From the Forum
Online readers are able to respond immediately to Star-Bulletin stories through our Web forum, which can be accessed at the end of stories, editorials and columns at starbulletin.com. Below is a selection of forum comments that appeared last week. Most forum contributors use pseudonyms; their "names" have been omitted here.
"Republicans cry foul/Election filings: Deadline squeezed Democrat," Star-Bulletin, July 24: What ya people expect? This is Hawaii, the land of the liberal Democrats. They are the law. They can change the laws when they want it, how they want it and no one can challenge them. Not the people who vote them in or the Republicans. The picture is clear. They are no longer the Democratic Party that they use to be back in da days.
Suggestion: Vote them all out and bring in the young ones. At least it's the closest thing to term limits and the only way they will listen to the people.
"We look for the process to sort itself out, and we feel Chrystn (Eads) will succeed," Schatz said. "She was there 40 minutes before the deadline, and the delay was caused because of the slow processing."
So the next time I'm standing in line to renew my driver's license, they will keep the office open to process it because I was already in line? Not.
Rules are rules ... If you don't beat the buzzer, time's up. She said she was there 40 minutes early. This from a government worker who already knows that anything to do with state matters takes forever. So she does it last minute? Then wants a mulligan?
Just another example of the Democrats changing the rules of the game in midstream to favor themselves. Bottom line is that Ms. Eads did not have the required signatures at 4:30 and should not be allowed to file. No exceptions!
"State aid sought for isle hotels," Star-Bulletin, July 23: Bail out the rich as usual. No one is allowed to fail except the little guy.
Instead of getting a bailout, try lowering the room prices to where they are affordable by the average person and take care of your workers. People will find a way to get to Hawaii if it is affordable, but when you look at the crazy airfare and then the crazy room prices, they are not going give blood.
"Local hoteliers." Is that marketspeak for "Really Rich Foreign Investors?" And now they are looking for state aid. "State aid" sounds like taxes on the kamaaina, which in turn sounds like many of those who work in the hotels at subsistence wages and declining real benefits.
Shouldn't the headline read "Local hoteliers stick it to both ends of local residents?"
"DOE online survey ranks areas of need in schools," Star-Bulletin, July 23: We all know that this survey was a waste of time and money. You cannot even meet federal standards for No Child Left Behind, so why waste money on a survey? Mo betta use the money for drug testing.
The Department of Education probably didn't need to take a survey to come up with what people want. The people of Hawaii have been telling them for years. The real issue is that the core of the DOE is made up of a bunch of bumbling bureaucrats. The good taxpayers of Hawaii have funded the DOE so much money for such poor results. The teachers in the classroom deserve great credit as they do their best to teach Hawaii's children with basically no support from the DOE.
"274 layoffs 'difficult but necessary'/
MLP's agriculture, resort and real estate enterprises are all suffering major losses," Star-Bulletin, July 25: How can they compete with foreign pineapples? Everything in Hawaii is more expensive -- the land, the equipment, the fertilizer, the fuel, the insurance, the wages, the taxes, plus the shipping out-of-state. What's amazing is that they stayed in business as long as they have. That's the price of paradise -- everything is expensive, making it difficult to compete against cheaper crops.
I'm amazed no one has blamed go! yet. But seriously, I remember working there in the summer many, many years ago trimming pineapples in the cannery. How I would go home smelling like pineapples. Or even worse, have my skin burned by the acid to the point that it bled. I remember how I used to cuss at and hate Maui Land & Pine. Now, I just kinda feel bad for them. Oh well, time for Maui to find something else to export.
Don't be taken in by poser scientists
I followed Rick Klemm's link to the petitionproject.org, as described in his July 20 letter
to the editor encouraging people to sign on as disbelievers of the human impact on global warming. It claims "tens of thousands of scientists have signed the petition."
A scientist with an "opinion" is the equivalent of a beach poser at Pipeline. To carry any weight, you have to "charge it" to prove yourself to peers. Scientists "charge it" by testing hypotheses backed by objective data and accepted literature. These procedures and conclusions are described, sent to appropriate journals, and if accepted by experts of the specific topic, then the work is published. I studied the petition Web site, and yes, there is a link to "summary of peer-reviewed research," which has only one paper, published by Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.
I guess they missed the point about "review by experts of a specific topic." Looks like beach posers to me.
Elections office needs to obey the law
The credibility and integrity of the Office of Elections must be maintained to give the public confidence in our election process ("Republicans cry foul," Star-Bulletin, July 24).
Breaking the law cannot and will not be tolerated when it comes to the administration of fair elections.
The Office of Elections must follow the law in deciding on candidates for House District 24. To do otherwise discredits the office and the entire election process is given a black eye.
Kainoa K. Kaumeheiwa-Rego
Election officials must guarantee fairness
The late and apparently illegal filing by Chrystn Eads in House District 24 calls into question issues of fairness and propriety of our Office of Elections. Free and fair elections are the foundation of our democracy and the Office of Elections must assure that everyone regardless of political affiliation is treated fairly. This foundation begins with obeying election laws from start to finish -- no ifs, ands or buts.
The Office of Elections knows the right thing to do. We expect them to do it. Obey the law.
Tania K. Cortez-Camero
Immigrants should do it the legal way
Kudos to law enforcement and federal agents in Waipahu for enforcing the laws on illegal immigration and arresting 43 suspected illegal aliens in Waipahu on Sunday (Star-Bulletin, July 22).
