A Mother's Day gift: her son is safe -- from himself
MY MOTHER'S love has always been pure and without condition; she has spent a lifetime of no selfish concern and her forgiveness has never been an issue.
Throughout my growing years my mother always kept a watchful eye and an open ear on guard for any harm that might befall my siblings and me. Whether it be a chill from a cold damp breeze, a stray barking dog or a stranger in the neighborhood, my mother has always kept us safe.
The only harm that my mother could not protect me from has been the harm that has befallen me of my own design. On this Mother's Day I can give my mother a special gift: I can give her the peace of mind of knowing that I am safe from myself behind bars.
I often pray to make my mother as proud of me as I am of her. To do this, I must remain clean and sober. With this accomplished, every day for me and for her will be a very special Mother's Day.
Inmate , Oahu Community Correctional Center
Espero knows prisons need action, not talk
Thank goodness for Sen. Will Espero ("New legislation focuses on isle inmates, families," Gathering Place, May 3
). For years we heard talk about how dire our prison system is, so bad that the federal government has to check on us to see that we get our problems fixed. Finally the Public Safety Department has a guy who knows that action is what counts. Talk doesn't help. Espero, chairman of the Senate Public Safety Committee, made the effort to listen to people who know what needs to be done and work with them to reduce the overcrowding and repeat offenses and fix the mental health situation.
Even better, they went beyond just the prisoners and took a humane look at all the keiki whose parents are in prison to try to keep their families bonded in these hard circumstances. Mahalo to this guy. I'm not in his district, I cannot vote for him, but at least we know we have one top-notch, akamai person who understands that Hawaii needs action, and has the guts to put it in place.
'It's for the children' could justify anything
Does anyone care that our rights are continually losing ground? Letter writers say that this person or that person is missing the point, that the safety of our children is the main thing, but with this reasoning one can just about justify anything and everything.
Case in point: drug testing for school teachers that came about because .0003 percent of them were arrested on drug charges. Evidently nothing was noticeable while they were teaching and in the presence of faculty. Not only were their rights lost one way through testing, they also allowed the governor to tie the drug testing to their pay raise package instead of making them two separate issues.
To say they voted for drug testing is not really true; they voted for the pay raise that they deserved. They lost two rights in one fell swoop without knowing it. One can almost tell that other groups will be included in the future, until everyone who has nothing to hide is subjected to testing and searches.
They will never be satisfied, rights be damned.
Teachers deserve respect, not drug tests
Most teachers are not opposed to drug testing
, but most were opposed as to how it was presented to us -- with a "take it or leave it" implication. It wasn't whether we were worthy of the raise that many of the teachers deserve, it was based on what few educators did. Many educators go beyond their time and expenses to help educate students. We are not paid overtime to attend long night functions like proms, dances or taking work to be done planning these events or keeping up with grades. Grades that parents want to be informed about sometimes weekly with an e-mail or phone call and if for some unforeseen reason forgotten they make sure to inform our counselors and administrations that we have forgotten.
The parents and community have also forgot that teachers are also not paid for the many letters of recommendations that are needed so that our students are accepted to the college of their choice. All these after-hours duties we do because we care and enjoy the reward as much as the students.
I also do not feel drug-testing will turn potential teachers away. Drug testing will eventually be apart of most if not all employment requirements. The focus of the raise should have been based on what we deserved as educators, not based on a few teachers poor judgments.
Lawmakers give new life to charter schools
A decade ago, the Legislature gave birth to the charter school system. Now, through Senate Bill 603, it is breathing new life into the charters. If this bill is properly implemented, direct control over the charter schools will pass from the Board of Education to a standing review panel, thus providing our charters with an even greater sense of self-respect and community appreciation.
The charters' annual test scores indicate solid advancement on behalf of the students, under the admirable leadership of their teachers and principals. I have great confidence that the BOE will encourage and support the review panel in its efforts to enable the charters to realize even more success into the future.
The Legislature should be congratulated for the leadership its members have exercised in endeavoring to guarantee maximized performance for the keiki who are the backbone of the charter school system. With pride I look forward to sharing the future with our charter schools as a member of the BOE.
Mahalo nui loa to the people of Hawaii for again giving me this opportunity to serve them.
Board of Education member
Vice chairman, Charter School Committee
Let death be penalty for harming visitors
Hawaii should enact the death penalty for anybody who harms -- let alone kills -- a visitor.
A young haole man -- yes haole, fresh from North Carolina -- arrives at a Nanakuli beach park where he allegedly is confronted and punched by some idiot. The young visitor later dies.
Why didn't somebody tell this young man that the Leeward Coast is not safe, that it is populated by unstable and violent people, and that only the homeless and troublesome camp out at beach parks? Why did this young visitor see pictures of pristine beaches and believe that Hawaii was safe? Why did his parents believe this? Don't they know that it's only advertising, make-believe? That advertising cannot cover the flaws of the populace?
