For Tuesday, July 5, 2011
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 5, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 2:23 p.m. HST, Aug 5, 2011
State is racing to the bottom
I just returned from my sixth week-long annual Health Occupations Students of America national student conference, where 36 of Hawaii's health care students took gold and Top 10 honors. It took months of volunteer time to prepare my 23 students, three parents and myself, and I averaged about four hours of sleep each night.
Fumbling through my mail, I read a very pleasant letter from the superintendent of education that highlighted a plan to impose a pay cut with absolutely no say on the matter. Thinking back, the public insisted on eliminating furlough days for students last year, but secretively, the state still imposed them on teachers, along with reduced health benefits. That's already two years of pay cuts that's lowered morale for teachers. We don't get overtime, so take second and third jobs and use up our savings.
More has been added to our plate each year without any form of compensation. As teachers reduce or eliminate their voluntary service, it's the students who will lose in the long run. We are racing in the wrong direction.
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Voters want say on rail spending
It is amazing that the mayor can go on TV or write a commentary that dares to claim the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation is not political.
First of all, HART is made up of political appointees. Second, they are cronies of the mayor. There is no way that when HART was approved by the voters in a charter amendment that the voters would give unfettered power to a group of unelected bureaucrats over billions of dollars.
On the mayor's argument that a federal entity and some independent financial consultants will have financial oversight: We all know how fantastic the federal government is at managing money. No, mayor, when it comes to rail, you'd better believe we want the money managed by people we can vote out of office if and when they go astray.
Sandbar issue not complicated
What a farce that's going on with the state Board of Land and Natural Resources.
The new emergency rule it has come up with bans alcohol and drugs, and restricts disorderly conduct on Ahu o Laka during three-day weekends. Is there any place in the state with no restriction on drug use and disorderly conduct?
The board makes up all these excuses to portray this as such a complex issue requiring much effort to resolve. I now agree with Gov. Neil Abercrombie: We need to churn these various board members who have over years convinced the public that what they do is so complicated and that they need much time to accomplish things.
Has cellphone ban cut crashes?
In your article "Cellphone-driving violations multiply" (Star-Advertiser, June 29), you devote nearly a full page to the subject, yet fail to ask the question that is of real interest to me: What has happened to accident statistics since the law has been in place? Has there been any noticeable decrease in accidents, or is this just turning into a cash cow for the county?