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Bag ban would be righteous

A Honolulu City Council bill to ban plastic bags is a positive step in the right direction. Environmentally conscious and sustainable decision-making is the future of politics. While opposition to any change is expected, it is time that business owners support green initiatives and help fuel the progress.

As HPOWER burns most trash, including plastic bags, noxious toxins and byproducts are released into the atmosphere. A bag fee will not achieve the same results as a ban. While a bag fee might generate small revenues for the state, it does not address the fundamental problems of plastic bags, which is litter and environmental/atmospheric degradation. Furthermore, what guarantee do we have that the 10-cents-per-bag fee would go to the state watershed program?

A ban on plastic bags is the righteous/moral solution and, as a registered Honolulu voter, I urge the Council to pass this bill.

Alyssa M. Barnes

How to write us

The Star-Advertiser welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (~150 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 Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published.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 a daytime telephone number.

Letter form: Online form, click here
Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

Shifting hours at UH won’t help

Donna L. Ching’s idea ("Relieve traffic by shifting UH hours, Star-Advertiser, Letters, March 12) would be great except she forgot one thing: Many college students are working part-time, or in my case full-time, to support themselves through college.

What job would hire me for shifts up until only 10 a.m. and only after 6 p.m. that would also pay my rent, food, gas and University of Hawaii tuition?

Public schools are on spring break right now and I’m finding my H-1 journey much smoother. But, hey, it’s always easy to blame the college kids, right?

Shantell Rivers

Police should have been told

Regarding the ongoing investigations into sex assault allegations involving a coach at Waipahu High, schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said at a recent Board of Education meeting that the findings will be used to determine whether revisions to policies or procedures are needed ("Sleuth will vet response by school," Star-Advertiser, March 7).

Is Matayoshi telling us that the district’s policy does not now mandate that allegations of sex assault between teacher and teacher or teacher and student be reported immediately to the principal, then to the police by the principal?

We just can’t have fellow teachers, or fellow union members (vice principals and principals), deciding whether to notify the police in situations like this.

The coach might very well be innocent of these charges, but it’s up to the police and the district attorney’s office to make this determination. This lack of good judgment and common sense on the school’s part just leaves the nasty specter of a cover-up.

Art Todd

Will rail stations meet ADA rules?

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires that public transportation shall be readily accessible by persons with physical disabilities.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s website, honolulutransit .org, stated that all 21 rail stations will be designed to comply with the ADA. Also, all stations will have stairs and elevators to provide access to the elevated rail platforms — and most stations will have escalators.

If the HART design plans are included in the rail contracts, HART should publicly disclose how many people an elevator will hold, and whether disabled persons will have to operate the elevators on their own.

Also, HART should publicly disclose whether the Federal Transit Administration has issued a written determination that the rail contract specifications are in compliance with the ADA requirements.

Robert Thomas

Helmets don’t ensure safety

Regarding "Bikers should wear helmets" (Star-Advertiser, Letters, March 7), I am very happy that the author survived his motorcycle crash.

I would like to suggest that he survived not only because he was wearing a helmet but also because he was not riding in a reckless manner or drinking alcohol.

Rather than simply mandating helmet use, I believe we should emphasize rider education and training. I am certain that the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course that I attended on Maui made me a safer rider and more aware of the risks as a motorcyclist and techniques to help me avoid accidents.

Although not forced by law to wear a helmet, I choose to do so, and I believe this should be a personal decision by all adult motorcyclists.

In short, I can tell you why I wear a helmet; I can’t tell you why you should.

Rabbi Larry Winer

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