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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Letters to the Editor

Shon

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NEW DIRECTOR

FORMER CHARTER SCHOOL HEAD GIVES BEST WISHES

Congratulations to Maunalei Love in her appointment as interim executive director for the Charter School Administrative Office.

I am confident the entire charter school community and the larger community will give Maunalei their full support and cooperation in her new and challenging role.

I especially appreciate the Board of Education's decision to appoint a candidate from the list submitted by the Hawai'i Charter School Network.

The Charter School Administrative Office is in good hands.

Jim Shon
Honolulu

SENATE RACE

ED CASE STILL HAS MUCH TO OFFER PARTY, HAWAI'I

Rep. Ed Case fought for an impossible dream and ran into the roadblock of the establishment. Not only that of the tiring but still-potent Democratic Party of Hawai'i, but also that of some of the media.

It is likely that Hawai'i may, in some not-so-distant future, find itself without the desired seniority in the U.S. Senate. Isn't it shortsighted to count on the incumbent's seniority to bring home some more bacon in lieu of an orderly transition from a senior citizen to a younger person?

One may only hope that Ed Case will collect himself and his good sense and not give up his fight against the party establishment. He has much to offer to this state.

Helmuth Pesentheiner
Honolulu

PRIMARY

ELECTION VOTE TALLY SYSTEM MUCH TOO SLOW

The scanned paper ballot system is excellent. We don't have the audit trail problems of other states.

However, the tabulation of votes is way too slow for this century.

Let's go with the system of poll workers displaying the totals in each precinct with unofficial tallies available immediately to observers and the media.

The bureaucracy can continue to take its sweet time, but the public will have the results quickly.

Dan Smith
Honolulu

AIRLINE TRAVEL

GO! SHOULD PLAY FAIRLY IN INTERISLAND SKIES

To the delight of many, Mesa's go! airlines has caused interisland fares to drop.

However, they've done so with a plan. Not to make, as they say, "interisland travel affordable," but rather to bankrupt and replace at least one of our kama'aina companies.

Down the road, Mesa's short-term gratification, if successful, will benefit Mesa only. If it refuses to play fairly, we should help Mesa GO!

Neal Ikeda
Kane'ohe

TRANSPORTATION

COMPETITION IS GOOD FOR ISLAND CONSUMERS

Competition has a different meaning depending on where you are in the consumer food chain.

If you are at the top, it's a dirty word, for it forces you to lower the price for the goods and services you provide to the customer. Aloha and Hawaiian airlines, after years of running a veritable monopoly on interisland flights, are crying foul because someone else has the audacity to compete for our dollar and we finally have some options.

Another case in point is the SuperFerry, which has galvanized the shipping companies, the rental car companies and the aforementioned airlines against it because it offers us folks at the bottom of the food chain a chance to save some money.

Just imagine what kind of conniption our wonderful gasoline providers would have if someone else decided to sell their product here! We can only hope.

Eugene Depew
Honolulu

POLITICAL ACTIVISM

CANDIDATE HOPES MORE WILL DEMAND RESULTS

I am writing this letter to everyone who supported me and my campaign for the at-large seat for the Board of Education, especially to The Advertiser editorial board for its endorsement. I've gained more than 4,800 new friends, and I am very grateful.

Answering the call to run for office took me out of my comfort zone of just being an everyday observer. My family and I will no longer be a part of the silent majority.

It's my greatest hope that more people will step out of their comfort zones and become politically active.

Whether it is attending a BOE or local neighborhood board meeting, writing a letter to the editor, expressing your thoughts on anything political, just do it. Demand accountability and transparency in your government. It's your government demand results.

To my fellow candidates who are going on, good luck, God bless and we will be watching you.

Henry William Hoeft Jr.
Waipahu

IRAQ

LINGLE SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE ON WAR

Gov. Linda Lingle claims that any link between her and President Bush's failed policies in Iraq is a "long ago, faraway" strategy. While Iraq may be far away, Gov. Lingle has supported this unjust war at every turn, at extraordinary cost to people across Hawai'i.

Gov. Lingle has deceived and misled the public about what this war is about and why we're there.

