Letters for Saturday, July 16, 2011

• I love roosters • End the “R word” in

Hawai‘i • ‘Shovel Ready’ robots making a

difference • Top 10 percent pays 70 percent of

taxes

I love roosters

Once again I hear complaining at Princeville about the roosters and chickens. Give me a break!

How sad, here you are, living in the lap of luxury, most likely retired, and nothing to do but complain. You can drop the chickens at my house, I love them, they are the personification of nature and some are quite beautiful if you look at them. 

Do you know we are known as “Haoleville” and “Haolewood” by the locals, kind of embarrassing, I think.

Those losing their home, or a job, or are in Iraq fighting for us, the poor on our beautiful island, they have a reason and right to complain, not you.

I am so happy to finally be here after having to work 40 years and wait; it is paradise and I appreciate it and so should you.

I have a picture that says, “If you are lucky enough to live on an island, you are lucky enough” and I agree.

Shari Ferguson, Princeville

End the “R word” in Hawai‘i

On July 11 Hawai‘i took a step toward equality when Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed House Bill 761 into law. We applaud the governor and the act which — along with the federal Rosa’s Law — requires the replacement of the hurtful term “mental retardation” with “intellectual disabilities” by state and federal agencies, and is an important step in creating a community of tolerance and acceptance in a state celebrated for its warm aloha spirit.

I have experienced first-hand the devastation and pain that hurtful language, such as the “R word” can cause our athletes and individuals with intellectual disabilities, and this event is a great opportunity to cultivate conversation on eliminating hurtful and derogatory language from our everyday lives.

For four years Special Olympics has worked to abolish the use of the “R word” in communities around the world with its “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign, which works to eliminate the use of the “R word” from our vocabularies.

If we continue to maintain dialogue about this issue, we can foster communities of respect and inclusion.

If you haven’t already taken the pledge and would like to make a commitment of acceptance you can do so at www.r-word.org.

Nancy Bottelo, Honolulu

‘Shovel Ready’ robots making a difference

Robots are more than just pieces of metal, wire, and nuts and bolts; they are catalysts for our state’s future science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) leaders to be educated, motivated, and inspired.

With Hawai‘i’s six major educational robotics programs reaching out to students in all grades, robots are impacting more than 5,000 students in over 400 teams statewide.

With the school year beginning again soon, we are confident these numbers will continue to grow rapidly each year.

The robotics community was fortunate to receive stimulus funds to help continue their efforts of providing Hawai‘i’s youth with these programs. All six programs, FIRST LEGO League, Micro Robotics, MATE Underwater Robotics, VEX Robotics, Botball, and FIRST Robotics Competition, were able to grow and expand dramatically due to the stimulus funds.

Many of Hawai‘i’s schools were able to start a robotics team, create current engineering labs and provide their students and teachers with necessary resources.

The results from students who have participated in these robotics programs are evident through their choices both academically and professionally post high school. Many of the robotics program graduates pursue their college education both here in Hawai‘i and in prominent mainland universities; a large number of them declaring a STEM-related major.

President Obama used the term “shovel ready” in regard to how he hoped the stimulus money would provide the final push for projects that would put people to work right away.

Hawai‘i’s six major educational robotics programs were “shovel ready” and have proven their worth for Hawai‘i’s youth.

Thousands of people across are state were not only able to “pick up their shovels” and being work right away, but they were also able to pave the way for our future STEM leaders.

Jim Cox, Kapa‘a High School

Osa Tui, McKinley High School

Glenn Lee, Waialua High School

Dale Olive, Waiakea High School

Top 10 percent pays 70 percent of taxes

Mr. Zwiebel accuses Republicans of conspiring to “steal your Social Security and Medicare and give it to the 400 richest Americans who already own half of America”.

What is sad — and dangerous — about this absurd belief is that far too many citizens who are allowed to vote think it’s true.

Just consider: In a country of about 300 million, 50 percent of the wealth is supposedly in the hands of only 400 people.

Even if this were so, how could a political party have any future if their goal was to “steal” from the rest of us and “give” it to a grand total of 400. And those are 400 folks who don’t even need Social Security and Medicare.

Don’t forget, the top 10 percent of taxpayers pay 70 percent of all taxes. How much more would be considered “fair” by the left?

Mr. Zwiebel’s hero, Congressman Bernie Sanders, is an avowed socialist. The bankrupt states of Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy have one thing in common — they are all socialist.

And now the U.S., by any accepted accounting method, is bankrupt too.

There is no money to fund our social programs at current levels. Yet the Democrats, who haven’t even produced a budget for the past two years, have demanded an increase in spending. And this is the party that is using tax dollars to refurbish mosques in the Muslim world.

The Republicans are trying to save these safety nets from extinction by making some difficult changes — not “steal” the proceeds for a few rich people.

John Burns, Princeville

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