Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Sunday, August 09, 2009

Road conditions a threat to cars

Better than gravel.

That's how I look at the positive side of the shape our roads are in.

My thoughts on our roads came as I was driving on Wilikina Drive at Schofield base. I was in the left lane of the road that turned into the freeway entrance. I thought the front end of my vehicle was going to fall off—I slowed down and drove only up to 50 mph for fear my car would vibrate again.

When I told an acquain-tance what happened, she said, “;It's the roads,”; adding that she knew exactly the location I was referring to.

Driving back home, I paid particular attention to the condition of the roads.

But how long before my rusty car disintegrates from the jarring, rocky roads of the North Shore?

As broken as our roads are, they're better than driving over gravel.

Suzanne Westerly



Find solutions, not excuses, to raise students' learning

Last month, state education officials predicted that more public schools would fail to meet federal goals under No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The test scores came in and they were right: 66 percent of Hawaii's public schools are, in fact, failing to meet federal “;adequate yearly progress”; goals. Despite this disheartening news, the Department of Education seemed to be telling the public not to worry, explaining that schools are improving and that the bad results are because the test is too hard and doesn't measure the right things. This sounds like just another excuse.

I heard these same statements while serving as a member of the state Board of Education from May 2005 to December 2006.

Several years ago the board approved reducing the goals set under the federal government's NCLB requirements; it is difficult to accept continued excuses about why our students are not testing and performing at a higher level of academic achievement, as measured by NCLB.

We need solutions from the Department of Education on how to improve test scores and achieve real results, not more spin trying to convince the public that it's acceptable that less than half of public school students are proficient in reading. We shouldn't discount national tests or statistics simply because they don't reflect what we want them to.

Paul Vierling



Health reform debate seen as risk to pro-life position

Like many Americans I am concerned about the health insurance industry's practices, which too often put profits before people. I understand the sentiment for the administration's health insurance reform proposals, and believe they deserve reasoned debate in Congress. There is, however, a more important issue at stake: the right to life.

Congress has consistently voted to prohibit the public funding of abortion, and this provision should be an explicit part of any health insurance reform that is sent to the president's desk. This issue is too important to leave in the hands of a panel of bureaucrats or an activist judge. While Congress is in recess, it is expected to listen to its constituents, so I urge people to make their views on this issue known to their elected representatives.

I belong to a nonpartisan grassroots organization called the Center for Moral Clarity, which has online resources to accomplish this. I urge others to join me in raising our voices to make sure we do not become complicit in funding abortions under the guise of health-care reform.

Willis Campbell





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