SB 1642 would hurt Hawaii taxpayers
I am a dues-paying manager of Hawaii Government Employees Association Unit 13, employed by the City and County of Honolulu, and I disagree with HGEA on Senate Bill 1642
. Right now, employees can take almost every issue to arbitration -- this will not change.
The provision of managers' rights to transfer and assign workers is at the heart of this bill. If managers are unable to reassign government employees to areas needed in a timely manner, the taxpayers of Hawaii will be the real losers because of the inefficient use of manpower or paying overtime to employees while their coworkers remain idle. Please see SB 1642 for what it is -- an attempt to circumvent the Supreme Court's ruling, which decided that the right to reassign is the purview of a city manager. Also, the bill's provisions for procedures related to demotions or terminations should be a matter left to collective bargaining.
The Legislature should not overturn the governor's veto of SB 1642.
Red-light cameras cause accidents
Advocating ticket cameras in your April 27 editorial
, "Use cameras to catch red-light violators," was irresponsible because red-light ticket cameras increase accidents at intersections.
You cited a number of communities that use ticket cameras at intersections. Yet no mention was made of the many communities that have rejected the cameras because of their dismal safety record. You mentioned the District of Columbia as using the cameras but failed to mention a recent and extensive study done by the Washington Post that shows accidents doubled at intersections where the cameras are used in D.C.
Thenewspaper.com has five pages of links to news articles chronicling the devastating effects of these cameras.
You mentioned a few studies to back your claims. The National Motorists Association Web site has 15 studies from the United States, Canada and Australia showing that red-light ticket cameras increase accidents and only serve as a revenue source.
The National Motorists Association is so confident that engineering solutions are the answer to most red-light violations that they offer the following unmet challenge: "Show us any camera-equipped intersection that still has high numbers of red-light violations and we will guarantee a minimum 50-percent reduction in red-light violations through the application of engineering solutions. If our recommendations fail to meet our minimum goal, we will pay the community $10,000 to be used on any traffic safety program or project it chooses."
My wife and I do not want to get rear-ended so that some community can get ticket money. No red-light scams in Hawaii!
Red-light cameras wouldn't target drivers
are not proven to save lives! They are, however, proven to wrongfully ticket an individual. Why should a vehicle owner pay for a ticket when he is not driving the car? Red-light cameras discriminate against car owners. They do not punish bad drivers. They do not help better society.
Car owners are not the ones always driving the vehicle. In many cases kids, husbands or wives, family friends, a car thief and so on are driving the vehicle. Why should the owner pay? Why hurt the owner's record and the owner's pocketbook for something they did not do?
Hold the actual drivers accountable. Punish the guilty for breaking laws, not the innocent.
Support troops by using less energy
I think everyone "supports the troops" in Iraq -- whether one wants them to come home or stay and "finish" the job in some sense of the word. I also think there are many more tangible and productive things all civilians -- whether liberal, conservative, independent or apolitical -- can do rather than simply trying to win rhetorical arguments for or against the war in Iraq and demonizing those who disagree, or trying to ignore the problem completely.
For example, to the extent the war in Iraq is about oil, see the Alliance to Save Energy at sixdegreechallenge.com for simple things we all can do. These include:
» unplugging unused electronics
» using less air conditioning and clothing (in warm climates)
» replacing all incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents
» keeping tires properly inflated on the best-mpg vehicle you can afford.
This seems like the least we can do to "support the troops" and minimize the number of soldiers sent to -- and lives lost -- in Iraq, and to speed up their homecoming. Finally, while these small actions pale in comparison to the sacrifices civilians were asked and willing to make during World War II, their combined impact could be huge if literally everyone did so.
Breathing trouble leads to water rescue
Last Friday, I was at Queen's Surf beach. I had had heart surgery nine weeks previously but felt quite able to snorkel, at which I am quite experienced. About 60 yards out I knew I was in trouble. I couldn't breathe sufficiently, with or without the snorkel. My wife was nearby and began guiding me in, but I could not get to shore.
She was able to attract the attention of the lifeguard and of a very kind lady who let me buoy myself on her boogie board. Within a minute or so two lifeguards were in the water, taking off my fins, holding me securely, and then assisting me onto the beach. With the greatest of concern and courtesy, they ensured my safety and refused to leave my side until satisfied I was again breathing normally.
If I remember the names correctly, the lifeguards were Nish and Carlos. What a fine pair of professionals these two were. I am, of course, very grateful.
Park cleanup pushes homeless elsewhere
Yes, the cleanup at Maili Beach Park went well and the homeless are no longer there (Star-Bulletin, April 30
). Thank you, Mayor Hannemann, we like it.
Yes, more than 150 of them have transitioned to the new shelter in Waianae. Thank you Gov. Lingle, we like it.
Unfortunately, the rest are not gone -- they've simply relocated to some of the other beach parks along the Leeward Coast like Nanakuli, Maili Point and Sewers, thus increasing our inability to enjoy those locations.
Seems to us that the cleanup was actually a magic trick called sleight of hand. Has someone been taking lessons from David Blaine?
Ed and Pat Tompkins