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From the Forum


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POSTED: Sunday, March 15, 2009

Online readers are able to respond immediately to Star-Bulletin stories through our Web forum, which can be accessed at the end of stories, editorials and columns at starbulletin.com. Below is a selection of forum comments that appeared last week. Most forum contributors use pseudonyms; their “;names”; have been omitted here.

”;Abercrombie grabs Obama's coattails,”; Star-Bulletin, March 9: Abercrombie has my support!! It's about time we have someone like Neil who has the experience and can represent Hawaii like it needs to be! He really has come a long way and is better than anyone else! We need change and Neil is the right man for the job! He is one of the most powerful, tireless and selfless politicians we have. Lingle has had her time and did nothing!

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It looks like the election for gov is going to boil down to who we believe to be the candidate who can do the least harm. Neither Aiona, Mufi or Neil are all that appealing. All have too many skeletons in their closets and all have had their faces in the public trough for too long. I hope Obama shakes Neil off his coattails. Let Neil stand on his own or sink on his own.

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Just plain disgusting to have these hackneyed politicians think they can fool the general populace with fancy slogans like hope and change and think they can get elected. Please, Hawaii, wake up. Please don't be deceived by people like Abercrombie, Case, Bainum, Hanabusa, Djou ... who are there for their own political purposes.

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”;Mourners pay their respects to a slain teacher,”; Star-Bulletin, March 12: The lack of treatment, medication, supervision, understanding, mental care (results in) neglect, and setting free an unfit mental patient. Addicts, spouse abusers, mental patients and just plain bullies account for these heinous crimes. I pray for peace and safety. May our children never suffer as Asa Yamashita's did. Our heartfelt condolence to her family.

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”;State House budget calls for 374 layoffs,”; Star-Bulletin, March 12: Sounds good to me. It's about time to cut the fat.

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I really don't want to see anybody lose their jobs whether they are in the public or private sector. I think the government has a lot of jobs that are non-essential and at this time have to be evaluated. Agencies that overlap its functions with others are too numerous. The loss of 374 government employees compared to the thousands of private sector workers is a small percentage. It still is a loss of a wage earner and the ability to support the family, and it is very disturbing.

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I wonder if the public knows of the thousands of temporary hires who work on a permanent basis. These people were supposed to be working on a temporary, emergency basis but stay on for years and years. These also are usually very highly paid jobs to supplement the retirement income of these overpaid “;temporary”; workers.

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Well, this has been brewing for a long time. If I was a state employee I would want all the tax cheating curtailed and unlawful exemption loopholes closed. It would be a good start to keeping workers employed. Some of the tax-exempt organizations are in violation and not doing their stated and required exempt purpose like providing health care for members. They should be taxed, fined and punished. State workers should not suffer because the taxes go uncollected or fraudulent exemptions are granted.

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A reasonable approach to reducing the size of government is to phase out programs.

Immediate mass elimination of programs throws the workforce into turmoil and reduces worker morale. This is because a lot of the guys losing jobs have union rights to bump other guys.

If the Legislature wants to reduce the size of government, then work with this governor and the next governor on a proactive plan, not a knee-jerk ploy.

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”;Waikiki cleanup closes parks,”; Star-Bulletin, March 13: It is about time. I am tired of stepping over the homeless on Waikiki Beach.

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And where now do you propose that the homeless go? For they must go somewhere. I understand that you want “;them”; to go “;away.”; Yet the reality is that the poor are being unmercifully squeezed.

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There are people who do need and deserve help and these are the people that are willing to conform to some set of rules and regulations set forth by the operators of the shelters. Those who have chosen to remain in the public parks rather than go to a shelter are those with a high probability that are not willing to conform and abide by a few common sense and best practice rules as set forth. These are the people that are probably being targeted for removal and rightfully so. It is not that they have not been given help — it is just a way of life for them so that they can dictate as to what they want and choose to do.

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”;State mental health division has no funds,”; Star-Bulletin, March 13: This clearly shows how irresponsible our leaders are. They worried first about fattening their pockets before serving those who needed care the most. The 36 percent increase in their wages during this turbulent time has created an atmosphere of distrust. Gov. Linda Lingle is not so proactive either. Lingle and the Legislature should act now before things get uncontrollable. This is a matter of safety and health.

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With no questions asked, we give the NFL $4 million, but we have no money for our island people. I can understand the issue: The only time the mentally ill are loved is when there is money involved.

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Save money on mental illness and spend it when they commit crimes. Lose-lose for the taxpayers.