Letters to the editor


POSTED: Friday, June 26, 2009

Union leaders need to grow up

Apparently it is not obvious to the leaders of this state's government workers unions that telling retail clerks that their members are “;doing their part to support Hawaii's economy”; insults the intelligence of the people who are working hard at saving their own jobs.

Many of these workers have not only taken cuts in pay and/or hours, they have gone a long time without pay raises. These union leaders are crybabies who don't live in the real world.

GROW UP and get on board to save this state so we don't end up like California.

Steven Norstrom


No more telescopes on Big Isle summit

The University of Hawaii's aggressive campaign for the Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT) further demonstrates its bad mountain management, including sponsoring an incomplete, inaccurate and misleading draft environmental impact statement for that project.

Testifiers at last week's Hilo EIS meeting revealed that the EIS presented a lesser number of telescopes in the science reserve than in previous documents—by changing how they're counted. Did this new counting strategy intend to leave the impression the TMT would fit within the “;11 major telescope”; limit mandated in the 1985 management plan approved by Board of Land and Natural Resources? The land board established that limit specifically to prevent astronomy interests from “;taking over”; the mountaintop. One person at the Hilo meeting counted, in front of everyone, 21 domes or antennas already on the mountain.

If Hawaii citizens hadn't intervened in UH's endless building campaign these past 15 years, 90 more antennas—the Sub-Millimeter Array—might now flank the summit cones, plus six Keck Outriggers that the courts halted because UH and its California partners hadn't followed environmental and cultural laws.

Enough already! No TMT.

Catherine Robbins


Frugality a virtue amid necessary cuts

Should Shawn Lathrop get a collective “;boo hoo”; from fellow state workers who can't save money because they live paycheck to paycheck with their small state salaries (”;Governor's sob story not good enough,”; Star-Bulletin letters, June 22)? Of course not. Why? Because they don't live within their means. They probably have big-screen TVs, have HBO and other pay channels, get their nails done, eat frequently at fast-food restaurants, and are up to their eyeballs in debt because of tangible “;stuff.”; Obviously, this doesn't apply to all state workers, but it does to a lot of them and those also in the private sector.

No one takes responsibility for their actions anymore. Instead of crying “;woe is me,”; implement the necessary financial changes now to keep you afloat in difficult times.

The private sector, which is the greater majority in the state, has been hit with layoffs and furloughs since the beginning of the year. But we haven't been granted any “;boo hoo”; equal time from the media. The governor is simply reducing the largest expense in the budget and this is the correct thing to do. Unpopular and unfortunate, but correct.

I'm not willing to pay higher taxes to keep our state government workers employed. Consolidate departments. Avoid duplication of services. Rarely does a private sector worker receive one month of vacation after one year of service. You would have to work 10 years to receive that perk.

I did like one reader's suggestion of doing away with three state holidays (Kuhio Day, Good Friday, etc.) instead of furloughs. That's a workable solution.

K. Nolda


Hurricane fund must be protected

How dare Roger Takabayashi of HSTA suggest that the governor should raid the Hurricane Relief Fund in order to avert furloughs? This money belongs to the people of Hawaii who paid into it. After Iniki, many P&C insurers stopped writing hurricane coverage and the state developed this fund to protect people who had no hurricane coverage.

Would we steal from the Department of Education to pay out hurricane claims?

Richard Bowles


Not too late to save Hawaii Superferry

Inasmuch as the majority of Hawaii's people wanted and loved the Superferry, isn't there something the state of Hawaii can do to keep the company afloat, and to expedite the delinquent environmental impact statement? It would be wonderful if somehow, even at this late date, something could be done to restore the wonderful service that boat provided the people of Hawaii.

Perhaps the state could provide free berthing for the boats until the EIS is completed. And provide a low- or no-interest loan to the company to make its payment and cover cost incident to storage. Hawaii got the company into this financial mess, perhaps it should get it out of it. There is a way.

Ray Graham





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