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Letters to the Editor


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POSTED: Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Save money, save yourself

We've all experienced the troubles of long-term care for our aging population.

Care facilities are being filled up fast, and it's been reported that some people are being shipped out of state. Shocking? We never heeded our mothers when admonished to save for retirement.

Today's taxes on the plastic card are horrendous, and most college students are buried in debt after they graduate. We don't save because we're “;entitled”; to what the government owes us. You don't need to be your brother's keeper anymore. Wake up, Hawaii!

Leonard K. Chun

Honolulu

               

     

 

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Are union leaders really out of touch?

There are certain things about public employee unions that are just incomprehensible.

In my research from public records dating back to 2006, I found tremendous disparities between the average government (union) employee salary, and the massive checks that the guys “;leading”; them are taking home.

I bet the blue-collar United Public Workers members who might be struggling to feed their families would be surprised to know that their monthly dues are going to support the approximately $160,000 annual compensation of their executive director. Perhaps the public school teachers of our state would be interested to know that their union president is also taking home over $150,000 a year. Members of the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly support their executive director at a whopping $176,000 annually and the Hawaii Government Employee Association is sending over $180,000 to their executive director.

Do you think they have any perspective at all of what the challenges their membership is dealing with on a daily basis?

While we all have tremendous respect for the services and goods that our government workers provide, what they — and more importantly, their leadership — need is a dose of reality.

Elise Heck

Palolo

Citizens will suffer from Internet taxes

In the past week it has been reported that the state of Hawaii loses about $36.6 million because local residents do not pay taxes on their Internet purchases. I submit that the reports are not correct and they should have said the taxpayers will lose an additional $36.6 million of their income they are now saving to feed the ever-hungry halls of government.

Having lived in Hawaii for more than 40 years, I have yet to see the Legislature enact legislation requiring the state of Hawaii to live within its means and not count on money that may not be there in the future. This applies to the counties as well. As long as politicians aren't spending their own money and can constantly go to the pockets of the taxpayer with their tales of woe and their hands held out, this trend will continue.

It seems to me if two terms in office is good enough for the mayor, governor and the U.S. president, it should also be good enough for the rest of the elected officials. Please keep this in mind when you go to the polls next time, as the money in your wallet is at stake.

David Leatherman

Honolulu

Monitor swine flu diligently in Hawaii

I was shocked to learn that the high school students on the Asian study tour were quarantined in South Korea for having swine flu. Doesn't anyone in our government think it's embarrassing and damaging to our image to be exporting a potentially deadly disease?

We already have an ailing economy and this just adds fuel to the fire. The next thing you know, we'll have the Hawaii Tourism Authority running ads in foreign countries, telling people, “;come to Hawaii, we've got the most contagious swine flu in the world.”;

But seriously, the Department of Health should take this disease more seriously and start screening our incoming and outgoing passengers to try to catch the cases before there is even more of an outbreak in the community.

Darren Souza

Honolulu

Visitor grateful for Samaritan's help

On June 10 while our family was traveling on H-3, our borrowed van's left rear tire blew out.

A red truck pulled in front of us and a young man got out and offered to help us out. Our car was road-ready again within minutes.

I offered the man $50, but he refused. I think it is remarkable how this true good Samaritan not just gave of his time, but he did so at great personal risk.

He drove a truck with Pacific Panel Cleaners on its door, and we now know the man's name is Fred Brooks. We would all like to thank Mr. Brooks again and we wish him the best. We are now back in Michigan and appreciate special people like him who helped to make our visit to Oahu a pleasant experience.

David Chye

Hesperia, Mich.