State should look into Quest program fraud
There exists a need -- an extreme need -- for the state to look into the Quest health care program and its abuse.
Quest pays for medical insurance coverage for low-income residents, but the state needs to look at the financial ability of some persons to pay for their medical and dental expenses. Some people are taking advantage of the program because they feel "it is free, why not take it?" In the long haul, taxpayers wind up footing the bill.
The state should try to look into the real property owned by these parents, the new cars that they drive and then tell me how this is accomplished.
I am not criticizing people who really need it. However, there are several individuals out there who are clearly taking advantage of the system, which merits review. This is costing our state and the Quest program millions of dollars that can be put to better use where they should be, for the overall good and welfare of our state.
Do an honest study of Turtle Bay traffic
Turtle Bay Resort's spokes-man was all over the news recently claiming that the hotel expansion won't have an impact on traffic. Fine; prove it! Let's see an honest traffic study so that everyone can discuss the traffic concerns objectively.
If the resort owners are unwilling to objectively study the impacts of their proposed expansion, then what does that tell us about their concern for the community?
Bus system should handle crises better
I am fuming. The other day I waited almost three hours at the Kapolei Transit Center, together with hundreds of stranded bus riders, for the C-Express townbound to come, but nothing. I understand there was a closure on Farrington Highway, but in the spirit of aloha wouldn't it be nice if at least a bus supervisor monitored the flow of buses at this major transit center? They knew it was going to be a problem. No one was there -- no bus from Makaha and nothing, nothing, nothing but stranded and annoyed people.
I finally went home and took my car to work, costing me money for gas and parking. Who is going to compensate me for this? Tell you what, it's actually nice to drive in the privacy of your own car with no one yelling on the cell phone or walkie-talkie and making all kinds of noise found when one rides the bus.
You would expect officials in TheBus company to think on their feet and send an extra bus to Kapolei, but no. The moment there is a some kind of road closure on Farrington Highway, they should immediately send extra buses to Kapolei Transit Center. After all, this is rush hour and people have to go to work. How in the world can they expect an increase of ridership if they do not care for the passengers? Can you imagine what happens if a real disaster comes to Honolulu? I wonder!
Lingle appointed many women to state posts
Gov. Linda Lingle deserves praise for recognizing that women can make significant contributions in leadership positions within state government. Unfortunately, a recent Star-Bulletin editorial was based on a national report by the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society that didn't count some of these outstanding female leaders and contained several errors.
Six, rather than four, women serve in cabinet posts in Governor Lingle's administration. They are: Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of health; Lillian Koller, director of human services; Sandra Lee Kunimoto, director of agriculture; Marie Laderta, director of human resources development; Georgina Kawamura, director of budge and finance; and Marsha Wienert, tourism liaison. The head of the state's Department of Education, Superintendent Patricia Hamamoto, is yet another example of a woman in a key public decision-making position.
Ten deputy directors appointed by Governor Lingle also are women.
This tally does not include the numerous women the governor has appointed to state boards and commissions. Nor does it recognize that four of her 11 judicial appointments were women. In addition, all three of her appointments to fill legislative vacancies were women, bringing the number of women legislators to 24, up from 21 as cited in the report.
Each of the governor's selections, be they male or female, has been a person of outstanding qualifications, talent and dedication. As one of the governor's three senior advisers (not six as the report indicated), I am proud to work with them as they tirelessly carry out their public responsibilities.
Linda L. Smith
Senior Policy Adviser
Office of the Governor
Ideas to ease tax load aren't fair to everyone
Our City Council budget chairwoman's philosophy about seniors over the age of 70 with incomes more than $50,000 is faulty. Yes, closing the gap of property taxes with younger homeowners will happen, but remember younger working homeowners still have increased earning potential. Older taxpayers are on fixed incomes and increased property taxes will have to come from their savings.
Is this the rainy day monies we have put away for our old age? Further, is this fair to all income levels and the balance the Council is striving for? The mayor's idea of a special fund to pay property taxes at local financial institutions for use by seniors is not very funny either! Let's look at the "big picture" and be fair to all. Thanks for letting me vent!
Roy M. Chee