Well, Mayor, why was contractor switched?
City Councilman Charles Djou is still waiting for an answer from the city about the subcontractor switch on the transit project (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 29
). We all are.
Mayor Hannemann refuses to explain how his friend got a subcontract without having to go through the normal evaluation and selection process. Were laws broken? Hope not. If the city violated the laws requiring competition for contracts, it could be the end of federal funding for the city for the transit project.
Hannemann said the city followed all the rules. If so, the city should be willing to explain to everyone how the mayor's friend was chosen. I am a concerned citizen and taxpayer, and I want to know the answer.
Where is money going from car registration?
I recently viewed with incredulity the increase in my automobile registration fee from $115 in 2004 to $180 in 2005. This is an increase of 56 percent!
I wonder if this increase will be used to fix our streets, some of which have deteriorated to "Jeep trail status," or whether it will be used to line the pockets of the city bureaucracy.
James R. Day
Soldiers are fighting for rights of protesters
Monica Evans of the group Military Families Speak Out-Hawaii (Letters, Star-Bulletin, Dec. 13
) says that the cost of the war in Iraq is too high because of the soldiers coming home injured or with mental problems. Because of this, Mrs. Evans, the wife of a soldier, advocates an immediate withdrawal from Iraq.
While I certainly can understand how hard it was for her and her family to have her husband in Iraq, her opinion is flawed. Her husband and others in the armed services volunteered to serve our country. Mrs. Evans speaks freely because her husband and thousands of others have or are sacrificing their lives so she can do so. It seems that she reaps the benefits of this country when times are good, but would rather cut and run when faced with the reality of war and keeping America safe. Her opinion does a disservice to the thousands of brave men and women who protect this country. Perhaps a letter of appreciation to our troops would have been more appropriate.
» M. Sgt. Eric Daido
Hickam Air Force Base
Let Saddam's victims handle his 'justice'
I'm sorry. I really am a very humanitarian guy, but I think that this whole trial for Saddam Hussein is a farce. The West, the East, the North, the South know he is an evil guy who did many evil things. Even his own Iraqis will vouch for Saddam's evilness. So why are we spending millions of dollars jailing him, protecting him and trying him? If they are still alive by his trial's end, each defense attorney, the judge and their families will have to look over their shoulders for years to come.
Allow the families of some Iraqis he tortured and killed to dispense judgment. I'm sure they have some ideas. It would be done cheaper, quicker -- and, best of all, by an Arab.
Where are pictures of Iraq construction?
If building and construction (our rehabilitation of the essential infrastructure of the nation we "shock and awe" laid to waste in 2003) are doing great in Iraq, where are the pictures? Prove it, President Bush, Rep. Case, et al. Surely, with the technology we own, with our great "embedded" reporters, with GI official photographers, with aerial photo capability, with the same personal cameras used to record Abu Ghraib tortures, with the tight control over our "free press" exercised by this neocon administration -- surely there are pictures of sparkling, newly constructed schools, power plants, sewage-disposal facilities and so on.
Show them to us! Show us how great we're doing in Iraq!
Robert H. Stiver
Where is the outrage about home prices?
Where is the outrage about the increasing price of a house on Oahu? As reported in the Dec. 3 Star-Bulletin
, the November median price of houses on Oahu was $640,500. Exhilarating news for investors, mixed for homeowners and devastating for families.
Is everyone blind or silenced about the ramification of these prices? The prosperity, happiness and joy that blossom from homeownership no longer exist for a generation of families and beyond. Being middle class with a solid upbringing and a good education combined with working hard while raising a family is just not good enough.
How cruel and shameful that the coming generation cannot reap the fruits of their labors even during a booming economy. The dream is dead.
The housing market reacts apathetically to the needs of families with keiki. An unprecedented exodus is inevitable and already under way. The next two generations and beyond: lost.
The absence of outrage at the price for a home on Oahu is outrageous.
People shouldn't credit God so casually
People should be careful when making references to God. Case in point: Upon a successful athletic victory, credit was given to God as being there on the winning side. With that statement being said, then what happened when the next athletic competition resulted in a nonvictory? Was God not on their side?
Keiki ornaments cheer isle-lovers near and far
Congratulations to all of the young people who are having their wonderful ornament creations published in the Keiki Kalikimaka
section of the Star-Bulletin. We have enjoyed seeing each one, with their colors, designs and originality. Mahalo keikis! We hope you continue to share your talents with others. Mahalo also to the Star-Bulletin for including this special feature in your newspaper.
We read starbulletin.com each day in our home outside of Chicago. Doing this warms us during the cold Chicago winter and makes us smile with anticipation of our next visit.
Phyllis and Lanny Younger
New Lenox, Ill.
Singapore masters public housing scheme
I just read Mark Terry's Dec. 15 letter
about public housing. He made a reference to selling the units to private enterprise to improve management.
There is another alternative. Singapore has had a very successful public housing program. As I understand it, the vast majority of Singapore residents live in units built by the government. But instead of renting, these people purchase their homes. The government builds the apartments and sells the units to tenants under terms that leave their monthly payments about the same as rent. As a result, the buildings are in better shape, and the government does not have a big financial burden.
I suppose statistics are available online, but I've heard that as much as 75 percent or 80 percent of apartment units are owned by the occupants.
Lanny K. Williams
Former Hawaii resident
Take pride in bringing liberty to Iraqis
Last week, millions of Iraqis defied threats of retaliation and even death to stand in long lines just to make their individual mark on a piece of paper. For the first time in their lives, candidates for office had approached even the most destitute of them seeking and imploring the favor of their vote. In three short years, the man and woman on the street are able to speak their minds without fear of terrible retribution from a repressive dictatorship. It was not just a vote for leadership. It was a vote for freedom and democracy. It represents the hope and dreams of men and women, parents and children throughout this growing new democracy.
Suddenly, through the unrelenting fog of partisan pessimism and bickering in this country appeared the exhilarating winds of freedom purchased by the sacrifices of our nation's very best. It is indisputable evidence that vindicates once and for all the terrible sacrifices the heroes of this country have and are making. We should all be so proud that in our lifetime we each could live to make such a difference.
Nelson S.W. Chang
Kaiser's new rules put seniors in tough spot
With reference to the Dec. 8 letter
from a retired military man who said he and his wife might have to cancel their Kaiser Senior Advantage health coverage because Kaiser requires subscribers to enroll in Medicare Part D:
I also received a call from Kaiser, informing me that not only must I be enrolled in Medicare Part D, but if I had other prescription health coverage, I would not be allowed to continue with my Kaiser health coverage.
My health plan, provided through my pension, has prescription coverage that is as good or better than Medicare Part D. Why can't I have other prescription insurance that will cover what Medicare does not? My group health insurance plan makes it cheaper for me to pay for prescriptions, just as the military does.
My group health coverage provider is renegotiating its contract with Kaiser over this issue. I would hate to lose Kaiser, since my doctors and the treatment I have received over the years is wonderful. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place.
Syndy Pratt Soucy