Survey results should matter
It was disheartening to read your editorial headline referencing repeal of the policy on gays in the military ("After survey, repeal gay policy," Star-Advertiser, Sept. 25).
It implied that no matter what the survey results, the repeal should move forward. I would think the paper would be interested in the input from the junior officers, junior noncommissioned officers and junior enlisted members who would be most affected by a change in policy.
The so-called "experts" in the liberal media who know nothing of the military lifestyle seem to babble about the military’s need to overcome its homophobia. These advocates for lifting the ban assume that homosexuals would check their sexuality at the door of their barracks. This is a ludicrous assumption.
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Castle & Cooke endangers farms
My friend’s bumper sticker puts into proper perspective the recent rulings by the state Land Use Commission granting Castle & Cooke’s request to develop prime farm land. The bumper sticker reads, "NO FARMS, NO FOOD!"
The commission’s decision and Castle & Cooke’s greed is a slap in the face to the many farmers and their supporters who are trying to help sustainability efforts in Hawaii by increasing homegrown food production.
Don’t put safety aside for money
How far will we go to support our filming industry? I was involved in a dangerous incident when "Pirates of the Caribbean" was filming at Heeia Small Boat Harbor. I took some friends on an evening sail but upon returning found the channel marker that warned of the reef was turned off — for filming purposes, I found out later.
Briefly, I turned off my running lights to get my bearings and was immediately approached and ticketed by the Coast Guard for not having lights on.
Closing highways only causes inconvenience and traffic congestion, but shutting off navigation lights endangers boaters with boat- and life-threatening situations.
Locals-only bill had exemptions
Gov. Linda Lingle claims the law requiring that 80 percent of workers hired for state construction projects be Hawaii residents would "place federally funded projects in Hawaii in jeopardy."
I encourage the governor’s office and the public to read Act 68 at the end of section 2: "This chapter shall not apply if the application of this chapter is in conflict with any federal law, or if the application of this chapter will disqualify any state or county agency from receiving federal funds or aid."
It is one thing to oppose a bill on its merits — her veto message actually had some very good points. But it is quite a different thing when politicians attempt to frighten people with made-up things like death panels or violations of procurement laws that would not occur because the 80 percent rule would not apply.
Meth Project ads not scientific
Robert Collesano perpetuated a common misconception about drug prevention programs ("Meth, medical marijuana are separate issues," Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, Sept. 22).
He said inmates he worked with thought the Meth Project’s ads would have an impact. Whether a program is popular, has received more than 45 advertising-related awards, or what people — even recovering addicts — "think" about a program is not evidence of effectiveness.
Since 1993 the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii has been engaged in promoting effective solutions to all of Hawaii’s drug problems. DPFH supports drug prevention programs that have been scientifically proven to be effective, such as the more than 80 interventions and programs that target youth listed in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices.
The Meth Project is not included in SAMHSA’s compendium of best practices, which is the gold standard for any drug prevention or treatment program in the U.S.
What our communities need are more non-judgmental, supportive services for individuals suffering from a substance abuse disorder. Do scare tactics have the persistent effects that our communities need?
By the way, Collesano deprecatingly suggested we should stick to our "knitting." He should know that knitting is also not on SAMHSA’s list of scientifically proven drug prevention strategies.
Executive director, Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii