PUBLIC FACILITIES NEED AUTONOMY
Finally we have some legislative progress toward funding effective education in the state of Hawai'i. The House has passed a budget bill that restores a portion of the money taken from our most cost-effective educational institutions, Hawai'i's state public libraries.
A recent Advertiser article pointed out that the Department of Education spent almost $23 million alone on hiring about seven private consultants. This figure represents nearly the entire budget for the state library system, which operates 51 libraries.
While the Department of Education has been struggling to educate our kids at a price of around $2 billion dollars a year, costing each resident over $1,500 a year, and averaging approximately $11,000 per student, the library system has managed to serve the entire population at a cost of just around $25 per person.
This may the best time to allow the library system the autonomy to further excel and separate from the ongoing difficulties and inefficiencies being experienced in the DOE. Moving libraries away from the purview of the Board of Education could allow the board to focus on the task of improving the schools and educating students.
It is time that decision-makers recognize a great investment in education and reward institutions that produce results that we can be proud of.
shelly r. brown | President, Librarians Association of Hawaii
DISPENSARIES ARE NEEDED FOR PATIENTS
Please support SB 2213 Compassion Centers. It is of great urgency that medical marijuana patients in this state have safe and legal access to their medicine when they need it, without having to depend on gardening it themselves or having a single caregiver do it and risk violent theft in the act.
Dispensaries are necessary because people who are sick and dying are in desperate need of a safe, legal, and reliable source of their medicine. Medical patients should not be forced to go to street drug pushers to secure a legal medicine for themselves.
This bill will only ensure that this medicine stays as medicine in the hands of those who need it and are legally allowed to possess it, rather than supporting and furthering criminal enterprises within the state by forcing legal patients to go to the black market for their medicine.
We are not California and Hawai'i acts nothing like California. To say the same thing that happened in Los Angeles will happen anywhere in Hawai'i is forgetting our spirit of mälama.
chris werner | Ocean View, Big Island
DUDLEY'S SOLUTION IS JUST COMMON SENSE
Kioni Dudley deserves tremendous applause for his commentary suggesting that the light rail be on the route of the old Oahu Railway train from Kapolei to the stadium. ("As planned, rail will kill Waipahu," March 4).
Imagine the savings since the land is owned by the government. This sounds like common-sense logic.
Take this one step further and use the savings to extend the route on the railroad right-of-way along the Wai'anae Coast with a terminus in Mäkaha, which would create jobs for folks in this neighborhood right in their own backyard. This would give these commuters an efficient and timely way to get to their jobs in central O'ahu and to Waikíkí.
Can you imagine 50 percent fewer cars coming out of Wai'anae that currently add to the congestion on the H-1?
Bob Schieve | Hale'iwa
GAYS IN MILITARY
HOMOSEXUALS SERVE COUNTRY PROUDLY
Our brave servicemen and women need better than the attitude expressed by Robert Holub (Letters, March 9).
They (gay people) are everywhere in the military, somewhat like in the ranks of politicians; some hidden until circumstance unveils their personal identity.
They serve this country well and proudly and are just as patriotic as Mr. Holub.
It is time people grew up and stopped worrying about whether anyone around them in the service may be gay.
At its core, Mr. Holub's attitude is no different than that of the people we are fighting overseas who want to destroy this country.
You, Mr. Holub, and people with your point of view, do a great disservice to this country. You mar its reputation and stand against everything this country was founded on.
Reread your Constitution and change the Uniform Code of Military Justice to ensure equality. Prove to the world that discrimination is almost dead in our great land.
David Moskowitz | Honolulu
SEEKING SOLUTIONS? ASK FOLKS WHO KNOW
Almost every day that I look at the newspaper, there are letters representing one side or another of the homeless problem. One side I haven't seen, however, is the perspective of the homeless themselves.
These people are not animals to be herded off somewhere or garbage to be swept under the rug. Nor do they need well-meaning but naive people to speak for them.
A solution is necessary, but perhaps part of that solution needs to come from the homeless themselves, and not from folks who have never walked in their torn-up slippers.
rue burch | Mo'ili'ili
SPEEDING DRIVERS NEED TO SLOW DOWN
Last week on Monday, I was crossing Kílauea Avenue about 6:40 a.m. to catch the bus on Malia Street. Before beginning to cross the street, I looked in both directions and didn't see any vehicles approaching.
There was a light shower falling so I was carrying an umbrella. I was three-fourths of the way across the four-lane street in the marked pedestrian crosswalk. Without warning, an SUV sped past in front of me. I was so startled that I didn't have time to react. Otherwise, I would have swung a punch at the rear door as the vehicle went past. It was that close.
If that driver is reading this, I want you to know that I think you're an idiot. You were willing to risk hitting a pedestrian because your child could have missed the bus that was up the street and about ready to leave. You violated at least two traffic laws — speeding in a school zone and failing to stop for a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk.
I ask the police: What else can pedestrians do even after taking all precautions?
I do have one suggestion. Have a police cruiser parked near the bus stop on Malia Street, with a blue light on. The bus is usually waiting near the park restrooms to pick up students being dropped off by their parents between 6:10 and 6:40. The traffic is heavy at that time and drivers need to be more careful.
M.S. Masuda | Honolulu