Letters to the Editor
Maybe we should investigate Watada
Regarding Ellen Abrams' Feb. 1 letter: She is so right. Why is Bob Watada, campaign spending commissioner, being so unfair in his investigation of just Mayor Harris? Is it because he knows that Harris is all but a winner, and this is a huge attempt to damage his run for governor?
I have one big question I would like to have Watada answer: How many people truly know the rule of how much any one person can give?
Something is very wrong with Watada's investigations in this matter. Perhaps we would all be wise to investigate him and his henchmen for some bottom-line answers.
Stop the whining; cameras are needed
As an expatriate of Hawai'i who still comes back every year to see family, I can't believe all the whining over being monitored. It has been needed for many years.
We often will ride the bus so we don't have to put up with tourists who don't know where they are going and the locals who seem to think 45 mph means 65 mph. Did you ever think "just slow down"?
As for Sen. Bob Hogue, when did you start walking on water that you don't have to answer for "someone" driving your car almost 20 miles over the speed limit? What if that "someone" hit and killed a person or persons while driving your car? Would you still refuse to identify them? Shame on you. You and all the other officials who are being caught need to answer for your mistakes.
All of you who are belly-aching: Auwe! This wouldn't have happened if you had monitored yourself.
C. and A.L. Arnold
State must address drinking-and-driving
The headline read: "O'ahu traffic deaths on the rise." Tell us something we don't already know. Why mention it if we're not going to do anything about it?
Everyone keeps talking about speeding, but many of the fatal collisions involve alcohol, too. Why focus on speeding only? Alcohol is and always has been a major factor in many accidents. Aren't we going to do anything about that?
How many more innocent people will have to die? It's almost election time. Let's get some problem-solvers in those decision-making seats.
Changes need to be made. Problems need to be addressed. We need new leadership.
Listing the location of vans won't help
Regarding the article about the exact location of the traffic cameras in the Feb. 2 issue of your paper: Are you kidding me? Does the state think this will change the way the public feels?
Nice idea, guys; there are only 70 locations where these vans might be located every day. This narrows it down quite a bit.
If this is about safety and not money, as the state contends, I wonder how many police officers could have been hired, how much equipment could be bought, how many red lights and stop signs installed with the $14 million the state is going to give ACS.
I, as well as a majority of the public, would like to see a list of all our elected officials who either oppose or support this system. It should be very easy for The Advertiser to gather this information with two columns: those for it and those against it. My guess would be that when election time rolls around in November, we will have some big changes for those currently in office.
Oh, wait. I forgot. We live in Hawai'i, where we are all lemmings and keep putting the same people back into office time after time.
Camera operators just doing their job
Regarding George Woo's Feb. 5 letter on illegal parking on the freeway by the camera vans: I would think these vans are doing official business and are no different from a fire truck blocking a roadway extinguishing a fire.
You wouldn't challenge that, would you? And who in the world would like to eat lunch along the dusty, noisy and dangerous freeway? Not me.
Michael K. Nomura
Traffic cameras are slowing speeders
The traffic cams are a great way to deter chronic speeders who cannot obey the posted speed limits. We all know it is the nonspeeder who gets hurt in the accidents.
I also want to send out a big "Auwe!" to the citizens who flip off the operators, who are just doing their job.
Change brings about good things, and if the cameras will help slow motorists, then it's about time a change occurs.
People more concerned about traffic cameras
After almost 30 years in Hawai'i, I am disheartened by the future of public education in the state. It is disrespectful to our teachers to make them responsible for our children, pay them a minimum salary and renege on raises.
More Hawai'i residents are concerned about the state's new policy of videotaping speeding cars than they are about their kids' education. This tells me that Kimo and Malia Q. Public:
- Believe that their cars are more valuable than their children's education.
- Have lost faith that they have any power to improve public education.
It's both. We have a teacher shortage. No one in power wants to pay teachers more, but why should they come here unless they can live with relatives? They can't afford a home unless they bought it 20 years ago. And many of those who did are retiring soon.
A quality public education for all our kids will determine Hawai'i's future.
Don't discount education. Pay the full price.
Meg Barth Gammon
State charter schools aren't getting support
A better subhead for the Feb. 3 articles on the troubles facing the charter school movement in Hawai'i ("Charter schools face pitfalls: New concept not finding acceptance") would have been "New concept needs adequate support."
Contrary to statements by Department of Education officials and Board of Education members, the charter school law does not mandate that charter schools try to do the same or more for their students with less state funding. Nor does the charter school law mandate charter schools seek other funds to make ends meet, although the vast majority of charters are pursuing outside grants.
