TERRORIST DID MEET WITH SOME SUCCESS
Many people say it was lucky that the Nigerian terrorist failed in his attempt to blow up a passenger jet.
No, no, no, he may have failed (perhaps on purpose) to ignite his ingredients, but look at what he accomplished.
He got all security working overtime, at great expense; he got the TSA to implement more screening for travelers; got them to use a virtual naked imaging machine on travelers; got 14 nations to adopt new and more intrusive rules and regulations on everyone; disrupted our economy and got the airports and airlines to add billions of dollars more for security, including the possibility of profiling.
He is responsible for closing down of British and U.S. embassies in Yemen, sending our homeland security officials to dozens of countries, disrupting the president on his vacation, getting the news media obsessed with him.
To say he failed is a failure to understand how successful he really was.
KEN CHANG | Kāneohe
LET'S SEIZE SENSIBLE OPPORTUNITY: LIBRARY
Let's not dilute the impact of our most famous son by naming every plot of land or beach for him. We should focus and pursue a real naming opportunity — The Barack Obama Presidential Library at the University of Hawaii.
Hawaii is unique from the other suitor in the chase, Chicago, in that Obama's experiences in Hawaii were early and personally formative — the lessons of childhood. They parallel the lives and experiences of many in Hawaii (and few in Chicago). Obama is a child of Hawaii and deeply linked to the community through his mother, his sister, his grandparents, and his school. A presidential library/center would be a fitting reflection of his personal and emotional ties to his island home.
Put politics aside and create a grassroots, neighbor-to-neighbor, community based campaign to raise the money. We have the local tech talent to use the Internet as successfully as Barack Obama did for his own campaign — raising money from friends near and far. The presidential library would be a win-win for the university, tourism, our culture, and our economy. Collaboration and forward movement is needed. The University of Chicago thinks the library is theirs for the taking. It's time for the 50th state to make a move. Let's show what a force we are.
CINDY TURSE | Kailua
SCHOOLS CHIEF RAISED THE BAR FOR SCHOOLS
The Charter School Review Panel extends every best wish to Pat Hamamoto on her retirement as schools superintendent.
Pat's strong advocacy for children, whether in public school or public charter school, and her tireless efforts to raise the educational bar in Hawaii are hallmarks of her distinguished career.
Pat's spirit of collaboration and her grace under pressure have been truly appreciated by the panel, and it has been a pleasure to work with her.
Mahalo nui loa, Pat.
RUTH TSCHUMY | Vice-chair, state of Hawaii Charter School Review Panel
ALVIN PARKER | Chair, state of Hawaii Charter School Review Panel
DAUGHTERS THRIVE IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS
I want to thank Patricia Hamamoto for her years of service as the superintendent of education and congratulate Kathy Matayoshi as the acting superintendent.
I am proud to say the public education system in Hawaii is working. My children are thriving academically. My daughter Jana attends Konawaena Elementary school and she loves her teacher Mrs. Ogi and is a top reader. My other daughter, Colette, just graduated from Konawaena High in June 2009 in the top 10 percent of her class and found out last Saturday that she received all A's in her first semester in college in California.
Pat always responded to my e-mails and she is a wonderful role model. I've known Kathy for more than 25 years and she is someone I look up to. As the former chair of the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, I am proud of the success of these two women leaders in Hawaii and extend my mahalo for their service to the keiki in Hawaii.
MARGARET MASUNAGA | Kealakekua, Hawaii
BEAST TERRORIZES OUR NEIGHBORHOODS
Chinese legend has it that a ferocious mythical monster, Nian, which means "year," once terrorized the common people. He emerged every New Year's Eve to prey on humans. People battling the monster began to realize he was afraid of noise, light and the color red, and that bamboo placed in the fire would pop and crackle as the air inside caused the stems to expand and shatter with an explosive sound. That was how firecrackers were invented.
Unfortunately, fireworks have now become the beast terrorizing the people, and our fire, police and EMS workers must now go out to battle them during the holiday season. This year, the loud explosive booms, illegal aerials and smoky ground works reached a new plateau — more complaints were received by the Hono-lulu Police Department than ever before. More letters were received by legislators in favor of a total ban than ever before. A total ban would still require tougher sanctions on those who persist in disobeying the law.
It is now the fireworks beast who must be tamed and peace must return to our celebration of the New Year. Everyone in the community has a right to enjoy a safe holiday.
REP. MARILYN LEE | District 38 (Mililani, Mililani Mauka)