Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Thursday, July 30, 2009

Auditor keeping tabs on rail bill

I am glad that, at long last, a third party has checked the city's math on the rail project. If we are going to spend $5 billion on a transportation system, then we, the taxpayers, deserve regular updates on how the costs are being managed. If an independent auditor like Jacobs Engineering says the city's numbers are legitimate, then I am satisfied for the moment.

I hope these updates continue by the federal government's consultants after groundbreaking.

Dawn Kawamoto



Releasing certificate would clear Obama

I'm not exactly what you've described as a “;birther.”; In fact I believe with 99.9 percent probability that President Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. However, his reluctance to release the details of his actual birth certificate — the one that has all the details of his birth such as the name of the hospital, attending physician, etc. — despite the controversy during the campaign and since taking office fuels this issue.

I can only conclude that his refusal to simply release the long-form birth certificate data directly from the State of Hawaii is because: There is embarrassing personal information on it. He likes the attention. He knows there's some kind of citizenship problem.

I fully subscribe to the “;trust but verify”; philosophy. I trust that he was born in Hawaii but his reluctance to let me or others verify it makes me suspicious. This entire issue could be solved by President Obama writing a letter to the state asking them to release the records. A simple thing to do. His refusal to take such a tiny, easy, and simple step to do so makes me very suspicious. Apparently, you don't have the same philosophy at the Star-Bulletin, which makes me suspicious of your reporting as well.

Dave Fahrenwald



Sign situation shows misguided priorities

Who decides what battles the Outdoor Circle fights? By and large, I strongly endorse their mission but why hassle the Wienermobile when it only comes here a few days every decade?

I could appreciate the Outdoor Circle's zero tolerance if we could only clean up our own backyard. There are banners at almost every city corner, telephone poles plastered with club posters (they tell you who the promoters are) and, worst of all, the hundreds of real estate signs polluting public lands every Sunday. Really, if you can't find an address should you be taking on a mortgage? Let's make Hawaii sign-free and then we can work on the Wienermobile next decade.

Pat Kelly



Honolulu should clean up its parks

I recently returned from a family vacation to New York City, where we enjoyed a clean Central Park. As tourists, we felt safe and comfortable letting our toddler play in the public playground and enjoyed the scenic beauty of the park.

The first week back in Honolulu, what we saw was a rather unkempt Thomas Square Park with homeless people camped here and there. It was no better in Ala Moana Park.

With our tourist economy, can we really afford to have vagrants take over our parks? If New Yorkers are able to rid their parks and bus stops from vagrants, why can't we?

Let's find the will to make Honolulu a first-class city again. Maybe our mayor would benefit from talking to New York Mayor Bloomberg.

Jessica Perez-Mesa



Budget plan needs new look

The recent announcement of the closing of Kulani Correctional Facility should serve as an example of how Gov. Linda Lingle has handled negotiations with the public unions. Layoff notices without talking to people, no discussions with the Hawaii mayor and information given to the news media before the people involved.

The budget and public union negotiations are two separate issues. The governor has used her public relations staff to fool the people into believing this is the same problem. The budget shortfall is not a consequence of public worker salaries. It is the result of the global economic situation. What the governor has chosen to do is instead of addressing the economic situation, she is using the situation to attack public workers and unions.

Instead of putting forth a position that we will survive this economic downturn, or creating a plan to stimulate the economy or assuring the people that needed services will continue to be provided, Lingle has chosen to use fear and threats to public worker unions to further her image and divert attention away from the lack of a plan to address the economy.

Egan Kawamoto

Ewa Beach


Overhaul health insurance

The time has come to reform the health insurance system. American small businesses are being forced to reduce their employee health benefits just to stay in business. Small businesses are the major employers in this country. Rising unemployment cannot be reversed without a strong business sector.

The stimulation of the current economy should include a single-payer option for the growing number of the unemployed and all of those citizens that have inadequate or no coverage now. Private insurance companies can maintain their fine profits on the employed and healthy workers.

The reform must have a cost reduction feature, or the prediction of one out of every five dollars (20 percent) going to health care in just ten years will come true. At that rate, our government will then spend more on Medicare and Medicaid than what it spends today on everything else.

Congress needs to pass real health insurance reform in 2009. They should not be hoodwinked into just protecting the excessive profits of the few insurance giants. The voting public will be able to easily determine where their priorities lie before the next election cycle.

John Keppeler





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