Door remains closed to low-income housing
I was turned down recently for a low-income housing project in Mililani for which I had initially been selected to receive via a lottery. I was certain that after review of my income and background check, I would be eligible. As a single working mother, I was surprised to find out that I was ineligible because of an anticipated raise from my employer in 2008, and the fact that there is a child support order in effect.
The problem is, my employer has been unstable financially for some time. The child support money is inconsistent and unreliable. Unfortunately, one is left with the option of either obtaining a minimum-wage job or increasing the household size to qualify for low-income housing.
I hope that before my son graduates, I'll be able to afford more than a one-bedroom. Otherwise, I have many nights ahead of me on the couch.
One beach gate leads to another
As a Kailua resident, I am disturbed by the gates that are going up along Kalaheo Avenue
. Our state law of having all shorelines open to the public is a good one. However, it seems a few individuals can still make our beaches difficult to get to.
Due to the dwindling number of roads with beach access, more people have started parking around my house on North Kalaheo Avenue. This might be why homeowners on the private road near me are now talking about putting up their own gate. It's a domino effect. Gates might temporarily solve problems for a few who live on those private roads, but they cause more long-term problems for the community as a whole.
Beachside homeowners complain about drug use, theft and vandalism. However, crime is an islandwide problem and should not be used as an excuse to block beach access.
I have lived here 10 years. I contribute to the businesses of Kailua and participate in beach clean-ups. I should be able to get to the beach, which is one block from my home, as should anyone else. Kailua Beach belongs to all of us.
Smokers aren't exactly civil rights leaders
Elaine M. Heiby (Letters, Sept. 21
) has got to be kidding. How could anyone compare the anti-smoking law with the ban on Hawaiian cultural practices, blacks forced to ride in the back of the bus and the internment of Japanese Americans? Will Heiby cloak herself in the mantle of Martin Luther King Jr. next?
Kids have valuable input to sustainability
The input that matters the most in the 2050 Sustainability Plan will come from those who will be breathing the air, looking for homes, swimming in and drinking the water, preserving cultures, raising families and trying to make ends meet 43 years from now ... Hawaii's youth
It has been said "the best way to predict the future is to create it." I attended the 2050 Youth Sustainability Summit earlier this month, where 226 high schools students from across the state gathered to prime their civic responsibility to deal with the enormous challenge of meeting the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It was a thrill to witness the future of Hawaii become passionately, civically engaged.
The opinions of Hawaii's future decision-makers count. Their input in the strategic planning for sustainability is critical and relevant. Kids Voting Hawaii is providing a way for our youth to continue the critical dialogue on sustainability. While adults attend meetings across the state to have their say in the process, those middle and high school students who will be around in 2050 will be logging on to www.kidsvotinghawaii.org to register their opinions in an online survey.
Kids Voting Hawaii is where students K-12 statewide cast ballots in every general election. It is their portal to democracy and their place to be heard. Through Oct. 19, the Kids Voting Hawaii Web site also will be the place where the future generations will record their opinions on the economic, social and environmental quality of life they hope to be experiencing by 2050.
Kids Voting Hawaii
Superferry stymied; rail fast-tracked
It is a shame that a privately owned ferry service for an island state is being railroaded while a taxpayer-financed train that we cannot afford and which will not go to where the vast majority of commuters work or live is being fast-tracked.
Kauai residents take advantage of Oahu, too
I was in a store on Oahu the other day and overheard two people state that they had brought their boat from Kauai and would be living here for three months while their boat was in drydock. Although most of the other customers were from Oahu, no one raised a cry about invasive species, overcrowding and all the other cockamamie arguments one reads about today from Kauai concerning the Superferry. Seems like some people on Kauai and Maui are all too willing to use the industrial, medical and other facilities on Oahu and keep their piece of paradise to themselves.
When are we going to realize that we are all part of the same blue speck in the universe with an exploding population and that we need to learn how to share limited resources and derive solutions to our disagreements amicably?
End nuclear threat at home first
President Bush has made it abundantly clear to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that Iran will never have a nuclear weapon. No one wants nuclear weapons in his hands, but who made George Bush the one to decide these matters? More importantly, why do we still have them? And England, France, Germany and the other members of this elite club? Isn't it time for these nations to destroy these weapons of mass destruction? We could then all empower the United Nations to monitor every nation on Earth, ensuring global compliance.
