Your Views for January 26

Climate crisis

According to the Los Angeles Times editorial published under the heading, “The hottest years in modern history, and we’re doing nothing about it” (Tribune-Herald, Jan. 21), the “global greenhouse gas emissions hit a record high last year. Instead of working to protect the planet by making the agreement stronger, Trump has moved the United States in the opposite direction, to its shame, and has begun the process of withdrawing from the agreement.”

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Is this vital issue alone not sufficient to impeach a president? The concept that our federal government’s three branches are equal is diametrically in contradiction with 21st century realities.

The president has constitutional powers with the potential to be the greatest dictator in human history, making our legislative and judicial branches far less effective in comparison.

Is it not time after more than two centuries for us to take a close look at our Constitution and revise it to respond to the vital issues affecting our lives in the current age?

Is it not also not time to consider the concept of “seniority” in the conduct of our affairs, especially at the congressional level, so that one individual would not be in the position to impose their will either on the House or the Senate, as is currently the case regarding Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky?

Abolghassem Abraham Sadegh

Hilo

Real solutions

Regarding your article about paddling clubs’ complaints about apparently homeless people trashing beach restrooms and defecating on beaches and in canoes, making it unsafe for children and adults: This is the same song, 10,000th verse.

Why does no one ever offer real solutions to a serious problem that is getting more serious every day? Saying that we must work smarter, not harder, and claiming the problem is a priority when it isn’t treated as one is not helpful.

I know from personal experience with faith-based social work that some of the homeless are responsible people who can return to societal norms with some help. But a much greater number are homeless because of mental illness, drug addiction or both.

Until those problems are addressed, the homeless problem will continue to get worse exponentially. There are enough programs and faith-based nonprofits to take care of homeless people who have fallen on hard times and just need a leg up. The answer for the majority of the homeless must be different — really different.

Rather than just wringing my hands, I propose a conversation about the following.

1. The state Legislature and/or the county council enact laws prohibiting sleeping on the ground or camping in public places in all cities and parks, except in designated registered campgrounds.

2. Build a new secure facility to house those homeless people arrested for violating the laws while they can be assessed for mental illness or drug addiction.

3. Transfer those assessed as mentally ill to another existing or new facility, where they can receive treatment for their mental illness until they are deemed competent to return to society.

4. Transfer those assessed to be drug addicted to another existing or new facility to be housed while being treated for their addiction until they are deemed free from their addiction and can return to society.

5. Build villages of lockable “tiny houses” with central restroom and kitchen facilities, which would be available rent-free for a time to any “graduates” of the facilities in No. 3 and No. 4. Safety and security for belongings could be a strong motivator for people to agree to treatment.

6. Refer those not assessed as mentally ill or drug addicted to existing or new programs or faith-based nonprofits for help getting back on their feet.

7. The considerable cost of building and operating these facilities can be covered by an increase of (fill in the blank) % in the county property tax. The increase to be determined by the actual projected costs of building and operating these facilities, and the tax increase, by law, could not be used for any other purpose. Since property owners are most affected by the homeless problem, they should be most willing to contribute to solving it. I am certainly willing for my taxes to increase if it solves this problem.

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Ron Needham

Hilo

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