The Makiki area desperately needs a public library.
When I was growing up, I had to take the bus to the Hawaii State Library, or travel farther away to the ones in Manoa and McCully.
While I support the use of Loveland Academy on Piikoi for transitional housing, instead of serving 45 families, the state could support early literacy for the entire neighborhood, especially young students who attend Queen Kaahumanu Elementary School or Lincoln Elementary, by establishing a new library there.
If this cannot be done, then the state should definitely step in to improve the current community library in the park.
The community library looks a lot better after the renovations, but it is still behind the state public libraries due to limited resources and funding.
Last I heard, funds for a public library in Makiki were approved in 2013. Why has there been no progress on this?
Cataluna speaks for the ‘unheard-from’
I find the letter claiming that Lee Cataluna’s columns have become “angrier,” “meaner,” “divisive” and “abrasive” to be overly critical, unfair and just wrong (“Cataluna should be more positive,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Jan. 8).
Cataluna is thoughtful, insightful and independently critical, and her commentaries are timely, articulate, sensitive and even passionate.
I appreciate the fact that her concerns often reflect those of unheard-from communities (e.g., plantation workers, elderly/ infirm folks, construction- oppressed Farrington Highway residents).
I also admire her willingness and honesty in taking issue with popular opinions (e.g., against June Jones, for GMO companies).
Whether we agree with her positions or not, we should be thinking about them. Personally, I don’t mind her complaints about the truly insane traffic congestion that suffocates everyone living west and north of the airport.
None of us should disagree with Jeff Merz’s hope that we all embrace the ideals of community, cooperation and warmth, but muzzling Lee Cataluna and writers like her is not a solution to Hawaii’s ills.
Cataluna tells it like it is, thank goodness
We just love to read Lee Cataluna’s column.
She tells it like it is and at times may offend some people, but they have the choice to read the column or not.
Do not advise or suggest what she should write (“Cataluna should be more positive,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Jan. 8).
Our state is so behind the times in everything, such as bad roads, schools, parks, teachers’ pay and minimum wages. She opens the can of worms.
Don’t impose Hawaii ‘right to work’ here
Growing up in California, I’ve already seen what happens when large-scale cuts are made to wages and benefits.
In Hawaii, it’s not just our benefits that are at stake. Our jobs and our livelihood are in jeopardy. Cutting wages and benefits is just the beginning.
The “1 percent” wants us to believe “right to work” is a good thing, but really, it cripples employees’ rights in the workplace. If Hawaii becomes a “right to work” state, employers will be able to impose non-negotiable pay cuts, take away benefits or even terminate employees without cause. Bottom line, we’ll all be expendable.
As a state worker, I’m concerned the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association case will catch us off-guard and allow wealthy corporations to take away everything we’ve been working to preserve. We need to wake up. This is happening now.
Facts in fact suggest Agent Orange toxic
I think Peter Caldwell should check his facts on Agent Orange (“Check facts on Agent Orange,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Jan. 6).
There is much documentation that 19 million gallons of Monsanto’s Agent Orange/dioxin and other herbicides sprayed in Vietnam caused diseases for U.S. military personnel and Vietnamese civilians. Seven large chemical-manufacturing companies, including Monsanto, paid $240 million in compensation to veterans and their next of kin.
The Veterans Administration has recognized presumptive diseases associated with exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides: AL amyloidosis, chronic B-cell leukemias, chloracne, diabetes mellitus (type 2), Hodgkin’s disease, ischemic heart disease, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Parkinson’s disease, peripheral neuropathy, porphyria cutanea tarda, prostate cancer, respiratory cancers and soft-tissue sarcomas.
Additionally, the U.S. has funded an $87 million project to remediate 73,000 cubic meters of Agent Orange/dioxin “hotspot” soils at the Danang, Vietnam, airport. There are 30 other “hotspots” in Vietnam.
U.S. Army colonel (retired)
DOE could use help with procurements
I agree with state Reps. Richard Onishi and Matthew LoPresti regarding the $35 million for a new building on the Campbell High School campus (“Questions about the math,” Star-Advertiser, Jan. 8).
This cost seems excessive compared to an entire campus, which is perhaps more needed, as suggested. It is vital that resources are allocated for needed infrastructure to our schools; however, we must do this thoughtfully and prudently.
Moreover, state Rep. Sylvia Luke has brought attention to a very large, perhaps systemic, problem within the state Department of Education’s procurement process. The DOE could use support from the state procurement office to help structure procurement policy as well as add qualified staff.
Finally, perhaps we need a definite annual budget appropriation of $50 million to $100 million specifically for a defined list of DOE infrastructure upgrades from school to school, with incentives for efficient budget use and application of a competitive bidding process.