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Letters to the Editor


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POSTED: Monday, November 23, 2009

Society needs educated voters

Amid the furor about our education system and how to pay for it, it is important to remember one thing: For a democracy to survive, a well-educated citizenry is essential. Voters who know and understand their nation's history and how their government works, voters who know and accept the responsibilities and obligations of citizenship. Voters who can think!

As we chip away at school curricula, school funds, hours, teachers and everything else that contributes to a well-rounded education, we are chipping away at the very foundations of our country.

We are failing not only our kids, we are failing every element of our society, our nation and our way of life. An undereducated, ignorant citizenry is as serious threat to our national security as al-Qaida. We chip away at our peril. Need proof? Look at the mess we are in now—nationally and locally.

Lois Gill

Honolulu

 

               

     

 

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Pacific Geneva closer to reality

Your editorial headline “;APEC meeting a coup for Hawaii”; (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 29) and its potential for regurgitating the hype for Hawaii as the Geneva of the Pacific has led to a rummaging of Star-Bulletin archives for generation-long reminiscing.

Two in which this writer had a hand come to the fore: The first, a speech declaration by Gov. John A. Burns at the time of his inaugural in the early '60s; the second, in remarks by Gov. Ben Cayetano in the convening at the Hawaii Convention Center of the Asian Development Bank Board of Governors' 34th Annual Meeting in 200l.

Though a generation apart, both leaders affirmed their vision of transforming Hawaii into the Geneva of the Pacific. President Barack Obama's bi-gender dress suggestion for his 2011 Honolulu assertion seems to bring the hype closer to reality.

Shelley M. Mark

Honolulu

 

GET funds don't belong to county

The mayor saying the rail tax is off-limits to the Legislature is truly off base. Mufi Hannemann does not decide what is done with the state tax and cannot encumber anything dealing with the state, and hopefully never will.

I hope the legislators will send a strong message to the city that the rail is Honolulu's problem, not the whole state's. If Honolulu wants a rail, let it pay for it. The general excise tax is the state's money. It should be used for the purposes of the whole state.

M. Simpson

Leeward Oahu

 

HC&S benefits Maui economy

Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. plays an important role in creating job opportunities to this community. Not only does it directly provide 800 well-paying jobs for Maui residents, HC&S also plays an unduplicated role in broader work force development on Maui with its Apprenticeship Training Program. Initiated in 1962 in partnership with the union, the apprenticeship program today is offered to nearly 220 HC&S employees, providing skills training to enable them to be certified carpenters, electricians, mechanics, plumbers, machinists, welders, sheetmetal workers, power plant operators and other trade professions. HC&S fully funds the program, including wages, benefits and books at a cost of more than $175,000 per employee.

The employee in turn invests approximately 7,600 hours over four years.

HC&S is an essential part of technical skills training for Maui businesses. There will be many unintended consequences should HC&S close its doors.

Michael Jensen

Kula