For Sunday, March 6, 2011
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Mar 6, 2011
U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka's announced retirement, while sad, was inevitable. Having had the pleasure to meet and talk to Sen. Akaka several times, I can say that he is a gracious, kind and gentle man, and a source of pride for the state of Hawaii. He represented us with dignity and thoughtfulness, never forgetting that he was our representative and not in D.C. for self-promotion and enrichment.
I know that there are many young lions slavering at the opportunity to take his place, but I am tired of seeing the same old recycled names thrown around for every office that becomes vacant.
I truly hope that a fresh face, a new candidate without entrenched loyalties and with Sen. Akaka's integrity, elegance and deep feeling of what being a Hawaiian and representing Hawaii means rises out of the maelstrom to step into his honorable shoes.
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Barbara Dittrich's letter ("Rail will attract new business," Star-Advertiser, March 2) suggests that rail is all about jobs.
The city's manipulated campaign for a steel-wheels-on-steel-rails system made this just one of the reasons why Oahu taxpayers and commuters will get an inferior system at a higher cost.
Instead of constantly trying to divert voters' attention to corollary benefits (of rail) such as new businesses, jobs and transit-oriented development, the city should have conducted a fair and open competition that would have resulted in getting the best commuting system at the best cost --on a better planned alignment that would have produced the highest ridership.
"Buyer beware" when political considerations take precedence over common (business) sense.
Dave Shapiro's column was a welcome greeting after so many years of working for social justice for our children ("Hawaii showed preference for civil unions at ballot box," Star-Advertiser, March 2). We never gave up our dream over all these years.
Unfortunately, some of our supporters and leaders died before this joyous historic event. We never gave up because of them and because we truly believe in justice. We had to keep on moving forward through the hard times and minor victories.
When Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed civil unions into law, it was a dream come true; even if our children still don't have the federal rights, it's a most joyous event — a good time for liberty and justice for all.
Instead of complaining about the noise of the helicopters, consider that the men and women in those helicopters — pilots and passengers — are training to fight in Afghanistan ("Army copters' frequent flights prompt complaints over noise," Star-Advertiser, March 3).
They are risking, and too often losing, their lives fighting for you and our country.
Listen to the sound of those motors with pride and prayer.
Victor Bakke, attorney for Dave Becker, the manager of the dog breeding facility facing charges of animal cruelty, shows that he has as much (or lack of) brains as he has heart. Any decent human being faced with such compelling evidence of animal cruelty would carefully choose his words in an attempt to defend his client.
To say that these living creatures, who feel every bit of pain the way that you and I feel, "are just breeding machines," shows his heartlessness.
Does he not know the difference between a machine and a living, breathing creature? He acknowledges that "they are filthy, but are housed, fed and bred, and that's all that's required."
I urge those shopping for a puppy to consider adopting or, at least, to check out the conditions of where they come from. Let's put unethical breeders out of business.
As the state struggles to cope with the increasing costs of supporting our school system and at the same time falls behind most states in this regard, why don't we slow down and take a look at a less complicated subject: bullying.
As everyone knows, when a person is bullied the victim is usually distracted from learning and falls behind, giving the bully more to push around. House Bill 690 would give a more detailed outline on what the schools are up against and a way to give school authorities more power against this all-too-common threat.
It would further help our schools and protect the youth.
The issue of back pay for Linda Lingle and her staff points out another inequity between public workers and private workers.
Most in the private sector do not get compensated for unused vacation time as well as unused "sick leave."
The new governor and mayor have come up with really inventive solutions to our fiscal crisis in Hawaii. Raise taxes. Yep, just raise taxes on everyone and everything and this will solve our problem.
I don't seem to recall hearing during the campaigns either one of them expressing the need for these massive tax hikes. I've lived here for 16 years and it's always "raise taxes."
Why don't we try something different, just as an experiment? Cut the size of government, cut government expenditures.
Will someone please tell me why I should get out of bed in the morning and go to work when the government is just going to take a bigger and bigger chunk out of my earnings?