For Wednesday, October 31, 2012
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Oct 31, 2012
Democrats field poor candidates
We found it very amusing that some are so concerned about the alphabetical order of candidates listed on the ballot here in Hawaii. It seems that the vast majority of voters in our state just look for the (D) and pull the lever. Rest easy Hawaii, if President Barack Obama's name was printed upside down and on the back of the ballot, he'd still win in a landslide.
What really concerns us is the sheer madness of continually voting for a particular party with feckless candidates like U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono. We, as a country, are spinning out of financial control and our representatives keep voting for more and more reckless spending.
That this newspaper supports this irresponsibility is wrong-headed and totally lacking in the oversight so sorely needed from the fourth estate ("Hirono would serve well in U.S. Senate," Star-Advertiser, Our View, Oct. 28).
Hirono never met a spending bill she didn't like. That's just great for those with their snout in the public trough. The rest of us foot the bill.
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Hirono in touch with citizens
The person who wrote, "When was the last time you heard from Mazie, on anything?" is speaking from pure ignorance (Star-Advertiser, From the Forum, Oct. 28). He needs to contact her. I do, and get as many as five e-mails a day in response.
I have never seen a politician as responsive as U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono. Even now, when she's here campaigning, I get e-mails from her office that I know she's had input into.
My experience in petitioning her often, on a wide variety of issues, is that she is 100 percent of the time on the right side of the issue, and on 90 percent of the bills, she is already a co-sponsor.
I suggest the writer grow up, read up and make an effort to take part as a citizen.
You can test for synthetic drugs
The article, "Danger in Disguise" by Rosemarie Bernardo, correctly identified the dangers associated with synthetic drugs sold under names such as K2, Spice and Bath Salts (Star-Advertiser, Oct. 21). At this time, labs are not allowed to test for synthetic drugs in workplace drug testing, but tests are available for both Bath Salts and Spice at local labs.
Currently both federal and state laws do not allow workforce testing of all Schedule 1 or 2 drugs, which include common pain killers such as Oxycontin and Hawaii's recently added synthetic cannabinoids. A recent federal ruling shows some movement, however. Employers can ask for testing for any Schedule 1 or 2 drug, case-by-case, based on reasonable suspicion, post accident or safety issues.
Diagnostic Laboratory Services, Inc.
Beaches tested for radiation
We commend any organization that works to remove trash from our island beaches. They need not cancel their efforts in fear of radioactive marine debris. The Department of Health has been testing beaches on each island for over a year and never found unusual radiation.
We have tested debris known to be from the Japan tsunami event and no radioactivity can be found above natural levels.
Our test results are the same as those from other coastal states. There is no reason to suspect that material swept out to sea before the nuclear release in Japan would be radioactive when it reaches our shores.
To provide added confirmation to beach cleanup volunteers, DOH has trained individuals from the Surfrider Foundation to use radiation meters and screen marine debris during that organization's regular debris removal efforts.
Mahalo to Surfrider and other non profits who continue to remove debris from our shores.
Deputy director, Environmental Health Administration, Department of Health
Too much spent on UH sports
Someone once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. We've experienced this so many times before with the University of Hawaii's football program, with precious few exceptions.
Step 1: Confidence of spring training.
Step 2: Media hype at the beginning of the fall practice.
Step 3: "We can't wait" as the season opener nears.
Steps 4 through 10: UH loses and loses. Then we go back to Step 1, sometimes with a new coach.
How long do we endure the same things over and over, expecting a different result?
The expense/benefit ratio for UH sports is a real consideration, especially with regard to travel expenses. These funds alone, to say nothing of the finances to fund all these programs, would be better used in boosting UH academics. That would make UH a magnet for those seeking a top-ranked education.
State should help farming
Multimillion-dollar corporations petition city and state governments for tax exemptions to build stores, factories, hotels and other businesses, stating that the people who work in these businesses will pay taxes, and the goods and services provided by them will add to the local economy.
The farmers of Hawaii want to grow and sell food. The state should consider giving the farming industry tax exemptions so that they can also contribute to the local economy.
I would very much like to buy locally grown foods. But it is difficult to find the markets because they are not open every day and some of them are not always easy to find.
So another way the city and state can help the farmers is to allow them to use city and state property, free of charge, where they can set up booths to sell their wares.
If the farmers markets were allowed to operate five or six days a week in easily accessible locations, I am sure it will have a huge impact on the local economy.
Why aren't sirens working?
What seems to be the problem with our civil defense sirens? It seems every time we have a potential disaster, many of them fail to function. Is maintaining these sirens the same as rocket science? I don't think so! Further, they are tested each month so problems should be detected then.
Now state Civil Defense wants the Honolulu Police Department to initiate the sirens, as their function is not a 24/7 manned activity. It's as though HPD doesn't have enough to do during emergencies.
State Civil Defense is a full-time function and it's Civil Defense's responsibility to keep the sirens maintained and functioning.
What if Saturday night had been a real disaster and we had loss of life? Who would then be responsible?
Roy M. Chee