All of us who supported my administration’s statewide preschool plan for 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds are supportive and grateful about the prospect that the Legislature will take up the issues involved as a priority this session.
However, your otherwise favorable editorial (“Details needed to add early-learning hubs,” Our View, Jan. 16) mistakes the situation with regards to “a stumbling block” over general funds going to faith-based preschools by way of vouchers/contracts or other public/private arrangements 10 years ago. The state has routinely contracted with faith-based entities like Catholic Charities or the Salvation Army in providing services with respect to public needs and policies.
There were two main stumbling blocks: The Churches themselves, including the Roman Catholic Diocese, who feared that any move to join with the DOE on its part might lead to some loss of placements in their pre-school business; and the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) leadership, who made it explicitly clear to me and the Legislature that if any new money was to be appropriated for the DOE, they wanted it — all of it. They were opposed to any preschool initiative. Observations that HSTA elementary teachers would directly benefit from preschoolers coming into their classrooms fell on deaf ears.
Ten years ago, preschool children were shoved to the side by the adults who were supposed to be their champions.
Children are totally and completely dependent on the good judgment of the adults around them. Let’s make them our No. 1 priority this legislative session.
Hawaii governor, 2010-2014
Mental health screening and medicine will help
Will we ever learn? So many red flags were ignored.
Two of our finest died because no one addressed the cause of Jerry “Jarda” Hanel’s behavior.
No one did anything about the obvious: Seven restraining orders; his attorney knew he was sick, his landlord knew; Honolulu Police Department officers went to the home four times a week in one year; neighbors observed him “acting crazy.”
HPD has a mental health unit — how can we assist it in getting the sick timely treatment? Responding officers saw he was a paranoid schizophrenic. Was there a mental health screening? Why weren’t the courts petitioned to get this person help? The current system didn’t protect anyone.
This person had a right to wellness; these officers’ kids have a right to their parents.
Recently, a mentally ill person in prison was beaten to death. The system is broken. Medicine works!
Review policy, training in approaching suspects
My deepest condolences to the families of Honolulu Police Department officers Tiffany Enriquez and Kaulike Kalama.
The chief of police needs to revise training when approaching and confronting dangerous suspect(s).
Arsenio Ramirez Pelayo
A woman’s place? In House or Senate, clearly
Your recent story, “Lasting Legacy,” about retiring state Rep. Cynthia Thielen was most informative (Star-Advertiser, Jan. 12). She said she plans to write a memoir about her time in the Legislature. It seems like the obvious title would be, “A woman’s place is in the House and in the Senate!”
Drastic action needed against illegal fireworks
On Dec. 16, 1773, Boston citizens boarded an East India Co. ship and tossed its cargo of tea into the bay. This act of thievery, vandalism and political protest has since been celebrated as one of the sparks that ignited the American Revolution.
Perhaps it is time for such another radical act, this time in protest against the proliferation of illegal fireworks. Since authorities seem unable or unwilling to stop illegal cargo, let the people do the job. Board the ships and planes, seize the fireworks and dump them in the Ala Wai.
After the Boston Tea Party, John wAdams wrote in his diary, “The People should never rise, without doing something to be remembered — something notable And striking. This Destruction of the Tea is so bold, so daring, so firm, intrepid and inflexible, and it must have so important Consequences … ” Indeed it did.
May the people rise and stop the pyrotechnic madness once and for all.
Friedman fan extols his date research, insights
Thank you, Star-Advertiser, for giving your readers Thomas Friedman, one of the nation’s greatest columnists.
His deep insight and judgment are based on a depth of discernment and understanding, which are extremely valuable and rewarding. His knowledge of data research and conclusions with little bias are refreshing.
Please, let’s have much more of Friedman.
It’s monster houses, not Airbnbs, ruining areas
You praise the mayor and city planners crushing the clean cottage industry of vacation rentals (“Vacation rental clampdown,” Star-Advertiser, Insight, Jan. 19) — while they have failed utterly to stop hundreds of monster houses that are the true destroyers of Honolulu neighborhoods.
Visitors usually have one car, and residents five — but monsters are grabbing whole streets of car parking.
And you call Airbnb folks “scofflaws” in the subheadline and story? Why not just “criminals” or “child abusers”? Are the big hotels happy now?