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Letters to the Editor


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POSTED: Saturday, August 22, 2009

Muted statehood a sad milestone

As a third-generation Hawaiian, I was surprised and saddened by the recent New York Times editorial-page commentary (”;Hawaii's Big Five-0 too muted,”; Star-Bulletin, Aug. 21). I was expecting to learn about the 50th State's 50th-anniversary celebration ... which isn't.

I was a Honolulu schoolboy in 1959 and recall the hoopla and school holidays when Congress finally approved statehood. It was a huge deal.

Then when visiting in the summer of 1969, I remember the big 10th-anniversary events. But now, nothing.

Hawaiians never needed an excuse to have a party. It is, after all, the Aloha State.

These must be extraordinarily tough times for the state of Hawaii to just let this milestone officially pass by, virtually unnoticed. How very un-Hawaiian, and how sad.

 

Cedric Kam

Boston

 

Tap into the rail fund

Everyone wants to get their hands on the Hurricane Relief Fund. Janis Akuna, member of the Board of Education, wants it for education; the Big Five public worker union heads want it so public workers don't have to be laid off or furloughed; Councilman Romy Cachola said he wants it, but only if it gets paid back.

Now I want it. I, like many other homeowners, paid into the fund when the insurance companies stopped issuing flood insurance. The state made a $200 million profit off people who had nowhere else to go and who knows if the state could have ever paid the claims for the insured.

Homeowners are the only ones who deserve a share in this windfall profit.

If our “;leaders”; need money they should tap into the rail transit fund. It has more than twice the money the Hurricane Relief Fund has and is replenished continuously by the 0.5 percent increase in the general excise tax. Rail construction can be delayed without any harm to anyone while we go through this budget crisis.

 

Marge Akana

Ewa Beach

 

Curb urban sprawl

It's sheer insanity that a proposed 12,000-unit housing development is being considered by the state Land Use Commission on the Leeward side of Oahu; 1,500 acres of prime agricultural land may be sacrificed for a dubious housing project.

What happened to all of the concerns about sustainability, supporting local agriculture and Oahu becoming a paved-over parking lot similar to many mainland areas? Where are the demonstrations and energy that sunk the Superferry?

Are the politicians and the public to allow the Horton-Schuler housing project to add to urban sprawl, a strained infrastructure and destruction of limited agricultural land that benefits the people of Oahu? Does anyone care?

 

Tony Locascio

Honolulu

 

Time to raise taxes?

I pay taxes. I want them to go toward services that help protect the people living in Hawaii.

Funding of police, fire and medical personnel are obviously at the top of the list. But so is the care for poor in the state. Most residents are only a few paychecks from being homeless themselves.

Some state spending should be cut or postponed in times of recession and depression. For example, it is very nice to support building and sailing an old ship or putting fish into reservoirs for family entertainment. However, these should not be part of the state's spending when there is a huge deficit. There are plenty of supporters for those activities, so let them bear the cost via fees or donations, not out of our general funds.

The amount of money needed for social services is not that large. Why object to taking care of those who need help in our communities? Are these “;anti-tax at any cost”; groups primarily greedy, selfish and completely lacking compassion?

The higher the unemployment rate goes, the more people need these services. It is time to increase the general excise tax a small amount or increase state taxes on high-income earners. Don't squeeze public workers for concessions that will only deepen our recession.

 

Ellen Lund

Honolulu

 

Insurance needs a cure

Why do insurance and drug companies have an inalienable right to profit from the lives and health of our citizens? They have already proven that they will deny treatment to ill people to save the profits for themselves and their stockholders.

The only way to ensure equal access to all people is to have the profit motive taken out of health insurance.

 

Vernon Wong

Waipahu

 

               

     

 

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