Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Friday, June 19, 2009

Furloughs must be fair for all

Let's get real. The state needs to cut costs, and its employees are going to take a hit no matter what. Either everyone can share the pain by going on furloughs or some will have to be sacrificed so others can keep their jobs. Firing, politely called layoffs, goes by seniority — so last in, first out. Young people, those just starting families, and those who are at the bottom of the wage ladder are going to be sacrificed for the older, wealthier and usually those without young kids.

So where is the aloha here? Why are the unions not protecting the poorer, least advantaged workers? Have Democrats finally turned their backs on what originally brought them to power? Solidarity means us, all of us! We strike together, work together and live together. Let the furloughs begin and stop trying to protect the well-off, senior civil servants by sacrificing those at the bottom of the civil service.

The unions should be ashamed of themselves. The leadership needs to go out and talk to the older folks who fought for unions in Hawaii. They will tell these “;new”; union leaders to do right by all workers, not just the well-to-do.

Alexis Friedman





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Stop, look and review North Shore projects

Does Oahu's North Shore really need five more hotels? Is tourism, consumerism and attempting to massage our dysfunctional economy back into familiar form really the way to go forward? We seem to be only capable of repetition, of repeating our past habits and practices, no matter the present cost or effects of such traditional madness. Surely, we are capable of a different and more thoughtful response in these times of uncertainty and fear. Einstein said the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

We are so in need of sobriety and the willingness to admit that repeating the ideas and practices that result in less than desirable benefit to the overall good is not the way out of this societal and environmental impasse. We are in need of openness and visionary leadership in these times of necessary change and the personal and collective humility to at least stop our habitual and repetitive behaviors that have obviously cost us all dearly.

We can at least admit that we do not know and stop the destructive and insensitive momentum that is associated with our less-than-illustrious past. Pausing in the name of honesty and sobriety may be our first step out of the destructive confusion we have unfortunately become famous for.

Jeffrey Mironov


Health reform must include public option

The public has been frustrated for too long by Congress's failure to pass truly universal health care. President Barack Obama has pledged to fight for real reform. Such reform must include a public option that would control costs and act as a check on the practices and premiums of private health insurers. I hope our congressional delegation backs such an option — preferably a single-payer program like Medicare.

There is too much profit in the health-care and pharmaceutical industries. Too many citizens have been excluded from coverage or have had their plans priced beyond their budgets. It is time to de-link health care from employment and make it universally available and transportable in this very changeable economy.

Single payer would be the best way to go, but the corporate health-care lobby is adamantly against this more efficient and cost-effective option, and, sadly, the Obama administration is not backing it either. Our main hope now is that Obama won't abandon a public option in the futile quest for bipartisanship. It is time for the majority to rule, not the corporations who have made health care a privilege and not a right.

John Witeck


Stop funding Iraq and Afghan wars, bailouts

We must bring our young men and women home from Iraq and Afghanistan. The religious radical criminals who plotted against America on 9/11/2001 must be tried and prosecuted. Neither of these countries declared war against us and we must leave them be.

The only way to stop the wars is to stop funding them. H.R. 2346 is a Trojan Horse funding supplemental that is a double whammy for taxpayers. It not only keeps the wars going, but it also grants massive funding for the International Monetary Fund so we get to bail out foreign banks. Our representatives must just say no to this ill-advised funding supplemental.

Elaine Hornal


Motorcycle's noise is, indeed, a safety device

This is to rebut the letter from Michael Nomura regarding loud pipes on bikes (Star-Bulletin, June 17).

I, too, didn't “;get”; the saying “;loud pipes save lives”; ... until I met my husband and started riding. I can assure Mr. Nomura and anyone else that questions them, that saying is very true.

Almost every time we travel on the freeways, there is someone who starts cutting in front of us — with inches to spare. My husband then revs his engine and they go back in their lane and give us a “;oh, sorry”; look that leads us to believe that they didn't see us to begin with. Now, mind you, our cycle is the Harley Davidson Ultra Classic — I believe it's still the largest bike that Harley makes, so I have to wonder how they didn't see us.

Bottom line: Our loud pipes have saved us many times over and, as much as I don't like the noise myself, I can certainly understand why my husband insists on them.

Gail Salter-Simao