Letters to the Editor
Sakamoto's arrogance reflected in comment
Sen. Norman Sakamoto paid Shelton Jim On and Edward Sultan the greatest compliment an elected official could give to a nominee. He said they were rejected because they did not reach his standards.
If a politician told me that, I would feel great. Imagine the audacity of a politician telling private citizens that they don't "rise to his standards." The utter arrogance of that statement should insult every citizen of Hawai'i.
Inouye should speak positively about war
I'm very disappointed in Sen. Daniel Inouye's criticism of our government role in the war in Iraq before and now after. He can't say anything positive about the new freedom for the Iraqi people, who have been in bondage under that evil tyrant Saddam Hussein for many years.
Instead, this "stoneface" senator complains about the government credibility of not finding the weapons of mass destruction. Even if our forces in Iraq don't find the weapons of mass destruction, the latest poll says that over 70 percent of Americans say it doesn't matter.
Inouye's a war hero and veteran himself who's supposed to be a good friend and supporter of our military, but I haven't read anything from him praising our troops for a job well done. Not a word for even those who sacrifice their lives for freedom.
Melvin Partido Sr.
Small businesses are in a 'community risk pool'
In response to the letter on health plan rate increases ("Small business suffers rate increases more," April 21), I'd like to explain why you only hear about rate adjustments for small businesses.
At HMSA, we place small businesses in a "community risk pool" so the risk is spread over a much larger base. This has the effect of keeping the cost of health insurance lower than if individual, small businesses were rated on their own claims experience.
Rate adjustments are made only once each year, and the community risk pool sees its adjustments take effect each July 1. This information is always reported in the news media because it affects so many businesses across the state. (About 10,000 small businesses offer HMSA health plans.)
What you don't hear about are all the annual rate adjustments for large businesses that happen every month of the year. First, they are not rated in the community pool. They are large enough to be rated on their own claims experience. So their rate each year is based on the claim history of their own employees and their dependents.
Second, large businesses have different anniversary dates from the community pool. It depends on when they signed up with HMSA. So each large business has a unique anniversary date, and the news of their rate adjustment pertains only to their employees not the rest of the community. Therefore, it's not reported in the news.
In the end, there is a simple answer to the question, "Do small businesses suffer rate increases more?" No, small businesses have community rates that are adjusted once each year. Large businesses have their own experience rates that are adjusted once each year. No one is getting a free ride or preferential treatment.
Cliff K. Cisco
Senior vice president, HMSA
Military personnel do pay home state taxes
In response to Cindy Au's April 21 letter regarding military not paying vehicle registration fees, we military personnel do pay for vehicle registration, safety inspections and permit fees. We do not, however, pay property taxes on our vehicles.
This is not just in Hawai'i, it is nationwide. We pay property tax on vehicles registered in our home state of residence. This is one of the few privileges the state governments give us for our service to this great nation.
If this bothers Ms. Au, maybe she should be willing to make the supreme sacrifice in defense of her everyday freedoms of living in the United States. I see more local residents in our commissaries and PXs than I do actual military, so I don't understand the complaint there.
Religious survival kits at our schools OK
I approve of the distribution of the religious survival kits at our schools. Too bad they were not also distributed to the private schools. The parents should be happy that they aren't illegal substances being distributed.
It rebuilds my faith in the system that our children are able to have a choice in "good stuff" Christian material. They are already bombarded with too much negativity, e.g. violent computer games, vulgar television shows and, unfortunately, their own home life.
It is great to know that there's a giant step to help our kids know there is another good, clean, honest choice out there Christianity.
Sunset on the Beach is exciting, joyful
Many families, local and tourist alike, have benefited greatly from Mayor Harris' Sunset on the Beach program in Waikiki.
My family has been fortunate enough to operate a concession at these movie/entertainment events since the program's inception in 2002. We have seen firsthand the joy and excitement that Sunset has brought to Waikiki and would like to see it continue.
Big mahalo to all the families who come out, Mayor Harris, Malcom Tom, Janet Maduli, Peter Radulovic, Joe Magaldi, the generous corporate sponsors and the many others that make Sunset possible.
Vice president, Royal Hawaiian Hotdog Co.
East O'ahu prefers police to medial strip
Please, please, Mayor Harris, cancel your plan for a medial strip on Lunalilo Home Road.
The people who live in Hawai'i Kai and other residents of East O'ahu need and want a police station to deal with the rising crime in East O'ahu not your beautification idea.
Please listen to the residents of East O'ahu. Show you care a little for their welfare and what is needed, not what you want. We need police officers.
Don't waste our tax dollars on a needless medial strip.
New UH logo should have been inside job
I am a student of the University of Hawai'i system and am deeply saddened by the university's conscious decision to look outside of our state for a new logo.
Is a new logo needed? I wouldn't rule it out. Was it necessary to pay a firm outside our state $82,000 to come up with it? Definitely not.
Our own university president speaks out about creating new opportunities for students in my generation. He speaks about keeping Hawai'i students in Hawai'i. Why would the university contradict this by looking elsewhere for talent? They are sending out the message that people in Hawai'i are not worth the $82,000.
Does the university believe that UH students and faculty are incapable of coming up with a logo that represents the very same state that raised them to become scholars?
As a taxpayer and a student, I would much rather see the $82,000 go into scholarships and grants. I'm sure our university's art students and faculty would have created a unique and "local" symbol of our state's university.