Unfortunately, while the current law reflects the Legislature's desire to promote alternative public-school models, the law does not clearly address the relationship between such schools and the DOE. It is not surprising that the DOE's support for charter schools is less than enthusiastic. We are viewed as a financial drag on its operations that takes money away from its bureaucracy and the school system it oversees.
As was noted in your article, there are numerous proposed revisions to the charter school law being introduced at the state Legislature. I hope legislators will be successful in passing one that more clearly directs a supportive relationship between the DOE and charter schools.
They also need to ensure more money is budgeted for public education and that public charter school students are actually given their equitable share in the future.
Give us a realistic chance and we will show the state how we can do more for our children with the same.
Lanikai Charter School parent
'Vagina Monologues' not just for women
Regarding Barbra Pleadwell's Feb. 1 letter about male reviewers: I have to wonder if Barbra feels that only women have a corner on caring, compassion and insight.
There are hundreds of examples of very gifted and competent men in the public eye who are quite capable of understanding and relating to "a woman thing." In fact, my marriage is stronger and I have benefited from the intimate knowledge I gained from attending the "Vagina Monologues" with myÊwife.
It is too bad that you and your woman friends did not include your husbands or significant others. The "Vagina Monologues" is clearly not just for women.
Hawaiian programs should be left alone
After reading many letters that are against native Hawaiian programs, such as Thurston Twigg-Smith's letter of Jan. 28 and Ken Conklin's letter of Jan. 31, I need to respond. It angers me that they believe they are right.
Although I am not Native Hawaiian, I recognize that there is a need for programs that Conklin and Twigg-Smith are trying to get rid of. Why do they feel the need to take away such programs? It's like a second overthrow. How much are they planning to take away, and when will they be satisfied?
It's easy to claim that programs are unfair or that certain native-recognition programs discriminate, but the history of Hawai'i cannot be erased. Because of this history, it is necessary for the government and state to do its part to protect these entitlements.
We cannot change the past, but we can fix the future. Stop trying to take these Native Hawaiian programs away.
Editorial supporting abortion is flawed
The arguments made in the Feb. 3 editorial "Parental consent plan is abortion setback" are weak at best.
You argue that parents need not be involved in their minor daughter's decision to have an abortion, and then conclude with the statement that the decision by Hawai'i Health Systems Corp. to notify parents " ... has the potential to chip at a woman's right to choose." Since when is a minor girl a woman?
You say " ... for starters, terminating a pregnancy isn't like having your appendix removed." Of course it's not. It is much more serious, at least ethically, and a teenage girl is not mature enough to make this decision on her own.
Any halfway decent parent would want to know if their minor daughter were undergoing surgery, and certainly they have the right to know. If something goes wrong during surgery and there is no parental consent, you can bet that the parents will want to sue the hospital.
Then you imply that most pregnant teens have druggie/alcoholic, abusive and even incestuous parents who will force their daughters to make decisions they won't like. Even in those cases where this is true, is it better to let them get secretive abortions and then continue life in the abusive family so it can happen again?
You should know by now that teenage girls from all types of socio-economic backgrounds become pregnant for a variety of reasons, including bad decision-making and being pressured or forced to have sex. Don't you think that parents have a right to raise their children properly and protect them?
How does allowing minors to get secretive abortions help them? You wonder why HHSC is suddenly thinking about requiring parental consent. I wonder what took them so long.
Parent, guardian rights are important
State law places the responsibility for the care and welfare of minors with their parents or court-appointed guardians. The decision of parents to accept or reject treatment or medical procedures for spiritual or religious reasons that do not threaten the life of their child is well within that lawful responsibility.
Concerns of parent misconduct and illegal activities such as incest can be addressed in the courts by getting a guardian appointed over the minor. Time-critical situations can be expedited.
The law gives the authority for a parent to tell his child "no" when the parent believes it is in the child's best interest. The real setback is when government or any other organization tries to become a "part-time" parent. In this emotionally charged issue, it is easy to lose sight of the real role of parents and guardians with respect to minors.
We as a community should support parent and guardian rights in their entirety, not subjugate or dismiss a part of those responsibilities because of disagreement on a point of view.
Cut off extra $200 for repeat victims
With all the cutbacks in the welfare system, and the state of Hawai'i being poor, I am very concerned because if you are on welfare and are a victim of spouse abuse, the state pays the victim $200 more a month.
Who pays for these women and men who are physically abused by their spouses? We the taxpayers in Hawai'i pay for it. I do not understand the system, especially when the victim presses charges and brings the abuser back into the house that very day, eventually to get beat up again and again.
Repeat victims should not be allowed to benefit from this. I feel that the $200 should be redirected into another fund for the children of the abuser and abused parents, for either counseling or mental healthcare. Hopefully someone in the Legislature can change this procedure. It's ridiculous.
Na'alehu, Big Island