This is a step in the right direction, and I hope it will be followed through until they all get deported back to Mexico.
Illegal immigrants have invaded not only Hawaii but all of the other 49 states, too, and have become a great burden on our economy, infrastructure and quality of life. They abuse our welfare system and overcrowd our schools and residential areas. They don't pay their taxes and they send the money they earn to Mexico.
I have nothing against legal immigrants, as I am one myself from Europe (Czechoslovakia), as well as my wife from Japan. If you want to come to this great country, come here legally like you are supposed to. Enough is enough. Such raids are for the good of the state of Hawaii as well as the country.
Wheaton, Silver Spring, Md.
Frequent Hawaii visitor
Teachers should cede their right to privacy
It seems anyone can say that their civil rights to privacy have been violated when drug testing is imposed on them (Star-Bulletin, July 19).
Maybe one can explain the true meaning of civil rights. What does it reveal to the extent that it's private of that person and not to anyone else?
One should have no qualms about drug testing. Drug testing is important to make sure that the teachers do not have drugs controlling their behavior and our children are not affected. A couple of teachers were exposed in the local news media, but there could be many others who weren't. I'm not a teacher, but I would not be afraid to take any drug tests. I think all teachers who do not use drugs wouldn't mind taking this drug test.
The Hawaii State Teachers Association should be open and sincere instead of hiding behind the statement that their civil right to privacy has been invaded.
Francis K. Ibara
Children worth more than teachers' rights
Once again the local papers are abuzz with letters regarding the drug testing of teachers. When I was an employee of the Department of Education, I wrote several letters to this paper and other publications stating that I support drug testing and have always been and will always be willing to submit to a random test at any time in any place. If you don't have anything to hide, then you shouldn't be afraid of the testing.
In response to letters which claim that the civil rights of teachers are being violated, I must ask what about the civil rights of our children in school? Don't they have the right to be taught by a teacher who is drug free? Don't they have a right to be told by a teacher that drugs are bad and know for a fact that the teacher practices what he or she preaches? Don't parents have the right to know that their children's classrooms aren't being used to move drugs and that their children aren't being exposed to dangerous people associated with drugs?
Considering the correlation between drug use (especially "ice") and other crimes including assaults, robberies and even sexual crimes, teachers who indulge in such a lifestyle put children at risk.
Let's remember who is most vulnerable here, the children. After all, they don't have a union to represent them!
We shouldn't lose more young men in Mideast
Aloha, I send this letter with great sadness for the fallen Army 1st Lt. Jonathan Brostrom, his family and friends; and especially his young ROTC brother weeping over the soldier's casket (Star-Bulletin, July 25).
It made water in my eyes.
I remember the wasted years of Vietnam, then they were called KIAs (killed in action). But now in Iraq and elsewhere, they do not use the acronym "KIA." Is that because our brave men and women are not in action when killed? Are they just passive targets of roadside bombers?
Yes, we are all sad for our defenseless heroes. So often unable to fight the faceless "enemy" ... at the expense of their lives.
Barack, will you bring them home?
People don't come to Hawaii to ride trains
Last year for the first time in our lives my husband and I traveled to Japan to visit our daughter. We bought rail passes -- the most economical way to see several cities in the short time we had to spend there. It was a wonderful experience to ride bullet trains and commuter trains and rush through train stations full of people.
Toward the end of our trip we visited a shopping mall near the Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo. While our son and daughter did some shopping, my husband and I began watching a video presentation about Hawaii. It was a simple sales video that showed people relaxing near a bench as the sun was setting.
Suddenly we both felt homesick. More than that we realized why people come from all over the world. They don't come to ride trains. They have enough of that in their own countries. They come to get away from all that, to lie down and relax in our warm sand and gentle island lifestyle.
2-wheeler riders, the law is clear -- obey it
Because the state of Hawaii and the City and County of Honolulu have utterly failed to provide the signage necessary for any uninformed bicycle or moped riders to know what the law requires of them, I hope that at least today's readers who either ride or know someone who rides will (for at least today) experience and react to reality.
The Hawaii Revised Statutes require both bicycles and mopeds to ride single-file in the far right side of the far right lane. If traffic is faster than you, bicycle and moped riders DO NOT have a right to occupy a lane. There are exceptions only for turning and hazards, plus you can ride on the far-left of a two-lane or more one-way street. (See HRS Sections 291C-145 and 291C-196.)
And I bet that most of you moped riders did not realize that HRS Section 291C-197 requires that "wherever bicycle lanes are provided on the roadway, moped drivers shall use such bicycle lanes."
Perhaps if these laws were clearly posted on our roads, the bicyclists and moped riders who appear angry or upset or scared or confused or rude or full of rage when I lightly beep at them to get over might re-think and not be law violators.
Michael A. Glenn
2 for price of 1?
What would happen if we built both a rail system and HOT lanes over our existing freeway system? Since HOT lanes apparently don't cost that much compared to rail, why not just ask the rail contractors to throw HOT lanes in as the "free gift with purchase"?
I'd think that then we'd have absolutely zero traffic anywhere on the island with both of these powerhouse transit fixes in place, working together.
Even if the second freeway level was not free, I'd feel better about spending billions of dollars on a system that we knew would work for sure -- whether it was rail or the HOT lanes that actually solved the problem.