Wednesday, August 20 2014 5:43 AM EDT2014-08-20 09:43:48 GMT
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A young girl, who claims she was standing up for her religious beliefs in the classroom, was suspended after breaking a class rule of saying "bless you" after a classmate sneezed. More >>
By: Rick Blangiardi
Recently, we took on the issue of Hawaii's homeless in the segment
and we got quite a bit of response.
I called on the governor to declare a state of emergency and the
reaction was basically, "what do you expect the governor to do? What do
you expect government in general to do at all?"
Well, at least one elected official is not only calling attention
to the problem but laying out a plan.
Mayor Kirk Caldwell said, in a Star-Advertiser editorial, that
homelessness is a crisis, which is true. And even more to the point, he said we
cannot let homelessness ruin our economy and take over the city. I couldn't
Recently, in talking to the mayor, he told me that Honolulu is
ranked first in the number of homeless people among cities of a comparable
size. I asked him to repeat that statement. It is true, and it is sad.
But unlike others who haven't really come up with solutions, Caldwell
talked about moving 11 tons of items from the homeless from our sidewalks and
parks every week.
He is working to get more restrooms opened in Waikiki and to clear
the sidewalks there. A proposal to increase hotel and property taxes on resorts
could help with moving out the homeless.
He wants better laws to keep people from sitting or lying on
public sidewalks and fines for those are using the public places as their
bathroom. And he is trying to get the homeless into permanent housing, called
Caldwell calls it "compassionate disruption" in getting
our island back to normal and now, with the city council's help, he is finally
securing some money to find that housing.
So I guess there is something government can do. Meanwhile, we are
still waiting to hear from the governor about what his plan might be.
So, if the city council can step forward to assist our mayor, then
we sincerely hope the elected officials at the state level will do the same to
help governor Abercrombie.