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Saturday, April 24, 2010
April, 2010 Letters to the Editor
By Letters to the Editor @ 2:47 AM :: 9409 Views

Union man: Family values yes, Hanabusa no

Glaziers & Glassworkers Local 1889, Honolulu, HI

To whom it may Concern:                           April 19, 2010

This evening I got another call on my cell phone in addition to the other two home phone calls and one cel phone call regarding the Special Election coming up this May 22, 2010.

There are very few people who have my cell phone number, my wife, co-workers and a few select friends.  The Union and my working place also have my cell phone number.

I don’t know if you are aware, but i have been getting random calls from Colleen Hanabusa’s campaign workers saying that they represented the Union.  As a member of the Union, I already have to pay $2 per paycheck to the PAC (Political Action Committee).  I would rather give my $2 per paycheck to the HFF (Hawaii Family Forum) or another organization that represents my family values.  However as a member of the Glaziers Union, I am forced to give the $2 to the PAC.

I do not want my cell phone number given out for solicitation or to try to coerce me into voting for Colleen Hanabusa because she “is for the Rail” and she is for “the working class.”  As a citizen, I still have the right to choose who to vote for.  Please do not give out my home phone number or my cell phone number for solicitation or to political candidates.

The person who called me said they were from “the Union.”  I just wanted to let you know as i am sure you don’t know they are soliciting Union workers.

Sincerely,

John Scow, Mililani, Oahu

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Erudite Letter from a liberal Fort Street lawyer

 

Dear Editor,

Kiss my liberal Democratic ass!

Leroy Colombe, Honolulu, Oahu

EDITOR'S NOTE: Colombe’s webpage: http://www.ckdbw.com/?page_id=110  (Challenge: Can you calculate the angle of nasal elevation?)  Colombe’s site indicates he was a member of the “State of Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission, Blue Ribbon Recodification Committee, 2007-08”.  Isn’t it wonderful to know that our campaign spending laws are in such unbiased and disinterested hands?   

We at Hawai`i Free Press genuinely appreciate the opportunity to share such philosophically profound expressions with our readers.  We once again re-commit ourselves to the task of protecting free speech against self-censorship.  It truly is glorious to be able to share such honest and heartfelt opinion material from all wavelengths of the political spectrum.

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Campaign Spending Commission nails prostitute, lets ‘johns’ walk

Dear Editor,

My compliments to Barbara Wong and the Campaign Spending Commission staff for their professional work in the John Henry Felix campaign spending violation case. With an important and contentious election season commencing, it is gratifying to know that they are "watching the store", especially if there are any others out there who may be thinking of ways to circumvent campaign spending rules.

One aspect of the enforcement process does bother me, however. The candidate receiving the illegal contributions is sanctioned, but the contributors usually are not. Aren't both sides part of the same equation?

I apologize, but I can't help thinking that not sanctioning both contradicts the City's current push to cite the "johns" along with the prostitutes.

Chuck Prentiss, Kailua, Oahu 

 

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SCR 91 goes to House Committees: Protects Domestic Abuse victims  

Dear Editor: 

SCR 91 is truly life-saving legislation for Domestic Violence survivors and their children.  It has gone COMPLETELY UNOPPOSED in all committees and we even have the support of the Judiciary.  The SCR has changed from an audit to an investigation.  Status and testimony can be viewed here:

http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2010/lists/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SCR&billnumber=91

After it was adopted by the Senate last Friday, it was referred to four committees in the House...JUD, LMG, HUS and FIN...crazy.  Anyone that wants to stop judges from giving children back to their abusers and the abusers of their protective parent, please contact your Reps today and tomorrow.

More information can be found on AngelGroup, (http://www.angelgroup.org), a grassroots advocacy organization that calls for accountability in Hawaii's judiciary, social services and support services.

This CRITICAL ISSUE of the broken family court system was broadcast on The Dr. Phil Show (see below) this week. It hallmarks a NATIONAL EFFORT to expose what is happening to DV cases in the family court system.  As the home state of our President, Hawaii should be the leader.  When the time comes - and it will come - the Hawaii legislature will look amazing for taking initiative on this effort. Over 100 protective parents so far have asked to be interviewed and KHON HAS indicated an interest to interview.  

