Letters to the editor


POSTED: Saturday, July 04, 2009

New UH leader should get less

Something escapes me. The state is cutting employees' pay left and right; the University of Hawaii is considering cutting student programs as well.

At the same time, we will be paying the next UH president more than the current one. Can someone explain this? I say that we use the extra money for students' need.

Rosita Sipirok-Siregar


Fix medical marijuana program

The governor stubbornly clings to outdated federal policy to justify her veto of a bill establishing a task force to make recommendations to improve the current medical marijuana program. Let's be clear: nothing in federal law prevents the formation of this task force. Recent court rulings, a change in the federal administration, and progress in other states indicate that the rationale for her possible veto doesn't hold up.

Rhode Island legislators, for example, overwhelmingly overrode a gubernatorial veto so that seriously ill patients will be able to obtain medical marijuana legally from three dispensaries. Until the passage of this courageous legislation, patients there were in the same predicament as Hawaii patients: with no legal way to purchase their medicine, patients and caregivers are forced to grow it themselves or buy it on the streets.

Other states are making progress in addressing patients' concerns. In nine years, Hawaii hasn't addressed even one. On behalf of the almost 5,000 seriously ill patients registered with the program, we urge the governor to rethink her veto and legislators to override it if it happens.

Jeanne Y. Ohta

Executive director, Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii

Strike balance with water issues

With summer in full swing and rainfall levels quickly diminishing, our droughtlike weather pattern rears its ugly head once more. The decline in rainfall, however, is not confined to Maui but is an ongoing global occurrence. I am fully aware of the role that the state water commission plays in governing our precious resource, whether in our East or West Maui streams. Stream biota is imperative for a healthy ecosystem to exist, as agriculture is essential to our way of life. Agriculture enables us to be a self-sustained community. It also contributes tremendously to our local economy.

I wish the state water commission and their staff much luck in striking a sound balance for Maui's future.

Kelly Ruidas


Assumptions aplenty in the trash

Mufi Hannemann remarked that Jim Hodge, CEO of Hawaiian Waste Systems, LLC, the company that was double-crossed by the city and county over its trash-shipping contract, “;made a lot of assumptions that he should not have made”; (”;Trash-shipping on the rocks,”; Star-Bulletin, July 1).

Mr. Hodge can only be faulted for making the assumption that he was dealing with honorable people.

Jack M. Schmidt Jr.





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