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Teacher chaperones doing difficult work

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Anyone who believes that chaperoning a dozen middle-school students on a trip that includes airports, hotels and behavior standards can be seen as a “gift” or “free travel” has never spent time around middle-schoolers (“Teacher chaperone rules face ethics code overhaul,” Star-Advertiser, Sept. 2).

Having teachers find a way to pay their own way on these trips is a ludicrous thought and one with only one result — no more trips. If ethics were actually employed in this situation, these teachers would all be given Alaskan cruises after these trips.

It’s sad that this system that tremendously benefits students is getting scrutinized.

Kris Schwengel
Hawaii Kai

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Good to see UH use design-build option

The design-build alternative for construction of the University of Hawaii microbiology building would be an excellent choice by the UH Board of Regents (“In dire need,” Star-Advertiser, Aug. 31).

Once a design/construction team is chosen on the basis of competitive bidding and detailed proposal, virtually no oversight is necessary.

Recall that Honolulu’s convention center was a design-build project, and it came in under budget and ahead of schedule.

Kudos to the UH administration for proposing it.

David Callies

Storm drains need better maintenance

I have lived in Honolulu for 35 years and have never seen any city crews cleaning the sanitary sewers, let alone our storm sewers.

Can anyone explain why the heavy iron sanitary sewer manhole covers were forced out of their frames?

Have you noticed that the curb lanes of the city’s main streets are often flooded after a rain? That is where the storm water is supposed to collect, but it can’t go anywhere because the storm sewers are clogged with leaves. This has happened previously, long before what we have experienced over the past few days.

Businesses or residents along streets where flood damage has occurred should hold the city responsible because of poor maintenance.

I am disgusted with the city’s responses, blaming everything on “poor communication.” Try “poor maintenance.”

Jan Wonso

Do ‘protectors’ use high-tech products?

Commuting and working off-island, I rely on the newspaper to keep me company. I do not own a high-end electronic device like many commuters, only a cellphone.

I enjoy the “Letters” section and the opinions of those contributing.

With all sacredness aside and dwelling on today’s technology, I ponder on how many of those against the telescopes atop Mauna Kea and Haleakala are owners of electronic devices. Do not these devices enhance one’s life? Little telescopes with screens to receive or send information at the touch of one’s finger. Telescopes are at a bigger scale in the world of technology.

As for the sacredness of it all, I declared my land and home sacred — where, on this land, my family, animals, garden and trees can exist in today’s technological time.

Joe J. Abella
Peahi, Maui

Traffic here not as bad as we were told

A while back, when we were being sold on rail transit, someone posted a study that said that we had the worst traffic in the nation. Having been to every big city in the U.S., I knew it was ridiculous.

Los Angeles is incredible for traffic. Last week, a real study came out and we weren’t even in the worst five (“Hawaii the ninth-worst for drivers,” Star-Advertiser, Sept. 1). While we do have a real rush hour, otherwise it is smooth sailing.

Washington, D.C., and L.A. are the worst, according to the recent study.

Were we fed shibai to push through this monstrosity? How about impounding the 30 percent of cars that have no insurance? Common sense?

Scott Brooks

Flood of cars will lead to total gridlock

A more livable city is not one where every year more cars are on streets designed for fewer number of drivers.

We are saturated with cars and the flood keeps coming. Getting people on bikes, walking and riding mass transit are alternatives to the problem, and our elected leaders are doing their job by bringing them on line.

Another alternative is to stop making babies who will have no choice but to get behind the driver’s wheel at some point. It’s not very likely that option will happen, but not taking some action will doom us to still more cars and total gridlock. Then everyone will complain that nothing was done to prevent it.

Nick Blank
Hawaii Kai

Have government run electric utility

Do not allow NextEra to own Hawaiian Electric Industries.

As a former Hawaii resident, I think the state should own it and all profits go back to the state.

I live in San Antonio, Texas, and the city here owns the electric company and prices are lower as a result. The CEO does not make millions and gets about $300,000, which is what it should be. All profits go to the city. If this would happen in Hawaii, it would lower the cost of electricity.

Hawaii needs to go solar.

Sophia M. Bicoy
San Antonio

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