POSTED: Thursday, October 16, 2008

Public is waiting for electric rates to drop

Yesterday oil hit a 13-month low, closing below $75 a barrel. Gasoline prices have been dropping for weeks; the shippers have reduced their fuel surcharges. So why are Hawaiian Electric's rates at all-time highs?

Lynne Matusow

Vote out politicians who accept pay raise

When the CEOs of the Wall Street corporations were criticized for receiving raises and “;golden parachutes”; even though the companies they managed declared huge losses and even bankruptcy, they would explain that independent compensation committees recommended their bonuses.

This is the problem with the economy of this country: even with chief executive officers “;The Buck Stops Elsewhere.”;

In running a small business, I know through experience that management comes last after the employees, key expenses and vendors during down times, such as we are experiencing now.

In government, the governor, mayor, legislators, Council members and department heads, are management. However in spite of severe budget shortfalls, Hawaii legislators are accepting a 36 percent increase in salaries and hikes in office expense accounts, and explaining it away by saying that it was done by the Salary Commission. The buck certainly does not stop with this government management, as it was with Wall Street management.

Any legislator or other official in “;government management”; who accepts a raise during these times, does not deserve our votes or support in this upcoming election.

Vote against any politician who does not take responsibility for the raises he or she receives from the taxpayers.

Jack Law

Education shows who's smart enough to lead

Suppose you have to hire a couple of executives to take charge of a very important, very complex project. These two people will, in turn, need to hire a competent staff, set policy, oversee day-to-day progress and communicate results to the rest of the community.

Applications from four candidates are on your desk and you must select two. Here is a summary of their academic achievements:

» Candidate 1: Graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in political science, specializing in international relations. Graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School.

» Candidate 2: Graduated from the Naval Academy ranking fifth from the bottom in a class of 899 cadets.

» Candidate 3: Graduated from the University of Delaware with a B.A. in history and a B.A. in political science. Graduated from Syracuse University law school.

» Candidate 4: Attended Hawaii Pacific University, one semester. Attended North Idaho College, two semesters. Attended the University of Idaho, two semesters. Attended Matanuska-Susitna College, one semester. Graduated from the University of Idaho, B.A. in journalism.

Which two would you choose?

Jim Loomis
Haiku, Maui

Obama might oversee decline of America

The invasion of Georgia by Russia's massive tank forces killing thousands of innocent children and women cannot be tolerated and it is unacceptable in our civilized society. The United States must not let the Russians trample over weaker sovereign countries. This behavior is worse than the Cold War era. And we must have strong leaders in Washington to lead us in this unsafe and turbulent century.

Sen. Barack Obama promised that he will change Washington for a better America. Right now Washington is the No. 1 defender of democracy and the leader of the free world. Will Obama change it to No. 2 or below? With Obama's lead we are heading to a scary future.

Because he was born in Hawaii, all voters of Hawaii should back him up? So think twice before you cast our vote in November. Let a man with experience and tempered knowledge in foreign policy be our next commander in chief.

Bernardo P. Benigno
Retired Army master sergeant

Smear campaign doesn't help voters

I'm writing you to express my extreme disapproval of the recent actions of John McCain and Sarah Palin. The McCain-Palin campaign has launched a series of smears, turning their campaign into nothing more than a negative, destructive attempt at character assassination.

Recently, top advisers to McCain were quoted, some by name, in both the Washington Post and the New York Times detailing the new strategy being followed by McCain and his campaign. They bluntly said that they wanted to “;turn the page”; from talking about the economic crisis, so they were going to launch a barrage of negative attacks on Barack Obama's character.

It's clear that our country is in the middle of an enormous financial crisis, the worst in nearly a century. The decisions made by the next president will shape the economic future for us and our children for decades. For McCain to try to divert our attention with spurious character-assassination politics does a disservice to all of us.

Judith Shabert
Kilauea, Hawaii