Letters to the editor: 03-15-19

Running with Rani a weekly highlight

Friday’s newspaper arrives. Yay, I get to read the Running with Rani sports column — my favorite Friday mid-morning read. Wait, there was no Running with Rani. For some reason, the powers that be have decided that this column should be a biweekly rather than a weekly.

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I disagree. Rani’s column gives the readers an excellent recap of all the multi sports that happen in our community, island and state. Rani does an excellent job of covering all the events — usually she is there experiencing them as well as watching them. She highlights families, children and adults as they run, bike swim across the state.

My fifth-grade son and several of his classmates can’t wait to read her columns as part of his Friday classroom’s read-the-paper activity. I hope the newspaper reconsiders her scheduled write-ups and brings back the weekly column. I fear many of our local events and family events will go unnoticed and that would be a shame.

The variety of family sporting events is one of the many things that make our community so unique and special. Don’t become that newspaper that only writes about the select few with limited local writing or that only highlights the high school events. We need Running with Rani to be printed on a weekly basis not a biweekly.

LaVerne Curry

Kailua-Kona

Improving voter education will empower voters

March 10-16 is Sunshine Week, a nationwide nonpartisan effort to encourage the public to recognize the achievements and identify the setbacks in efforts to protect a citizen’s “right to know.” (www.sunshineweek.org)

On Nov. 6, 2018, voters in Hawaii County approved two charter amendments that are excellent examples of Sunshine Week achievements.

The first charter amendment, public notice and voting requirements for the Salary Commission, provides the public with an opportunity to respond to the recommendations of the Salary Commission, which sets the salary levels of county officials.

The second charter amendment, fiscal impact statements, requires that fiscal impact statements be prepared for proposed charter amendments on the ballot.

The League of Women Voters of Hawaii County (LWVHC) appreciates the efforts of our county council to improve transparency in government and provide information for voters to make informed decisions.

But the League believes that more can be done to support an informed electorate, which we believe is a significant factor in voter turnout and engagement.

That is why LWVHI has recently testified in support of SB958 and SB1058, which would require the state to prepare and distribute information to educate voters about what is on the ballot. The LWVHI is also supporting SCR23 to establish a task force to review Hawaii’s current voter education system and propose improvements.

The bills take different paths, but both SB958 and SB1058 recognize that a better informed electorate is more engaged, and that the state is best suited to provide accurate information in clear language about what is on the ballot.

The people’s trust and confidence in our government and institutions depend on transparency and the power that knowledge gives. During this Sunshine Week, the LWVHC encourages the public to recognize and support efforts to empower voters by improving voter education.

Rosemarie Muller

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President, League of Women Voters of Hawaii County

Hilo