The goal is to make things right and to ensure better protections for victims who flee domestic violence relationships NOT to get people "in trouble" so please please provide as much coverage as possible for SCR91!

Thank you for your time and please don't hesitate to contact DV advocate/survivor, Dara Carlin (breaking-the-silence@hotmail.com) with any questions or concerns.  You can also contact AngelGroup (info@angelgroup.org)

Hawaii is not exempt from the very problems identified in Dr. Phil's show and these are the reasons behind SCR91.  

We are fighting to save Hawaii’s children and protective parents! Please do what you can and be part of the solution! Show your support at the legislative level AND in print!

Most respectfully,

Paige Calahan

Survivor/DV Advocate

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HSTA member: “Trust me” -- keep BoE

Dear Editor,

If the board is to be chosen by the governor, why even have a Board of Education?

I've heard people say this is a step in the right direction, the school system is broken. We need change. It's true we need change, but are we really considering letting the governor choose the Board of Education? I know people want change, but trust me this is not the change we need, remember doing something different does not make it better.

Letting the governor choose the BOE is a bad idea for so many reasons. When you elect someone, the governor has the right to remove them. When an elected official appoints an individual with special interests, you usually have hidden agendas or close friends that were owed a favor. Why do you think the public sector is so corrupt with inappropriate use of funds, because friends and relatives are appointed to be there to cover you, especially when they hold high positions.

Riddle me this, if the governor is going to appoint the Board of Education, why bother having a BOE since it would merely be a farce anyway to make people believe their opinions matter.

Joseph DeMarco

Oahu, Hawaii

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Hannemann cancelled speed bumps for Kailua’s fatal Wanaao Road

Dear Editor:

Well, unfortunately, it finally happened. After years of watching speeders race up and down Wanaao Road in Kailua, someone has died in an accident. Was it predictable? Yes! Was it preventable? Yes! Astonishingly, this was one of three serious accidents in the last three weeks in the same exact location in the middle of this long, straight road, and the fourth since the road was recently repaved. Each time speeding was a factor.

It has been disheartening for me and my neighbors over the past years to consistently see both old and young people being lifted into ambulances, some suffering permanent injuries, and now a fatality. Why does this continue to happen, and who is to blame?

It is not the neighbors who have worked for over five years to get the City to install speed abatement measures on this road. It is not the Kailua Neighborhood Board who has strongly urged the City to do something. It is even not the speeding drivers themselves who become victims of a street system that encourages speeding on residential streets that can accommodate 60 mile-per-hour speeds.

The neighbors worked hard with Mayor Harris who had a speed abatement project designed, and the construction funds appropriated, but Mayor Hannemann cancelled the project. Tragically, there are simple and inexpensive solutions available for the problem; if only we had some elected officials with the interest and fortitude to do the right thing. Efforts to slow traffic to speeds that are safe for residential streets must increase, lest we only continue to grieve for the folks as they are loaded into the ambulance or lowered into the ground.

Chuck Prentiss

Chair, Kailua Neighborhood Board

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Robotics: Despite Remote Geography, Priceless Opportunities in Ka’u

My name is Dakota Walker, and I’m currently a junior at Ka’u High School, on the south side of the Big Island. To put things in perspective, we are about 50 miles away from the nearest Starbucks.

When I joined our school’s FIRST robotics team, I knew nothing about electronics, didn’t know how to use power tools, and hadn’t slightest clue as to how our small rookie team was going to be able to assemble a competition-worthy robot in six weeks. Being the only first-year team in the state in this year’s FIRST in Hawai‘i Regional Robotics Competition, we were all nervous. That however, didn’t stop us from trying our best. Our goal was to get our robot into the Stan Sheriff Center arena, and beyond that we didn’t have any expectations. Despite many hurdles and not even being able to test drive our robot until our first match, we exceeded our goals and managed to place 11th in the regional competition.

Eleventh place may not sound like much, but all of us took away far more than medals and trophies from the competition last month. I’ve learned how to work under pressure, and cooperate with other people in the face of adversity. I’ve learned basic auto-mechanics and electronics. I’ve even learned how to sew! And I’m certainly not the only one on the team who has gained immensely from FIRST. One of my peers hopes to pursue a career in architecture when she graduates. She was able to gain valuable hands-on experience, playing a major part in designing and building our robot from scratch. Another one of my team members wants to go into engineering after high school. FIRST Robotics has given him a huge amount of insight into the engineering field, and a priceless opportunity to prepare himself for a future in his career of choice.

