Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Friday, May 22, 2009

Phone bill lists hieroglyphics

As I was paying my monthly phone bill this morning, I was reminded of a recent letter to the editor wherein that person was complaining about the state continuing to collect the 911 emergency service surcharge.

So I reviewed all of the surcharges that Hawaiian Telcom collects. The 911 surcharge is a whopping 27 cents! One that seems completely superfluous to me is the $2.15 they collect as an “;additional service”; for “;Touch Call.”; Are there any dial phones out there yet? Wasn't the cost of this equipment paid for a long time ago by Hawaiian Telephone Co.? Not to mention GTE and then Verizon.

Also, there is something called “;Inter Acc Chrg Sgl Ln.”; I should probably try to find out what that is, as it is costing me $6.50 per month. Along with this, I am being charged $4.93 for an “;Intrastate Surcharge”; on a phone line that I don't use for, or allow, long-distance phone calls, since they are included on my cellular phone.

And then the phone company wonders why people are dropping their hard-wired land lines!

Wayne Herlick


Police chief's fate begs questions

Your article yesterday, “;Police chief denied a new appointment,”; left me wanting answers as to “;why.”;

Police Commission Chairwoman Christine Camp said she didn't “;believe”; Chief Correa would stay five years. But when retired Chief Lee Donahue stayed only one year into his second term there was no problem and no issue with the City Charter. Why is this an issue for Correa's reappointment?

Tenari Maafala, president of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers union, said it was “;strictly business.”;

What business? Why haven't we ever seen the SHOPO survey? Mayor Hannemann said the commission “;acted appropriately”; in not reappointing Chief Correa. Based on what? The exemplary performance review Correa received from the police commission only two weeks ago?

If we are to have transparency in government, we need answers.

Julia Schmitt


State disease experts are doing stellar job

It is good to know that there are people in our community who are concerned about infectious diseases, especially swine flu. But I take strong issue with those who criticize the measures being taken by our state epidemiologist, Dr. Sarah Park. I can understand that a lay person may not know of the preparedness planning that Dr. Park and her team have put in place. These efforts have been under way at least since 2002.

Perhaps a word of appreciation would be more appropriate, given that because of our state's epidemiologists' efforts, Hawaii did not have a single case of SARS. But wait, there is more. We here in Hawaii, unlike the lower 48 states, do not have West Nile virus. I know Dr. Park professionally and she eats and sleeps epidemiology. The notion that she has a casual attitude about swine flu is wrongheaded. As soon as the Centers for Disease Control expressed concern about swine flu, alerts were sent out to Hawaii physicians to watch for cases, with instructions about how to test for this new virus.

The initial cases were appropriately identified, isolated, and contacts were tested and further spread was prevented. It is remarkable that the case in the UH dorm was identified quickly and there were NO secondary cases; not one other person (there) caught the disease, thanks to the public health measures put in place.

We are lucky to have Dr. Park in charge of Communicable Disease for the state. I moved to Hawaii in 1984, and for more than a decade the epidemiology program at the state Department of Health was not what it is today.

In short, if there is something that I could think of that we could be doing better, I would speak out about it. Slamming the Department of Health and staff as irresponsible and useless is hardly constructive criticism, and it is completely uninformed and wrong.

F. DeWolfe Miller, M.P.H., Ph.D.

Professor of epidemiology, UH School of Medicine

Anti-civil unions stance is 'nonsense'

Regarding the letter from Hank McKeague, “;No procreation, no planet growth”; (Star-Bulletin, April 24), in which he posits that homosexual civil unions will be the end of humanity because heterosexuals will cease to procreate in sufficient numbers to sustain our species:

Is he saying that, when gays and lesbians at last enjoy the same civil right he does, he and his missus will stop making love, either in protest or disgust? If so, that would be a positive turn of events, and ensure that more people as illogical as Mr. McKeague will not be walking around spewing discriminatory nonsense.

As for me, I can assure you, whatever my neighbors may be doing (or not doing) in their bedrooms has zero bearing on what my lady and I are doing in ours.

Let me also point out that over-population poses a far greater danger to Earth's future than under-population.

Donald Bruce


Special prosecutor needs to be called in

Without question a special prosecutor must be assigned to a complete and full investigation regarding every facet of the Bush administration's actions with detainees, enemy combatants and their treatment, including interrogation techniques and legal advice directly associated to such acts.

This is the single-most matter concerning the American Constitution; therefore it is within the obligation, the oath of office of the presidency that a completely objective investigation be conducted without delay. Let the chips fall where they may.

Christopher Fleming





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