WHY IS LAW AGAINST ILLEGAL ALIENS BAD?
The recent Arizona law against illegal immigrants results again in an outcry and charges of discrimination and racial profiling.
What is it that people do not understand about the word "illegal?" They insist on terms like "undocumented alien." That is like calling a bank robber an "undocumented depositor."
The crime, illegal drug, education and medical costs involved in this problem are monumental. The federal government refuses to fix the problem.
Many people favor illegals either as cheap labor or potential voters.
The cry now is for amnesty. Next we will favor amnesty for drug smugglers because there are so many of them.
Everyone should favor legal immigration. It provides many benefits both to the immigrants and our country. If you don't like the present immigration laws, then fight to change them.
In the meantime, let us obey the law and punish the criminals.Richard Saas
PROGRAM, VOLUNTEERSHELP CONTROL FELINES
Homeless cats do indeed face suffering without human care. In order to reduce cat suffering and humanely control the numbers of homeless cats, there are volunteers who follow a program of "trap-neuter-release." Neutered colonies die off from natural attrition.
Cat caretakers also are successful at finding adoptive homes for some socialized cats, further reducing their numbers.
If Ms. Paraskevi (Letters, April 21) would like to be part of the solution she can obtain detailed information from the Hawaii Cat Foundation, Hawaiian Humane Society and Oahu SPCA.Victor Weisberger
VOLUNTARY WORK ISN'T 'RIDICULOUS'
Gov. Lingle's furlough plan is not "ridiculous." There isn't a (non-union) private sector worker anywhere who has not been asked to do extra work voluntarily, be it an evening, weekend or extra shift.
Only union workers, and especially government union workers (or their lackeys, the DOE and BOE) would be shocked by the prospect. Why does a private sector worker put in unpaid time? Loyalty to their employer and the knowledge that in the long run it will be best for their customers, their co-workers and themselves.
Loyalty is obviously something the teachers' union, DOE and BOE have only for themselves. Teachers, you are better than your leaders. It is time to show it.Michael Richards
MONEY FOR TEACHERS, NOT NEW PRISON
I agree with Barbara Cook (Letters, April 26). Taking money from the Hurricane Relief Fund to pay for the furlough days would be a mistake.
Instead, the governor could take some of the $235 million she wants to spend on a new prison on Maui to pay the teachers.
In fact, using all of that money is probably enough to end furloughs for all state employees. Spending the money on educating our children might actually prevent some of them from ending up in that new prison someday.Philipp Jund
GOVERNOR-CHOSEN BOE IS BAD IDEA
If the board is to be chosen by the governor, why even have a Board of Education?
I've heard people say this is a step in the right direction; the school system is broken. We need change.
It's true we need change, but are we really considering letting the governor choose the Board of Education? This is not the change we need. Remember, doing something different does not make it better.
Letting the governor choose the BOE is a bad idea for so many reasons. When you elect someone, the governor does not have the right to remove them.
When an elected official appoints an individual with special interests, you usually have hidden agendas or close friends that were owed a favor.
Why do you think the public sector is so corrupt with inappropriate use of funds? Because friends and relatives are appointed to be there to cover you, especially when they hold high positions.
Riddle me this: if the governor is going to appoint the Board of Education, why bother? Having a BOE would merely be a farce to make people believe their opinions matter.Joseph Demarco
BOE'S TOGUCHI IS BLOCKING PROGRESS
For months, Gov. Lingle and the HSTA have been in a "who will blink first" duel.
On one hand, the governor is trying to maintain some semblance of fiscal responsibility by sticking to the tough constraints on a budget that won't stretch much further. On the other hand, Wil Okabe of the HSTA is not giving an inch, because unions "are that way."
The governor's suggestion that the teachers come back to work for free for three days at least indicates that the doors are not shut and locked. Negotiations are still open.
When the head of the Board of Education, Garrett Toguchi, blasts the gesture as "ridiculous, haphazard and reckless," it is he who is irresponsible and uncommitted to maintaining decorum and an atmosphere that would promote continued talks. The BOE is responsible for getting the kids back in school, not to take sides and belittle anyone.
Garrett Toguchi has and is continuing to show his partiality and lack of objectivity to important matters that require mediation. Now it is the BOE that is shutting and locking the doors.
Garrett Toguchi should be replaced before it's too late.Ted Kanemori
CLEAN ENERGY MUST BECOME A PRIORITY
Wholesale changes need to take place right now with energy issues in Hawai'i, but they are not happening.
Hawai'i, the most isolated land in the world with one of the most tenuous energy situations, is failing to make the transition to a sustainable, economically viable energy environment.
One of the best policy initiatives introduced this Legislative session, a Property Assessed Clean Energy bond financing bill, was murdered by narrow-minded politicians not wanting the governor's party to get credit for its implementation.
The kicker came just before conference committee when one bank not wanting the competition from PACE spoke up.
The parties have already had more than a legislative session to get this bill right. Some jurisdictions in the United States are setting up PACE programs in just a few months.
One would think that leadership in the Legislature would have long since come up with a more realistic legislative schedule conducive to actually solving problems.
But no, it hasn't happened. And as a result, Hawai'i is on a path toward abysmal failure in the changing energy and economic environment going forward.Brad Parsons