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Monday, August 2, 1999

Tapa


Be aware of Hawaiian flag etiquette

Please pass the word that many well-meaning companies are being discourteous to the Hawaiian flag by flying it next to the U.S. flag on a shorter, subordinate pole. The Hawaiian flag should fly subordinate to the American flag only when it is on the same pole.

When flown adjacent to the U.S. flag on a separate staff, the Hawaiian flag should be equal in height.

Like the Republic of Texas, Hawaii was annexed as a sovereign republic, not acres of area made into a territory. Therefore, only Hawaii and Texas have this equal display exception in flag courtesy.

McDonald's, Burger King, the new KHON building on Piikoi and Computer City on Ala Moana are wrong, as are others.

Dick Hedlund

Former budget director didn't invent numbers

In his July 22 letter, Wilbert W.W. Wong alleges that, when I was state budget director, I claimed a $33 million surplus three weeks prior to the 1998 general election and, shortly afterward, told the 1999 Legislature we "had a $25 million deficit."

The truth is that the June 30, 1998 "surplus" was $153.8 million, as audited and verified by the independent CPA firm of Ernst and Young. Why would I claim only a $33 million surplus? Or worse, a $25 million deficit?

We project a June 30, 1999 surplus of approximately $200 million.

Earl I. Anzai


Quotables

Tapa

"This far exceeds my expectations. This has information that I want to read."
Karen Knudsen
Hawaii Board of Education vice chairwoman
On a reader-friendly version of the Hawaii Content and Performance Standards, the cornerstone of education reform in the state


"This will be a good boost to morale here."
Capt. T. McCreary
Pacific Command spokesman
On the Pentagon's decision to rescind a planned 25 percent reduction in the cost-of-living allowance for Hawaii's 45,000 uniformed personnel


Older citizens still get quality services

We agree with the July 2 letter by Jan Koltun that Catholic Charities "Elderly Services" program was worthy. However, readers shouldn't mistakenly believe that services for seniors have been discontinued or reduced by $500,000.

State law requires that the Executive Office on Aging issue Requests for Proposals so that it can procure services from private agencies. This is a competitive process.

In this case, the purchase of service for case management was awarded to another provider that also has a reputation for quality. Counseling and other services will continue to be provided by a number of agencies, including Catholic Charities.

Marilyn R. Seely
Director, Executive Office on Aging
Karen Miyake
County Executive on Aging, Honolulu

Seniors don't need 'help' with drug costs

We owe a debt to Congressman Neil Abercrombie for exposing us early on to federal HR 664, the socialist Prescription Drug Fairness for Seniors Act of 1999, which he is co-sponsoring (View Point, July 17). We are seniors with Medicare cards, so he is talking about us.

As I understand the bill, by 2008 we will have an additional $1,056 per year deducted from our family income from Social Security as a "Part D premium." In return, the government will cover half the cost of any prescription drugs we need, up to a $5,000 maximum per person.

So between us, we will need to spend more than $2,100 just for prescription drugs each year before we break even. Like most folks, we have never spent anything approaching that figure. This is "Fairness for Seniors"?

Be warned, fellow citizens. Our elected officials are getting ready to do it to us again. Please join us in expressing displeasure to Abercrombie and his cohorts. Say "no" to federal meddling into our purchase of prescription drugs!

Richard and Bette Berry

Gays choose to pursue their lifestyle

In his July 21 letter, Braddoc DeCaries said that people can choose their religion but they can't choose to be gay. This reasoning is bizarre, at best.

I choose to be a Buddhist, to have sex with women and to be overweight. I choose vanilla over chocolate. I choose Bud instead of Coors, and Honolulu instead of Hoboken.

Life is full of choices and consequences. I, and no one else, am responsible for the choices I make.

What really puzzles me, though, is why anyone would choose to engage in behavior that is blatantly unhealthy and potentially fatal? The state Department of Health just released its AIDS statistics and, as of June 30, 84 percent of the 2,290 cases of full-blown AIDs in Hawaii are related to men having sex with men.

It's all about choices: cause and effect, action and reaction, karma, and "as you show, so shall you reap."

Frank Morten

Close Up Foundation observes democracy

Democracy is not a spectator sport. For it to survive and flourish, all must become involved. This is the message I heard from 215 Hawaii school students, representing 27 area high schools, who recently participated in the Close Up Foundation government studies program in Washington, D.C.

For a full week, these students worked on developing a better understanding of our democratic process. By observing congressional proceedings, questioning journalists and meeting with government advisors, the abstracts of history and the process of governing were transformed into concrete experiences. In addition, students were able to share their views with mainland peers.

On behalf of Close Up, thanks to all who helped in coordinating and funding this year's program.

Jennifer Oh
Hawaii Outreach Coordinator
Close Up Foundation Alexandria, Va.

Apology bill had no force of law

Someone has to set the record straight about Rolf Nordahl's July 27 letter about the U.S. apology bill. First of all, he apparently does not know the difference between a bill and a law. Bill 103-150 is only a joint resolution; it never passed as a law, thus does not have the intent or force of law.

In fact, during the Senate debates as reported by the Congressional Record, Oct. 27, 1993, the co-sponsor, U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye stated, "I indicated that we submitted this resolution because of our love for our country. It is that simple...this is a simple resolution of apology."

For Nordahl to make the stretch from joint resolution of apology to a public law conferring special rights and treatment to native Hawaiians is simply wrong.

Pam Smith
Ewa Beach

Tapa

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