to the Editor

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Make sure bus fare hike is really needed

The City Council should hold its horses in raising bus fares.

I am a daily rider using the $27 monthly pass. There is seldom a day when I don't see at least one person, often several, mostly tourists, paying $2 instead of the $1.50 fare for the simple reason that bus drivers don't give change. Where does the extra 50 cents go?

If I see this happening almost every day, I have to believe that this is happening all over the island many times. I wonder if TheBus administrators are accounting for the overpayments and reporting them to the Council?

I urge Council members to ensure they are getting all the facts before they vote "yes" to this fare increase.

Charlie Colburn

Raising bus fares hurts disadvantaged

Why are TheBus rates going up? The city should encourage more people to catch TheBus; not hurt poor people.

If you haven't noticed, prices on food have risen, but not paychecks. I wouldn't be surprised if more people file bankruptcy. Also, so everyone is insured on the road, let's raise the state gas tax. I'm a driver myself and wouldn't mind paying more for gas so that every driver is insured.

Why is there also talk about charging for rubbish pickup? Don't city officials realize that people would dump their trash in parks or other places? Don't encourage people to litter.

Sam Matsusaka

Kawaiaha'o erred by rejecting Patterson

It is unfortunate that the membership of Kawaiaha'o Church voted to reject the Rev. Kaleo Patterson as its senior pastor.

Patterson is highly qualified, has all the credentials and speaks the Hawaiian language fluently. He grew up in the bastion of Hawaiian culture, on the Waianae coast, a product of the Hawaiian Homestead program.

The reasons given by church members for his rejection were ironic, even hypocritical in nature. Some of them were turned off because of his long hair and beard. Others did not like the fact that he was arrested for his involvement in Hawaiian activism.

For these very same reasons, not even Jesus Christ could be accepted as senior pastor at Kawaiaha'o Church. Jesus Christ had long hair and a beard; he was an activist in every way. He too was arrested many times, prosecuted and eventually was crucified on the cross for civil disobedience. Church members should re-think the rejection and have another vote.

Steven T. Kalani Burke

Medical techs get little credit and less pay

I envy the contract nurses are asking for and receiving today.

During the last nurses strike, a woman involved in a car accident wrote a letter to the editor expressing her appreciation for the services provided by the nursing staff. She was transported by ambulance to the emergency room at Queen's Hospital. She want back to thank them after her discharge.

In reality, the emergency medical technicians were the first to evaluate, treat and stabilize the patient. In the emergency room, the radiology staff was called upon to run tests to assess possible fractures and internal injuries. The laboratory department then drew blood specimens to assess patient status and cross-match blood units, if needed. All this information was provided to the doctor who could then determine the course of treatment.

If other health-care professions were to unionize and strike for a similar contract as the nurses, imagine how inconvenienced the public would be in health quality and cost.

As a medical technologist with 25 years' experience, I have received zero to 1 percent raise in the past five years. In addition, no seniority pay and no overtime payments for working on holidays were received. I work every other holiday and every other weekend, which leaves less time for me to spend with my family. Under the current nurses' contract, a new nurse will earn more than I would after only three years. I have a four-year Bachelor of Science degree with one year of internship, while some nurses have only an associate's degree after two years of college.

The public should be aware of the various health-care professionals in hospitals who help to decrease health-care costs while providing quality care.

Arthur T. Choy

Why no tax credit for average citizen?

Thanks to Gov. Linda Lingle and the state Legislature for killing the residential remodeling tax credit extension. The current 4 percent credit for homeowners ends June 30.

Ko Olina Resort developers got their tax credit, hotels got theirs, but the average citizen and hundreds of small contractors -- the common man and woman -- didn't get theirs.

Special interests apparently still are more important that the average citizen.

So what's changed? Grrrrrrrr.

Robert Abbett

City isn't at fault for Barbers mess

As the former executive director of the Barbers Point Naval Air Station Redevelopment Commission, I understand the frustration expressed by letter writer Dennis Kaczmarek (Star-Bulletin, May 20) about conditions there.

However, I must take issue with his conclusions and recommendations. He blames the city for the "trashing of one of Hawaii's most well-preserved beaches" when, in fact, the Navy retained all of the beach areas and has no plans for conveying them to any other entity. His complaints would better be directed to the Navy, which has seen its maintenance budget greatly reduced since base closure.

The city does operate the campgrounds and is now experiencing desperate budget shortfalls. I am not sure that the Navy has any money for this purpose, and I am quite sure that if the sites were returned to the Navy as he suggests, its response would be to close the sites to the public.

Bill Bass


Hawaiian Airlines is a resilient company

In the interests of Hawaiian Airlines and its ability to move forward unimpeded by further legal actions, and while our board of directors and I respectfully disagree with the court's decision, we will not appeal the appointment of a trustee to oversee the company's restructuring under Chapter 11.

I step aside with a measure of satisfaction that in the past seven years of ownership by AIP LLC, we have brought Hawaiian Airlines within striking distance of our goal of making it a contemporary, competitive and profitable airline.

We brought long-term vision to the company and a dedication to making that vision reality even while the nation's airline industry under- went massive and painful change in order to survive the deepest financial crisis in its history.

We reinvested heavily in capital improvements and showed determined leadership to rebuild Hawaiian Airlines from the ground up and involved employees and unions at every step of the way.

Today, Hawaiian Airlines has new aircraft that are quieter, more fuel-efficient and more easily maintained, as well as new ground equipment and modern communications and reservations systems. It has become a more proficient and productive airline with a business plan that makes sense in the current industry environment. The final element of that business plan is the renegotiation of aircraft leases that is still needed to reduce costs and place our leases more in line with current market rates.

I am proud of the strength of our employees' commitment and the warmth they have displayed to our customers and each other. I have developed a deep affection for our airline ohana and the people of Hawaii. There is graciousness in this community that is admirable and infectious.

Hawaiian Airlines is a resilient organization. The dedication and integrity of our more than 3,000 talented employees remains steadfast to the essence of Hawaii and Hawaiiana as it has though 73 years of serving this community.

Hawaiian has the framework of a strong and efficient company. I fully expect that it will emerge from these challenging times with renewed strength and success.

John Adams
Chairman and CEO
Hawaiian Airlines


How to write us

The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (150 to 200 words). The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include a daytime telephone number.

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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

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