School bullying needs immediate action
So maybe something can be done about the rampant and vicious bullying in Hawaii schools (Star-Bulletin, Sept. 30
) ... by 2010 or so! Something needs to be done now, starting with ending the bullying of teachers by incompetent principals (as is the case in too many Big Island schools at least). No wonder most parents who have the option put their kids on a mile-long waiting list for a charter school.
And the proposals mentioned are so lame. One school board member says "the department could encourage or require schools to have student peer groups where bullying victims reluctant to speak to administrators could share their stories." Oh, that should make the kids feel safer, telling someone who is not even professionally bound to keep their name or story of abuse confidential. Right.
The key to this idiotic proposal is that it wouldn't cost anything to set up student groups -- and as the story notes, this is the real issue: "If principals are given the option to run programs with limited funds, they would likely choose to spend resources on things like teachers and textbooks."
Oh well, they have until 2010 to jawbone about it, while kids endure bullying and inferior education as usual. When are the schools going to stop being the ugliest face of our beautiful state?
Give stressed veterans the care they need
Why are some of our veterans of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan being treated so shabbily and denied financial aid or treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder caused by improvised explosive devices or other types of bombs and the stresses of combat? For doing their duty, there should be an urgency in providing the assistance they seek; now, not later!
Roy E. Shigemura
The proof is in the absence of evidence
Though it's early days, it's time to pay attention to what the current presidential candidates are saying. One who is well worth listening to is Republican Fred Thompson. On Monday he announced that: "We can't forget the fact that although at a particular point in time we never found any WMD down there, he (Saddam Hussein) clearly had had WMD."
It's nice to know that the fact that there's no evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction proves that Iraq did have those weapons.
Thompson deserves a lot of praise for this advanced kind of thinking.
John A. Broussard
How much is your time in traffic worth?
The Texas Transportation Institute
recently calculated the cost of gridlock at $434 a year per traveler. While these statistics are eye-opening, they are not surprising. I for one put the value of my free time much higher than the $14.60 an hour, or the $434 annual figure determined by the Texas Transportation Institute.
I ask your readers, what is the value to your time for missing your son's or daughter's school play, first football game or hula recital because you were caught in traffic? What is it worth to you spending an additional hour with your elderly parent, sick child or spouse, or just relaxing at home rather than being stuck in bumper-to-bumper highway traffic? These moments are precious and can never be recovered.
That is why I am in full support of the mayor's transit plan. I would rather see my $434 a year spent on a light-rail system with bus connections that provide real transportation options than spend it lost in traffic.
There is no guaranteed silver bullet to solve traffic congestion. But if we do nothing, we are guaranteeing that our quality of life will be diminished more and more each year as we spend more time stuck in traffic gridlock. And my time to me is priceless.
Well-designed roads are a better solution
Those I know who support the mayor's rail system
all imagine you and me surrendering our cars and leaving roads empty for them. But I love the convenience and safety of my car. So unless the mayor and I can rely on you to give up your car, help me remind the mayor his job is to serve us -- not his planning "experts."
Picture Nimitz Highway flowing freely from Honolulu to the airport. Just spend a few tens of millions, not the mayor's $5,000 million, for well-designed underpasses and raised crossovers to serve the left-turning needs of airport-bound trucks and ocean-bound commuters without the need for traffic-snarling stoplights.
Or, remember when Honolulu's buildings extended roofs over sidewalks to protect us from sun and rain? Let's raise Waikiki's streets to say three stories as similar awnings: Parking on rooftops. Pedestrians on parklike paths at ground level. Cars with no crossing light tie-ups.
Or learn from the Internet's designers who considered: a) accumulating messages into big packages transmitted at regular intervals between servers (mass transportation), or b) breaking messages into semi- intelligent packets of equal size that found their own way to a destination where they reassembled (workers getting to work in cars). Option B won.
Plus, terrorists prefer victims assembled in hundreds on trains or at stations, because blowing up one car at a time is too inefficient.
George L. Berish