Graffiti creators should be caned
I am writing to find out what, if anything, the City and County of Honolulu is going to do about the growing problem of graffiti. It seems to be sprouting up every where as if by magic. Any structure that faces a road is a target, whether it is occupied or not. Just look at the buildings along the Nimitz/Ala Moana corridor. Look at the ex-Comp USA building in a very busy area of town. It's ridiculous!
I would vote for more police powers, which would include stopping vehicles after a certain hour of the night and searching for spray paint or markers (include it in the DUI checkpoints); stopping youths and young adults walking late at night and searching for same; I would make it mandatory that those caught defacing a building, bridge, bus stop, rubbish can, etc., be punished by caning - number of lashes dependent on age, with a minimum of five lashes for youngest, up to 20 for young adults (to the devil with the ACLU). In addition, after receiving lashes, have them pay cash plus community service.
Make it so they are afraid to do it. Right now, they aren't afraid and do it in the open - after all, what do they have to worry about?
Cuban renters better off than Hawaiians
In February, Raul Castro in Cuba will allow Cubans renting to keep their apartment or house, gain title and even pass it on to their children or relatives, including military families, sugar workers, construction workers, teachers and doctors ("Thousands could own homes under decree," Star-Bulletin, April 12). By law Cubans still cannot sell their homes to anyone but the government. Two officials at Cuba's National Housing Institute said the law was likely to be the first in a series of housing reforms, while Espinosa Chepre said "giving people deeds could give them more freedom to see their homes and maybe rent them as long as they pay taxes." As for 11.2 million people, the government will do away with wage limits, allowing state employees to earn as much as they can to be more productive.
Are we hearing Cuban leaders right? Sen. Daniel Akaka and his native Hawaiian recognition bill creating a division for another Hawaiian government that will do exactly the opposite - keep all Hawaiian Home Lands forever owned by the new sovereignty "entity" once that bill becomes law (pretty soon) and the state of Hawaii keeps giving the Office of Hawaiian Affairs lands to keep, too, forever while all taxpayers keep paying whatever is owed forever and no Hawaiians can pass any homestead lands down to their kinfolk without maintaining that 50 percent blood quantum just to qualify for government homesteads forever, without any right to convert from lease to fee. Cuba has done the opposite. That sounds non-communist to me. So what are we? Communal tenures forever, seems to me to be anti-American. Gee.
Rubellite Kawena Johnson
Discipline is eroding among isle students
Thank you for Tracy Price-Thompson's article on "Out-of-control children need limits, discipline" (Gathering Place, Star-Bulletin, Feb. 14)
. Everyone is aware of the problems, but what is being done to assist schools, parents and children?
I have taught school (elementary and high school) for more than 50 years, and for six years I have been substituting in the elementary grades in the Leeward District. I have observed behavior problems among the elementary students. Several times, I was called, "Black old lady," the "n----- teacher," etc. When I asked a kindergartner to stop playing in the dirt and follow his classmates back to the classroom, he spit at me. It would have hit me if I did not jump back. The teacher never corrected him or asked him to apologize.
At another school, while walking back from a fire drill, a fifth-grader was walking very slowly. In a soft voice, I asked him to walk up with his classmates. He said, "Shut up! You black son-of-a-b-----!" The other teachers seem to think it's funny when the students call me names.
When I taught school in Hawaii during the 1960s and '70s, these incidents didn't happen to me.
Catherine E. Carter
Impress your friends with your own driver
My girlfriend asked me to take her somewhere expensive, so I took her to the gas station.
Jokes aside, why not trade in your car for a chauffeur and a bus? I took the plunge five years ago. Fifteen dollars will buy you one month's unlimited travel on the Kauai bus; you get a chauffeured ride all over Kauai unlimited times for only $15. You can also go one way anytime for $1.50; senior discount is .75 a ride.
The chauffeurs are never more than 10 minutes late and usually are right on time. For no additional charge my chauffeur will let me put my bike on the rack.
I save thousands of dollars every year by biking, busing and walking. My compliments to our cosmic Mayor Bryan Baptiste for the excellent bus service on Kauai.
The bus is great, still needs to stop more places and run longer hours but all in all life is pretty pretty good with my own chauffeur and bus.
James "Kimo" Rosen
Ordinary citizens appreciate openness
People love to complain. For years, people complained that government decisions were made behind the hallowed doors of City Hall. Now, Charles Djou and other elitists on the City Council are complaining that a public relations team is being paid to throw open those doors and engage ordinary citizens in the mass transit project.
I'm grateful that Mayor Mufi Hannemann and his PR team host evening community meetings about the mass transit system, allowing me to ask my questions and voice my opinion. Like most people, I can't take three hours off from work in the middle of the day to testify at Council hearings. It's great that we finally have a mayor who is willing to do what is necessary to involve the entire community.
Somebody just needs to make a decision I had a dream whereby I ran into Honolulu City Council members Romy Cachola, Charles Djou, Donovan Dela Cruz and Ann Kobayashi as they left the latest transit vote meeting. I asked if they had any trouble making decisions. The unanimous answer was, "Well, yes and no."
To misquote Sam Goldwyn, if Henny Youngman were alive today, he'd be rolling over in his grave. Sick transit, Gloria.
Joseph A. Cammalleri
It's not fair to take from charter students
I attend Kihei Charter School, a public charter school. It's not your traditional school, but I would never change it. We do lots of hands-on activities outside of the school, which I believe help us keep interested, and allow us to further our knowledge in a more fun and educating way.
Currently our school only receives $8,150 per student, while other public schools are getting $10,000 to $11,000 per student. Next year, they plan on cutting us down to only $7,100 per student while increasing the amount to other public schools by thousands. Our school pays for things other public school don't have to, like rent and electric bills, so how is that fair to cut our funds? Just because I attend a charter school they are taking away from my education. It's not fair.