Doing a good job has paid off for Lingle
If I had $6 million I'd give it to Randy Iwase just to stop his ranting and raving over Gov. Linda Lingle's "$6 million war chest." Doesn't it occur to Iwase that the reason Lingle has been so successful in raising money for her campaign is because she's been so successful as a governor for the past four years? Donors "buy into" her vision because she has proven that she keeps her promises and is the best investment for the future of Hawaii.
Iwase is just jealous. He doesn't have the support and broad appeal that Lingle does, so he will need to rely on union money and a personal loan of $60,000. He must be saying "You Gotta Believe" to a mirror, 'cause no one else seems to be buying it.
Let Lingle keep improving education
Hawaii's education system doesn't need only money. It needs change, effective leadership and a new direction. Throwing money at a problem will not produce a solution. Case in point: The Department of Education gets more than $2 billion per year, plus millions for repair and maintenance. And yet students don't have textbooks.
The DOE has failed miserably in its management of resources. Instead of placing even more taxpayer dollars under its control, we need more accountability from the DOE. We need reform, like making sure more money gets into the classroom with more control allocated to the local level. We need committed and experienced leaders who think outside the box and gets things done.
Gov. Linda Lingle is needed for another four years. She brought education to the forefront, and when the Legislature blocked her proposals for local school boards, she went after strengthening early childhood education and charter schools.
Lingle has made a clear stand for education. It's now up to the people of Hawaii to stand with her in the upcoming election.
Mesa is here to put others out of business
Joseph Kiefer (Letters, Oct. 9
) implies that Hawaiian Air is upset by the entry of a strong competitor. In truth, Hawaiian is fighting a "competitor" that used unethical business tactics. In his injunction ruling, Judge Robert Faris noted that "The evidence raises real doubts about the propriety of Mesa's conduct." Evidence that Mesa's entry plan was predicated on the demise of Aloha clearly exists, yet Mesa continues to deny this.
Mesa claims that its here to provide affordable air travel but as a public company, its plan must show profitability (which is unattainable at current pricing). Mesa also has stated that it could sustain $25 million annual losses for five years. Does that sound like the stimulation of or intended elimination of competition? I would be very wary of this wolf in sheep's clothing.
Unreasonably low fares simply cannot last. Once one entity is gone, interisland pricing will return to sustainable levels and Hawaii's socio-economic system will need to deal with the 3,000-plus out-of-work airline employees. It's not a matter of if; it's a matter of when.
It's absurd to make judges retire at age 70
A number of years ago, I served as lead counsel for passengers and flight attendants involved in the horrific inflight incident where the cargo door of United Airlines Flight 811 blew off shortly after takeoff from Honolulu enroute to Auckland and two engines on the same side of a nearly full 747 were lost.
In the course of the investigation, it was indelibly imprinted upon me that the skill and years of experience of the chief pilot was the critical factor in bringing that plane back to safety and saving the lives of the remainder of the passengers. Capt. David Cronin was one month away from the industry standard age of forced retirement at 60 years.
Without question, in positions of such enormous responsibility with life-affecting impact on others, the public is the beneficiary of years of experience that precede appointment to such a position.
Similarly, older judges, in their 60s and 70s and beyond, rule from the bench with the knowledge gleaned from years of trials and thousands of cases. Safeguards are in place to remove incompetent judges. To remove a judge merely because he has attained his 70th birthday is not only counterproductive to the fair administration of the law but absurd.
Do Americans really want a win in Iraq?
We keep being told we need to stay the course and win the war in Iraq. Well, I've been scratching my head and wondering what a win in Iraq looks like.
Is it a true democracy, where the people are free to vote in an Islamic fundamentalist government like the Taliban?
Or rigged elections? We can do that.
Or perhaps a U.S. puppet regime like the shah of Iran? Or a more obedient Saddam Hussein? Or maybe a U.S. state, like Hawaii?
Or are there options I haven't thought of? Hey, this is a serious question. I really want to know.
And while we're on the subject, what would a win in the war on terrorism look like? Or is it designed to be self-perpetuating, like the drug war?
How would terrorists get to America?
Bernardo P. Benigno's Oct. 10 letter to the editor
about how the troops are giving their lives for us to live in freedom and prosperity was quite humorous. How does he think tens of thousands of terrorists are going to come and attack America? Perhaps they are going to hijack thousands of airliners, or maybe they are going to obtain thousands of kayaks and float the thousands of miles from Iraq to America.
The troops in Iraq are dying for one thing and only one thing -- oil, and the revenues that it will bring. The terrorists don't care about our freedom, prosperity or success. They and millions of citizens of Iraq just want the United States to leave, and we should.
Port Angeles, Wash.
Former Hawaii resident
Don't believe rumor about Guard call-up
Recently, a number of politicians have been quoted as saying that Hawaii National Guard soldiers may be recalled to active duty and deployed once again to Iraq for an indefinite period (Star-Bulletin, Oct. 6
). Title 10, U.S. Code 12302, relating to mobilization of reserve call-ups, states that a member of the National Guard or reserves cannot be involuntarily called up for Title 10 active duty for longer than 24 months unless the president declares a national emergency. Since the soldiers of the Hawaii Army National Guard's 29th Brigade Combat Team and several other units already have been mobilized for an 18-month period in 2004 and 2005, it is highly unlikely that they will be recalled to active duty any time in the near future. I have received absolutely no indication that the U.S. Army has any plans to do so.
