Letters to the Editor
RETIRED STATE WORKER HAD TO PAY HER DUES
I read Greg Wiles' article regarding the generous health benefits for retired state workers. As a retired state worker, I feel that your article did not tell the whole story.
Throughout my years of employment, I had to pay for approximately half of the premiums. In addition, I still had to pay additional fees for medical and dental services and equipment such as glasses.
Many of my acquaintances working for private companies did not contribute anything to the premiums for their insurance. The nonprofit organizations that my department contracted to provide services for the state also provided 100 percent of the health insurance for their employees.
I was very envious of the generous packages they received as private employees.Dorothy Hallett
BURNING ETHANOL FUEL COULD SET HAWAI'I FREE
Congratulations to HECO for its plan to burn ethanol fuel. It's about time that a state that grows a large amount of sugarcane starts freeing itself from the blackmail of rigged petroleum prices.
Brazil will soon become the largest nation in the Western Hemisphere to become oil-independent, and it is doing it with ethanol made from sugarcane. If Hawai'i follows Brazil's example, we could become energy self-sufficient in the foreseeable future and pay half of gasoline prices to power our cars.William Starr Moake
ANOTHER BUNGLED JOB BY PUBLIC WORKS FOLKS
As a local resident, I travel Kahekili almost every day and have wondered why some really nice road-improvement work remained unfinished, namely turning on the lights on the new aluminum power poles.
I spoke directly to Mayor Hannemann, who referred me to the state. I received two e-mails directly from transportation chief Rod Haraga about this, but it was only after reading The Advertiser article by Eloise Aguiar that I finally understood, almost. In a few words, it was another bungled job by our public works folks.
Now, we all have heard about the top-10 bungled jobs, including the very expensive paver that could not handle the macadam available in Hawai'i. This road improvement has got to be in the top-10 worst-handled projects. The work done was completed last August; that's eight months ago. The orange netting to stop people falling into the ditch was put up this week. Mothers with strollers and little children use the new sidewalk every day.
So they couldn't find the old sewer lines? Has anybody been fined or penalized for nonperformance? They could have explained this to us months ago. Shame on the whole bunch!Paul Tyksinski
CLEAR THE AIR ACT MUST BE APPROVED
My wife and I support the Hawai'i Clear the Air Act (Senate Bill 3262, SD1), but we cannot understand why such efforts only address protecting workers.
Waiting for our luggage at Kahului Airport recently, we were exposed to profuse amounts of secondhand smoke from smokers outside the terminal. Anyone working in Kahului Airport or picking up his luggage there simply cannot escape the carcinogenic chemicals polluting the air inside the terminal.
This unacceptable situation exists because of the erroneous belief that smokers' rights must be ensured. This is nonsense, just like the belief that as long as it is outside, tobacco smoke is not dangerous. Enlightened Mainland communities have banned smoking in stadiums, parks, beaches and other outdoor venues, and Hawai'i needs to follow suit.
Our legislators must learn that no one can have the right to subject others to life-threatening carcinogens — workers, travelers, sports fans, beachgoers, any citizen, whoever he or she is, whatever they're doing.
Instead of asking our legislators to protect workers from secondhand smoke, we must demand that lawmakers protect those they are sworn to protect, and that means everyone, everywhere, not just workers at their jobs.Jerome Kellner
PLEASE STOP PAVING OVER OUR ISLANDS
Why do these people think that if they keep building, the money will keep coming?
There are already too many locals moving away because they cannot afford to live in their own land. The ones who can afford to buy don't care about the 'aina.
They say we depend on our tourist industry, but you think tourists come here to see city life? Many of these visitors never see waterfalls and mountains and they love Hawai'i because it's paradise.
During the big-wave season, the traffic is horrible on the North Shore, and it takes forever to get anywhere. How is that going to work with 3,500 rooms by Kawela Bay?
I love driving to the country because it takes me away from the city life. That is why I have many friends and 'ohana who choose to live out there because it's peaceful and relaxing. Where will the locals go to simmer down and play in the ocean when we have to sit in traffic for hours just to get there?
O'ahu has too many buildings and development and not enough natural land beauty. Please stop all this nonsense before there is nothing left for our keiki.Malia Souza
TURN UP THERMOSTAT
I wonder just how large the electricity savings would be if all our air-conditioner thermostats were set five degrees warmer. I'm sure the savings would be significant, and maybe we wouldn't have to dress for winter when we go to the grocery store.Jeanne Aeby