Maybe Hawaii needs capital punishment
Kirk Lankford being convicted of Masumi Watanabe's murder is a great relief (Star-Bulletin, April 15
). The depravity of this crime is numbing. I really think that this type of predatory behavior should stimulate a rediscussion of the application of capital punishment in Hawaii.
This is such a sad story, my heart goes out to Ms. Watanabe's family.
Cutting social funds will cost more later
As a concerned citizen and social worker, I urge our legislators not to support the current House budget plan (HB 2500, HDI) that would impose $27 million in federal spending cuts to our state's annual allotment of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funding. Equally, I urge senators not to support the Senate plan (HB 2500, HD1, SD1) that would slash $22 million in federal TANF expenditures.
Hawaii's most vulnerable families will suffer due to severe spending cuts of federal dollars. Many parents and children will be deprived of family strengthening programs that help reduce risk factors by increasing protective factors. Years ago, as a single mother, I was a recipient of TANF, which enabled me to provide basic needs for my children while advancing in my own education and career. Today, many of the parents I serve through my work are dependent on community programs to provide opportunities in education, healthy family practices, prevention measures and an adequate standard of living.
It is far smarter and cheaper to support families with young children today than to pay later for crime, unemployment, poor health, substance abuse and incarceration. Better an ounce of prevention than a pound of treatment later on.
Please help revive School of Public Health
I would like to ask everyone in Hawaii to support the effort to bring back the University of Hawaii's School of Public Health. In today's world of threats such as pandemics and biological terrorism, the importance of strong public health capabilities in Hawaii is as important as ever. Furthermore, the well-being of Hawaii's people through prevention and education make a vibrant School of Public Health necessary in today's world of uncertainties.
Hawaii is one of the top states in America in many health criteria, such as life expectancy, immunization status, water quality and other areas of environmental health. This is due in part large part to the efforts of the former UH School of Public Health, its graduates and the involvement of its faculty in our communities. I am proud of UH's commitment to rejuvenating its School of Public Health, and I urge one and all to help bring it back.
Brandon R. Mitsuda
Student, Department of Public Health Studies
University of Hawaii-Manoa
Pain still hits hard from Aloha's shutdown
It has been a little more than two weeks since the demise of Aloha Airlines but the shock and pain are still there. This past Saturday my wife, who was a flight attendant for Aloha for 48 years (now retired), attended a breakfast service sponsored by New Hope Church for all the Aloha employees. She said that while there were tears by some, most put on a brave face but all shared in the warm camaraderie and emotional support for each other. She was most moved by one of her former flight attendant colleagues who gave a brief speech that he needs a kidney transplant but without any medical plan he faces a bleak future. Others also face serious medical problems and mounting medical bills.
Pastor Wayne gave an inspiring sermon of hope. It is gratifying that New Hope Church and the community are reaching out to help Aloha's employees. My wife has many fond memories dating back to the days when Aloha was flying the prop jobs with the original owner, Hung Wo Ching, at the helm. Little could she and her fellow employees imagine back then that it meant the beginning of the end for the once proud island carrier.
She will always be grateful for all the people who loyally flew with Aloha throughout the years as they became like family to her. Indeed, like the commercial, Hawaii will never be the same without Aloha Airlines.
LED streetlights would reduce copper theft
The Department of Transportation continues to look into options to solve the copper theft problem. Here's one: Replace the streetlights with LED street lamps.
LEDs have already been used on many of our traffic lights. While they are much more expensive, the long life of LEDs would mean less maintenance costs. LEDs use a much lower voltage. This would probably cut electricity cost by at least 50 percent. Barrels of expensive oil would be saved and environmentally unfriendly lamps removed in the process.
An added bonus is the copper wire now used could probably be downsized to maybe one-third of the current size and still handle the load. Or, aluminum wire half the size of the current copper wire could be substituted. A smaller copper wire or aluminum wire would make theft less profitable.