Charter schools deserve equal funding
As a parent of a charter school student, and a registered voter, I am enraged at the disparity in funding as compared to regular public schools. My tax dollars go into the pot, same as everyone else. The negative repercussions this has on my child's education is simply unacceptable.
Legislators blame the governor when they have the ability to change dollar amounts as well. I don't care who's at fault. All that matters is equality.
We teach our children what is fair, what is right, then the very people children are supposed to look up to, our so-called leaders, shun them and make excuses for their own lack of gumption.
Who are you to say that my son's education doesn't deserve the same funding? How would you feel if you were told your child isn't worth it?
Keep in mind that charter school children come from all over the islands. Just because one is not in your voting district doesn't mean we don't reside there. We will remember your actions when we have our ballots in our hands. We are keeping score.
Cargo crisis shows need for emergency powers
With the shutdown of Aloha Airlines cargo services, many state legislators are calling for Gov. Linda Lingle to use her emergency powers to solve the problem. These are the same legislators who passed a bill to curtail those emergency powers for the governor. Because the regular session ends this week, there is nothing legislators can do about the cargo crisis.
The only reason the Legislature wants to restrict the governor's ability to act on our behalf in an emergency is purely political. But then, that is "same old, same old" when it comes to how our legislators do little or nothing for us, and then blame the governor.
Gov. Lingle is doing a great job for the people of Hawaii. We need to replace these legislators with people who will work with her and act on our behalf, not simply continue their "business as usual" method of operation.
Why don't police say more about Menor?
Why does the Honolulu Police Department have no comment regarding state Sen. Ron Menor's blood alcohol level when he was arrested on DUI charges on Sunday (Star-Bulletin, April 29)?
Why is he not afforded the same luxury of others who have been arrested for possible DUI, to have his blood alcohol level splashed across the local news media pages and airwaves?
And yes, we, the citizens of this state, do expect our public officials to ascribe to a higher standard of conduct. I say, get with the program or get out!
Turn out park lights when the game is over
The timer on the field lights at Manoa Park has been disabled for years. It only required the users who want the lights on to twist a parking-meter type timer (no coins involved) every half-hour or so.
The lights now come on automatically at 5:30 p.m., when the sunlight is still strong enough to sunburn. They stay on until 10 p.m., whether or not anyone is using the park, rain is pouring, whatever. Manoa Valley is bathed in glare -- including our bedroom. Last night, they stayed on all night.
They stayed on on Earth Day, while I turned off my two 13-watt CFLs.
Waste of electricity; unpleasant for residents.
It is wonderful to see the youth getting healthy exercise under the lights at night. It is another matter to be subjected to the glare and waste when the fields are long empty.
How do we gauge success in Iraq war?
Is the Iraq war another Vietnam or regional Jeffersonian revolution? One side says stay until we win; the other says withdraw as soon as possible because the whole adventure is not in the United States' national security interests and undermines our world credibility. The issue became clear when I viewed a Democratic spin ad on Republican candidate Sen. John McCain, saying we could be in Iraq for 100 years.
McCain and the Democratic candidates view and define this conflict through the lens of the Vietnam War-era foreign policy, and fail to give us the information we need to decide. Is this war about oil or freedom? Can unity in a nation based on individual freedoms be a mission objective in war? When they say "until we win" or "the surge is succeeding" what is meant?
I believe there are ways to measure a Jeffersonian revolution's momentum, and it is not body counts of our soldiers or number of terrorist attacks. It is subtler, more deeply rooted in the daily routines of the Iraqi people: like mosques and churches coexisting, elections and military composition crossing ethnic lines, the number of street vendors and shops open in Baghdad, the number of Iraqi children attending school, or the price and availability of essentials like water, food and electricity.
My question is on these terms, "Are we succeeding?" and "How long should we stay if the results were positive?" Not another Vietnam puppet state or manipulated Iran time bomb, but a free Iraq in the broadest Jeffersonian definition. Would 100 years be to long if this were the result in the region? Iraqi freedom, who would have thought?
Huge investments will keep U.S. in Iraq
Even when our next president pulls out U.S. troops from Iraq and ends our involvement in the war that George W. Bush started five years ago, our presence will be felt there for many generations.
To begin with, we have built more than a dozen permanent military bases in Iraq, at a cost of billions of dollars (the exact number and actual cost are classified). And Bush reportedly has signed an agreement with the puppet government in that country to keep troops there indefinitely, maybe as long as 100 years, if we can take Sen. John McCain seriously.
Then there is the new U.S. embassy in Baghdad, called a "city within a city" by some, and dubbed "Fort Bush" and "Rice Palace" by others. It is the largest embassy in the world, six times the size of the entire United Nations compound in New York City. It is on 104 acres, roughly the size of the Vatican. It is said to be the most secure building ever constructed.
The embassy has its own power plant and water treatment facility, and a 16,000-square-foot ambassador's residence. It has office space for 1,000 personnel, a larger staff than any other American embassy, and apartments with sleeping quarters for 619, plus barracks for the U.S. Marine Corps security personnel.
There are 21 buildings in all, including a movie theater, gym, beauty parlor, shopping mall with food court, helipads and a school. The construction cost was $592 million, not counting the cost of the military and private security firms that protected the workers during the two years of construction.
World events pushing isles toward breakdown
A "perfect storm" is about to hit Hawaii. It will bring tremendous devastation, the most scary of which will be a pervasive food shortage.
Food riots in Third World nations are spreading. Hawaii exists precariously dependent on importing almost everything, rendering us vulnerable. We are not years, but weeks away from a total food and energy breakdown.
Increases in oil prices affect everything; all goods and services, including public safety, health care and the most vital of all -- food.
Recent events such as the Molokai Ranch closure, the collapse of two airlines, the worsening housing crunch, dropping real estate values, the falling dollar, are blasts of the siren warning us of the approaching storm.
As conditions worsen, the state's tourist-based economy will be crippled, pushing Hawaii over the brink into the abyss.
When this happens, can Hawaii feed and sustain 1.2 million people? Is there a plan in place?
The alarms are going off! If we don't respond and shift to emergency mode right now, the people of Hawaii will suffer the terrible consequences.
Opposing protest should be mentioned
On Sunday, 60 to 70 Chinese students, scholars and concerned members of the community gathered at Magic Island to protest the biased media coverage of the Chinese government's response to the recent riots in Tibet.
We gathered near the concurrent "Burma and Tibet Vigil" in the late afternoon. The Star-Bulletin's April 28 coverage of these events failed to even mention our presence, despite the larger number of individuals participating in our gathering.
The picture showed the Tibetan flag and pro-Tibet protesters, but did not show even one of the many pro-China supporters nearby. We are very upset and disappointed by the coverage of this event.