Letters to the Editor
DUKE BAINUM HAS BEEN DEDICATED TO HAWAI'I
In response to the Aug. 6 letter "Bainum has not shown dedication to Hawai'i:"
I have had the opportunity to work with Dr. Duke Bainum in both his role as physician and as a community leader.
For several years scheduling 24-hour shifts of emergency room coverage for the Sex Abuse Treatment Center, I was simply instructed, "Plug me in wherever you need me." This was most often weekend and holiday shifts that no other physician would take.
It was Dr. Bainum who was on call at the busiest times for those in our community with the most desperate needs. Follow-up inservice training, keeping up with technology and procedures, he spent his lunch break with us at our meetings every month. He stood witness in court trials when called upon, to help keep our community safe.
As a community organizer in Honolulu, I again had the opportunity to cross paths with Councilman Bainum. His door was always open. With his full support behind our issues of public safety, health and senior services, job creation, housing and homelessness, he was present at meetings, hearings and council votes on these issues.
The shameless, unfair "swift-boating" techniques his family fell prey to in his bid for mayor, were a sad display of "politics-as-usual" for Honolulu and Hawai'i.
My only regret is that I do not live in the Waikiki district to vote for him this round, based on his humble respect and dedication in service to the people of Hawai'i.Jeri Lynn Endo
TIME FOR OFFICIALS TO SAY NO TO DEVELOPMENT
Kurt Lemon's letter on Aug. 4 was the first to address the real issue surrounding the rail debate. The elephant in the room is the thousands of homes and people that do not yet exist on O'ahu.
With the existing numbers we can alleviate traffic from the 'Ewa area by changing our behavior. People can take TheBus, TheBoat or carpool.
Employers can offer flex time and encourage more people to work from home. When people are motivated, they will change their behavior.
As Mr. Lemon mentioned, rail will exacerbate the problem of overdevelopment on O'ahu. It is time for elected officials to represent the current residents of O'ahu and put a halt to future residential development on our island.
More houses will continue to erode the quality of life for all of us.
Supporting rail is not the hard stand for our elected officials. Saying no to the developers is the hard stand. It is time for our elected officials to take that stand.Kathleen Thomas
PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS HAVE TO FACE REALITY
How dare the Hawaii State Teachers Association compare being subjected to random drug testing with the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.
People in the private sector have been taking drug tests for years, and if employees did not like it they were free to seek employment elsewhere.
Unfortunately for HSTA members, there is nowhere else where workers possess such a sense of entitlement that they think they are somehow exempt from something required for everyone else.
It is time for these union members to face reality.Shannon Brown
ZIPPY'S CAN DRUG-TEST, WHY CAN'T HSTA?
The HSTA says it can't find a constitutionally acceptable means to implement random drug testing for Hawai'i's teachers.
Yet every Zippy's restaurant proudly displays signs stating their employees are drug free and subject to drug testing.
So we should feel comfortable knowing that the person cooking our chili is not under the influence of an illegal drug, while the same cannot be said of the teacher responsible for the education of our most cherished national asset, our children?
We all know about Hawai'i's drug problem, so it's important to ensure this problem doesn't invade our critical institutions, like the education department.
Didn't the HSTA sign a contract requiring random drug testing and accepting pay increases? If they won't comply with testing, why shouldn't the pay raises be rescinded?
Contracts mean you're legally bound to oblige by the agreement. Why is it so hard for the HSTA to find a legally acceptable way to do the drug testing when there are thousands of groups around the nation who already submit to random drug testing (e.g., the military and certain city, state and federal workers, commercial drivers, private corporations, etc.)?
Zippy's has found a way to conduct random drug tests, considers it important enough to their business and has implemented it — but the HSTA is still having problems. Hmmm — maybe the HSTA leadership should be replaced by obviously more intelligent management personnel from the restaurant chain.Gary Stark
TEACHERS SETTING POOR EXAMPLE FOR STUDENTS
HSTA and the teachers agreed to random drug testing in their new contract in June 2007. What don't they understand about what "random drug testing" means?
HSTA has already given the excuses — drug testing is unconstitutional and it costs too much. HSTA also wants to test only suspicious teachers who have prior drug or drunk-driving convictions. Now the new proposal is to only test teachers who hold a CDL (commercial driver's license). But the state has been drug testing CDL holders since 1995. It is just another excuse and should not be tolerated.
Teachers have such high expectations for their students to do the right thing, have integrity and be good citizens.
But they keep thinking of excuses on why they can't honor their contract. They are setting a poor example for their students. Do the right thing and set a good example.
HSTA, quit whining and thinking of excuse after excuse, and implement random drug testing already!Matthew Molnar
A FOND ALOHA, MAHALO FOR MILDRED HONG
Mildred Hong, a legendary member of the city's Budget Department, passed away last month. She worked with four mayors and more than a half- dozen budget directors.
Although I was older, she was like a mother hen to me and all of the staff — her "boys and girls."
But "Millie," as she was affectionately called, had a temper. Those who dared to criticize her boys and girls were called "idiots-imbeciles," and it was uttered in a way so like a mother hen protecting her chicks.
I know I am a better person today due to the many "wise words" I was the recipient of during our 24-plus years of friendship.
I write this letter to remind all who knew Millie to take a moment to say, "Thank you and aloha, Millie."Walter Chung
NAPOLEON COMMENT COMING TRUE IN CHINA
The Olympic torch's run on the ancient Great Wall of China has deep historical meaning.
More than 200 years ago, Napoleon warned Europe that China was a sleeping dragon and it was wise to let her sleep. For if awakened, her roar would shake the earth.
The giant is ready to wake up and roar.
As a Chinese who grew up in Shanghai and now lives in Hawai'i, I am deeply proud of such a world-class sports event in my homeland.
I hope China will continue to prosper, so my families in China will live a much better life.Jing Ye
'LEGACY OF ASHES'
BOOK A MUST-READ IF YOU CARE ABOUT U.S.
I couldn't keep my eyes from rolling when I read that the CIA denies faking an Iraqi intelligence document linking Saddam Hussein with the 9/11 bombers.
In his book, "Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA," author Tim Weiner provides well-documented evidence that this is just the kind of deception the CIA regularly practices — even against the American people.
Every president since Eisenhower has used CIA disinformation to justify wars and destabilize governments. Scary!
Weiner's book is a "must read" for anyone concerned about where our country is headed.J.B. Young