Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Monday, June 15, 2009

Health reform a clear necessity

Extending Medicare-like health coverage to Americans of all ages no longer is just something “;nice to do”; someday but something we must do now. Clearly the horse race between the American health system driven by private enterprise and the public systems in virtually all other advanced modern nations has been won by the public systems.

This is true not only in the ethical dimensions of infant mortality and life expectancy statistics but in the dollars and cents of benefits and costs. Default emergency-room care for uninsured Americans contributes to the dismaying result that our country spends almost twice as much per capita for health care as France does. Yet French people live longer, they can choose their doctors, and their country also has a large immigrant population. Our escalating health insurance costs put American companies at a competitive disadvantage, and half of personal bankruptcies stem from medical expenses.

We simply can no longer afford to squander our resources and hobble our country with reliance on private health insurance until age 65. An ounce of preventive care is worth more than a pound of emergency-room care.

Janet Thebaud





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Odd knife bill needs to be clipped in bud

The Web site of the Hawaii Legislature shows a bill working through the process entitled “;SB126 — Dangerous Weapons; Pocket Knives; Sale.”; According to SB126, “;'Pocket knife' means a knife with a blade that folds into the handle and which is suitable for carrying in the pocket”; and declares possession of such a knife to be a misdemeanor.

This rather loose and reckless definition would include common utility knives, box cutters, Swiss Army knives, Leatherman belt tools in the list of banned “;weapons”; for which owners could be arrested.


Is the government afraid enraged taxpayers are going to storm the halls of the Capitol building with nail clippers?

Michael Rivero


Peacock killer likely driven to distraction

I can understand why Sandra Maloney of Makaha eliminated the peacock. Until you hear for yourself the screech of a peacock, do not judge why people react the way they do. The screech is ear-splittingly loud, and to be subjected to this sound multiple times daily could drive one “;up the wall!”;

The residents must have complained about the peacocks for many months; why has nothing been done by the landlord, the police or the Humane Society?

Peacocks are not native to Hawaii and should not roam free to multiply. Hens pose a danger to humans if the hens have chicks. The city could enforce a law banning peacocks to live within areas of human habitation. This also will protect peacocks from harm.

Of foremost importance is the right to live in peace in one's home, protected from outside disturbances, hopefully by the law.

Are you listening, City and County of Honolulu?

Betty Yanagida


Overtaxed wealthy may flee the state

The state should take a lesson from the “;People's Republic of Maryland.”; Gov. “;Money”; (Martin) O'Malley thought it would be a good idea to increase income taxes on wealthier individuals. The only problem is that the “;wealthier”; individuals have left the state, and the tax burden will fall on the middle class.

Hawaii's brilliant liberal Legislature is in the process of turning Hawaii into the “;People's Republic of Hawaii.”; It already is in the process of killing the goose which laid the golden egg, increasing taxes on tourists' rooms. But of course, Calvin Say, et al, will pooh-pooh the idea of “;trickle down”; economics. Maybe they should tell this to all of the now-unemployed bartenders, wait staff, cab drivers who made a decent living from tourism. The liberals in Hawaii will not be content until Honolulu resembles New Orleans, Detroit, Philadelphia, the District of Columbia, or any other liberal city in the U.S.

Steve Baker

Kahului, Maui

Lingle protects rich, bleeds middle class

Gov. Linda Lingle said in her June 1 address: “;While these furloughs and loss of pay will impose a hardship on them and their families, they understand that given the severity of the fiscal emergency we face as a state, and the sacrifices their neighbors, family members and friends in the private sector have had to make, avoiding any impact on state employees is not only unfair, but unrealistic.”;

While we who are state workers understand the severity of the budget crisis, and would likely accede to some sacrifices were this spread to all, I ask why personal income taxes should not be raised on those who earn more than $150,000 annually, and even a higher increase for those who earn over $250,000 annually? Personal income taxes would not affect businesses, but the profits which leave the businesses to go to owners, upper management, investors, etc., in the form of stock options, bonuses and other perks. Gov. Lingle has indicated she would not consider higher taxes.

The forced furloughs lower incomes for state workers — and often these people have much lower income than $150,000 annually. This lower income for the middle class lowers consumer spending: less purchases of automobiles and home improvements, less travel. Reduced spending by the populace of the state will not stimulate the economy either.

As for encouraging expedited retirement from state government jobs: Pay cuts, when the retirement pay depends upon the highest three years of salary, work as retirement disincentives. Why not come up with a plan to encourage the older state workers to retire earlier? The positions could even be frozen for a period of time ... then replacement staff would likely be hired at lower salaries.

James F. Cartwright