Graffiti ruins property -- and looks bad, too
I am writing to the newspaper because I think graffiti is a problem in Hawaii. Did you know that graffiti is property destruction and can cause problems such as gangs, shoplifting and violence related to gang activities? If we didn't have graffiti, then we would have a cleaner and healthier environment.
According to the Star Bulletin, in 2004, there were 1,625 incidents of graffiti in Hawaii. Graffiti makes our community look bad. I feel sad seeing all this graffiti everywhere because I want people to come and see our community clean.
When there is no graffiti it keeps our community looking nice and clean. If Hawaii was cleaner, then tourists would probably be willing to come.
I think we should make Hawaii a cleaner and healthier place for our environment.
Marissa Shizuko Kometani
Senators erred with DLNR decision
Dear Peter Young: I know this has been an excruciating couple of weeks for you, and now it's over. I am devastated by the Senate's decision not to reconfirm you
as director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, but I am hoping that you are completely aware that it had nothing whatsoever to do with your job performance. You have done a wonderful job in a virtually impossible position to fill. You can tell by the public support what a good job you did.
For the rest of us, this is not over yet. There will be repercussions. I believe people are tired of politicians not listening to them. So, please take heart and be proud of what you have accomplished.
Thank you for all your years of service in this capacity.
Petty politics beat voters' best interests
The Peter Young reconfirmation hearings reveal what is wrong in Hawaii politics ("DLNR's Young ousted," Star-Bulletin, April 25
). Why did our Senate take the extraordinary measures of five days of hearings and unprecedented testimony under oath, but then waive the 48-hour rule to rush to a judgment? Possibly it was because the Senate did not want to allow too much time for citizens to reflect on its actions or to learn of the broad support for Young that was demonstrated yesterday in petitions and rallies from diverse groups, including many environmentalists.
Larger than just this hearing, there's an unmistakable pattern of attempting to block the governor's nominations that makes it clear that the Senate is simply more interested in partisan politics that restrict Gov. Linda Lingle than it is in the larger needs of the state. I agree with Sen. Sam Slom's statement that even King Kamehameha would not have been confirmed by the Senate Tuesday.
One certain consequence of the Senate's irresponsible actions is that the pool of talented people willing to take on positions of responsibility within our government is drying up. The Senate's actions are outrageous, shameful and harmful to Hawaii. I sincerely hope voters will vividly remember this mockery in the next election.
Test all DOE workers, not just teachers
Regarding drug testing for Department of Education teachers
: Why single out teachers? All DOE employees, including administrators, Board of Education members, coaches, clerical, custodial and food services staff should be willing to submit to testing, thus safe guarding our children and youth.
As a former member of the University of Hawaii College of Education, I would be first in line to demonstrate the importance of this issue.
Drug tests don't prove use in the workplace
The graph accompanying yesterday's story on workplace drug testing
erroneously states, "The use of marijuana in the workplace increased in the first quarter." In fact, the testing reported in the article demonstrates no such thing.
Standard urine screening detects minute, nonpsychoactive traces of THC or its chemical byproducts for days and sometimes weeks after any effects have worn off. This effect is unique to marijuana because of the fat-soluble nature of THC. So these tests are almost certainly not detecting use in the workplace, but rather what employees do in their off hours.
This raises an important issue: Marijuana is well documented to be less toxic, less addictive and much less likely to cause violence, aggression or injury than alcohol. So why exactly should an employer care if a worker chooses to relax in the evening with a joint rather than a martini, so long as use of either doesn't affect his or her job performance?
Director of Communications
Marijuana Policy Project