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Letters to the Editor

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Don’t furlough children again

The Legislature is talking about postponing Act 167, which mandates instructional hours for public schools. The reason given is lack of funding to extend the school day. But lawmakers are missing the big picture, which is protecting education regardless of the state of the economy.

The Department of Education should explain why it cannot achieve this extended instructional time. Then the bill should be revised and the number of hours changed, not postponed altogether.

If Act 167 is not implemented, our children are, once again, vulnerable to furloughs as part of contract negotiations. The bill simply sets mandates so instructional hours are not negotiable. If children are furloughed, the House and Senate will be to blame. The Legislature needs to do a better job at protecting public education.

Leocadia Conlon

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Hanabusa’s email system is fixed

I would personally like to thank Cheryl King from Kailua-Kona for her letter regarding U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa’s website (“Hanabusa email not inclusive,” Letters, Star-Advertiser, March 31). When Congresswoman Hanabusa was sworn into office — and we got her new congressional website — one of the first things she noticed about the site was our inability to receive emails from all Hawaii residents. Obviously, this was a major concern for Congresswoman Hanabusa because she understands as a small island state with only two representatives, we must work together. She believes that we cannot let the district lines divide us. We had a few inquiries about this website issue within the first month of setting up our D.C. office and we thought it was solved because we didn’t hear any complaints until Cheryl’s letter. So I want to thank her again for bringing this to our attention so we could fix the problem for good.

Ashley Nagaoka
Director of communications for U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa


Mentally ill need better treatment

I’m living at the Next Step homeless shelter in Kakaako. This shelter is run by a wonderful staff that does its best with very limited resources. They try really hard to show respect and aloha to the residents.

However, this shelter can’t accommodate and care for most folks with mental illness. These people need much higher levels of care. There are hardly any real programs for these people. They slip through a broken safety net. They often end up in jail without the support and care they need.

Shame on us for allowing this kind of barbaric treatment. It is not their fault they were born with disorders. They need our help, not the neglect that leaves them homeless to fend for themselves. Don’t blame them. Make sure they receive the decent, loving care they need and deserve. That will bring them back to being productive citizens. To continue the way we have will leave lots of them homeless, and that is unacceptable.

David Cannell


Blaming others is easy way out

Plain and simply, many of the homeless are such because they severely lack the motivation to work for a living and earn a hard days’ pay.

As an operations manager of a 35-year-old farming business, I’ve noticed that every homeless person hired was gone and nowhere to be found between one to seven days of hire, in which they stuck it out to get their week’s pay and splurge it.

If the homeless want a better life, any respect and self-respect, health insurance and, thus, a roof over their heads, then get a job, any job.

It’s about the effort to rise above and beyond and not whine that the recession has engulfed one to the point of no return.

Everyone is making sacrifices, everyone is feeling the pain of the current recession. But isn’t it easy to blame the other guy?

Han Song


Plastic bag ban is long overdue

As an island state, we should have approved

legislation to get rid of plastic bags a long time ago. Our landfill is nearly full. Our marine life is suffering from ingesting degraded plastics.

Plastic bags show up everywhere as litter, and there is an endless torrent of these bags continually flowing into our environment and our lives. Recycling opportunities for the bags do not make much impact.

Senate Bill 1363 is a simple measure that no one could reasonably argue with. At the least, it is a first step.

Mary Spadaro


Nisei WWII vets loved by France

The French have long memories (“Nisei World War II veteran will receive Legion of Honor,” Star-Advertiser, March 30).  

My two brothers, Kitoku and Fusao of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, fought in Italy and France. Kitoku fell in love with a French couple’s only child in Nice, whose parents trusted and loved him enough to bless their marriage of 60 years.

Kitoku’s ashes are now in the beautiful Pacific and Clothilde lives in a care home in Washington state, but she says they are always together. She does not forget him either.

Vive la France!

Yoshie Ishiguro Tanabe

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