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POSTED: Sunday, February 08, 2009

Be objective about trash disposal

How foolish, selfish and wasteful can we get, thinking of shipping our trash to the mainland? If this process ever does materialize, here is a word of advice to the shipping contractor: Collect in full every dollar you are supposed to receive before you touch anything, or you might be one very sorry bugger.

Here, hopefully, might be a better suggestion on how to handle trash disposal problems: Hire an experienced mainland (no local politics to deal with) engineering firm that deals with trash disposal and instruct its workers to thoroughly explore all of our major islands, and to locate the most suitable long-term potential dump site it can, regardless of where it is located. Then, whichever political entity is responsible for exercising eminent domain in such matters must condemn the new location as a trash dump forever and ever. Problem solved.

Jack Telaneus

Kailua

State unfairly tapping employees' retirement

We have been enraged by the actions of a few at the head of business and financial organizations who have greedily served themselves to the detriment of all. Now we find state House Speaker Calvin Say is of the same cut of cloth. For years state government leaders have greedily sucked up anything they could as revenue and lived life like drunken sailors on a spree.

In addition to other depredations, they skim off the top of the Employee Retirement System in any year that it makes more than 8 percent profit. That would be fine if it always made a profit, but it doesn't and our legislators certainly are in no hurry to finance the underperformance of the funds. Further state and municipal employees pay into that ERS and they pay not just based on their “;base”; pay but also their overtime pay. Say and his like always say that it is the government's promise that they will make good on the cost of eventual payout.

Now, when times are tough, Say is the first to admit that the government has no intention of keeping its promises. His raft of bills - HB1716, 1719, 1720, 1737 and 1738 - are proof of this. Yes, it is difficult for lawmakers to keep their promise but it would have been easier if they had not been skimming the profits when the economy was doing well and when it will do well again. If they are able to change the rules now, it is fair for the employees to do so also. How much does the state owe me for all the money I have paid into the ERS from overtime payments? A situation begging for another lawyer to form a class action suit.

John J. Dorsey

Wahiawa

Bad parents are root of school problems

School spending per pupil is way up, but not scores. I am not the least surprised by it, because the most important factor in children's achievement is the quality of their parents and social environment. Lack of money - always emphasized by liberals - is not the main reason for poor grades.

There are no inherently “;bad”; schools. The poor quality of a school is mainly caused by the quality of its neighborhood. Too many students from bad neighborhoods see bad things at home and therefore are undisciplined, disruptive, vandalize the school and make teaching difficult. Teachers have no power and when they stand up are often threatened by students and sometimes parents and are afraid to discipline and give bad grades.

Volker Hildebrandt

Kaneohe

Correa has helped push crime rate down

I was pleased that Honolulu Police Chief Boise Correa is willing to continue in his post beyond his five-year term, which ends this year. He has done a terrific job.

The latest statistics demonstrate the results of Correa's efforts. These statistics show the clear correlation between the ever-increasing arrests for DUI and the corresponding decrease in deaths from drunken drivers. Correa's emphasis in this area is commendable. Overall crime is down and police employment is finally at full quota.

I have lived in Hawaii for 35 years. It is a pleasure to live in what is mostly a safe city. This clearly enhances the quality of life for everyone. Bravo to Boise Correa for a job well done.

 

Richard J. Saas

Honolulu

 

At last, rail begins to become a reality

The city just started accepting bids to start building the first leg of the rail system. This is a milestone for many of us residents who have waited for more than 30 years for rail to become a reality. So let's get it done as quickly and efficiently as possible. We need rail for traffic relief and it will benefit everyone.

Jason Wong

Honolulu

Waikiki has become more dangerous

We are regular, annual visitors in Hawaii and have been coming here for more than 20 years. The last couple of years have been the first occasions when we felt at all unsafe in Waikiki in the daytime. Given the importance of tourism to the economy here, I think the mayor should pay attention to the following:

» The number of people panhandling has increased. These individuals have also become more aggressive, and a number of visitors feel threatened by them. This is in marked contrast to the feeling of safety and security felt by visitors a few years ago. We have heard visitors say they will reconsider before coming back to Hawaii.

» There are now large numbers of bicycles, electric tricycles, skateboards, scooters and other devices competing with pedestrians for space on the sidewalks. If these various devices are to be allowed on the sidewalks, some way has to be found to control their use or accidents will occur, since they are now operated with complete disregard for pedestrians.

» There is more disregard by drivers for pedestrians walking with a light in a crosswalk. There also are more pedestrians who are ignoring the law and walking against the lights. A little bit of enforcement would help. Many of the wrongdoers are tourists, but this should not exempt them from the law.

Please restore Waikiki to the safe, pleasant place it has been up until the last couple of years.

Jim Wallace

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Canada

Stimulus bill deserves Americans' support

The stuff that's being singled out for criticism amounts to a tiny fraction of the stimulus bill. This kind of nit-picking is pure old-time politics and rhetoric for the sake of rhetoric.

President Obama can lead us to change, but we are the ones who make the change. It is time to be Americans again. Pull together for our country, our communities and our children's children.

Quit whining and help the rest of us dig ourselves out of this mess.

Robert F. Ripp

Honolulu

Obama's policies put country at risk

President Barack Obama has begun dismantling President Bush's successful national security policies that have kept our country safe since 9/11. Rules are being nullified and valuable tools in interrogation methods eliminated. The war on terror has been successfully fought offshore, but closing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay and bringing 250 accused hardened enemies to our shores increases the risk of war within our boundaries by encouraging terrorist cells already here to free them.

The suggestion that “;we must engage people with extremist, fanatical views”; by one of your letter writers represents a dangerous naivete of who our enemies really are: radical Islamists who want to kill us if we do not convert to Islam. Shall we make nice to those responsible for the plot to fly hijacked airplanes into the World Trade Center towers that killed 3,000 innocent civilians? Shall we make nice to those who have beheaded our citizens? Why would appearing weak to those who might even now be plotting to set off dirty bombs or unleashing biological warfare on our soil change their minds? If a captured terrorist has knowledge of such a horrific plan, aggressive interrogation tactics, including waterboarding, might be required to protect the lives of our citizens.

Furthermore, it should make not a whit of difference what critics abroad say about our national security policies. The business of keeping our country safe is ours alone. In his inauguration speech our new president said he rejected “;a choice between our safety and our ideals.”; Fine. Let us remember who to hold accountable for any future terrorist attacks on our country or on our citizens elsewhere.

Janice Pechauer

Honolulu

Obama's inauguration was not to be missed

On the 20th of January 2009 Barack Obama became the 44th president of the United States of America. In the beginning of the campaign season, I was going for Sen. John McCain because he has more experience. But now, I feel good about Obama becoming the president. I feel that he is going to bring about the change that we need.

In my history class we read Obama's inauguration speech. It was pretty good. I didn't want to go to seminary that day because I wanted to watch Obama make history as the first African-American to become president of the United States.

Jason Matalolo

Kaneohe

               

     

 

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