Send us your thoughts on the Lingle years
On Monday, the administration of Gov. Linda Lingle comes to a close. Her eight-year tenure has been marked by controversy — the Superferry, school furloughs and civil unions come to mind. But she has won praise for expanding science education and pushing Hawaii to be a mecca for renewable energy.
Lingle also led Hawaii through one of its most painful economic crises, slashing state spending to keep the budget balanced.
We’d like to know what you think about Lingle’s years as governor. How did she succeed? How did she fail? Send us your letters, following the "Letters to the Editor" guidelines.
We’ll print as many of your responses as we can on Sunday. Please keep your thoughts to no more than 175 words. Mahalo.
How to write us
The Star-Advertiser welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (~175 words). The Star-Advertiser reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include your area of residence and a daytime telephone number.
Letter form: Online form, click here
Tasers a useful deterrent
This is in response to the editorial, "Tasers need strict controls" (Star-Advertiser, Nov. 23). A Taser is an extremely useful tool for law enforcement. Firing a Taser at a person who is potentially violent or engaged in active resistance is an appropriate use of force. Domestic violence is one of the most dangerous situations a police officer can face. The 43-year-old woman in Maui who "bumped" the police officer was engaged in physical resistance. As the editorial said, she was preventing the arrest of her husband. Using a Taser on a physically resistant person reduces the chances of bodily harm to all persons involved and has less harmful effects than pepper spray.
The idea of using a Taser only as a alternative to lethal force is ignorant and poses a huge risk of death or great bodily harm toward the officer. The Taser is meant to be used as an alternative to pepper spray or even the baton.
Are medical records safe?
Under President Obama’s health care law, the government wants to have computerized medical records that would follow each of us until we die. These records would be available to thousands of individuals and entities in the vast health care industry.
If the Obama administration can’t keep State and Defense Department secret documents from being leaked, what assurance do we have that this huge network for health care records will not be leaked or hacked into?
China exploits North Korea
China is only interested in maintaining the status quo of the suffering North Korean people and not solving the Korean issue.
For 60 years, on the cheap, North Korea has defended China’s border with a buffer zone between itself and a pro-U.S. country — South Korea. China gets annual trade with South Korea to the tune of $156 billion, while its trade with North Korea is a measly $2.75 billion. What would North Korea’s economy be like if it could get half of the $156 billion in trade enjoyed by South Korea?
The Iron Curtain was lifted because people in Eastern Europe had enough of a window to the West that they could see which system worked better. No such window exists for North Korean people.
The U.S. should negotiate directly with North Korea and open the window.
Don’t keep kids from school
I visited a website with a disturbing message to the students and parents of Kamaile Academy, encouraging them to protest the removal of the school leadership by allowing students to go to school late or to not attend school for weeks at a time. The author of this message, posted on kamaileacademy.com, seems to have a misguided belief that this "peaceful resistance" will restore the previous school administration.
When students do not attend school they fall behind and they never recover. The skill and knowledge deficits that result will accumulate throughout a student’s academic career and may result in negative outcomes such as retention, dropping out, or requiring remedial classes at the university level. These actions will harm students and will not bring back the previous school leaders.
I encourage parents of Kamaile students to express their dissatisfaction in ways that will not endanger the academic future of their keiki.