Letters for Tuesday, August 2, 2011

 • How to fix Congress • Kalaheo

Elementary has a village • All in favor, say

‘Yes’

 How to fix Congress

The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18-year-olds) took only three months and eight days to be ratified. Why? Simple. The people were demanding it.

That was in 1971, before computers. Of the other 26 amendments to the constitution, seven took one year or less to become the law of the land — all because of public pressure.

The Congressional Reform Act of 2011

1. Term Limits: 12 years max, some possible options are below.

   A. Two six-year Senate terms

   B. Six two-year House terms

   C. One six-year Senate term and three two-year House terms

2. No Tenure/No Pension: Members of Congress receive a salary while in office, that salary ends when they leave office.

3. Congress members (past, present and future) are to participate in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with all Americans.

4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all other Americans do.

5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3 percent.

6. Congress loses their current healthcare system and participates in the same healthcare system as the American people.

7. Members of Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

8. All contracts with past and present members of Congress are void effective Jan. 1, 2012. The American people did not make the contract members of Congress enjoy; Congress made all these contracts for themselves.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

This is how you fix Congress. It’s way past time for a change!

Ali‘ilani Kanui, Kapa‘a

Kalaheo Elementary has a village

Kalaheo Elementary was recognized again for being a leader in recycling among Hawai‘i schools as it was awarded first place in two separate recycling contests this past school year.

Reynolds Recycling holds a statewide contest called “Cans for Cash” and the Can Manufacturers Institute holds a national contest for recycling. Kalaheo Elementary took first place honors for the state of Hawai‘i in both contests.

This achievement is only possible through the generous donations of time and materials by the community along with the outstanding efforts of Kalaheo’s teaching staff who instill a sense of responsibility and stewardship in every student.

The Kalaheo PTSA would like to thank Matson Navigation for the donation of a container in which we store our recyclables and Kaua‘i Commercial for hauling the container and placing it on school grounds. We also need to recognize the County of Kaua‘i’s recycling specialist Jeannie Yoshida who helps teach our students about the importance of recycling and Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. and his Furlough Friday Force which spent a Furlough Friday assisting in the recycling effort — the real nitty gritty work.

Kalaheo Elementary is also very lucky to have some business partners like Tire Warehouse and Kukui‘ula which graciously donate recyclables to the school. This effort and achievement is only possible through the support and manual labor of Kalaheo’s Principal Erik Burkman and our tireless and motivated recycling coordinator Linda Silva.

This same level of dedication and support by parents, teachers, staff, and the community can be seen in the other programs at the school like the Sunshine Express and the Drama Club.

Kalaheo Elementary is also blessed to have numerous parent volunteers who can be found on campus daily assisting in and out of the classroom making Kalaheo Elementary a fabulous place for our children to develop and learn.

This involvement by adults and businesses helps build a feeling of community and a sense of the importance of school and learning within our students, values we need to continue to encourage.

Thank You Kaua‘i for being involved and helping our students grow into our future leaders. Please keep up the great work and generosity.

Pat Gegen, Kalaheo

All in favor, say ‘Yes’

‘No’ Superferry on Kaua‘i; ‘no’ drug treatment center in Lihu‘e; ‘no’ Walmart supercenter on Kaua‘i; ‘no’ go-cart race facility in Kapahi; ‘no’ community amphitheater in Kilauea; ‘no’ vacation rentals; ‘no’ Friday night football; ‘no’ cell phones while driving; ‘no’ trespassing to once popular Kipu Falls; ‘no’ plastic bags; ‘no’ GMOs; ‘no’ driving without seatbelts; ‘no’ state lottery; ‘no’ state  decriminalization of marijuana; and last but not least, ‘no’ dogs allowed.

 Hawai’i has become the State of No and Kaua‘i has become the Island of No. Maybe a few yeses would help the economy? 

Negativity breeds negativity, it’s time we move on in a positive mode.

All in favor, say ‘Yes,’ opposed say ‘No.’

James “Kimo” Rosen, Kapa‘a

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