Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Friday, October 02, 2009

Keiki must be top spending priority

Although the focus of discussion surrounding the current economic crisis is centered in Washington, D.C., it is those who live outside the Beltway who are truly feeling the effects. The majority of states are facing unprecedented budget cuts that will have great impact on their youngest citizens.

Past recessions suggest that children's programs will be disproportionately hurt by this economic downturn. Needed programs are already being cut, i.e., Healthy Start. What will this mean for the approximately 27,600 children in Hawaii who live in poverty? The 14,000 children who lack health insurance? The 2,700 kids who are reported abused or neglected?

“;Step Up for Kids”; is a national weeklong campaign, Sunday to next Friday, sponsored by the Every Child Matters Education Fund and co-sponsored by more than 50 agencies in Hawaii, to show widespread public support for a shift in spending priorities toward children and families. At Children and Youth Day, Sunday at the state Capitol, we will urge the state administration, congressional delegation, state legislators and local officials to make our keiki a top priority. They need to shift the spending priorities in the direction of our most vulnerable citizens and our most valuable resource, our keiki.


Debbie Shimizu

Executive director, National Association of Social Workers, Hawaii Chapter


Restore beach at Natatorium area

When I was a kid, we swam in the Natatorium and received a life-saving badge for the Boy Scouts there. The Natatorium has been left to decay, and in today's economy the best thing to do is take some good photos of the entry, place them in state buildings and the Academy of Arts and return the area to the beach.


Fritz M. Amtsberg



Give Natatorium to Aquarium

It is my burning wish that Mayor Mufi Hannemann resolve the multimillion-dollar restore-or-raze problem of the crumbling, unsafe Waikiki Natatorium by turning it over to the Waikiki Aquarium — after safety issues are resolved.

More Waikiki reef life exhibits could be put there and the pool could be used for monk seals and dolphins to playfully cavort there — to the delight of tourists!

I might add that I almost drowned in the Waikiki Natatorium enclosed pool in the late 1950s, were it not for the valiant rescue of me by my high school classmate George Gooman. He got me on my inner tube and then out of that darn dark, scary pool.


Franklin Kam



Bicyclists must obey laws, too

I read with interest and sympathy the article on John Henderson and his accident with a tour bus (”;Bicyclist keeps spirit high after paralyzing accident,”; Star-Bulletin, Sept. 27).

However, I cannot support the bill requiring vehicles to stay 3 feet away from bicyclists.

Living in Hawaii Kai, on any day I find myself behind what appears to be a bicycle club or clubs numbering from five to 15 bicyclists traveling on Lunalilo Home Road, Keahole Street and Hawaii Kai Drive. The problem is that in cases to numerous to count, these club members are riding not in single file, but two to three abreast. I've observed them closely to see if the reason for this is one bicyclist passing another, but that is not the case.

I've also noticed they appear to believe that traffic regulations are only for motorized vehicles, not bicycles, i.e., running red lights, etc. Until such time that bicyclists learn to act responsibly by obeying the law, and extend some courtesy to the motoring public, this will remain a problem and possibly an accident waiting to happen.


John Shupe

Hawaii Kai


Bureaucracy not serving schools

The purpose of our schools is to educate our children. For that we need teachers. Bureaucracy has reached critical mass in this state when the students and teachers are essentially locked out of the schools while the support staff continue to work in empty buildings. Is this some kind of extension of the “;Peter Principle”;?


Edward H Lewis





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