Even children can learn to fold flag properly
I read your article with heartfelt concern about the treatment of the U.S. flag as they "roll it up" at the state Capitol each evening (Star-Bulletin, June 14
). I must say, as one of those who has fought for our flag's right to wave (225 combat missions, F-4 Phantom, Southeast Asia and 25 years service), certainly the flag custodians at the highly visible Capitol building could do much better! Particularly since they are in such an important government public viewing place, and in potentially providing a positive example for the youth and taxpayers of this beautiful land.
In my home town grade school, even today, three 6th-graders raise, lower and properly fold the 5-by-8-foot flag of our nation and carry it respectfully inside. If mature men at the Capitol are incapable of this respectful feat, perhaps the governor should consider 24-hour lighting; then they wouldn't have to bother with proper respect.
James Burkholder Jr.
Retired lieutenant colonel
U.S. Air Force
Meals On Wheels cut, politicians get raises
Here is an opportunity to see exactly which politicians who are so fond of telling us that they "really care about the people" will step up and prove it.
On July 1, when the funds disappear for Lanakila's Meals On Wheels (Star-Bulletin, June 15), the new pay raises for state politicians also will take effect -- a pay raise they are quick to point out merely happened automatically because of a lack of action on their part to stop it (Star-Bulletin, May 7).
Let's see how many of them are willing to "really help the people" (as government should be doing) and refuse the raise and instead turn the money over to this program so that the hungry will still be fed.
News shows shouldn't air 911 tapes
This is in regard to the story of Tyran Vesperas-Saniatan
, the 14-year-old boy from the Big Island who was allegedly murdered by his father. I watched the news in shock and disbelief as they played the 911 recording of the boy as he was dying. I'm disgusted by the way TV stations reported this tragic incident by airing the actual audio. What is the purpose of putting this dying boy on the media stage? Ratings? Advertising dollars? Is there no decency?
My 18-year-old daughter cried and was very disturbed by this as was the rest of my family. Sensationalizing tragic incidents is just plain irresponsible reporting by the news media. Tyran didn't need to have his frightened, quivering young voice broadcast to the entire state while he slowly died. His voice still haunts me.
The news industry has a moral and ethical responsibility to exercise discretion and common sense. I now look at the news industry in a different light and it is not positive.
Slaying suspect should be tried as adult
The young man who allegedly killed Karen Ertell in a well-planned adult manner (Star-Bulletin, May 28
) should be tried as an adult and, if found guilty, should be sentenced as an adult.
This young man is apparently out of control and needs to be taken off our streets for a long time.
Gerald O. Lesperance
Mahalo from family of slain woman
We, the family of Karen Ertell
, the woman who was murdered in her Ewa Beach home on May 25, would like to thank the kind people of Hawaii for their outpouring of compassion and concern during this difficult time in our lives.
To Karen's many friends, employees and others, we have been blessed to meet you and to have your support and friendship. We would especially like to thank the Honolulu Police Department for all its hard and thorough work in this case.
Nothing will bring Karen back, but please, Hawaii, make sure the 15-year-old suspect charged with this crime is tried as an adult and is not back out on your streets in less than four years. To voice your concern, please write to: Family Court of the First Circuit, Juvenile Division, 777 Punchbowl St., 2nd Floor, Honolulu, HI 96813
Falcon Cove, Ore.
Robyn Ertell Dunlap
Nonresident owners should pay higher tax
I concur with Charles Prentiss ("We can get rid of our property taxes," Insight, June 10
) on his article regarding the unreasonable hike in property taxes. For years I have advised family, relatives, friends and enemies to do something that will benefit their descendants as well as themselves. However, may I add that maybe new nonresident owners' taxes be raised yearly to compensate?
Mahalo for listening to my mana'o.
Rogerlyn Ihiihi Kanealii Wakinekona
El Toro, Calif.
Give student an option for summer voc-tech
In answer to the student's perennial question: "Why do I have to learn this?" Public school students are on their abbreviated summer break. Some parents have registered their upset about the paucity of summer school options.
