Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Wednesday, June 03, 2009

School woes go beyond money

Regarding the recently proposed educational budget cuts, Hawaii schools Superintendent Pat Hamamoto tells us, “;Every parent ought to be concerned.”;

Damn right I'm concerned and have been for quite some time. I'm concerned why Hawaii statistically continues to perform so poorly while spending enormous amounts of dollars per student compared with most states. I'm concerned because we have the only centralized school district left in the country. I'm concerned the teachers union doesn't want to be drug-tested and there is resistance to bringing in drug-sniffing dogs on campuses. I'm concerned because our tolerance in Hawaii leaves us with the same schools superintendent year after year despite an abysmal track record that has led us down a path of educational ruin.

Yes, every parent ought to be concerned!

Pat Kelly


Budget cuts end up hurting the neediest

This recession was brought about by the unbridled greed of a handful of financial CEOs. Now, Gov. Linda Lingle says that the lion's share of the burden to balance the budget should be placed on working families and the poor.

She is offering Draconian furlough measures which will result in a 13.8 percent wage cut to thousands throughout the islands. She is slashing health care to the neediest of our people. She is attacking our keiki by slashing funds for an already underfunded educational system.

Shouldn't all of us in both the public and private sector, who are still blessed with full-time jobs, share in the struggle to balance the budget? Isn't a small temporary tax increase the fairest way for everyone to do their part as a statewide effort? Shouldn't Lingle also lead by example by cutting her own six-digit salary, rather than keeping most of her 31 percent pay increase from January? How does she sleep at night, knowing what harm she is doing to our keiki, the poor and working families?

Vern R. Lentz


It's time state workers feel the economic pain

State employees receive four weeks vacation and two weeks sick leave per year. So the furloughs will not kill them.

Every other business in the state has suffered in having to make layoffs and reduction in pay to its staff. Why should government employees be treated any different?

Steven Sofos


Airport area fixes missed the mark

I work at the Honolulu Airport and was very happy to see road work being done on Puuloa Road between Salt Lake Boulevard and Nimitz Highway.

It would make sense to take this old two-lane road and replace it with a four-lane road and connect it to the existing four-lane roads that are north and south of Salt Lake and Nimitz.

I was really disappointed when they completed the “;new”; Puuloa Road after many, many months of work and inconvenience to drivers to see we only had another two-lane road with some turn lanes (those do help).

Further I was very upset to see the extra area where more lanes for Puuloa Road could have been made were turned into a parking area. This new parking area is not marked for anything (including a park and ride), has no businesses or residences to connect to on that side of the road, and has no crosswalks from the parking area to Mapunapuna businesses on the other side of the road.

I do not know whether the “;improvements”; to Puuloa Road were a state or county project, but in any case, they missed a great opportunity to improve traffic flow in the airport area.

R. Moore


Legalizing gambling will lead to problems

“;Dicey Proposal”; (Star-Bulletin, May 30) puts legalizing gambling in the correct light. It would be dicey.

The League of Women Voters opposes legalizing gambling precisely because of its disastrous repercussions. During our recent legislative session, representatives from the police, as well as the prosecutor, spoke against legalizing gambling.

They cited the increase in crime that ensued as people lost money from gambling, as seen in states that have allowed it. Studies have shown that the most vulnerable citizens, the poor, are tempted to use money needed for basic necessities to gamble in the hopes of finding a way out of their poverty. The rich are less likely to gamble to that degree of pain.

We hope that you will join us in opposing legalization of gambling by those who think that it will make taxation more palatable. Not only will it bring the need for more services to counteract the problems it causes, but it is a wasteful way to raise revenue, as a large portion will be siphoned off by the gambling industry. Much of that money will not stay here to be spent locally the way direct taxes would.

Piilani Kaopuiki

President, League of Women Voters





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