More drilling won't fix energy problems
We need alternative solutions to this energy crisis. Belching CO2 into the atmosphere is going to cause catastrophic damage that science will not be able to fix. As Oklahoma oil man T. Boone Pickens even said, "I've been an oil man all my life, but this is one emergency we can't drill our way out of."
R. "Cami" Besly
Kobayashi, Bainum should drop out of race
As a resident of District 5, I am dumbfounded and outraged that my neighbors and I will be excluded from a democratic right to vote for a candidate to represent my district on the City Council.
Ann Kobayashi has shown her true colors as a politician by delaying her announcement that she would abandon our entire district for her own personal political ambitions as mayor, thereby not giving the people she represents enough time to find another candidate to run for this office.
What's worse, we now have Duke Bainum as our only candidate. This guy too has shown his true colors because he was rich enough to rent out a mailing address in our district within hours of the deadline to run for public office.
Both candidates are despicable and do not deserve the support of any resident of District 5. Kobayashi and Bainum owe it to the people of District 5 to immediately withdraw from running for the mayor's office and for City Council, respectively. Their over-leaping, self-serving ambitions have left the public stranded and without democratically vetted representation. Better to have an 18-year-old C-average high school student who actually lives in our district as our councilman than some self-serving wannabe. This whole scenario is a mockery of our representative democracy!
4-day work week experiment exploded
Several years ago, when I was supervising a research project and 15 employees, I implemented a voluntary four-day work week (10 hours per day). The eight employees who opted for the shorter week were thrilled: fewer commutes, fewer child-care days, three-day weekends every week, etc.
But it didn't take long for the program to fall apart: Productivity immediately dropped 20 percent. While these eight employees were at the workplace for 40 hours per week, they were still only producing the equivalent of four days worth of work. I concluded that the 75 minutes before and after the boss (me) arrived were spent surfing the Internet, making phone calls, doing Christmas cards, school work, etc. And if a holiday fell on one of the 10-hour work days, they were over-compensated by two hours compared to the five-day-a-week employees. The idea sounded great on paper, but proved difficult to implement in a manner that was fair to other employees as well as the company.
Teachers know peers have drug problems
The problem of drugs with teachers and staff at our public schools is huge. The majority of the teachers recognize this and that is why they voted to accept the policy of random testing. Teachers by definition do not make life choices for the money and would not, could not make this choice for a few dollars more. Administrators and staff should also be tested. I did my student teaching at two different high schools and taught until retirement at an intermediate school. At one school the pakalolo smoke made at least one classroom look like Beijing on a good day.
The constitutional question is a red herring or, if you prefer, a shibai. What about the police and fire departments and all the private corporations that test employees, not to mention folks like the Coast Guard? What about the time when all teachers were tested for TB? Drugs in our schools is a health issue, and I don't mean just the kids.
Our island state has led the way in so many commonsense areas; labor relations, civil rights, the right to choose, to name just a few. Let let our teachers lead the way to a drug-free culture.The managers of the drug industry definitely would not like that.
Non-elevated rail is a better fit for city
The debate about mass transit on Oahu has become polarized, with the mayor saying the system must be built his way or not at all. Many people want a fixed-rail system but are appalled by the ungainly overhead structures and the huge cost of the city's heavy rail system. In addition to the high initial construction cost ($250 million a mile) we will be forever saddled with high electricity costs for lighting, escalators and elevators for the elevated guideway stations.
There is a middle ground in the debate: a light rail steel-on-steel system at ground level similar to the systems in Charlotte and Portland. The cost ($48 million/mile) would be less than one-fifth that of the city's system and there would be virtually no visual impact.
The mauka-makai street corridor views in the urban core would be preserved in accordance with the development plan for the primary urban center. Street-level rail also offers easy access for riders switching to or from a bus route as well as easy pedestrian access to neighboring streets and businesses.
Best of all, the money saved by going to on-grade light rails would allow us to run the first phase of the system all the way to the University of Hawaii-Manoa, thereby including one of the busiest single destination points for daily commuters.
Scott R. Wilson
Hawaii showed poorly at Samoan festival
Yesterday (July 29) we returned from our 10-day tip to the Pacific Arts Festival, Samoa. It was with deep embarrassment and dismay that Hawaii was sadly profiled. Halau Mohala Ilima was our only source of pride; the Hawaii "fale" (artisans) was well done; and, the fashions of Manuhealii were pretty.
However, far more was expected from Hawaii, in comparison with our Polynesian cousins. There were the times when the dance presentations were lacking in style, substance and preparation. Far more and better was expected of Hawaii by both our visiting residents and other guests of the festival. The general consenses was we could have done so much better for this occasion. Auwe!
Frank and Werylend Tomczyk