Isn't it time for the United States to model peaceful behavior in the world? We talk a lot about peace and freedom, but the administration has done nothing but alienate us in the world community, creating foreign policy based on our own needs and fears. The United States does not have the right to tell other countries what to do, or to invade and occupy other sovereign nations. When will the United States stop using the world as its personal chess board and make a stand for peace? How about calling a press conference and destroying one nuclear weapon publicly and inviting other nations to follow suit? Then formal international talks could begin to end the nuclear threat forever.
Columbia should listen to meeker voices
The question is not whether Columbia University has the right to invite Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak on campus; rather, the question is why
would it invite him. Where is the wisdom of those at Columbia who seek out a voice of genocidal hatred, a voice profane and abominable? What worthwhile, what that is noble or decent, is to be learned from such a person?
Is it too much to ask that a university have a conscience? Is it not right to ask that Columbia content itself with meeker voices, the voices of those seeking social justice, religious tolerance and peace in the world?
This baby is getting too big to carry
Can our ill-conceived and bloodthirsty 4-year-old child named Iraqi Freedom ever be successfully weaned? Don't know, hope so.
Who does senator really represent?
Sen. Colleen Hanabusa likes to act like she represents the poor and middle-class people in her district. Then she goes after Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who proposed that the state give the counties the unclaimed money from the HI-5 program because those unclaimed bottles end up in the counties' landfills. What made it even more puzzling is that Mufi had promised that money would go to the community benefits package for the community hosting the Oahu landfill, which happens to be in Hanabusa's district. Maybe she doesn't like Hannemann?
But she also opposed the governor using emergency powers to initiate projects designed to help the homeless in, you guessed it, Hanabusa's district.
Until this year, the senator was mostly known for suing Gov. Ben Cayetano when he vetoed a giant tax break for Jeff Stone and his Ko Olina empire. It seems like she has progressed from simply trying to help her rich friends to openly undermining any effort to help the poor and middle-class people in her district. Here's hoping they show up at the polls next time she is up for re-election.
Use local author to promote reading
Why in the world would Amy Tan's "The Joy Luck Club" be chosen as the one book Hawaii residents should read during Hawaii's Big Read initiative (Star-Bulletin, Sept. 25
)? With all due respect to Tan's writing, she is a California writer whose work is not specific to Hawaii.
While "immigration and cultural diversity" are issues relevant to Hawaii's peoples, our experience of each is unique to Hawaii. Oddly (or consistently), the book chosen for young readers, Allen Say's "Grandfather's Journey," is also about immigration to California.
Is it that a movie screening of "Joy Luck Club" could be included in the program, bestowing glamour to the initiative? Is it that the books have been lauded elsewhere, so we're confident they're literature?
It's a shame that locally written works -- also literature -- weren't chosen for this statewide project. With change affecting every aspect of life in Hawaii, it would be good to begin to talk about ourselves.
Airport workers didn't understand student's creativity
Regarding the story about Star Simpson's "fake bomb" scare in Boston's airport, I have to agree with Lesley Czechowicz's comments (Letters, Star-Bulletin, Sept. 25
). The media hype and mislabeling of this story only show how we've become a nation of fraidy-cats who now get their exercise by jumping to conclusions.
I believe a little discretion and better examination was in order by our Transportation Security Administration and airport security people.
Simpson wasn't boarding a plane; she was meeting an arriving passenger (her boyfriend). She didn't conceal anything, she openly wore her school project. She only practiced bad judgment in not realizing that most of the airport screeners could not relate to the creativity of an MIT electrical engineering student. It was natural for her to panic when they drew their guns on her.
I recently applied for a TSA job myself but noticed that one of the job qualifications was "two functioning eyes." I'm a radiologic technologist of 16 years who went blind in my right eye in 1997, but could still take medical X-rays without difficulty in all the areas within a hospital. Go figure!
Massachusetts Institute of Technology sophomore Star Simpson, 19, of Maui, left court in Boston Sept. 21 after her arraignment on charges of disturbing the peace and possessing a hoax device. She had been arrested at gunpoint earlier in the day at Logan International Airport while wearing a computer circuit board and wiring in plain view over a black hooded sweat shirt.
Brains and education don't ensure good judgment
Star Simpson is a Lisa Simpson who made a Bart Simpson mistake. After all that has happened since 9/11 and with heightened security in our country, she deserves a stiff penalty to prevent any other potential copycats from doing what she did at Boston's airport (Star-Bulletin, Sept. 22
). How were innocent bystanders at the airport affected by her lapse of judgment that day?
Simpson's "unintentional" actions are a black eye for Maui and the state of Hawaii in general. Being a former high school honor student and a good athlete attending a prestigious university doesn't guarantee that a person will use good judgment in his or her life. What a shame. An apology is due to those whose lives are put on the line every day for protecting our great country.