Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lingle denied schools funding

In her State of the State address, Gov. Linda Lingle, who ran as the education governor, spoke with forked tongue.

“;And I enter this final year more convinced than ever that continuing the status quo structure of our public school system will never produce more than mediocre results.”;

I believe the status quo of furloughing schools and not releasing education funds in order to balance the budget will never produce more than mediocre results.

When Lingle had a $600 million surplus, she refused to release the $200 million the Legislature allocated for education. The result at my school was kids being rained on, in the class, during the state assessment tests. A piece of the ceiling even fell and almost hit a child. During the past seven years, we have not seen a reduction in the $400 million in school repair and maintenance. Lingle took the federal stimulus funds that were supposed to supplement education in Hawaii and supplanted them to balance the budget.

She stripped the funds - then complains of the results.


Justin Hughey

Lahaina teacher





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Iolani Palace welcomes help

While listening to Gov. Linda Lingle's final State of the State address, two initiatives struck me as brilliant and resourceful: expanding the SEE Hawaii Work program and allowing workers on unemployment to volunteer their time at a nonprofit entity.

As a private organization, The Friends of Iolani Palace has relied on government support in the past to help meet expenses. Given the recent cutbacks in state funding, The Friends now relies much more on revenues generated from palace tours and sales in our gift shops. However, it is very expensive to bring on new staff to meet the demands of expanding public hours.

The Friends depends heavily on volunteers from all sectors of the community, and some of these have turned into great employees. We also participate in the SEE program and do our small part in providing job opportunities to those on welfare.

These two initiatives announced by the governor will significantly assist us in recruiting potential new employees without increasing our payroll expense. This is indeed welcome news as the demand for palace tours continues to grow.


Kippen de Alba Chu

Executive director, Iolani Palace


HB 444 is threat to our children

Here is a compelling reason House Bill 444 should not be passed: It will ultimately harm our children.

In order to be in compliance with the new definitions of morality contained in HB 444, Hawaii's Department of Education and Board of Health would be compelled to force upon our children programs and curricula teaching perverted sexual views and practices.

HB 444 would lead to further radicalization of the sex-education curricula in public schools, force-feeding children with immoral, dishonest and extremely harmful disinformation. Parents already offended by the current school sex-ed programs recently uncovered at Moanalua Elementary School, Kalani High School and Kahuku High School would have to contend with even more objectionable sex-ed programs if HB 444 were to pass into law.


Jim Mitchell



Extend rights to all people

The passing of the Hawaii Civil Unions Bill would affect my life tremendously. I am currently considering relocating to Canada to be with my same-sex partner so that we can experience the same legal rights as straight couples. With the lack of the rights that so many straight couples take for granted, I am unable to plan for a stable future for myself and my family.

I urge lawmakers to reflect on the many ways that their lives are made more secure by marriage and to have the compassion to support the extension of those rights to all people.


Janna Young



Crosswalks don't guarantee safety

The Jan. 13 article, “;Pedestrian killed crossing Pali,”; states that an 81-year-old victim was in a crosswalk when she was struck. Well, whose fault is it: the driver or the pedestrian?

I say it's both. Yes, I know that pedestrians have the right of way but they need to look both ways before they cross the street. Like, come on, they teach you this in preschool. There are plenty of people who just cross the street without looking because they're on their cell phones.

To you drivers out there, keep your eyes open and watch the road. Even though it's illegal, there's a sufficient amount of you who still use your phones while driving. Don't do it.

Finally, to you seniors citizens, be careful while crossing the street.

Hawaii is ranked fifth among the top states in pedestrian fatalities. The state needs to fix this issue. One way would be to add more crosswalks with lights, because they don't protect people from getting hit by a car. People need to get off their cell phones and watch what where they are going.


Kristi Chang (15)



Akaka Bill won't help Hawaiians

Why have we native Hawaiians allowed another culture (American) to determine our self determination? We keep allowing the thieves into our house, only to be told by the thieves, “;Let's vote to decide if we (the thieves) will be allowed to stay.”;

The way a lot of people look at the Akaka Bill, native Hawaiians are being told if we do vote for it, we're racists — and if we don't vote for it, then, “;You had your chance.”; This bill is a total sham. We'll get nothing but another layer of American government to deal with, and it'll end up like the Office of Hawaiian Affairs: supposedly for the people but answerable to the U.S. government.


William Kalamakuaikalani DeBolt



Lingle's caution on rail is wise

Honolulu mayoral hopeful Kurt Caldwell has accused Gov. Linda Lingle of playing politics regarding her tardy involvement in Honolulu's rail system — the biggest public works project in the city's history. Certainly possible, but there is no apparent political upside for her. So why is Lingle getting involved now?

My bet is that Lingle has looked carefully at the costs and observed the obvious, namely that Mayor Mufi Hannemann's system will require huge tax increases to subsidize a project whose proponents admit will not cut traffic on the H-1 corridor but might destroy bus service islandwide. Lingle may be doing what we hope all elected officials will do in office, namely make wise decisions for everyone rather than pander to special-interest groups.


Michael P. Rethman