DARE program helps children in long run
I am very saddened to hear that the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program in Hawaii schools will be scaled back significantly.
The DARE program aims to teach kids how to live a drug-, alcohol- and violence-free life. To scale back DARE in the middle and high schools will have a negative impact in the long run.
My daughter, who had DARE in both elementary school and middle school, really has learned how negative drugs are to the body and the brain. She has also learned that police officers are there to help people.
I know we are in a tough financial situation, but I think that to spend a little money now on students will save us taxpayers from spending money on housing them in prison later.
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Regulations needed to level playing field
The opinions expressed by staff members of the Koch brothers-funded Competitive Enterprise Institute are wrong or misleading in multiple ways ("What is seen and not seen," Insight, Star-Advertiser, April 26). The worst: They say regulation costs taxpayers $1.75 trillion annually, yet they provide no source for that number.
What are the costs of lax regulation during the Bush years? Ask the residents of New Orleans, the 52,000 Hawaii residents whose homes are in foreclosure, or people who lost their life savings in the Madoff scandal.
What are some benefits of regulation? The air in Los Angeles and many other cities is infinitely more breathable now. Many thousands have benefited from federal recalls of dangerous drugs. Regulation forces companies to invest in new energy-saving technologies.
Corporations are legally required to maximize returns to their shareholders. Concerns for public welfare and safety are secondary, and only regulation serves as a counter-force to level the playing field.
HGEA member dues did go down last year
Rhonda Glass states that union dues for employees have not been lowered ("Union dues have not gone down," Letters, Star-Advertiser, April 25).
This is not true. Union dues for all Hawaii Government Employees Association employees were decreased in 2010, effective one pay period after the furlough deductions began in July. All HGEA members were notified of this decrease. Any employee can confirm this by simply looking at pay stubs. In other words, the union is doing its part as it should, which makes me especially proud to be a member.
Vern R. Lentz
Let Horner and BOE do what must be done
State Rep. Roy Takumi quipped that state Board of Education Chairman Don Horner should slow down a bit ("First meeting promises new direction for BOE," Star-Advertiser, April 24).
"He wanted to do things (immediately)," Takumi said. "I told him it’s not going to happen. Government doesn’t work that way."
Well, maybe that’s why government is in the predicament it’s in. With his statement, Takumi reinforces the belief that government is slow to get things done.
Horner heads the state’s largest bank and has vast experience in management, profits and earnings and all the other elements that makes a business successful.
Let Horner and the BOE do what needs to be done and don’t stand in their way with statements like "government doesn’t work that way."