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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, October 21, 2006

Letters to the Editor



An environmental friend asked if I was voting for Sen. Dan Akaka or state Rep. Cynthia Thielen. "Akaka," I said, "and for environmental reasons."

He was on the wrong side of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge vote. But he was on the right side of the vote on the Iraq war. He was one of the few senators who voted against the war, when all the others were believing lies and following the Bush administration like sheep. The destruction of the environment caused by the Iraq war, the cost in hundreds of thousands of human lives, far outweighs a wrong vote on ANWR and possible harm to the caribou.

A second reason to vote for Akaka is the fact that Thielen, a freshman Republican who supposedly doesn't share party leaders' views on the environment, would have no influence on policy. And if, as seems possible, Democrats take the Senate, she would be doubly ineffective.

I find it unfair that the governor disregarded the other Republicans in the primary to appoint Thielen. Thielen risks nothing since she can keep her current job, she hasn't had to campaign and answer questions, and she is cynically calculated to bring in Democrats. The other candidates raised money, worked hard, answered the questions and are left high and dry. A minor point, but to me it matters.

Sally Raisbeck
Wailuku, Maui



Hawai'i lost a golden opportunity to elect a moderate to our legislative team when Rep. Ed Case lost in the primary to Sen. Dan Akaka.

In the political spectrum, Ed Case was just left of center and in the opinion of many, Gov. Linda Lingle and congressional candidate Bob Hogue are positioned just right of center.

The middle is where most in Hawai'i feel at home when it comes to politics. We vote for the person over party and agree to disagree on most issues.

At the far left of the spectrum is the bombastic Rep. Neil Abercrombie and "Department of Peace" candidate Mazie Hirono. Closer to the center, but still very liberal, is Akaka, and closer still to the center is Sen. Dan Inouye.

Hawai'i should not squander another opportunity to send a moderate candidate to Washington. Bob Hogue more closely resembles the politics of Ed Case than does his opponent. If the people of Hawai'i want to send a message that we are tired of the partisanship and machine-controlled politics that is forced upon us, we will elect to send Bob Hogue, a moderate voice, to Congress in November.

John Kai
Hilo, Hawai'i



Addressing the article "Get set to pay more for HMSA" (Oct. 12) by Greg Wiles:

I am wondering how you derived your figure of 164,000 workers to be affected by the 4.4 percent rate increase. The HMSA company press release states the number is 111,000, making your estimate off by about 50 percent. I am curious as to where the extra numbers come from.

Furthermore, seeing as how the rate hike affects only about 1/6 to 1/7 of total HMSA customers, the headline "Get set to pay more for HMSA" seems hardly appropriate, as it applies to only 1/6 to 1/7 of the HMSA members reading the headline.

In short, why does it seem like HMSA is always the brunt of negative reporting and never positive? If there's something to the picture I'm missing, I'd be grateful if you'd point it out to me.

Cyrus McNally



For more than 30 years, we have decried the poor state of our education system. We have poured tens of millions of dollars into it and it still fails to meet education requirements. Let me suggest some easy, cost-free solutions:

  • No school exemptions. You live in 'Aiea, for example, you go to school in 'Aiea; and your tax records will attest to where you live. When everyone becomes affected, everyone will see a need to do something about it.

  • Every city, county and state employee's child will attend public school where they live. This will put an end to lip service paid by politicians about how concerned they are about our educational system while they send their kids to private schools. If they want to send them there, they can find a job in private industry but not have tax dollars, which are paying their salaries, contribute to maintaining the educational divide.

  • School hours extended throughout the state to 4:30 p.m. It's inconceivable that a school day ends before 2 p.m.

  • Driving age raised to 18. This will alleviate traffic congestion, and since kids will go to school in their neighborhoods the need to drive is a moot point.

    We can solve and raise the level of education in the state of Hawai'i, but leadership is done by example, and I fear little of it is being shown. Of course, we can always throw more money at the problem and keep moaning about it.

    Greg Grajew



    It's distressing to read in Lillian Koller's Sept. 26 letter that the Department of Human Services considers 10 percent off the price of prescription medications to be a "deep discount."

    Many readers know they can get discounts of 25 percent or better on many brand-name pharmaceuticals just by shopping at Costco. Wal-Mart advertised that it is adding more generic drugs to its list for sale at $4 for a 30-day supply, and Target announced it would match Wal-Mart. If these for-profit entities can bargain effectively with manufacturers to reduce prices but Hawai'i will not, why does Koller still consider Rx Plus a success?

    Our Legislature, responding to testimony by Kokua Council and other organizations, passed a law with clear intent. Between July 1, 2004, and June 30, 2005, the Lingle administration was to have collaborated with other states to negotiate bulk-purchase discounts. It did not do this. Koller's letter confirms it.

    Candidates get to debate, but there's no debate with the people. If there were, our gubernatorial candidates would have to explain how they will relieve our seniors, people living with disabilities and those under the poverty level of the need to choose between food and medicine.

    Laura Manis
    Legislative chair, Kokua Council