I am director of the Center on Disability Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. My colleague, David Leake, and I prepared a legislative proposal on visitability standards to encourage people building or renovating residences to incorporate visitability standards in their projects.
Visitability standards allow people who are mobility- impaired, especially those who use wheelchairs, to enter a residence, move through doorways and hallways easily, be able to reach outlets and light switches, use the bathroom, move around in a bedroom, and benefit from a smoke detector that they can hear and see.
Bills were introduced in the Legislature. One of the four bills, Senate Bill 2594, is still alive.
I hope it will be considered soon by three committees in the House — Housing, Water and Land, and Finance, the last three stops. Please urge our elected officials to keep it strong and meaningful.
We have given them common- sense fixes to do just that. Together we can make this happen.
State voting needs paper-ballot backup
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard introduced a bill to have a double- check system in place during our elections by using paper ballots.
With all the potential manipulation in place with the use of the internet, whether it be through individuals or countries, I think this is an excellent idea to ensure our vote truly counts. Many states already do this, including Hawaii.
Haiku Stairs hike one of Oahu’s safest
The hiking article highlights a serious and worsening problem on Oahu (“Worth the risk?” Star-Advertiser, March 12).
But the lead paragraph mentions Makapuu — a dangerous place to take selfies — and Haiku Stairs, which is one of the safest hikes on the island.
Of the 15 sites illustrated on the front page, three were further pointed out in the article: The one with the most rescues, Diamond Head; the one with the second-most rescues, Lanikai Pillbox Trail; and the one with no rescues at all: Haiku Stairs.
Yes, the article claims 10 rescues from Haiku Stairs, but none of the rescues was from Haiku Stairs. In every article written about Haiku Stairs rescues, the hikers in trouble were merely somewhere near Haiku Stairs — possibly trying to get around the guards because of the decades-long closure of safe access.
If the first responders and news media reported accurately, perhaps it would be more likely Haiku Stairs might be re-opened to safe, managed operation, reducing or eliminating the need for responding to hikers.
John M. Flanigan
Member, Friends of Haiku Stairs
Teachers couldn’t shoot down gunman
Teachers are not police officers. Perhaps given George Scondras’ premise, teachers could learn to be firefighters (“Teachers can learn to defend students,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, March 11).
Teachers have enough going on in the classroom of 30 or more active students with problems, without adding more responsibility. A handgun would not help the situation, with an intruder with an AR-15 assault rifle and a bump stock.
What those teachers in Florida did was correct. They barred entrance into their classrooms, and protected their students by securing them in hiding places, and putting themselves in danger. Would Mr. Scondras have done better with his gun?
Mary Jo Morrow
People must place children above guns
We were encouraged by reading your article, “17 minutes for 17 shooting victims” (Star-Advertiser, March 6).
We are heartened by what the students at schools in Hawaii and across the nation are planning to do at 10 a.m. March 14 (a month after the savage Florida attacks). The students will stage 17-minute walkouts to honor the 17 victims who were killed. We adults should support this children’s crusade in any way we can.
Concern for our children is not just an American response; it is a global reaction. People from around the world worry about our children because they see pictures of some of them screaming and running away from their schools with their hands held high. People can’t understand why we don’t protect them.
The best illustration of this attitude comes from Anglican Archdeacon Rod Bower of Gosford, Australia: “When will they love their kids more than their guns?”
As psychologists, we believe that to stop the carnage, we need to honestly uncover the answer to his question.
Tascott, New South Wales, Australia
Trump can succeed where others failed
The announcement that President Donald Trump might meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un puts the mainstream media in a quandary.
Is it possible that Trump, depicted in the media as ineffective on the world stage and on the same insult-exchanging, belligerent level as Kim, may accomplish what a series of presidents failed to do: denuclearize North Korea and bring it out of the cold?
The same media that once worried that Trump would ignite a nuclear holocaust with his tough talk now is concerned that an “impulsive” and “unprepared” Trump will meet with Kim, little mentioning that Kim’s desire to talk is the result of increasingly painful trade sanctions created by the Trump administration’s measured actions.
The president, underestimated by a press that at times appears to be part of the “Resistance,” may yet accomplish what decades of fruitless diplomacy failed to do — remove North Korea as a nuclear weapons threat. Stay tuned.