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Guest Editorials

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We at the Hawaiian Humane Society are extremely disappointed about the sentencing of David Becker, who was directly responsible for managing a large commercial Waimanalo dog breeding operation.

In the United States, a woman is assaulted or beaten every nine seconds. Twenty-five percent of all women will have experienced domestic violence in their lifetime. One in six women has been sexually assaulted, and one out of 12 has been stalked.

Recent announcement of acquisition of 1,743 acres of Galbraith Estate agricultural lands by a coalition of public and private organizations is certainly an achievement that merits kudos.

Recently, some caregivers and patients of Dr. K. Albert Yazawa were given notice that Hawaii Health Systems Corp. (HHSC) was not renewing his contract as medical director of Maluhia/Leahi long-term care facilities and physician at the Maluhia Geriatric Clinic.

Building Oahu’s first urban transit system provides both the opportunity and the responsibility to do things right. While we may have missed the mark on occasion, we are increasingly working to do better, to do things with respect and by listening to Oahu’s diverse communities

Student performance continues to propel the conversation on what Americans think is wrong with our nation's public education system.

As a grandmother excited about the choices in Election Year 2012, I have recently been thinking about my own grandmother Martha, who was born in 1903. What an amazing journey we grandmothers have been on for the last century!

Hawaii would be well served if a review of laws governing burial discoveries were undertaken, as the Star-Advertiser has suggested ("Laws protecting iwi need review," Star-Advertiser, Our View, Oct. 5).

Six hours of feisty presidential and vice presidential debates made for good television. But they were nothing like the two recent televised hearings, totaling 131⁄2 hours, that were held by the Senate Special Committee on Accountability.

Developing community consensus on a preferred future is desirable if possible — for example, slower growth based on mostly high-spending visitors and other environmentally friendly industries that create more good jobs.

Over the years, Haseko's commitment to being a good neighbor has resulted in an active community stewardship program for Ewa Beach that has provided not only millions of dollars of infrastructure improvements, but also investment in area schools and financial support for numerous community organizations.

As parents or caregivers, we commit our lives to nurturing and protecting our children. But for our community to thrive, we must extend that care beyond our own children to those who have been dealt a tragic hand and who face emotional, physical or sexual abuse and/or the effects of poverty.

In the pursuit of bringing rail to our landscape, the state Legislature and city officials have failed to advance the most effective means of traffic relief.

In a remarkable editorial on Nov. 2, the Star-Advertiser declared that developer D.R. Horton's plan for urban agriculture at their controversial Ho‘opili project did not pass scrutiny ("Ho‘opili ag conviction falls flat," Our View, Star-Advertiser).

Aquarium collectors drafted their own rules and reviewed them with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to prepare for a public meeting on Nov. 17. One collector said that conservation is not an objective. What is the objective?

We can easily improve our corrections system without more money, and without building a new Maui prison, by redistributing what we already spend in wiser ways.

This week the United States is hosting the leaders in the Asia-Pacific region as part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. Among the many ideas being discussed, one, in particular, can wait no longer: We must secure key free trade agreements that will support our economy, our innovation-based industries, and jobs in the U.S.

APEC poses greater threats than traffic nightmares for Hawaii's people. Behind closed doors a policy is being devised that could raise medicine prices, drive down our wages, ban job-creating "Buy America" policies, undermine financial regulations aimed at controlling the banks that wrecked our economy while exposing Hawaiian ceded lands and environmental policies to challenge.

America's history is replete with patriots who were willing to lay down their lives for the freedom for which this country was founded.

As we go about our daily lives, walking down the street, going to work, or paddling out for a surf, it is sometimes easy to forget that we are a country at war. Bullets flying in Afghanistan just seem so far away from our peaceful lives in beautiful Hawaii.

We should not let James Abts' recent commentary go unanswered, wherein he alleges that the Middle East "has been our major strategic concern since the end of the Cold War and will likely remain so for the indefinite future" ("Deficit crisis Is chance to cut military bloat," Star-Advertiser, Oct 9).

Question: How to you get a community to support re-zoning agricultural land to build new homes in the area, and home buyers to purchase a home in your development?

With the global economy still mired in uncertainty, reform of trade regulations is crucial.