As our team prepares for the World Championships in Atlanta, Georgia this week (April 15-17), we now understand that without funding none of this would be possible. For airfare alone, it will cost our small nine-person team, sixteen-thousand dollars to travel to Atlanta for the competition. This does not include hotels, food, registration or transportation once we’ve arrived.

On behalf of Ka’u High School and the 23 other FIRST Robotics teams in Hawaii, I would like to thank the many businesses that support FIRST robotics and the students who reap the tremendous benefits the program provides.  FIRST robotics has been a once-in-a lifetime opportunity for me, and to those who have funded this program in the past and/or continue to support it now, from the bottom my heart, thank you. You are showing a commitment to the future. Not only is an investment in FIRST an investment in our state’s future, it’s an investment in our nation’s future. And, to those businesses or individuals who are looking for a philanthropic cause to support, I can’t think of a better effort to support than robotics education in Hawaii.

Dakota Walker

Junior, Ka’u High School Robotics (Team 3306)

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HB2290: Save our farmlands  

Dear Editor,

A important bill before the legislature, HB2290, could tip the balance in favor of saving precious farmlands on O'ahu.   Sections 3 and 4 of the bill change the law governing the Land Use Commission to require six votes to designate currently farmed land with A and B quality soils as urban.   At first glance this bill seems to change little.  Developers can still bring their petitions to the LUC; most decisions of the LUC have traditionally been near-unanimous anyway; and projects where the need is compelling will be approved.   What the bill does do is to put the concern and weight of the legislature behind protecting Oahu farms with high quality soils

HB2290 has sailed through the Senate.  Most members of the House seem to support it.  A Senate-House Conference Committee has been named.  But developers are exerting great pressure to defeat it.  Rep. Jon Riki Karamatsu authored the bill and is on the committee.  He needs three others Reps., Ken Ito (repito@capitol.hawaii.gov) ; Clift Tsuji (reptsuji@capitol.hawaii.gov); and Marcus Oshiro (repmoshiro@Capitol.hawaii.gov); to agree to move the bill to conference.   A strong show of strong citizen support could move it ahead. 

If you want to preserve our best farmland, if you enjoy the fresh local produce we now eat, if you are concerned about food security should calamity cut us off from the rest of the world, please write these three legislators a short note supporting Sections 3 and 4 of HB2290 and asking them to move it through conference.

Dr. Kioni Dudley

President,  Friends of Makakilo

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HB2290: We can’t eat houses

Dear Editor,

We are gravely concerned that HB2290, which would preserve prime farmland on Oahu, is now languishing and may not pass because of a lack of leadership by the House.  Both the Senate and House Conference Committee members have been named.  House committee chairs, however, have not shown the will to schedule it for a meeting. 

The State Constitution gives the legislature the duty and responsibility to protect precious ag land. Over the years, all of their efforts to direct subordinate levels of government to do that have failed.  Many legislators feel, as we do, that the most precious lands on O'ahu will be lost before the government acts.  HB2290 asserts the will of the legislature, stepping in and saving those pieces of currently cultivated farmland with prime "A" and "B" quality soils.  While HB2290 has fierce opposition by developers, the bill passed the Senate 23-2, and many legislators feel it would pass the House if it could get to the floor for a vote. We respectfully call upon Speaker Say to use his skills and abilities to guide HB2290 through the committee and eventual passage.

The people of Hawaii embrace the concept of sustainability.  While growing attention is given to fuel sustainability, food sustainability is our true greatest concern.  Having food security requires enough good ag land to grow it on.  It is quite clear that if we were cut off by calamity today from the outside world, we would be completely out of food in a few weeks.  Since this is true, we surrender our best farmland to developers at our own great peril.  The people are no longer willing to do that.  We must have locally sustainable food production. Again, we ask the Speaker Say to get behind this bill.

We can't eat houses.   

Dr. Kioni Dudley, Friends of Makakilo

Robert Harris, Sierra Club

Donna Wong, Hawaii's Thousand Friends

Tom Coffman, Writer


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