Lawmakers get low grades for session
The Star-Bulletin's Web site Big Q
reader poll asked what grade to give this year's state Legislature. As of the writing of this letter, more than 51 percent of the 355 people who voted have given the Legislature an "F." In addition, almost 32 percent gave it a "D."
I hope that more people go online and give an honest opinion and that legislators take a very close look at the results.
Maybe they will get the message. I think the next poll on this topic will be held in November, yes?
Curtis J. Kropar
Military members help Hawaii in many ways
Although Tamara Paltin expresses the need for "healing, reconciliation and forgiveness ("Army has abused Hawaii for too long," Star Bulletin, 5 May, 08)
, I found her opinion nonreconciliatory and divisive.
In her narrow view of the military, she sees only one characteristic of the military.
She fails to understand the contributions made by those serving in uniform. Many in the service volunteer to clean up beaches and repair schools. Many serve as mentors and substitute teachers in schools.
The services have donated hundreds of used computers to schools saving the state Department of Education thousands of dollars and help the environment by keeping these computers out of landfills. Many regularly donate money to beneficial organizations such as the Red Cross, UNICEF and the Hawaii Food Bank.
The military helps the community during local disasters by maintaining peace, providing security and helping with clean-up efforts. Military doctors, corpsmen and dentists provide health care to underdeveloped countries, all of this on top of defending the country.
If Paltin is truly interested in moving from an adversarial stance, she and others should be willing to work with the military instead of seeing them as evil-doers.
Mediation fills need for finding solutions
I enjoyed Ken Kobayashi's article on Honolulu mediator Clyde Matsui ("Rivals in dispute summon Matsui," Star-Bulletin, May 5)
. Increasingly, people are choosing mediation as an alternative to the traditional practice of litigation in the courts. When trying to resolve a dispute, there are many reasons why one would choose mediation over litigation:
» Mediation is an informal, private process.
» The parties make the decisions and not the mediator.
» In mediation parties may focus on the future and find solutions they all can live with.
» There is satisfaction in finding your own solution instead of having it imposed upon on you.
More information about mediation and other dispute resolution processes is available at the Judiciary's Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution at 539-4237.
Director, Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution
Hawaii State Judiciary
Will tax credit ease pain of low profits?
Tesoro Corp.'s bigger than expected loss (Star-Bulletin, May 7)
provides a good test for determining if the goal of Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama is a fair tax system or socialism. Specifically, the article reported that Tesoro suffered losses that were not only bigger than expected, but were losses that were expected to begin with.
Now I'd expect an intellectually honest proposal for a windfall profits tax on oil companies to include an "insufficient profits" credit tax, and I'd expect a socialist proposal not to.
I'd bet they choose socialism.
George L. Berish
High rent numbers in Hawaii not supported
that Hawaii has the highest rents in the nation are out of line, based on my data as an owner and broker of income properties, and of my clients and other property managers.
Rep. Maile Shimabukuro's comment about the gap between wages and rents being the reason for the state's "homeless crisis" was more than a little one-sided; it was obvious there was no measure of research behind her statements.
Audrey Toguchi blessed many others
Blessed Damien could not have chosen a better person than Audrey Toguchi
for his second miracle. Mrs. Toguchi was my 8th-grade teacher at Ewa Elementary and Intermediate School.
She knew that most of her students were "plantation kids" who lived in the camps and didn't have much in the way of material things. She was the kindest and most generous person you could imagine.
I can remember her giving me a quarter for lunch when I didn't have lunch money. She knew that for most kids that would be the only real meal they would have that day.
She taught us to appreciate the things that could never be taken away from us: our heritage, family, beliefs and culture. She taught us to set goals and not to limit our dreams. For her, there was no child more important than the next. She lived "no child left behind" before it became a political slogan.
I have always had the utmost respect for Mrs. Toguchi. I only hope that as in my position at Saint Louis School, that I can be half the person she has been to the many students who were lucky enough to have had her as a teacher.
Dean of Faculty/Registrar
Saint Louis School