As 21 world leaders, 20,000 delegates and 2,000 journalists descend upon Honolulu this week for the APEC Leaders Meeting, the U.

I was invited to join the group that filed a lawsuit to stop the rail project.

In early October, the City Council finalized its amendments to Ordinance 11-7, the rule that grants a significant property tax exemption to owners of historic homes.

The state Department of Education is supporting a plan to allow advertising in our public schools to raise money ("DOE backs plan to allow limited ads on school campuses," Star-Advertiser, Nov.

Honolulu now stands at the eve of hosting the leaders, officials, business executives and media of the 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation economies. Much of the discussion locally has naturally focused on the impacts and potential benefits that hosting the meetings will bring to our city and state. But why is APEC important on the global level, and what might its future hold?

This week, the eyes of the world will be on Hawaii as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation convenes its 2011 meeting in the Aloha State. Locally there are understandable worries about traffic, security measures and the inconveniences we'll experience. And there are questions about what the long-term beneficial impacts will be for Hawaii.

With APEC approaching, government officials are scurrying to clean up Hawaii's streets and America's image by pushing the homeless out of the sight of foreign diplomats. This expensive practice not only reflects a mentality of blaming the victim, it effectively absolves government from meaningful attempts to address the real problem.

Recently, we recognized Enchanted Lake, Heeia and Hokulani elementary schools for several years of notable improvements in student learning. We also recognized seven outstanding teachers, naming Kailua High's Chad Miller as Hawaii's 2012 Teacher of the Year. Rather than standing as isolated islands of excellence, these schools and teachers are, in fact, at the forefront of much more dramatic change.

For Chinese people, Hawaii not only brings to mind beautiful beaches and coconut palms, but also sparks emotional thoughts about Dr. Sun Yat-sen, father of modern China, who led the 1911 Revolution 100 years ago.

Nearly 3 million men and women have volunteered to serve in our armed forces since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. These soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen left their families and risked their lives to fight for our freedoms overseas. They should not have to fight for a job when they come home.

The state Board of Education will vote on Aug. 16 on whether to lower social studies requirements for high school students.

Today, July 31, hundreds of sovereign Hawaiians gather at Thomas Square in Honolulu to celebrate Lā Ho‘iho‘i Ea — Sovereignty Restoration Day.

The East-West Center is a Hawaii-based, federally supported institution, long a key part of U.S. outreach to the countries of the Asia and the Pacific and a fixture in Honolulu.

The Honolulu Board of Water Supply is out of control.Over the past several years, BWS has had problems with overpaying management, vague workplace rules and lax fiscal standards.Now BWS seeks a rate increase totaling 70 percent over five years.

Hawaii, like almost all other states, is facing a budget crisis for Medicaid. This is due to the underlying rise in health care costs for everyone, increased enrollment due to the recession, and the fact that Medicaid is the insurer of last resort for the sickest, most expensive segments of our population.

In the last several years, China's leadership has placed high priority on shifting its economy from a "factory model" based on low-cost manufacturing of products designed elsewhere, to one that includes more original Chinese technology and design.

Next week, when the first bells ring in schools across our islands, the movement to improve education in Hawaii will shift to a higher gear. This school year we are raising Hawaii's children to the top of our list of priorities.

All farmers have a right to choose the crop they want to grow and farming method they want to use — whether it's organic, conventional or genetically engineered.

As landowners and business people in Hawaii, we are concerned about a threat to the natural resources we depend upon for all our lifestyles and livelihood in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie had to make a decision: Would he listen to the voices of concerned citizens fighting to keep fish factory farms from fouling Hawaii's pristine waters, or would he side with an industry that has repeatedly shown blatant disregard for the environment and animals by packing fish into pens and ponds so tightly that they have to be dosed with powerful drugs just to keep them alive, spreading disease and pollutants wherever they set up shop?

Realtors in Honolulu are encouraged by the direction of efforts to plan transit-oriented development.

On U.S. and Hawaii constitutional grounds guaranteeing "one man/one vote" equity in representation, I encourage all Hawaii Island residents — and all neighbor islanders — to speak out now against the state Reapportionment Commission decision that robs Hawaii County voters of fair and equitable representation by denying the addition of a fourth senatorial seat for the island.

