HSTA keeps coming up with lousy excuses
The Hawaii State Teachers Association and the teachers agreed to random drug testing in their new contract. What don't they understand about what "random drug testing" means?
HSTA has already given the excuses, such as drug testing is unconstitutional and it costs too much. HSTA also wants to test only teachers who have prior drug or drunken-driving convictions. Now their new proposal is to test only teachers who hold a commercial driver's license. But the state has been drug-testing CDL holders since 1995. It is just another excuse and should not be tolerated.
Teachers have high expectations for their students to do the right thing, have integrity and be good citizens, yet they keep thinking of excuses for why they can't honor their contract. They are setting a poor example for their students.
HSTA, quit whining and thinking of excuse after excuse, and implement random drug testing already!
GOP should prepare for Lingle defection
After reading state GOP chairman Willes Lee's letter ("Gov being consistent by signing letter," July 25
), it would seem a kindness if surviving Republicans let Willes know the governor won't be taking him with her when she goes to Congress as a Democrat.
Surely he's noticed she's deconstructed the Republican Party to insignificance.
She's already paid her Democratic Party entrance fee with the $700 million spending spree her "vibrant and expanding surplus" budget handed Democrats. She well knew that Democrats, not the few surviving Republicans, would get to divvy up the spoils she laid on the table. And no one should overlook that the front-page article announcing the surplus was followed by a back-page article noting the budget left $700 million of overdue school maintenance unfunded.
After all, the words "Gov. Linda Lingle unveiled a proposal to build a $2.6 billion light-rail transit system" appeared in in this newspaper on Oct. 28, 2003.
George L. Berish
Con Con's potential cost greatly inflated
I was encouraged to see the Star-Bulletin weighed in on the work of the 11-member, nonpartisan Constitutional Convention Cost Task Force that was led by Lt. Gov. James R. "Duke" Aiona Jr. to provide voters with accurate and credible information in advance of their decision in November on whether to hold a Con Con. That was until I read the paper's assertion that the task force's comprehensive and transparent study was "premature."
Aiona announced in May the formation of the task force, giving two reasons to study the cost for the people of Hawaii to hold a Constitutional Convention. One was that opponents of a Con Con, largely comprising those hard at work to maintain the status quo, were putting out unsubstantiated figures as high as $70 million to see what would stick. This paper surely could have acknowledged that such baseless figures have no place in the public arena, especially given the current economic climate.
A second reason was that the same Legislature that thought a token $1 tax rebate was enough to satisfy the constitutional requirement of tax relief during a budget surplus called on the Legislative Reference Bureau to study the cost of a Con Con while simultaneously placing unnecessary limitations on the study. Specifically, the LRB resolution failed to provide for an open and transparent process, did not allow for coordination with other affected organizations and restricted the LRB from looking at viable alternatives.
Due to the work of the task force, we now know that the people of Hawaii can hold for less than $10 million a full 102-delegate Constitutional Convention. But don't take my word for it. View the record online at hawaii.gov/ltgov/concon
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
Elevated travel could be a real life-saver
It's a pity that the Oahu elevated rail system is mired in so much greed and controversy, because in one form or another, it is really needed. Not only is it needed for a system to move massive amounts of people to safety in a short period of time in case of impending tsunami, it is also needed to move a new class of emergency response vehicle and teams to traverse the increasingly traffic-congested highways, full of ignorant, unresponsive drivers, similar to Medevac air-lifts.
We first encountered gridlock in the infamous 6-inch tsunami of the 1980s. Thank God that wasn't 60 feet, or a hundred feet, where people would have died in their vehicles. We need a system that cannot be blocked or commandeered by regular traffic, so that it has the ability to move fast and freely for travel and emergency use. It is a mistake not to create a new class of emergency vehicle to utilize the system as well for transporting first-responders.
Americans should demand clean energy
I am sure that I am not the only one who is feeling anger and incredible frustration over the issue of energy. On the one hand we have been informed that America can generate 100 percent of our electricity from clean sources -- and we can do it within 10 years. On the other we have wimpish politicians who fail to stand up and make it happen.
Barack Obama talks about change but his agenda on energy is too weak.
I urge all of you who are as angry as me to write to your politicians now.