Politicians can't properly prioritize
As a neighbor island resident for 30-plus years, I am having a difficult time understanding the excitement in Honolulu to spend $4 billion for a fixed rail system that may benefit 10 percent to 15 percent of the population. The same politicians who approved raising taxes for rail are aghast at spending $1 billion to upgrade the sewage treatment facilities to federal EPA standards, which would be a huge benefit to the health and well-being of everyone who produces sewage and or uses treated water.
What am I missing? Do these politicians want their names on a fixed rail terminal and not a sewage treatment plant?
It's wrong to keep shafting sub teachers
Substitute teachers in Hawaii are a professional group of working people who receive no health insurance, no retirement, no paid vacation and no guarantee of a job on any given day. They are not represented by a union but they are a loyal group of people with whom the state contracts, and from whom the state receives valuable and necessary services. In 1996 the Hawaii Legislature established a formula by which substitute teachers would be paid.
In 2005 Judge Karen Ahn ruled that the DOE had failed to pay substitute teachers the proper salary for 10 years. The state still owes them these wages! The state has failed to honor its part of the contract. It is past time to pay this debt to these employees. Their claim can and should be settled by this year's Legislature. To continue to stall paying the substitute teachers what they are owed is to continue to cheat them, and it is wrong.
Boy choir founder touched lives of many
It's an end of another musical era in Hawaii. Roy Hallman, founder of The Honolulu Boy Choir, is remembered
as being passionate about his music, about the welfare of our community boys and the unique gift of music to the community and the world.
Many alumni will remember Hallman, who died April 19, not just for the musical experience, but more importantly for the discipline and character-building that they learned while with the choir. At times Roy was very stern with the boys for not knowing their music or lyrics, or fidgeting on stage; but with the twinkle of his eyes and his wonderful smile, he brought joy and self-confidence to so many boys. He commanded a disciplined and meticulous concert performance known worldwide for its distinctive one-voice sound, often referred to as the "Voices of Aloha." He had a vision of what he wanted to accomplish, and pursued it with energetic enthusiasm and a gregarious personality.
More than 2,500 boys participated during his tenure. Roy and his wife and accompanist, Nyle, witnessed these many boys growing up to be successful men contributing to our community. This was their simple joy. He leaves a legacy of history and tradition of character, integrity and musical quality that touched the lives of so many of Hawaii's youth, and that cannot be duplicated. Roy was one of a kind. Aloha 'oe, aloha 'oe, until we meet again.
Blake M. Nuibe
Former Executive Director
1989 to 2001
The Honolulu Boy Choir
Letting people carry guns could save lives
Regarding recent letters calling for more gun control laws in the wake of the Virginia Tech massacre: I was in Utah recently right after a gunman killed five innocent people in the Trolley Square shopping mall in Salt Lake City.
The Trolley Square mall is one of the few places in Utah where concealed guns are prohibited -- even public schools and universities in Utah allow students or faculty to carry concealed weapons. So, the gunman probably thought he could go on a spree at the mall and kill dozens of people.
What he didn't count on was that one off-duty police officer had defied the signs prohibiting guns in Trolley Square. That officer drew his weapon and killed the gunman shortly after he started his rampage.
The papers had full-page ads, paid for by grateful citizens, praising this officer's action in defiance of the gun control regulation. The TV ran coverage of the state Senate holding a ceremony to honor this young officer. The papers ran editorials praising the officer. People I talked to in stores and at Temple Square all expressed their gratitude that the officer had been carrying a concealed weapon and used it in self-defense. No one -- absolutely no one -- called for gun control laws as a preventive measure.
Folks in Utah get it. We don't. It's time to junk our extremely restrictive gun control laws, and allow citizens their Second Amendment right to take precautions to defend their lives and their neighbors' lives.
If trained, non-MDs can safely prescribe
Here we are, coming toward the end of a hard-fought push for passage of Senate Bill 1004
(limited prescription authority for psychologists) this legislative session.
If this bill passes, access and quality of care will improve dramatically, just as it did when other non-MDs (such as dentists and optometrists) were given prescription authority. It has not and will not create a second-class mental health care system. All the evidence available demonstrates that given the requisite training and opportunity, other health care professionals besides MDs are eminently capable of providing safe and effective prescriptive care when it is needed. A medical degree is not a requirement.
Unlike psychiatrists, who have made numerous unkept promises over the years to provide these services to the community health centers in rural areas, psychologists are already serving in 10 of the 13 centers in Hawaii.
Furthermore, three training programs have already been developed to take up the slack in these areas so that patients won't have to wait the minimum of two to three months or more it can take to see a psychiatrist, or choose to self-medicate with their own, perhaps illegal, mind-altering drugs -- all because of a lack of quality providers to treat emotional problems early.
The people of Hawaii need SB 1004 to pass.
Sheenagh Uluwehi Burns
Ignoring comics leaves time for columns
I read the Star-Bulletin daily from one end to the other. The comics, generally, are great, but some a bother. I don't read "Housebroken,"Lucky Cow," "Agnes" or "Brewster Rockit."
Also, "State of the Union" needs a sock (in) it.
The time saved leaves more room for news, editorials and commentary.
American way of life is destroying the world
"The War on Terrorism." This phrase was coined by government hawks and has been rammed down our throats, with no recognition of the reasons that bring the world community to our current point of disorder and chaos.
Ever since the Industrial Revolution there has been an out-of-control drive for more, more, more. Our capitalistic policies toward the world have been to support or establish governments friendly to our economic aims and strip the lands of their natural resources to fuel our drive for more external fulfillment (the American way of life); leaving the citizens of these countries trapped in poverty and lack of education.
The world is tired of being treated by us in this way.
With a good recognition of our situation we might be able to acknowledge our past with humility, not blame, and start a dialogue within our country and with the world, to see how we can live in unity with common human goals, which can possibly lead us to the "good life" offered us humans on this planet.