On Wednesday, this paper reported on a meeting sponsored by collection lawyers to discuss Act 48 — Hawaii's mortgage foreclosure reform. It appears this meeting was a gripe session for those who previously enjoyed a free ride on a fast track through a giant loophole in Hawaii's foreclosure law.

Your July 10 editorial "Council acts carelessly on critical sewage project" is an inaccurate, misleading and unfair analysis of the Council's attempts to address Oahu's sewage problem.

Last December, a young man with a promising baseball career at Hawaii Pacific University was killed in a hit-and-run crash near Wahiawa.

Returning from Washington, D.C., this June, I experienced firsthand what all the fuss is about.

The taxpayers for the City and County of Honolulu got some good news the other day as the administration gets ready to issue additional general obligation bonds (GOs).

The space shuttle Atlantis has just lifted off into history as the spectacular grand finale to America's longest-running human space program.

Energy experts have shown, in numerous publicly available studies, that Big Wind can help Hawaii achieve 40 percent renewable energy by 2030, and can provide savings for ratepayers.

Few would argue that a college education creates opportunities for a better life. Community colleges, with their low cost and open access, are the entry point for many who have traditionally been left out of higher education.

Last weekend's elections in Thailand have opened yet another chapter in the ongoing Thai political drama, as the Pheu Thai Party, associated with controversial former prime minister and billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra, cruised to a decisive victory over the Democrat Party of outgoing Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

Thirty-three to 29 — that was the vote June 24 in Albany, N.Y., where that state's Senate voted to approve a bill for marriage equality.

Last week, Gov. Neil Abercrombie chose to implement the Department of Education's "last, best and final" offer to the Hawaii State Teachers Association.

When teachers have to read the paper or watch television to find out where they stand on contract negotiations, something is wrong.

With every new state administration comes a call for the diversification of our economy.

One of the great misconceptions surrounding the dispute between the mayor and the City Council over the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) is his idea that the Council wants to micromanage the transit project.

This weekend as we reflect on 235 years of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we also note the irony that are at war with an enemy who seeks to destroy the thing we value above all else — our freedom.

Most people in Hawaii have heard of or are familiar with the state motto, "Ua mau ke ea o ka ‘āina i ka pono." Today, many translate it as "the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness."

Democracy is a complex work in progress, with education playing a significant role in preparing students to become full participants in the life of our democratic society.

Tomorrow, we celebrate the 235th anniversary of the founding of the United States. It is a moment to savor in a free society.

Like some bizarre weapon of the former Soviet Union, Big Wind is finally being revealed for what it is: an engineering and financial tsunami that will enrich its backers and leave the rest of us far worse than before.

Innovation has always played a prominent role throughout the culture and history of Hawaii beginning with King David Kalakaua, who envisioned a modern communications service for the islands.

The lead editorial in the Star- Advertiser on Sunday implored: "Mend fences and make Makaha land gift work" (Our View, June 26).

As a former legislator and chairman of the Honolulu City Council, I take serious issue with your editorial views that the Council should "Allow rail authority to do its job" (Star-Advertiser, Our View, May 23), and "Don't dilute HART's authority" (Star-Advertiser, Our View, June 23).

Last November, by a vote of 64 percent to 29 percent, Honolulu voters overwhelmingly chose to amend the City Charter to create the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation.

The United States Supreme Court recently issued a sweeping decision that set pay equality for women back by at least a decade.

With media attention focused on puppy mills, what might be missed in the discussion is the important role reputable breeders play in providing potential pet owners with healthy, well-tempered, purebred animals.

In recent decades, Asia has commanded increasing international attention as the center of world economic growth. The regional peace upon which that prosperity rests, however, is fragile.

For the last year Hawaii business boosters have optimistically projected a post-APEC Summit 2011 economic Golden Age: Silicon Valley high-tech firms launching software development centers, Chinese investments in Hawaii renewable energy, and Thai joint ventures in ocean farming.

Forty years ago, President Richard Nixon declared a "war on drugs" and identified drug abuse as "Public Enemy No. 1" in order to seize on a "war" that he thought he could win. After costing taxpayers about $1 trillion, this war — characterized by beefed-up law enforcement, prosecution of low-level drug offenses and mandatory minimum prison sentences — has had little to no effect on the supply of, or demand for, drugs in the United States.

