POSTED: 12:30 a.m. HST, Mar 13, 2011
Brickwood Galuteria's explanation of Senate Bill 671 is, in my opinion, pure unadulterated shibai ("Proposed ethics legislation truly was just a starting point for discussion," Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, March 9).
When he characterizes it as "a starting point for discussion," I think what he really means is, "Let's put up a trial balloon and see how much we can get away with."
Our legislators are well compensated. They don't need to have their hands out for freebies and gifts from the people and institutions they are supposed to be serving. If they are really interested in finding out about an organization, they can go to its website, make inquiries and do research. They'll find out much more that way than attending a free banquet.
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The irresponsible spending of our state government is mind-boggling.
We were taught as kids that money doesn't grow on trees, so watch your expenditures and don't overextend yourself. If one fails to heed that advice in the real world, bankruptcy follows, or jail time when you get busted stealing.
Government has created its own reality where a money tree is harvested as needed. When government overextends, there's no serious attempt made to scale back expenditures or eliminate waste and fraud. Why should it when it can simply raise taxes and fees and continue spending as if the money tree will forever bloom?
As long as voters reflexively support candidates based on name recognition or party affiliation, politicians will remain insulated from reality and we taxpayers will continue to be used as their personal money tree.
Liliuokalani Elementary School must be kept intact as a school and not made into elderly housing or used for state Department of Education staff offices.
This was not the intent of the last reigning monarch for whom the school is named and was dedicated back in 1912.
Being part native Hawaiian, I view using the school for other than the queen's intended use as sacrilegious and no different than desecrating a heiau or burial site.
If the state wants to close the school because of budget reasons, then I truly believe that Kamehameha Schools should seriously consider purchasing it to preserve the history and continue the legacy of the queen and operate the school as a school for the early education of keiki.
In November 1956, we encouraged the Hungarians to revolt and did nothing when Soviet tanks slaughtered civilians. In March 1991, we encouraged the unarmed Shia to rise up against Saddam Hussein and did nothing when genocide commenced. In March 2011, the current administration talks tough and encourages the Libyans, then lets the people struggling for freedom get slaughtered.
Last Saturday, a new eruption from a 1 1/2 -mile-long fissure on Kilauea began, increasing the sulfur dioxide amount spewing into our atmosphere to 10,000 tons a day. Luckily, the tradewinds were blowing. But what happens when they don't blow? Remember the days we couldn't even see Lanai?
On the days when the winds come from the south, many of us are deeply affected. Evidently the emergency rooms and urgent care units have been very busy trying to help people. And it's been worse on the Big Island, where even crops have been destroyed by the vog.
It's amazing to me that everyone in Hawaii isn't talking about this, with contingency plans being developed on all the islands for the non-tradewind days.
This probably won't go away anytime soon.
The letter suggesting that the homeless should not be placed on Sand Island because of the airplane noise and the sewage fumes is hilarious ("Put 'bark park' at Sand Island," Star-Advertiser, Letters, March 9).
Let them stay on the sidewalks of busy roads, bus stops, secluded beaches, drug parks or your front yard. Then suggest that it would be a excellent place for a dog park.
We are all part of the human race. I still believe that human beings are higher on the evolutionary tree. Don't get me wrong: I love animals, but I know human beings are little more important. Let's try to focus and get our priorities straight.
David Shapiro incorrectly assumed that because Gov. Neil Abercrombie was overwhelmingly elected that people were making their opinion on same-sex marriage or civil unions known ("Hawaii showed preference for civil unions at ballot box," Star-Advertiser, Volcanic Ash, March 2). Abercrombie may have made it clear that he would sign it if it came across his desk but there were many other campaign issues that influenced the vote.
Shaprio mentioned the Oshiro/Okino race but not the Gabbard/Golojuch race. Why? He made the point that people were obviously OK with civil unions or they wouldn't have re-elected Oshiro. Oshiro won by about 600 votes. The Golojuches are the most recognized faces in support of same-sex marriage in Hawaii. Mike Gabbard won by more than 70 percent of the vote. Isn't this indicative of how the people in that district feel about this issue? Shapiro should be fair.
Last, Shapiro made it sound like the 10,000 to 15,000 people who showed up at the Capitol rally last year have what ... moved away? Changed their values? Given up? No. Gabbard was right in saying that Hawaii politicians have shown that they just don't care about the views and values of the majority of Hawaii's residents.