In 2004, Gov. Lingle said Bush was right to lead America into the war because "we would rather play this as an away game than a home game." War is not a game. And, each day as the death toll and financial costs mount, we find that terrorism is increasing worldwide, particularly because we are in Iraq.

President Bush is accused of trumping up the charges for war, losing the moral basis for the war and ignoring the threats before 9/11. Gov. Lingle has been among the president's most ardent supporters and has never publicly expressed any doubts about Bush's (mis)management of the war on terror. Voters in Hawai'i have every right to hold Gov. Lingle accountable for her views on this war because this war is killing us.

Eduardo Hernandez
Maunalani Heights

THEATER

MVT'S 'URINETOWN' A PLAY NOT TO BE MISSED

Kudos to Manoa Valley Theatre for its production of "Urinetown."

I had the pleasure of seeing it twice. The energy the entire cast puts into the show is nothing less than incredible. Ahnya Chang and Andrew Meader as choreographer and director outdid themselves.

True to most MVT musicals, the cast very closely follows the sound of the Broadway production.

Sadly. the show will close the first Sunday of October. If you saw this season opener of MVT, good for you. If not, you missed out on the best of the best!

As usual, Advertiser theater critic Joseph Rozmiarek led many in our city astray with his less-than-stellar review of this great production.

Teresa Steinwandt
Honolulu

TURTLE BAY

GOVERNOR SUPPORTED SUPPLEMENTAL EIS

Connie S. Patton (Letter, Sept. 17) erroneously wrote that Gov. Linda Lingle supported development of 5,000 hotel rooms on the North Shore despite overwhelming opposition.

Ms. Patton needs to get her facts straight.

First, the proposed development on the North Shore would allow 3,500 rooms/timeshare/condo units, not 5,000.

Second, Rep. Colleen Meyer and I introduced a resolution at the 2006 Republican Convention calling for a supplemental environmental impact statement and a re-evaluation of the Turtle Bay project.

The resolution passed due in part to the strong support of Gov. Lingle. What Ms. Patton needs to do is come to the North Shore and see how much we are striving to "Keep the Country, Country" and to share our gratitude that our governor is on our side.

Carol Philips
Candidate, State House 46

DEBRIS

PLASTIC BOTTLE CAPS AN EYESORE IN OUR PARKS

On my Sunday morning debris removal in Ala Moana Park, about 50 percent of what I pick up are plastic bottle caps.

I am sure that the other parks on the island have the same eyesores.

I realize that the bottles can be turned in for 5 cents each, but the law should be changed so that the money will only be paid when there is a cap on the bottle.

The result will be that we will remove an eyesore and make all the parks look better for us and any visitors.

Roy Gritter
Honolulu

HAWAI'I RX PLUS

STATE WORKING TO REDUCE COSTS FOR POOR

Contrary to opinions expressed in Larry Geller's letter (Sept. 18), Hawai'i's uninsured and underinsured residents are receiving deep discounts on medication purchases through Hawai'i Rx Plus.

Approved by the state Legislature and Gov. Linda Lingle, this free program was launched by the Department of Human Services in July 2004 and now provides savings of 40 percent on generic drugs and 10 percent on brand-name drugs. These price breaks help people of all ages whose income does not exceed 350 percent of the federal poverty level.

Mr. Geller erroneously contended that DHS is defying the Legislature by refusing to negotiate lower prices from pharmaceutical manufacturers. That is not true. DHS is working successfully at the local, state and national levels to sharply reduce drug costs.

Because of its creative approach to helping people in need, Hawai'i Rx Plus was named a regional finalist in the 2005 Innovations Awards competition held by the Council of State Governments. And Harvard University invited DHS to submit our program for a 2007 Innovations in American Government Award.

Moreover, six states Alaska, Arkansas, Missouri, New Hampshire, Tennessee and Washington have asked DHS to assist them in replicating Hawai'i Rx Plus to help their residents.

Looking ahead, DHS is at the forefront of an effort to form a multi-state drug-purchasing pool to cut prices even further for Hawai'i Rx Plus members. This would involve leveraging state dollars to receive federal rebates on drug costs.

This is a very promising approach, and I look forward to continuing our work with federal agencies and the Legislature to help low- and moderate-income residents obtain affordable prescription drugs.

Lillian B. Koller
Director, Hawai'i Department of Human Services