This applies to about 90 percent of the Hawaii Army National Guard who've already served a Title 10 active duty tour. The other 10 percent of our soldiers who've not been mobilized may be subject to a recall depending upon the needs of the Army. Bottom line: I'd like to reassure our National Guard soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families that there are no plans at this time to send our soldiers back.
Finally, I'd like to clarify one other point about a federal call-up of National Guard troops. Although the Department of Defense informs a state's governor ahead of time concerning unit mobilizations, the governor is not consulted and does not have veto power.
Robert G.F. Lee
Hawaii National Guard
Hawaii Rx Plus can bring down drug costs
Affordable access to medication is critical -- especially for seniors, who tend to take more prescription drugs than others. It is unacceptable for seniors, who typically live on fixed incomes, to choose between paying for prescription drugs and paying for other necessities.
While Medicare Part D has helped reduce the cost of prescription drugs for seniors and disabled individuals, there are still coverage gaps. That is why the Hawaii Rx Plus drug discount program is so important.
Hawaii Rx Plus is free to residents of all ages whose income does not exceed 350 percent of the federal poverty level (for example, $39,480 for a single person or $80,508 for a family of four) and there are no asset limits. You can sign up for this program by calling (877) 677-1892 toll-free or by visiting the Web site at www.hawaii.gov/dhs/dhs/rx_plus.
Another way for seniors and other consumers to save money is by purchasing generic drugs, as many people already do in our state. Generics can be just as effective as brand-name drugs, and they are significantly less expensive. Also consumers should ask their doctors or visit www.alohameds.org for the availability of physician assistance programs to help them. Many pharmaceutical manufacturers offer free or discounted drugs for patients who meet their qualifications.
By taking advantage of these new programs and other opportunities, Hawaii's residents can help themselves better afford prescription drugs.
Tracy H. Okubo
Legislative administrative assistant,
Department of Human Services
Don't send ungodly Dems to Washington
It would seem that the far-left liberal Democrats in Hawaii have taken the wind out of godly family values voters with their solid victory in the primary election. But the good news is we have one more chance to place a conservative Republican in Congress on Nov. 7 to defend the traditional moral and family values in Congress.
Voters who care about godly family values need to understand where the far-left liberal Democrats stand on moral issues. They are a political party of tolerance (all beliefs are equal) over doctrine. Doctrines in the word of God (the Bible) say if it isn't right it is wrong. Abortion and same-sex marriage are wrong.
If Sen. Dan Akaka, Rep. Neil Abercrombie and congressional candidate Mazie Hirono get elected, the voices of moral family issues will again be obstructed by these liberal Democrats.
Melvin Partido Sr.
Iwase is wrong -- Lingle was driving that train
During the Oct. 6 gubernatorial debate, Gov. Linda Lingle stated, "We have achieved a constitutional amendment that has put the names and addresses of convicted sex offenders on the Internet," and asked Randy Iwase if he supported that measure. Mr. Iwase stated: "Governor, the train on the sex offender registry was moving. All you had to do was stay at the station and get on board." Iwase's statement was untrue.
In 2001 the Hawaii Supreme Court invalidated Hawaii's sex offender Web site and part of Hawaii's Megan's Law. The court ruled that each of Hawaii's thousands of convicted sex offenders was entitled to a separate court hearing before the public could access information about them on a Web site, and thus that the law establishing the Web site was "unconstitutional, void, and unenforceable." The state sex offender Web site shut down.
The 2002 Legislature could have, but did not, propose a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's ruling. In 2004, Governor Lingle, as part of her legislative package, proposed such a constitutional amendment -- Megan's Amendment -- to overturn the ruling (Senate Bill 2843). No bill like it was introduced by anyone else. After the Senate passed the bill, the House Judiciary Committee effectively killed it through amendments that completely negated its original purpose.
The governor, members of her administration and Republican legislators like Cynthia Thielen and Barbara Marumoto publicly protested, and said the issue would be taken to the people. Then Democrats, like Colleen Hanabusa, Marcus Oshiro and Scott Saiki, decided to put public safety before the wishes of the then-House Judiciary chairman, and through a bipartisan agreement, the bill was amended on the House floor to essentially restore the bill's original purpose and effect. The bill then passed the Legislature, and Megan's Amendment was placed on the 2004 general election ballot.
The voters overwhelmingly approved Megan's Amendment, and Governor Lingle then proposed as part of her 2005 legislative package a bill to implement Megan's Amendment and get the sex offender Web site up and running (Senate Bill 708).
At the governor's direction, the Department of the Attorney General worked on preparing the Web site so that on the day the governor signed the bill, May 9, 2005 (the first workday after she received the bill from the Legislature), the sex offender Web site went online. Currently there are more than 1,500 convicted sex offenders listed, and the site has had approximately 7 million hits.
Without Governor Lingle's introduction of Megan's Amendment, and her unconditional support for it, the amendment never would have been proposed or adopted, and Hawaii would be a less safe place today. Mr. Iwase's statement to the contrary during the debate was not based on the facts.
State attorney general