Letters to the Editor

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Hawaiian exec doesn't deserve extra millions

As an airline employee who has taken two deep rounds of pay and benefit cuts and lost my pension, I seethed as I read about Hawaiian Airlines trustee, Joshua Gotbaum, saying he deserved an $8 million payout for bringing the airline out of bankruptcy (Star-Bulletin, Aug. 10). He may have done the job, but on whose backs and at whose expense did he do that? The employees'. He claims to deserve the extra money for the work he did. That was his job, and he was well compensated. I think one can live quite well on $60,000 a month. What about the employees, who really do the work and have only lost and lost? Many have to have second jobs to make ends meet.

The ego and audacity of senior management, board members and trustees like Gotbaum astound me. Never forget who makes the company succeed: the workers. When you take from them and line your own pockets from their losses, Mr. Gotbaum (and others like you), you insult and offend them and show, once more, the problem with greedy corporate America. No one should get that kind of money when others have had to suffer for it.

Caroline Viola

Oppressed Hawaiians should go on offensive

The Kamehameha Schools issue is not about race, it's about opportunity. I don't think there's much doubt that Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop would have wanted all of Hawaii's children to be educated.

Whatever her dreams may have been, the overthrow of the nation of Hawaii dispelled any hope that they would be realized. The theft of their nation has turned Hawaii's people, the victims, inward and defensive and their stance has been to tighten their grip on whatever can be held on to. This has been difficult in that the very foundation of the Hawaiian culture is to share and to accept. While it is never easy for the oppressed to control surrounding circumstances, a stand now needs to be taken to avoid further magnification of the role of the victim.

As evidenced by the general acceptance of the Akaka Bill, which serves to further diminish Hawaii's nationality by trading it for reservation status and dubious handouts, the Hawaiian community is being coerced with false hopes. We cannot now accept the fallout of an injustice of this magnitude to be considered simply a race issue.

The Hawaiian community needs to stand up in unison and declare the future. The obvious course would be for Kamehameha Schools to educate everybody; they should absorb the state school system and use their assets to provide the kind of education that will enable the people of this place to cast off their role as victim and go on to restore Hawaiian nationality. That's the opportunity. It's time to play a little offense.

Kelly Greenwell
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Arrogant litterbugs wouldn't heed slogan

This is in response to Dan Macho's Aug. 17 letter, "Now we need a slogan to fight all that litter."

I agree that litter is a problem, but I think a slogan is the least of the worry. For some who don't realize it's a problem or the problems it creates, it might help. But a slogan or ad campaign is not likely to change the mentally challenged state of the arrogant people who toss litter all about.

This person it might help: I had a friend over the Fourth of July leave her plastic drink cup sitting in Ala Moana park. I got irate at her and threw it away. She "explained" to me that the cup is marked as recyclable (the triangle) and it's worth 5 cents. She hoped a homeless person would pick up the cup, recycle it and get the 5 cents back. (Oh, boy ... I explained the recycling program to her.)

This person, unlikely it would help: I was standing in line for a nightclub one night and a guy in front of me just finished his drink and tossed the bottle into the bushes. I almost cranked him in the back of the head. The guy behind me in line said to him, "Hey bro, you're not from here? Where you from? No Hawaiian would do that." The guy's response was, "Yes I do live here. It's OK, someone gets paid to clean it up."

This is just pure arrogance. This joker thinks he is stimulating the economy by tossing litter around. Maybe some really stiff fines will stimulate HIS economy of conservation.

Yes, something needs to be done about the trash -- and the litter the trash keeps throwing on the ground.

Curtis Kropar

Most Americans support death penalty

According to an ABC News/Washington Post Poll from April 21-24, 65 percent of Americans favor the death penalty for persons convicted of murder. And recently, The Gallup Organization reported that "Compared with a year ago, more Americans say they support the death penalty as punishment for murder, more choose it over life imprisonment as the preferred punishment for murder, and more perceive that the death penalty is applied fairly in this country. A majority of Americans now say the death penalty is not imposed often enough." Is public opinion in our state really so different from the rest of the country?

Your opinion on the "Death penalty not (being) welcome in Hawaii" (Star-Bulletin, Aug. 12) does not appear to reflect the opinion of nearly two-thirds of the public. Does the will of the hoi polloi matter to newspaper editors? Surely you do not think that I am the only one who believes dastardly murderers should be executed, do you?

Gil Riviere

Agencies need funding to protect children

The recent, tragic death of Talia Emoni Williams (Star-Bulletin, July 19) -- and the probable death of Peter Boy Kema -- drive home the hard realities of our state's child welfare system. As an agency that provides direct services to families at risk for child abuse and neglect and is charged with the responsibility to advocate for a more responsive child welfare system, the challenges the Blueprint for Change and other child abuse prevention advocates must face to help Hawaii's families are enormous.

There continues to be a lack of support for the systems that are clearly helping to improve our child welfare system. Whenever state budgets get tight, desperately needed funding for prevention, support and treatment services for Hawaii's families is the first to be cut.

Department of Human Services line workers are forced to work with caseloads of 20 or more families at a time. They need more -- not fewer -- resources to do their work.

We need to ask our legislators to support and provide adequate resources to effectively operate and improve our child welfare system -- and to dedicate adequate funding to agencies whose work is to prevent these tragedies.

Lydia Hemmings
Executive director
Blueprint for Change

City library should receive state funds

We are very disappointed that Governor Lingle disapproved the $4.7 million legislative appropriation for the Makiki Community Library (Star-Bulletin, Aug. 15).

Her refusal and nitpicking about city jurisdiction is at odds with the state Legislature and Congress. Rep. Neil Abercrombie did not care that we were in a city building -- he got a $100,000 congressional appropriation for our library. The governor has approved funding for other community and arts groups. Why not give at least some of the $4.7 million for our community-operated library's growth?

Despite the city's limited resources, its Parks and Recreation Department has been very supportive of the library. Several years ago the Legislature approved a $25,000 appropriation for the library. Congress, through Abercrombie, has found us funding.

The city, Legislature and Congress all have shown us the kokua we value in the islands. Governor Lingle, shouldn't you do the same?

Ron Paik
Board president
Friends of Makiki Community Library

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