Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Faithful Citizenship - January 9, 2011

Happy New Year to all! I’ve taken the last two weeks off to enjoy the Christmas Season. But, as I opened my folder this morning, I was agai reminded that problems don’t go away without hard work.

Our legislative session will begin soon. While there will be lots of issues on the table as lawmakers scramble to get money to balance the budget, one issue remains consistently before us; and, although talked and gawked about, homelessness is no closer to being solved today than it was a year or two ago.

We had family visiting over the last 10 days. Everyone knows that that usually involves a drive “around the island.” You also know that the drive doesn’t really go all the way around the island, but ends in a small, dirt parking lot before you can begin a 45-minute walk to the sanctuary at Kaena Point. Along the way, you pass some of the longest and widest beaches on Oahu. With the waves pounding in an impressive roar or swishing up along the beach, either way is an impressive sight. Those beaches at various times over the last five years have been cluttered with tents and other worldly possessions of huge numbers of homeless. News media followed their evictions as they were forced to grab what they could carry or transport in their mostly unlicensed, uninsured vehicles and move to another location. Over time, they have settled, pretty much unhassled it seems, in the bushes and coves near beautiful Yokohama Bay. It’s scary and very sad to see such sights in what our travel brochures try their darndest to project as the most trouble- and care-free place on earth.

Bishop Silva has asked us to do our part in addressing the homeless situation. The articles that were included in the bulletins before Christmas did a good job of outlining the problem. What can we do? For starters, call our legislators and demand that they put this on the front burner. More next week….. Gotta go boot up my hard drive! Aloha---Mary B

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