Wednesday, April 18, 2001
It's the driver, not the road, that's dangerousRegarding the recent fatal accidents on Kaukonahoa road, I contend that the road is not dangerous. It is the reckless disregard of the law and public safety that creates a needless hazard on that scenic route.
During the last 20 years, I've seen a lot of speeding and passing over solid lines and around corners, even when traffic is moving at or just beyond the posted speed limits.
The area should be patrolled and stiffer penalties should be imposed for violations. Drivers need to be reminded that it's not a "right" to be able to operate a motor vehicle on the highway, but a privilege that can be easily taken away.
Give religious holidays a secular washThe church and state separatists are rumbling again about the Good Friday state holiday. We need to get this holiday out from under its association with organized religion. This is hard, seeing as how "Thank God it's Friday" is not only part of our culture but the name of a restaurant chain.
If, however, we call the next day Excellent Saturday, nobody can accuse us of a religious agenda.
In the same vein, Easter is associated with a fundamental tenet of the Christian faith but unfortunately is linked with Good Friday. We should pay the word Easter the respect it deserves by confining it to the Christian pulpit rather than the pagan falderal that comes with it now. Instead, let's call that day Outstanding Sunday.
Good Friday, Excellent Saturday, Outstanding Sunday. They would provide a big charge of optimism with which to start the spring season. And there is no threat to the Constitution.
[Quotables]"What will motivate us is fear. We are realizing we will have to work together more than we have in the past decade." Walter Heen,
Outgoing chairman of the Hawaii Democratic Party, saying the majority party will have to adjust to sharing power with Republicans who now hold 19 seats in the state House.
"Hopefully, people will see what's really going on, that their buddy's wife with the black eye didn't really get it from playing baseball." Lynne Jenkins McGivern,
Former head of the city prosecutor's felony domestic violence branch, saying many people don't recognize that their friends or co-workers may be abusers.
Lawsuit would send profs back to classI bet the university professors' strike would come to a sudden halt if a few students sued for breach of contract. After all, they paid tuition and added the additional hard work and class attendance to get a degree.
Knowing lawyers, they'll sue the governor, government, professors, the union and anybody else they can think of. Loss of earnings for half a year wasted would probably cost $20,000, which, when multiplied by the number of students, should get the attention of the defendants.
Teachers appreciate public supportI am a teacher at Ala Wai Elementary School, and it touches my heart to see the many supporters -- some of whom we don't even know -- drop off food, drinks and snacks for teachers on the picket line.
Supporters wave and honk at us. A radio station representative came by with free lunches from McDonald's. Non-educators have joined us on the picket line during the hottest times of day. The 100th Battalion Veterans Club showed its support with the use of its facilities and treated us to lunch.
I reflect on all of this and think, "These people get it!" These people understand that it's more than money; it's the value and respect this state places on education, in both public and private schools.
I have been told that if I cared for my students, I wouldn't be striking. Well, I do care for them and I miss seeing their smiling faces every morning. It makes me furious to think that when they leave my class and move on, they may have to be in a classroom of 40-plus students or have a new substitute teacher every other week because a qualified teacher can not be found to fill a position. That's why I'm out there on the line -- for my past, present and future students.
Thank you to the community for your overwhelming support. We appreciate it and are blessed to know that you understand the value of a quality education is priceless.
Strike teaches lessons of its ownHere are some learning goals we can achieve from the statewide teachers' strike:
>>The governor will learn that being a politician with no desire for re-election is much more enjoyable than kowtowing for Big Labor votes at contract renegotiation time.But we knew that anyway.
>> Parents will learn that their children are interesting during the day and that family life and learning can co-exist quite well, even without quizzes and tests.
>> Students will learn that teachers are very important, but are not all-important.
>> Teachers will learn that their jobs have many non-monetary benefits and that being in charge of a class is much better than marching to someone else's tune. They will also learn the mixed benefits of rigid hierarchies and groupthink in bureaucracies and unions and get a nice suntan, plus a pay raise.
>> We all will learn that strikes benefit nobody.
>> HSTA Web site
>> UHPA Web site
>> State Web site
>> Governor's strike Web site
>> DOE Web site
Bush defrauded social conservativesWhen I voted for President Bush, I thought I was electing the candidate who stood for family values. The last three weeks have shown me that I was sadly mistaken.
First, we witnessed Bush's support of ex-Massachusetts Governor Cellucci as the U.S. ambassador to Canada. Cellucci has been a liberal governor whose policies have advocated the teaching of homosexuality in schools and have been contrary to traditional family values.
Next, Bush appointed Scott Evertz as the first openly gay director of the Office of National AIDS Policy. Evertz has made public statements about how his focus will not be aimed at confronting the behavior that causes the disease, but instead will focus on prevention strategies that reduce the "stigma" of homosexuality in minority communities.
Finally, Bush has appointed Steve Herbits, a gay activist, to the Defense Department to screen applicants for the department. It looks like Bush is turning out to be the worst of the Republican Party (anti-environment, pro-corporations) and the worst of the Democratic Party (pro-gay rights) all in one politician.
Can't have it your way anymore in KailuaOn Tuesday afternoon last week I noticed that a 40-foot container was blocking the Burger King drive-thru lane in Kailua.
By Wednesday morning our "Home of the Whopper" was denuded of all it's Burger King insignia, the drive-thru speakers and menus were gone and the doors closed. The two-story home of the 49-cent flame-broiled cheeseburger or 99-cent Jr. Whopper was left scarred, sterile and abandoned.
On Thursday night banners were up reading "Arby's Coming This Summer!"
Auwe, wheah we gonna go foah Burger King now, brah? Kaneohe side?
Robert "Rabbett" Abbett
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