Kids fail classes. Traditional summer school dishes out more of the same coursework these "students" just failed. Perhaps this is counterproductive. Perhaps a more effective option for intermediate and high school students would be a Vocational-Technical Summer Institute, a collaborative effort among schools, unions, businesses and communities. Students would have a range of options to choose from and applied academics, of course, would be imbedded.
Reluctant students just might wake up to the real purpose of the schooling process -- to prepare them to become responsible, contributing members of their communities. Maybe next year.
Fathers, protect your kids from tobacco
As a father, I must set a good example for my children to follow. I also need to protect them from harm. My girls are a big reason why I choose to be part of the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii.
In Hawaii, we are doing pretty well in the fight against tobacco. We rank No. 7 for the lowest smoking rate among men in the country. But there's always room to improve.
More than 19 percent of adult males in Hawaii smoke -- almost 93,000 men. All their children are in danger of picking up the tobacco habit too. Sadly, about 100 of these children will lose their fathers to tobacco-related illness this year.
For Father's Day, I ask all the fathers who smoke: Is smoking a habit you want your children to pick up from you? Is it OK for them to be exposed to tobacco smoke?
In honor of your children, use this Father's Day as a reason to quit tobacco. Do it for yourself and your kids. Set the right example and protect your keiki from tobacco.
To all Hawaii's fathers: Happy Father's Day.
Board chairman, Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii
Writing a letter beats being psychoanalyzed
Why do people write letters to the editor, exposing their most vulnerable opinions?
When you put your opinion in writing it validates it; it's in print; your opinion now has merit. It is great therapy and settles the matter psychologically by being in print. And it's much cheaper than a visit to the psychiatrist's office.
Being a retired publisher, photographer and writer, I miss seeing my name in print. It's easier writing a letter than committing a crime just to see my name in the paper.
Whenever I need an ego boost, or a little therapy, I write a letter in hopes it is published; it's the best anti-depressant. Seeing your name in print gives one an adrenaline rush.Those who deny this fact would be fooling the mind.
Timothy Leary once said, "If we did not glorify all the criminals with front page coverage, crime would decrease immensely."
When people ask what I do for a living, I tell them I am a writer for the Honolulu paper. It sounds better than saying I am a certified nut looking for my name in print.
James "Kimo" Rosen
Drug dogs create mistrust in schools
Although the use of drug-sniffing dogs at two Maui schools has led to the recent discovery of drugs and alcohol (Star-Bulletin, June 10
), expanding this program would not be as beneficial for students as administrators expect. More searches would not only be incredibly expensive, they would also further alienate students who really need help.
Karen Knudsen, chairwoman of the school board, believes that since student safety takes priority over funding, implementing this procedure is well worth the expense. But do drug-sniffing dogs really make students safer? Those who enforce this policy are simply labeling all students as potential "drug users" or "drug dealers," erecting a barrier of mistrust between teens and teachers.
Instead, the administrators should direct funding to more worthwhile programs like drug counseling and addiction treatment for those in need.
Rachel M. Awkward
Intern, Students for Sensible Drug Policy
HOSPITALS ON CRITICAL LIST
Even uninsured should pay at least a little for health care
Hawaii hospitals are on life-support because of all the free service they give to the poor who can't afford health coverage; HMOs raising their premiums twice the rate of inflation; overworked and underpaid doctors leaving the isles; and on and on.
Those families without any workplace coverage must pay between $600 and $1,000 and up per month, or go without and take their chances. Retirees with an HMO will pay, if they can afford it, about $250 per month to carry both Part A (hospital) and Part B (medical), with no dental or eyeglasses covered.
To rub salt in the wounds of those who pay, pay and keep paying these high costs (and getting higher) to keep themselves and their children healthy, they also have to subsidize (through their high taxes and medical bills) all those in Hawaii who pay nothing for their health coverage (including dental and eyeglasses) and clinic or hospital visits.
It seems only fair and prudent to all those citizens picking up the bill for those who pay nothing that they be required to pay something out of their own pockets for their extremely generous health coverage. Otherwise, things will only get a lot worse for those who have to pay for their own health insurance.