We -- Mr. & Mrs. Hawaii, and all of you out there -- have got to do something about this. Imagine sending your own children to California, Texas, Michigan or Pennsylvania and have the same thing happen to them!
We have got to enact the death penalty for anybody who even harms a visitor.
Imus was fired, so why not Price?
Again we are subjected to reverse racism when KSSK broadcaster Larry Price commented on Sen. Gary Hooser's ethnicity and place of birth. Comments like that, especially on a popular talk show, cause a "them vs. local" attitude.
The on-air apology made by Price was watered down by his partner, Michael Perry, saying that Price did not have to make an apology because Price is not a racist since he is "part Caucasian with Hawaiian." Most people who call themselves Hawaiians are less than 5 percent Hawaiian, but since Price, who is speaking for all locals, is attacking a Caucasian it is OK because he is the minority and the local Caucasians are the majority. We all live on this island as one and should all be considered locals.
Perry said that everyone is making a big deal about a 15-second sound bite, but Don Imus' sound bite was only 1 second and he got fired. Price's comments should get him fired, too.
I guess our only recourse as listeners to stop the this type of racism is to switch stations.
Even a first-grader could see through that
Perhaps Larry Price is not a racist nor xenophobic. The principle of Occam's Razor suggests a more direct analysis:
» Larry Price doesn't care for Sen. Gary Hooser's party affiliation, as well as his political positions;
» Hooser pushed back;
» Price was getting angry and wanted to hurt Hooser.
So Price said what was calculated to hurt Hooser and set him apart. Most of us can still remember this dynamic from elementary school playgrounds. And whether we read the transcript or heard the words, the pattern is familiar.
When Price apologized to his customers and was solicitous of their "feelings," acknowledging Hooser almost as an aside, even a first-grader could see that "he didn't mean it, he really didn't say sorry."
Michael Perry, jumping in to deflect even this "apology," exhibits a puerile glibness that is embarrassing (or would be, if he were reflective enough). I would say childlike, but sadly, children have something to teach this pair of adults. Like looking another child in the eye and saying, "I'm sorry for hurting you." Being disingenuous, as Perry and Price have exhibited, is a very adult machination.
Broadcaster's apology didn't sound genuine
Larry Price has stepped over the line with his blatantly racist comments in his interview with Sen. Gary Hooser. I find it sickening that Price will no doubt be allowed to continue in his many jobs, despite this ugly incident. These stereotypes will persist forever in Hawaii, aided in no small part by Oceanic Cable, Clear Channel radio and MidWeek; and their complicit actions in continuing to employ Price. His hollow apology is not enough. He obviously was forced into making this insincere show of contrition, and his heart was not in it. Shame on those who support Price and his racist attitudes.
Pay for the governor, state executives, judges and legislators will increase between this year and 2012, as recommended by a state salary commission. By not acting to stop the pay hikes, the Legislature allowed the increases to become law. Above, Gov. Linda Lingle delivered her State of the State address in January to a joint session of the House and Senate. CLICK FOR LARGE
Just who are the servants and who the masters?
Congratulations to our esteemed public servants in the Legislature for getting a nice pay raise in the next seven years. Yeah, we know that you feel you deserve it, so you'll get it all.
And yeah! Take all that surplus money and put it into "programs"(I'm winking here).
I can't say it, but I am sure somebody does think it (wink wink), but I am guessing public service must be the PC way of saying self-service.
Let me get back to my private sector work so that I can make more money for the public sector.
State lawmakers should earn less, not more
I was outraged by the recent news about the upcoming pay raises for our public state officials ("By not acting, lawmakers let raises take effect," Star-Bulletin, May 7
House Speaker Calvin Say's statement that legislators needs a pay raise because some of them don't have other jobs just goes to show how detached most of our public servants are from the average working taxpayer. Public office is not a permanent, full-time job. If these same members cannot earn a living aside from representing the people in state government, then they shouldn't be running for office.
The idea is that public service is a privilege where the aim is to serve the people for their best interests, not for how much money you can earn off of them.
If our public servants in the state Legislature really want to give Hawaii's taxpayers a break, then they should follow the example of the New Hampshire legislature, whose members are paid only $100 a year. Set the legislative pay to this amount for our state senators and representatives, and then we will see who will still want to stay in office and serve the public's interests.
Eric J. Seabury
Formerly of Hawaii
Pay legislators more, but cut their numbers
Regarding the pay raises for the legislators: If there is a need for more money for the four months they are in session, why not have a unicameral body, as Nebraska has? Decrease the number that we now pay by 50 percent and increase their salary by 50 percent, having them available year round.
Taxpayers and legislators would get what they want. Taxpayers would be the winners, as there would not be the time wasted on the "crossover" conferences and smokescreens.