Airlines are correct in charging for bags
Why this tempest over paying to check in airline baggage? If you use a service, you must expect to pay. If you don't pay, who will pay for you? The airline has costs to fly the baggage, including clerks, baggage handlers, equipment operation and fuel. And these costs are considerable. The airlines don't have the money to pay for all this. And passengers who don't check baggage might resent paying higher ticket prices for others who do. People who use the service should pay for the service, and others should not.
I, for one, no longer check in bags. I don't care to wait in baggage claim for a bag that might or might not come. I have learned to pack light, and am on my way while others are waiting in baggage claim. I don't want my airline ticket price increased to cover the costs of those who check in baggage.
Airlines are losing money. They cannot afford to give away services for free. It is only right that they charge for bags that are checked in.
How often have you looked at the stuff you took on your trip and realized, "I never used this stuff!"
Learn to pack light, and you'll be fine.
Expand community garden program
Families and individuals around the state are feeling the pinch on their pocketbooks when it comes to grocery prices. The USDA projects that the price of consumer goods, including fruits and vegetables, will increase 5 percent by the end of the year.
Although most of Oahu's existing community gardens are in good condition, a great burden falls on one or two people tasked with upkeep of the city's 10 gardens. Greater interest in growing one's own produce also means that potential gardeners wait two to four months for a spot.
Here are a few proposals that might help:
» Identify vacant city land that is appropriate for developing new community gardens.
» Expand current gardens in parks like Makiki.
» Update existing garden facilities with new fencing, security lights and necessary infrastructure.
I went to the grocery store the other night and spent $84.53 on mostly fresh vegetables and fruit. If I had a small garden plot I could raise my monthly intake of lettuce, tomatoes, cabbage and onions. Produce from a tended garden plot could shave $60 off my monthly grocery bill, and I'd be spending time outside with my neighbors.
Mayor Mufi Hannemann and City Council, community gardens help keep fresh foods on our tables, lessen our reliance on imported food sources and promote a healthy lifestyle. Make a lasting impact on Oahu and expand the community garden program.
Encourage Obama to adopt a pound puppy
Sen. Barack Obama and his family have said that, win or lose, they're going to add a dog to their family after the election this November.
That's a great idea. But I hope they decide to adopt one from their local shelter. Why? Because as long as people still buy their pets from pet stores and commercial breeders, millions of abandoned pets will be killed in shelters across the country every year.
So here's one issue that's truly bi-partisan -- one that we can all agree on. Let's ask our national leaders always to adopt their pets from shelters, rather than buying them from pet stores.
Members of Best Friends Animal Society have started a petition to invite the Obama family to do just that. Whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, left-wing, right-wing or any other wing, you can make a bipartisan difference by signing the petition at www.obamafamilydog.com, and encouraging all your friends and family to sign it too.
Compassion for Animals Inc.
Put Bush's image on appropriate coin
The U.S. Mint should reintroduce the 50-cent coin again, for that is about the current value of the dollar vs. most international currencies. America had the responsibility of supporting its currency and the present administration in Washington did not!
There should be a likeness of President Bush on the face of it as a reminder to future generations of Americans of what can happen to a currency when the government does not support it and overspends the federal budget with waste, wars and mortgage bailouts.
Save even more money with DOE furloughs
On July 17
the Star-Bulletin opined, "Cutting a day off the conventional workweek for state government workers could prove beneficial to employees and taxpayers."
This public school teacher will see that and raise you, Star-Bulletin: furlough for six months ALL upwardly mobile, desk-driving careerists populating the state Department of Education bloat-ocracy who do not have direct contact with children (except those in payroll) and the savings harvested will dwarf that gained by lopping a day off the work week.
Some of this harvest could be used to fund the current teacher contract, which DOE signed and which it now wants to abrogate unilaterally -- including the provision for random drug testing. With an annual DOE budget that in fiscal year 2009 is nearly $3 billion, the claim that a mere half-mill cannot be found to fund drug testing according to the contract they signed is a rank obscenity if not an outright lie.
After six months, the public can determine whether furloughed "educators" should be cashiered permanently. My guess? No one down here where the rubber meets the road will even notice they're gone.
Thomas E. Stuart
Teacher, Kohala Middle School
4-day workweek would end up costing us more
There will be less work done (and at a higher cost) if government employees switch to a four-day workweek. Compared to the private sector, where productivity is a priority, government workers take twice as many people twice as long to do the same task. Unions will not cut pay, especially in today's economic climate. The result will be the same or less work done with one more day off. Later, we'll hear a plea for more government hiring to help out the overburdened four-day workforce.
In the long run, the taxpayers will be paying more for less.