Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Friday, October 30, 2009

Education talk is empty rhetoric

You hear the rhetoric all the time—“;Education is our highest priority”;—and it is more apparent especially in election years.

Unfortunately, we have a crisis that puts education right on the line—right on the line with every other state worker, and the teachers are expected to take their cuts like everyone else. Equal-equal, right?

Well, if the rhetoric is correct and true, shouldn't teachers be exempt from furloughs? Then we would not have to worry about the state system with the lowest teaching days, our children's progress would not be sacrificed and parents would not have to worry about missed school days.

Do we dare to expect the legislative branch and the governor to even think of such a thing? The other unions would be crying foul, and the House and Senate, along with the governor, would be hard pressed to support their campaign rhetoric.

Well, the time is here, the outcome must be decided. Hawaii, what do you think? Isn't election year right around the corner?

Laughlin Tanaka

Pearl City

Furloughs what public wanted

I am writing in response to the furloughs occurring statewide. Why does the public look so confused? The public supported the furloughs of state workers and now it is feeling the downward effect. Really, what did you think was going to happen?

Instead of insisting that the governor and the legislators raise the general excise tax by a mere 0.5 percentage points, which would've prevented all of this nonsense from happening, most of the people advocated for the furloughs. Now the governor announcess that the furloughs are still not enough. We will see more layoffs and more departmental cuts.

Well, you got what you asked for.

In asking for this situation, we have put our children at risk not only in education. There will be an overwhelming increase in crime rates — juvenile delinquency, child abuse, domestic violence and welfare assistance.

Many critical state workers are being furloughed, which means fewer services for the general public.

People need to look at the bigger picture of this dire situation. We need to impress upon our legislators the importance of saving our state. We need action now.

Mea Heffernan


Gov. Lingle has herself to blame

It's hilarious to hear the governor blaming the state Department of Education for the furloughs provision in the teachers union contract, and calling for a constitutional amendment to put the DOE under her direct supervision in the Cabinet to make it more “;accountable.”;

Does she really think we don't remember that it was her and others in her administration who brought up the furlough idea earlier this year, and used the threat of layoffs to intimidate the unions into accepting them along with pay cuts?

Now that people have organized to protest the school furlough days, suddenly the governor is upset that anyone agreed to what she herself had proposed.

Lame-duck governors sometimes try to feather their future career nests at the expense of the people's education, incomes and careers, but passing the buck is not a pretty sight to see.

David Chappell


Costs for rail will never end

Mayor Mufi Hannemann misread the meaning of Kiewit's lower-than-expected bid. It just means his experts and Kiewit's couldn't estimate 10 percent of the project's cost any closer than $90 million.

And most money taken from Oahu gets paid to someone else's engineers, systems designers, managers, etc., and to someone else's manufacturers of goods like steel and rail cars.

And the cost never ends. The mayor's experts designed rail to run at a loss. Borrowed money is never repaid. Interest payments never stop.

And major redesign of Oahu, like Kapolei, becomes impossible. Sensible or not, Oahu's development will be dictated by unmovable train tracks.

Let's modernize our neglected, badly designed roads instead, to get faster, less expensive relief using our own engineers, architects, etc. For starters, add up-and-over ramps on Dillingham Boulevard for trucks returning to the docks from Waikiki. Remove those gas-wasting left-turn lights.

George L. Berish


Council did right by B&B owners

Let it be said that at the meeting of Oct. 27, the City Council saw that owner-operated bed-and-breakfasts are small business units run by local people and responsible for the livelihood of others that provide a good and genuine service welcomed in many neighborhoods with no complaints.

The Council immediately implemented fair and reasonable licensing to provide appropriate safeguards, regulation and control.

The neighbors said, “;It's like having our own private mini hotel right down the street with no traffic or parking problems, no loud parties and only a few other guests.”;

Surviving B&Bs had nothing to apologize for.

They all lived happily ever after.

Will Page


Don't follow Medicare's lead

We already have a single-payer system and it's called Medicare.

Guess what? It is predicted to be bankrupt in about seven years. What has Congress done to address this?

They cut reimbursement to physicians and hospitals to the point that some physicians can't make ends meet and some won't even take Medicare patients.

Many of our community hospitals are in dire financial condition largely because of Medicare. (On top of Medicare, Social Security trust funds will be exhausted in 2037.)

So what is Congress doing? It is proposing a similar system to cover everyone that will cost another trillion dollars!

To add insult to injury, members are exempting themselves and retaining their Cadillac health insurance plan, which I'm sure will not be taxed as they are proposing to do for other Cadillac plans.

They are proposing to unconstitutionally make everyone buy health insurance. Why can't they just make a law that does not allow insurance companies to drop people when they develop a catastrophic illness and also require portability?

Antya Miller






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