Letters for August 24, 2016

Letters for Aug. 24, 2016

Well done, Hale ‘Opio and Laverne Bishop

Congratulations to Hale ‘Opio Kauai as they celebrate their 41st anniversary! Beginning 40 years ago, when Hale ‘Opio was a fledgling program, I was very excited that there was a program for runaway teens on Kauai, particularly in Poipu — my backyard!

As a social worker and administrator with Family Court in Honolulu, my staff and I referred many teenagers to Hale ‘Opio because the staff was very responsive and committed to ensuring that each young person was experiencing success in the many domains in his/her life. What a difference in the teenagers’ behavior and engagement with their families when they returned home to Honolulu.

Last Thursday, Hale ‘Opio’s staff, foster parents, and youth presented their programs at Hale ‘Opio’s annual meeting in their own unique and inspiring ways. Shining through each presentation was their strong commitment to the children and families they serve.

Under Laverne Bishop, executive director, Hale ‘Opio has continued to provide meaningful and effective services for Kauai’s and other islands’ youths and families. Thank you, Hale ‘Opio, for all you do.

Norma Doctor Sparks


Don’t lose hope, vote

I’m writing this letter to those of you who put your hearts and souls into Bernie’s campaign and feel frustrated and disenfranchised with the results.

It appears that a good number of Bernie’s supporters failed to show up for the primary. Many candidates advocating for political reform, cultural equity and environmental issues failed to get the support that will be needed to carry them through the general election.

I realize that many of you may feel that the political system failed you. Yes, our system is far from perfect and those with a vested interest in the status quo are extremely resistant to change.

I’m not asking you to vote for Hillary if you can’t accept her. I accept the fact that there are still some strong emotions in play. If you feel you can’t support Hillary vote green, but vote.

In the general election there are some strong progressive candidates for council that need and deserve your support. The direction of the county over the next few years is at stake. Issues like public transportation, development, renewable energy, and recycling verses incineration will be decided.

What I am asking is that you don’t give up completely on our political system and the attempt to change the way things are. Change begins locally.

Please continue to participate in the system and vote for new ideas, equity and the environment. Remember, “Democracy is not a spectator sport. The future is ours but only if we actively participating in shaping it.”

John Harder



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