Letters to the Editor

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'High' court in no shape to do anything

Regarding the headline "High court to decide fate of isles' medical-pot laws" (Star-Bulletin, morning edition, Nov. 26). A "high" court will have a hard time deciding anything, much less the issue of medical pot. The situation is a conflict of interest and they must recuse themselves.

Now, if candy bar sales at the court house "skyrocket" while the justices are deliberating, I would be curious as to how they review the evidence. Thank you for bringing new meaning to the word headline.

Gerald de Heer

DOE had asked for release of repair funds

For years the Department of Education has been asking for complete control of the funds allocated to repair and maintain schools. Last January, Superintendent Pat Hamamoto said before a joint session of the Legislature that unshackling the DOE from other state departments was the "most important" factor in improving education. The Legislature agreed and enacted a law that set July 1, 2004, for the transfer of repair and maintenance duties and July 1, 2005, for the transfer of capital improvements and new construction to the DOE.

Through a Joint Interagency Task Force, the Department of Accounting and General Services, which currently handles school repair and maintenance, and other state departments have been working with the DOE to assist them with this transition. The DOE wanted to administratively delay the transfers for several years. This is contrary to the law. Any delay would require the Legislature to amend the statute.

The DOE, at its own request, has been given the responsibility for repairing and maintaining the schools. If the DOE feels it is not ready to handle these functions, it can ask the Legislature for more time, and the administration will support it to get the law changed.

The governor's decision to abide by the law and release $100 million for school repair and maintenance has nothing to do with politics. It has everything to do with providing the DOE with the resources it needs for an environment that is conducive to learning and, as Hamamoto herself has said, holding the superintendent and the BOE accountable for the conditions in the schools.

Linda L. Smith
Senior policy adviser
Office of the Governor

Use creativity to find better landfill sites

I thought we got rid of incompetence when we got rid of the Honolulu City Council members who ended up in prison. Too bad we can't put the current Council members in jail for their recent ridiculous suggestions for the new landfill site. It is a shame common sense is not a requirement of public office.

In that spirit, I suggest the following sites for our new dump:

» Aloha Stadium. Even during football season no one goes there, so fill it up with trash. The trash will decompose nicely with the rusting steel.
» Give the trash to smokers. They'll throw it out their car window and miraculously, it will disappear, just like their cigarette butts.
» The University of Hawaii. Pile it up in various places on campus and call it "art."
» The Natatorium. Oh, like you've got a better idea for the Natatorium.
» Honolulu Hale. There's already a lot of trash going on there. No one will notice.

I hope Councilmembers Rod Tam and Ann Kobayashi take these suggestions seriously, as they are as good as the ones they've come up with.

Mark Middleton

Dump site could be even more convenient

Regarding "Koko Crater dump proposed" (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 24): Why didn't City Councilman Rod Tam propose Diamond Head? It's closer.

Frank Denton

New bus line should be model route

The new bus line "Route E" is a pleasure to ride. The buses are great. They are quiet and roomy unlike those small (often filled to capacity after several stops) buses that are cold and noisy and cramped. And riding a bus down Kalakaua Avenue is fun. All buses should go down Kalakaua instead of being relegated to the back street of Kuhio Avenue. Make the ride more enjoyable and interesting and people will ride. It's not only speed that attracts.

But at the same time the city should take note that many of the bus stops are dirty with trash, cigarette butts and graffiti. And often the bus bench is unusable because a non-bus rider is using the bench as a bed, forcing seniors and disabled to stand or walk to another stop. I suspect this is one reason people won't ride the bus. Nothing turns off riders like a dirty, unusable bus stop. So, clean 'em up.

Ann Ruby

Military blood donors can go to Tripler

During this holiday season of thanks and giving, we want to make sure the community knows how they can give the gift of life and assist soldiers and Marines deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan and their families by donating blood at Tripler Army Medical Center's Blood Donor Center.

Tripler's Blood Donor Center may only draw blood from Department of Defense-associated people, which includes military retirees, their families and DoD employees in Hawaii. Go to www.tamc.amedd.army.mil to see if you are eligible.

We have had more than 260 soldiers and Marines return wounded or injured to Hawaii from Iraq and Afghanistan so far this year. We are the only donor center that supports service members and their families. We ship blood donated here to Iraq and Afghanistan to support our troops. In addition, we provide blood to those in need at Tripler.

If you are willing and eligible to donate, the Donor Center is located on the second floor at Tripler, and is open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays.

Do your part to support our troops. Blood donors do make a real difference. Save a life -- donate today.

Margaret Tippy
Public Affairs officer
Tripler Army Medical Center



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