POSTED: Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tell leaders we want clean, green economy

Americans are ready for bold action. We can revitalize our economy with good jobs, clean, renewable energy and a healthy climate. A clean energy economy will create millions of new green jobs that America desperately needs, jobs that can't be outsourced.

The oil, plastics and coal companies have spent millions lobbying and advertising to block the switch to clean energy. We need to take back this country and re-power America by letting our leaders know that we want this new clean energy economy now.

Karla Sachi
Honaunau, Hawaii

Health-insurance monopoly hurts doctors

I am retired and living in Hawaii but have Blue Cross and Blue Shield health insurance from Alaska that has higher payments to doctors than Hawaii. BUT HMSA forces me to be processed through HMSA.

Doctors could get more for their work if they billed my out-of-state insurance company directly, but are forced by law to do otherwise.

Why is this?

The main reasons why doctors are leaving the islands are very low reimbursement rates and stress from being extremely overworked because there are not enough doctors to go around.

The cause of this is none other than HMSA and its state-backed monopoly. HMSA says it is trying to recruit new doctors but its policies are not acceptable to the majority of doctors.

HMSA offers the lowest reimbursement rate to doctors in the nation. Can you blame the doctors for not wanting to stay here?

David Hill
Pahoa, Hawaii

We need and can afford a Con Con

Legislators continue to speak out of both sides of their mouth. At the same time legislators are arguing against the people holding a Constitutional Convention because of cost, they have their hands out for pay raises (Star-Bulletin, Oct. 12). Hypocrisy!

We need a Constitutional Convention now more than ever to put an end to these entrenched political interests in the Legislature. They are using their political positions to mislead the public and keep the status quo alive and strong.

Now it's up to us to act. Vote “;yes”; for the people's convention. We can do better!

Lois Abrams
Hawaii Kai

Lawmakers' pay raise is galling to taxpayers

I find it increasingly difficult to believe the chutzpah of our legislative corps. When these lawmakers were faced with the prospect of returning our surplus tax dollars, the best they could come up with was a $1 rebate, yet they now self-servingly allow a pay raise for themselves of 36 percent?

I just love the sanctimony of Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, saying, “;I believe they (Salary Commission members) have done their assessment as to what is proper payment and we should abide by it.”; How righteous her stance is! I have little hope that we will vote these political hacks out of office, yet I can only pray that someday Hawaii's citizens will wake up and take action.

Scott Yonashiro

You can trust citizens to rewrite Constitution

Vote “;yes”; for a state Constitutional Convention. We can be trusted with our own future just as we trusted ourselves in the 1960s and 1970s when we held conventions. These conventions afford the people an opportunity to direct our future course and serve as a training ground for our future leadership. Our poor primary election turnout was due to a lack of choice.

Public-optional funding of candidates has put my youngest sister in the Maine House and public funding in Hawaii can be established by a Con Con and the vote of the people. Isn't it time we threw off the yoke of vested interests and rolled up our sleeves for the work ahead?

Carol Fanning

Ferry inspectors dedicated to their jobs

Along with my fellow inspectors, we are disturbed after reading Mayor Charmaine Tavares' comments about Hawaii Superferry inspections we conduct.

Mayor Tavares and the people of Maui have no idea of our comprehensive and continuing training and our dedication to protecting our environment and natural resources. We thoroughly and competently inspect all vehicles and passengers, confiscating illegal goods and reporting our discoveries to the state who then make its reports.

If we didn't have passion for our job, we would not have endured the court battles and public protests from those opposing the ferry. This island is close-knit and it would have been easier to seek other employment than put up with such negativity within our own community. But we believe the ferry is a service Maui and our state need.

We can travel to Oahu for doctor appointments, visits with family and friends, UH football games and shopping and selling at the Honolulu swap meet. Disabled people can travel with their own wheel-chairs without airline restrictions. Local businesses can sell their goods on Oahu. Love's Bakery can still deliver fresh goods five days a week.

Please understand that ferry employees are keeping our resources safe, providing an alternative means of travel and giving our local businesses new economic opportunities. We take our jobs very seriously and are fully committed to protecting our islands.

Corrine Dutro-Ponce
Pukalani, Maui