Teachers, ACLU should be protecting kids
So now the ACLU is getting involved in the teachers' union's fight against drug testing (Star-Bulletin, Oct. 5
). I really have to wonder what it is that these people have to hide.
Educators talk about "zero tolerance" when it comes to drugs in our schools and yet here we are in the midst of a crisis with drug abuse in schools and the very people we entrust with our children are refusing to walk the walk.
Consider that there were six drug-related arrests of school teachers/personnel in the span of six months. Six months! And those were only the ones who got caught! And we have schools resisting locker searches and drug-sniffing canines. Kids are carrying marijuana, crystal meth and even cocaine onto our campuses. Anyone who says different A) is in denial, B) doesn't work in a school, or C) is completely and utterly out of touch with reality! Why doesn't the ACLU fight to protect our children instead of drug-using and drug-selling criminals who have slithered into our educational system?
Searching lockers sends wrong message
Being one of four dissenting Board of Education members who voted against the searching of student lockers "with or without reason or cause," I was thankful and thrilled that the policy was recommitted back to committee (Star-Bulletin, Oct. 5
Jon Van Dyke's compelling arguments against this unconstitutional act was a major factor in its demise. The BOE wants to create a safe environment for our students, but should not send the wrong messages of suspicion and accusations. Dealing with the growing use of drugs must start at home with caring and involved parents. This must start way before the child sets foot onto school grounds. The BOE has the responsibility, under our state Constitution, to educate our children. Let's do this by positive and not negative messages of mistrust.
Lei Ahu Isa
Hawaii Board of Education
Mesa, Superferry offer needed competition
OK, I can't stay quiet on this any longer. Our fair state depends entirely on interisland mobility -- for residents, for business, for tourism. Why is there such opposition to improvement of interisland services? We should have reasonable, competitively priced options that are not dictated by either entrenched and self-entitled air carriers or a vocal minority of citizens.
Hawaiian and Aloha Airlines have ruled interisland travel since airplanes came along, and have consistently squashed the competition, to the detriment of the people of Hawaii and visitors. Go! airlines provides an alternative, but it is being run out of town simply because it presents a formidable competitor.
Hawaiian Airlines provided Mesa Air with financial information in advance of a potential investment by Mesa in the financially struggling Hawaiian. That Mesa then decided to enter the market directly rather than through partial ownership of Hawaiian makes sound business sense, and it is on the brink of being penalized for this by the Hawaii courts.
Similarly, interisland ferry service could provide a welcome alternative for interisland travelers as well -- good for businesses and the majority of the population. But a minority is making life so difficult that it is likely that the ferry will fail, too. Auwe. What is a reasonable person to do?
People speak out, but no one's listening
There's always talk of First Amendment rights in the media. People can't be gagged, the argument goes, and it's generally accepted that to take away our ability to speak our minds would be un-American.
But there's more to speech than just speaking -- there's also being heard. For speech to matter, it must be heard, and increasingly these days, that isn't happening, especially when it involves public policy.
Government isn't listening to the people, seemingly about anything: the Superferry debacle, the Iraq (and maybe Iran) war, the University of Hawaii Board of Regents' vote to approve UARC, and the shutting down of half of UH-Manoa for a private party, regardless of what the students wanted. All of these issues and more concern the people, yet politicians don't seem to be listening to us, at least not as much as they are listening to big business.
Politicians should listen to the people. It's the only American thing to do, if they value freedom of speech. If they don't, the people should wise up and vest our power somewhere else.
Civil unions bill deserves attention
While attention is focused on a possible special session for the Legislature to address the Superferry matter, I'd like to remind lawmakers that there is other unfinished business meriting their attention in the 2008 session. I am referring to House Bill 908
that would establish civil unions in Hawaii.
Equality and civil rights advocates were profoundly disappointed about how this matter was handled by Judiciary Committee chairman Tommy Waters in 2007. With the pound of his gavel, civil unions went from the forefront of public debate to the dark corners where backroom deals are made.
The concerns and struggles of hard-working families were brushed aside without any public vote. As with the Superferry issue, if legislators had moved forward with the compromise measure before them, our state would already be gaining revenue and earning more positive global media coverage.
Recently, the Kaimuki Neighborhood Board adopted a resolution calling on legislators and the governor to enact civil unions legislation. We believe that treating all families equally before the law is a core civil rights principle that strengthens our entire community.
Kaimuki Neighborhood Board
Editorial stopped short of whole story
In your Oct. 1 editorial, "Critics won't push transit plan off track,"
you end by saying, "After more than two decades of debate, the project should not be impeded by people accusing its proponents of lying."
You stopped short of what you should be saying. You should have added "... unless, of course, they're right."