Gays in military
MIXON WAS WRONG TO SPEAK HIS MIND
Army Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon's speaking out about the "don't ask, don't tell" policy after commanders were specifically ordered not to do so is rank insubordination. The Army had given officers "very specific direction" in written form following Defense Secretary Gates' announcement of his intent to seek the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" law.
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said, "I think as a three-star leader in command, by virtue of just that position alone he has great influence and all of us in uniform are obliged to certainly follow the direction of leadership, right up to the president."
Mullen added: "There's an expectation that you would comply with that. And in the end, if there is either policy direction that someone in uniform disagrees withand you feel so strongly about it, the answer is not advocacy; it is, in fact, to vote with your feet. And that's what all of us in a position of leadership, I think, have to conform to."
My sentiments as well.Capt. T.j. Davies Jr. (ret.)
NO MONEY RECEIVED FOR MEALS NOT SERVED
Reader Scott Belford asked what the Department of Education is doing with federal funds the DOE receives for meals for eligible students on furlough Fridays. ("Where's the money for meals going?" Letters, April 3).
The answer: The DOE does not receive federal funds for meals on furlough Fridays. The feds only reimburse the DOE for meals actually served. No students on furlough Fridays means no meals are served on those days. There are no federal reimbursements for meals not served.Randolph G. Moore
Assistant superintendent, Office of School Facilities and Support Services
STUDENT SEES BENEFIT OF FEWER SCHOOL DAYS
Today, in the war on furloughs, everyone is forced to take a side.
As a student, I am for furloughs. Yes, I understand people think they detract from education, but I felt I have never learned better.
All I see the general population doing is criticizing a solution from which they are not reaping benefits. The furloughs give us an extra day to allow our minds to digest what we have learned.
Also, it allows us to keep a full lineup of teachers, which allows us to keep classroom sizes down. Without furloughs, we would be forced to terminate teacher employment and have classrooms with anywhere from 35 to 60 kids (and possibly more).
If that were to happen, teachers would be swamped with work and classroom management issues, and would have little time to assist individuals in need.
What is my proposal? Stop complaining about the furloughs. If you believe your child is being deprived, continue educating them at home; there's no reason you should be inept. Furloughs are an effective solution to our deficit.Rovanna Kuhns
Senior, 'Aiea High School
CONTENT OF LOCAL TV NEWS IS DIMINISHING
Chris Archer tried to take David Shapiro to task for Shapiro's criticism of the loss of serious reporting and diminishing content of local TV news. Archer's ham-handed "stuck in the past" comments only reinforced the validity of Shapiro's point.
Archer wrote with pride of "promising ideas" in order to rebut criticism of deteriorating TV news reporting and content. Among those "ideas": the merger of local television newsrooms, the social media explosion and the promised online (paid) Peer News subscription to which Archer's stations will presumably subscribe.
If Archer, as a news director, can't recognize that none of these three items have anything to do with the quality of his TV station news coverage or the content that station news reporters are supposed to generate, I grieve for people who watch his news programs.Wayne Carlson
OFFER SANDWICHES ONLY TO SAVE MONEY
The recent article on school lunches caught my eye ("Need growing rapidly for subsidized school lunches," March 28).
The increasing number of schoolchildren qualifying for free or subsidized lunches is startling, and a little bit scary. Considering our rising unemployment rates and the slumping economy, we can easily imagine that soon the need for free lunches will outstrip available funding.
I have a suggestion. Hot food is not more nutritious than cold food, although it may, indeed, be more palatable. A varied menu is also a luxury we cannot afford. The most important consideration is that kids not go hungry.
Igrew up during the Depression. From grammar school through high school, I carried a bag lunch to school, consisting of a sandwich and some raw fruits and vegetables. I continued the practice during college and graduate years. Not once did I feel deprived or go hungry.
I believe the U.S. government is still warehousing cheese. Schools could employ untrained workers to build ham and cheese sandwiches, and to wash and slice celery and carrots. A small carton of milk and a piece of fruit would be sufficient.
I'm now 90 years old, and obviously, my cold lunches did me no harm.Roxie Berlin
STOP THE SPEEDING
ACCIDENTS COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED
Well, unfortunately, it finally happened. After years of watching speeders race up and down Wana'ao Road in Kailua, someone has died in an accident. Was it predictable? Yes. Was it preventable? Yes. This was one of three serious accidents in the past three weeks in the same exact location in the middle of this long, straight road, and the fourth since the road was recently repaved. Each time speeding was a factor.
It has been disheartening for me and my neighbors over the past years to consistently see both old and young people being lifted into ambulances, some suffering permanent injuries, and now a fatality. Why does this continue to happen, and who is to blame?
Tragically, there are simple and inexpensive solutions available for the problem; if only we had some elected officials with the interest and fortitude to do the right thing.
Efforts to slow traffic to speeds that are safe for residential streets must increase, lest we only continue to grieve for the folks as they are loaded into the ambulance or lowered into the ground.Chuck Prentiss
Chair, Kailua Neighborhood Board