Obama has grasp of how ideas are created
Regarding Stephen Burns' disappointment in Sen. Barack Obama's appreciation for Reagan's dynamism and entrepreneurship (Letters, Jan. 28
), Burns should know that while Obama was opposed to Reagan's policies, he respects the innovative processes the Republicans used to rout the Democrats. Obama can vehemently oppose an idea while appreciating the clever process that brought the idea into being.
As a student of history, he does not have to reinvent the wheel, and because he can see the many facets of an issue, he doesn't throw the sink out because he doesn't like the taste of the water.
Stop blaming mother for her baby's death
I am deeply saddened by baby Cyrus' death, and even more for his mom. No matter how much she could have done in the past, the loss of a child is the worst pain a woman can suffer; therefore, for those who are blaming her, what bigger punishment can a mother have than to lose her child like this? As usual, here goes the attack on the victim ... and what about the killer? Does her neglect make this monster any less guilty of his cruelty?
Cyrus' death will bring tougher laws against neglectful parents, which is a great tribute for him. However, nobody seems to care that his mom was straightening up her life, and that her past neglect had nothing to do with somebody throwing her baby from a bridge. The baby's sad life ended, and his mom's mourning will not change things. What will the state do? Will it bring the real killer to justice, or will it help him slip through the cracks of his mother's past?
Freeway landscaping needs more attention
The lack of maintenance of the landscaped areas along Oahu's freeways and highways has been disgraceful the past few months. My office first brought this problem to the attention of the state Department of Transportation two and a half months ago and was informed that the maintenance contracts had lapsed, with no new contracts to replace them. This isn't the first time it has happened; we endured the same situation several years ago. I recently spoke to a representative of the Outdoor Circle who shares my concern.
Our freeways and highways are more than just transportation corridors. They also are a visual image of our islands. Overgrown grass on our roadways presents a shoddy impression to visitors and residents alike. But the sad condition of our roadways is more than a passing eyesore. It also is a safety hazard because overgrown grass in some areas, such as the University Avenue onramp onto H-1, could block the view of drivers trying to merge into oncoming traffic already on the freeway.
All of this illustrates a disturbing lack of foresight. I cannot imagine how the state DOT can explain waiting until the previous maintenance contracts had expired before putting out a request for bids. The expired contacts came as a surprise to no one, but the failure to plan should be of concern to everyone. I call upon the DOT to get the maintenance work back to normal as soon as possible and to ensure that this situation never occurs again.
Sen. Ron Menor
Chairman, Senate Energy and Environment Committee
Nothing civilized about death penalty
In the Dec. 29 Star-Bulletin
, a letter to the editor said that the death penalty is civilized. This can't be any closer to a fact or intelligent thought whatsoever.
As a man who has spent time in our prison system, I will let you know that being in a cold cell with no rights and unable to hold the ones you love and care for is death in itself. Not to mention people who have died after being sentenced to death who were not guilty of the crime. We should not stop punishing people for their crimes, but killing someone won't solve anything. You spend life in prison with no parole and you will see what the death penalty really feels like.
Inmate, Oahu Community Correctional Center
Homeless have a right not to be hungry
I am homeless and was recently denied food stamp benefits. As an American citizen, I believe I am fully entitled to food security while I pursue proper living and employment opportunities in Hawaii.
I believe, as well, that it is a crime of the highest order to deny poor, and especially homeless people, the right to basic food security in a society of abundant and overflowing food accessibility. It is most cruel and inhuman for the Hawaii Department of Human Services not to provide financial food assistance for those who need it the most. This is simply not permitted in a decent, upright and civilized society.
I would like to know how many homeless people in Hawaii are being denied assistance by this agency (for whatever technical, bureaucratic or other dubious reason). As well, I call for the immediate termination of all state and federal policy and law that denies homeless people the basic right to food security. How many innocent men, women and children have needlessly suffered (and are suffering today) from hunger and starvation because of being denied food stamps in our state?
DHS needs to redefine its mission to actually fulfill its mandate by unconditionally funding and assisting the poorest of the poor in our society with food security, instead of persecuting us as seems to be the current policy.
North Shore, Oahu
First infrastructure, then Turtle Bay
I don't understand the governor's idea of spending more than $800 million of taxpayers' money to buy the Turtle Bay property. It might be a great idea to try to save the area from over development if Oahu had a viable infrastructure first. However, it doesn't! Oahu's roads continue to crumble, the schools are in pitiful shape, the University of Hawaii needs tons of money, and so on and so on. Please fix and maintain what's in place before spending our money on other things the state and county won't maintain.
Let's teach others how to pronounce 'Hawaii'
Now that the Rainbow football season is over and our nationwide broadcasts are over, is it possible for our state public affairs officials to educate the TV and radio stations on the correct pronunciation of our state name? It's not "Hawihy"; would we say "Aymerikah"? If "Hawai'i" were spelled phonetically, it would be "Ha vi e" or, as most kupuna have accepted, "Ha-why-e" -- the 'okina mark means separate pronunciation. I believe our state is worth the correct pronunciation.
Our local TV and radio broadcasting personnel should be given training on how to pronounce Hawaiian words; i.e., O'ahu as opposed to Owahu. The rebirth of the Hawaiian language deserves this.
Come on folks, think about it and let's use a term not demeaning to Hawaii.
Roy L. Benham