Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Saturday, June 13, 2009

Lingle insults public workers

Gov. Linda Lingle adds insult to injury to public employees by her repeated statements that “;in good economic times”; she has supported sharing the benefits with public employees by granting “;raises of 16 to 26 percent over the past four years.”;

For the record:

1) The 26 percent refers to the last four years of raises for UH faculty at the back end of a six-year contract that was negotiated before Lingle was in office.

2) The 16 percent refers to the last four years for other public unions, which was negotiated through collective bargaining despite strong resistance from Lingle.

In fact, four years ago, when the economy was booming, Lingle offered the public unions a 0 percent raise for the first year and 1 percent for the second year of the two-year contract. At that time, she railed about the greed of the public employees for rejecting this “;reasonable offer.”; Gov. Lingle has used the current financial crisis to finally realize her dream of taking benefits away from public employees — her mission since day one in office.

Paul Levinson

Kula, Maui

Growing city debt is cause for concern

Did you know that our city spends more on debt service than any other single expense category except for public safety?

The mayor and the City Council cry crocodile tears about being concerned for the taxpayer, but taxpayers should know them by their actions. On Wednesday the Council approved a lot of new taxes and fees plus the mayor's request for over $1 billion in new bonding authority (primarily for the train). The interest only on $1 billion more debt will make debt service (interest payments) in the city budget greater than all public safety expenditures planned for 2010.

Honolulu will be considered a debtor city when interest payments exceed any other budget expense category. As such, debt will drive future decision-making. Our City Council and the mayor are using our property values as security for all the debt that will tie residents down to ever-growing debt service that will ensure taxes must rise again next year to pay higher interest payments on debt.

Do not expect these politicians to cut public employee numbers or wages. Efficiency, they do not know the word. No, the city politicians will let wages and debt rise and services deteriorate so that Honolulu will soon be in a tighter spot.

Paul E. Smith


Same politicians, different offices

It's rather amusing that we have the same perennial family clique running for every office if and when it's up for grabs; even whilst occupying one position and halfway through the term of office, deciding to run for another. The same faces keep reappearing, and I'm surprised, at least for now, that our old friends Jeremy, Rene and Andy haven't shown up yet.

I have lost count at the number of times old or new issues keep popping up the same way, such as the Natatorium, garbage disposal, sewage overflow or which direction the train will run, among others, that never get completed.

John L. Werrill


Honolulu mayor pulls off magic tricks

What does the greatest American magician, Houdini, have in common with Honolulu's greatest magician, Mufi Hannemann?

Both could defy the laws of physics. Houdini could suspend a live body in space and thus defy the laws of gravity, and magician Hannemann could make opposing forces bring the same results.

To wit: When property values went up, he had property taxes go up. Now that property values are down, he still has property taxes going up. Wow!

Mr. Hannemann, instead of bringing new tricks upon us, just dip into the rainy-day fund that you must have established when property taxes doubled and tripled.

Gerhard C. Hamm

Waialae Iki

Leeward trash piles bother Maili resident

I live in Maili and I have been watching the trash piling up east-bound on Farrington Highway between Kaukama and Hakimo roads for about two weeks now. There are some homeless people living there but where do they put the trash? And most importantly, who picks up the trash? It is an eyesore to our aina on the west side.

I feel like that commercial of the Indian who had a teardrop fall from his face because people were throwing trash on the ground. In this case no one picks it up and it keeps piling up.

Melissa Cline





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