For Friday, June 25, 2010
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 25, 2010
LAST UPDATED: 1:45 a.m. HST, Jun 25, 2010
Anyone who has hiked the trails of our beloved Hawaiian Islands has seen the pervasive invasion of the monoculture of strawberry guava. Oahu bears the most atrocious scarring.
This Twilight Zone plant has a nightmarish ability to survive. It is shade- and heavy litter fall-tolerant, has allelopathic qualities that inhibit the growth of other plant species, carries clonal regenerative properties and is a prolific fruiter, bearing a multitude of seeds to further the onslaught. It decimates native Hawaiian plants.
We want to thank Gov. Linda Lingle for putting House Bill 1212 on her potential vetoes list.
HB 1212 is a bad bill. It disallows the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs from disclosing to the public complaints against a licensed business, or most professionals, except for complaints resolved against that person.
We do not understand why the Legislature would approve this bill, which would be obviously anti-consumer legislation.
We urge Gov. Lingle to veto this bill, which clearly violates the public's right to know.
According to the Constitution, President Barack Obama is commander-in-chief and General Stanley McChrystal serves at his pleasure. Obama is the elected official (in consultation with Congress) charged with formulating policy in Afghanistan. McChrystal's job is to carry out that policy, and, if he doesn't agree, to resign, not to criticize the president in public.
His attempt to do an end-run around the White House and undermine Obama amounts not only to insubordination but also is a threat to our democracy.
But Obama is to blame as well. By escalating U.S. support of a corrupt, unpopular Afghan government, in what is an unwinnable war, the president has set himself up for attacks from hawks like McChrystal.
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Homelessness is one of the major problems facing the state. On June 2, a conference was held to deal with this problem. Three hours were spent discussing how the situation was worsening because of the influx of homeless persons from the mainland and Micronesia. Under state Rep. John Mizuno's leadership, the meeting then concluded with no recommendations for improving things.
With the clear lack of leadership at the state level, it seems that implementing any program, however small, would be helpful.
Hawaiians are overrepresented among the homeless. It would be reasonable to establish a temporary tent city for Hawaiians on some Hawaiian Homelands property, where people could live within the law, develop a community, share cultural values and have a center for education and social services.
Any start would be a good one.
What a surprise: The three Army officers in charge of the battle at Wanat, Afghanistan, are found not guilty ("Army overrules rebuke of officers," Star-Advertiser, June 24). This is just another example of how, in the Army, no one is ever held accountable for anything. Not for money, not for equipment and now, not even for the lives of brave young American soldiers. Unbelievable and sickening.
David Chappell ("Djou supports party of the rich," Letters, June 22) states that "Lowering taxes on the rich does not create jobs."
Will raising taxes on the rich create jobs? How many jobs do companies and individuals who make less the $250,000 create?
Physical activity is an absolute must for children in order to build healthy minds and bodies and avoid the scourge of obesity. That's why I'm discouraged to learn that Hawaii is not meeting key physical education recommendations as mentioned in the 2010 Shape of the Nation Report.
The American Heart Association and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education recommend at least 150 minutes a week of instructional physical education for elementary school students and 225 minutes a week for middle and high school students for the entire school year.
Research also links quality physical education to better academic performance. This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed a large body of evidence linking physical education and school-based physical activity with academic performance, including cognitive skills and attitudes, academic behaviors and academic achievement. Overall, a fit kid is a smarter kid.
I urge policymakers, lawmakers, parents and others who care about the health of our young people to support initiatives to improve physical education in our communities. For the complete report, visit www.naspeinfo.org/shapeofthenation.