Prosecute pimps, johns but help the prostitutesAll the new prostitution law will do (Star-Bulletin, July 16) is push prostitution out of Waikiki and into someone else's neighborhood. Then Waikiki will look clean, but these ladies, the true victims of this problem, are in the exact same situation.
I worked on the streets of Waikiki last year, helping Kimberley Gallant of the Waikiki Health Center provide support to these women. They get sucked into "the life," and the threat of violence and lack of options keep them there. Believe me, they don't like their jobs. Every "date" could be their last.
What they really need are alternatives -- training and job skills. They need to be shown that they can do something else besides work the streets.
As far as prosecution, the law needs to focus on those creating the problem in the first place. These women are being sold by corrupt "entrepreneurs" to the "johns" of the world, people who are your next-door neighbors and even public figures.
If we can deal with the suppliers and those demanding these services, these women can get a fighting chance to live normal lives. Until then, the problem will continue.
Former HIV/STD Program Coordinator
Waikiki Health Center
Manoa residents are only thinking about themselvesI've been watching the letters to the editor go back and forth between Hawaiian Electric and the opposition from Manoa Valley regarding Heco's high-voltage lines. This issue is clearly NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard).
Wake up, residents! What price are we willing to pay to live in paradise? Aren't you already struggling to make ends meet?
Anytime self-serving rich people make waves, it drives up the cost of living for poor people. Please tell your politicians to make the NIMBYs pay for their own self-serving agenda. These costs should be borne by them, not the rest of us.
Residential facilities provide necessary helpYour July 20 article, "HPU officials oppose facility for mentally ill," brought to mind another May 25 article on Mental Help Hawaii's executive director, Joanne Lundstrom. Joanne, a longtime advocate and leader on mental health issues and programs in Hawaii, often cites her experience with one of our first projects, The House on Sierra Drive.
Working with community and neighbors adamantly against a residential facility for the recovering mentally ill, she was able to establish a facility that, since 1973, has helped over a thousand Hawaii citizens return to productive lives in our community.
In similar fashion, Mental Help Hawaii has established 12 facilities and programs in Honolulu and Hilo. An Aloha United Way agency, our mission is to provide social rehabilitation services through housing facilities, and rehabilitation services designed to meet the needs of persons recovering from serious mental illnesses.
Today, our operating budget is nearly $3 million and reflects the tremendous successes of Joanne and her wonderful staff. They are making a difference, one life at a time.
Your story may have given the faulty impression that the Safe Haven project is a big problem. It is, in fact, a model of success. Remember all the complaints about the homeless along Fort Street Mall? Imagine if there had been no Safe Haven.
Walter M. Ozawa
Chairman, Board of Directors
Mental Help Hawaii
Kapolei schools caught in political cross fireOver the past several days, we have been bombarded by news stories on the Kapolei middle and high schools. We have no interest in adding fuel to the fire. In fact, why are these issues being raised now, when the schools have been in the works since 1996?
The truth is, our community wanted these schools. We formed the Second City Education Committee five years ago to get the middle and high schools built by 1997. When that stalled, we drafted a bill -- Act 284, SLII 1996 -- which allows the state to enter into a development agreement with a private developer to expedite construction. Then we spent two years making sure the schools provided the best learning environment for our children.
That's the story, plain and simple. But there's an election and our children are pawns in a battle that rages in your headlines. Shame on you. If the schools are delayed because of this controversy, double shame on you.
City keeps replanting flowers in futile effortThe flowers along the Ala Wai walkway, makai side, look absolutely beautiful, but I'm afraid the weeds are going to take over. This is the third time they have been replanted, by dozens of caring individuals. They spend hundreds of dollars and many hours improving the area, then forget about it.
I have adopted a one-block area and have been taking care of it for several months. But one mile is a little too much for an old lady. I have called city offices and have found sympathetic ears, but I also hear it isn't their responsibility.
What about recruiting senior groups, or posting notices in condo lobbies asking for help? Just 15 minutes a week!
Everyone enjoys the flowers. If personnel aren't available to maintain these areas, however, efforts are wasted. Just put it back in grass or pave it.
Trustees are derelict in running KamehamehaI couldn't understand the actions of the Bishop Estate trustees until someone leaked the Western Association of Schools and Colleges' accreditation report. The inquiry by trustees Lokelani Lindsey, Henry Peters and Richard Wong to find out who "leaked" the report seem-ed more like the act of a 16th-century lord protecting his castle than trustees trying to bring the estate into the 21st century.
By the words of the will: "I desire my trustees to provide first and chiefly a good education in the common English branches, and also instruction in morals." If the trustees are responsible for Kamehameha Schools, which received only a three-year accreditation, they are negligent in their duties.
(Via the Internet)
Bishop Estate Archive
Parents must encourage their children to readRobert Kessler's July 16 letter hit the nail on the head when he wrote, "It begins with families placing a high value on education and being involved in the education of their children."
Teachers' hands are tied when parents do not get involved. Parents who think nothing of taking their children to the mall or to a movie the night before a school day, parents who don't know whether their children had breakfast that day, don't make it easy.
As for SAT scores, parents can rate their contribution by considering the following questions: Does your child own a FREE library card? How many books has your child read since school let out for the summer? How much of an interest have you shown in the material he or she reads?
With Hawaii's economy, most parents are dead tired at the end of the day and don't have enough energy for discussions with their children. Yet only a few minutes -- over washing the dinner dishes or folding clothes -- on the current book the child is reading will be beneficial to a child of any age, and many times to the parent.
Barbara J. Wong
Hawaii left song in the hearts of Arizona chorale membersAs a member of the AZ Masterworks Chorale, I visited your beautiful state with a group of more than 30 singers and friendly followers. We participated in the Oahu Chorale Society's first Hawaii International Chorale Festival and had a wonderful time.
We listened to beautiful music in the beautiful Hawaiian language, and made beautiful music singing Brahms Requiem in the Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall. Dr. Tim Carney and OCS members made all of the visitors from other parts of the state and world feel very welcome.
Beautiful is the best word I can use to describe our week. Mahalo.
(Via the Internet)
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