should be careful about GMOs. I would like to buy Mr. Gerbig a cup of non-GMO coffee and hear his side of it.
Protecting children up to parents, not law
regarding technology not being the answer to protecting children from "backover" accidents is correct. Whether it is such an accident or a case of leaving a young child alone in a car, parents or guardians bear the responsibility of protecting young children from harm. Babies and children should never be allowed to play outside unsupervised and should never be left alone in a car -- period. There is no other answer. The media can play a big role in helping to educate people -- please keep up the good work.
Rep. Marilyn Lee
D, Mililani-Mililani Mauka