The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement would eliminate tariffs and other barriers, promote economic growth and strengthen economic ties between the United States and Korea. If approved, it would be the most commercially significant free trade agreement for the U.S. in 16 years.

Bravo to Gov. Neil Abercrombie for his recent selection of Terry Lock as the state's early childhood coordinator and the reallocation of funds to support Healthy Start, a nationally recognized child prevention program.

Cynthia Oi should be commended for encouraging energy conservation in her column ("Choice of light bulbs a tiny step in the big move toward conservation," Star-Advertiser, Under the Sun, June 2).

The people of Hawaii need to understand the implications of new legislation that would change the way we manage our sensitive coastal areas.

In some alarming remarks, U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye was reported as saying in a recent speech that "the U.S. should get ready for continued struggle with China."

With no winters, natural predators or herd-culling diseases to affect them, axis deer populations in Hawaii are on the rise.

The recent vote by the University of Hawaii Board of Regents to continue operation of the Pacific Biosciences Research Center (PBRC) is welcome news for the conservation community in Hawaii and the Pacific.

As a second-time member of the Maui Advisory Council to our current 2011 State Reapportionment Commission, I am pleased to see the commission's interest in the views of advisory council members and others on possible restoration of multimember legislative districts (MMDs) in the new plan.

Last week more than 800 veterans from across the mainland, Hawaii, Guam, Samoa and other islands came to Honolulu to participate in the Department of Veterans Affairs' Golden Age Games.

Forty-three states have already implemented the federally-supported Partnership Program to limit the high and growing costs of long-term care to their expanding senior populations.

Controversial measures come and go — it's the nature of politics. No issue, however, has been as controversial for the past six years as the proposed heavy fixed-rail project for urban Honolulu.

Many jobs are on the line as the City Council votes today on approving funds to construct a second digester that breaks down wastewater at the Sand Island Wastewater Treatment Plant.

It wasn't long ago when Hawaii's roadsides and rural areas were marred by abandoned cars, household appliances and other trash. This led the Honolulu City Council in 1991 to create an incentive program that made recycling economically feasible.

Gary Kubota's article about ultralight aircraft — "trikes" — and their safety leaves readers with a false impression ("Ultralights fly through loophole," Star-Advertiser, May 21). While "technically" much of the article is correct, it effectively misinforms readers.

Last fall during his campaign, Gov. Neil Abercrombie said that it is time for an agricultural renaissance in Hawaii, as more than 80 percent of our food is now imported; only 50 years ago about half of our food was produced locally.

In Hawaii, May is recognized as Tourism Month, a time to remember the importance of tourism to our state and reflect upon what tourism means to our community and our livelihood.

Military Appreciation Month in Hawaii seems the perfect time to recount a recent experience that defines military appreciation.

All Americans should be proud of Goodwin Liu. Liu, whose nomination to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals was blocked May 19 by Senate Republicans, represents the best of America.

Hawaii may be moving to center stage in the nation as the governor, Legislature and public sector unions work to address the state’s fiscal challenges in a positive way through negotiations and collaborative public service reforms.

When asked why he robbed banks, Willie Sutton answered, “Because that’s where the money is.”

It's not filmed and produced in Los Angeles, Miami or New York. It's not about the jungles of Vietnam or the beaches of the Caribbean shot in Hawaii.

Today marks the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's historic address before Congress, during which he set forth his visionary and ambitious goal toward "landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth" — within a decade.

May is Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month — and reflecting back on the past year, it is clear that we still have a long way to go.

The "Value of Hawaii" panel discussions at the recent Hawaii Book and Music Festival reinforced the sense that Hawaii has something the world desperately needs.

Beginning in October 2005, West Oahu community leaders got involved in shaping the concept for a new kind of sustainable island community in West Oahu where people would really want to live.

The Hawaii Public Housing Authority (HPHA) is the state's largest residential landlord, providing subsidized housing to more than 15,000 residents in over 6,200 units statewide.

As a west side resident, I cannot believe that the same vocal minority is continuing to try to derail Honolulu's transit project, with total disregard for voters and communities forced to struggle with growing traffic woes.

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