Letters to the Editor
MARATHON RUNNER THANKS RACE VOLUNTEERS
Dec. 9 was my fourth Honolulu Marathon, and because of the weather it was my toughest.
I want to thank the volunteers, who could not have been better. All along the way and at the finish they were enthusiastic and positive. A great help to all of us pounding along.
We are so fortunate to have such great ambassadors for our state.F.M. Scotty Anderson
AMERICANS MUST HOLD PRESIDENT ACCOUNTABLE
I don't condone cruelty to animals, but check this out. Michael Vick is held responsible for killing seven dogs in his dog-fighting business and is sentenced to almost two years in jail. Meanwhile the Constitution and oath-of-office violator, President Bush, is responsible for the needless killing of about 4,000 U.S. troops and an estimated one million Iraqis in an agenda that has helped his business associates and friends in companies like Blackwater USA and Halliburton rake in obscene profits.
Why isn't Bush being held accountable? Where is the justice, America?Stephen Burns
WASN'T UNREASONABLE TO DOUBT FAN LOYALTY
It amazes me that Hawai'i's fair-weather football fans are complaining that the University of Hawai'i underestimated their "loyalty and support."
This is the best season we have ever had, and we weren't able to sell out the stadium until the final two games.
The team had to reach 10-0 before all those "loyal" fans decided to put in a personal appearance. We have never even sold out one of our own Hawai'i Bowl games right here at home. Just imagine the heat Athletic Director Herman Frazier would have felt had UH found itself stuck with a half-million-dollar bill for unused Sugar Bowl tickets.
I agree there should have been a limit on the number of tickets an individual should have been allowed to purchase, and it is absolutely wrong if any season ticket holders — the true faithful — were unable to get Sugar Bowl tickets.
Heck, we ought to have had a special package just for the 20- plus-year season ticket holders, the ones who stuck with the team through thick and thin!
But I don't think it was unreasonable at all for the WAC and UH to have concerns about whether the fair-weather fans would put up the funds to go to New Orleans. Vegas, maybe, but not New Orleans.
Perhaps if more "fans" behave with commitment and certainty in support of their team — year in and year out — UH would have no reason to doubt fans' loyalty and support.Kelly Aune
SCAMMERS RUINED CHRISTMAS FOR 3 FANS
It's a shame that in the light of such an epic season for University of Hawai'i Warrior football there are people who make a career of defrauding fans.
In an effort to keep within our just-out-of-college budgets, my friends and I opted to book each section of our trip separately, and within two days of the bowl announcement our entire trip was set up and paid in full.
However, upon calling Southwest Airlines to reconfirm our connecting flights to New Orleans, we were told the reservation made for us was a fraud. We have since been unable to make contact with the travel "company" we paid to book our tickets.
Having spent and sacrificed everything, we are now broke with three nonrefundable roundtrip tickets to the West Coast, hotel arrangements in the French Quarter, some of the best game tickets available and no way to get to New Orleans.
For three uber fans who supported UH even through the Von Appen era and wanted absolutely nothing else for Christmas but a bowl game, this will be a very sad holiday.Nicole Takeshita
WHERE WERE ALL THE FANS AT NON-SELLOUTS?
Did the University of Hawai'i athletic department underestimate the demand for Sugar Bowl tickets? No. Here's why.
We had seven home games. Yes, the last two were sellouts. But what about the other five home games? They averaged about 35,000. So we had 15,000 empty seats at these five home games and that's 75,000 fewer tickets sold for the season.
The athletic department could have countered all the criticism by asking where fans were at the other five home games.
Notre Dame and Nebraska had losing seasons, and yet all their home games were sellouts. So do we have fan loyalty or fair-weather fans?Roy Komoto
MD REIMBURSEMENT A GOVERNMENT PROBLEM
I'd like to share a few thoughts regarding Mike Newton's letter on Dec. 8 ("Lawmakers must raise MD reimbursements").
If an HMSA member in the West Hawai'i area needs help locating a participating physician, they may call the local HMSA office. Our employees strive to maintain an up-to-date list of providers in the area, and can tell a member which ones are accepting new patients. It's just one phone call, and it's especially helpful in rural areas.
Newton and others are misinformed about provider reimbursements. Overall, HMSA's rates are among the highest in Hawai'i. Independent studies show that it's the government's health plans (Quest, Medicare and Medicaid) that aren't paying providers their fair share. Physicians will tell you that they lose money nearly every time they treat members with these plans.
If lawmakers "force" private health plans to pay even more than they already do, then the working men and women of our state — and the business community — will end up paying more for their coverage and care. Does that really sound fair to private health plan members and employers? Reimbursement problems exist in Hawai'i because of the government, not the business community.Cliff K. Cisco
Senior vice president, HMSA
PLANNED PARENTHOOD STANCE MISINTERPRETED
James Roller, in a Dec. 11 letter, says "Planned Parenthood's solution to this problem (of teen pregnancy) is the use of abortion as a method of birth control."
This strikes me as an outrageous misinterpretation of Planned Parenthood's position and actions.
Planned Parenthood does not advocate sexual activity, nor does it advocate abortion. It does attempt to help young people make responsible decisions about both, and it tries to make sexual activity or abortion reasonably safe, if chosen.
I realize that some people might not want to support Planned Parenthood because they want abortion to be criminalized. Or because they don't want sexual activity to be safe. But that doesn't justify exaggerated or false ideas about this organization.Patricia Donegan
FAKE LICENSE GIVEAWAY A VERY SERIOUS MATTER
Lee Cataluna's Dec. 9 column must be addressed as it inaccurately implies that Mayor Mufi Hannemann neglected last week's storm to concentrate on a fake-license fiasco.
In response to the storm, the mayor immediately activated the Emergency Operation Center on Dec. 3. His leadership style put him on top of the city's proactive role throughout the storm. Furthermore, contrary to what Lee's "who cares" attitude conveys, the mayor and the city were more than capable of addressing both issues simultaneously.
The city's request to Wal-Mart to cease selling the "Superbad" DVD with the fake license giveaway was issued to protect the integrity of our Hawai'i driver's license.
Lee did not deem this issue as being worthy of mayoral attention, but we immediately saw the potential for lawbreakers to alter the fake licenses and use them for nefarious purposes.
Lee condones forging licenses when she writes, "the template for making your very own McLovin Hawai'i ID has existed online for months and it's even better than the card that came with the DVD because you can just click your own photo in." Having personally seen the fake license, I contend it is far more realistic than Lee claims.
We consider fraud, forgery, underage drinking and identity theft to be very serious crimes and promptly took corrective measures to prevent these fake licenses from being made available.
I commend all of the workers who put in extra effort during the storm. I also thank Wal-Mart for its prompt action in removing the "Superbad" DVDs from its shelves and hope that Wal-Mart outlets nationwide will follow.Jeff J. Coelho
Director, Department of Customer Services, City and County of Honolulu
'EWA CONSTITUENT APPALLED BY TOLL ROAD ADVOCACY
I am adamantly opposed to the concept of toll roads that is being advocated by Rep. Rida Cabanilla (Island Voices, Dec. 10).
As a constituent living on the 'Ewa Plain, I'm appalled that she would suggest adding to our transportation burden by making us pay to use our roads. I'm already paying my fair share in gasoline taxes — about 20,000 miles this past year.
In a new survey Smart Growth America:
Cabanilla might be interested in this next amazing result:
I believe Cabanilla's role as an elected official is to debate credible, legitimate issues that advance the public good. Her endorsement of toll roads does not offer a solution to our continued reliance on fossil fuels, the decline of global oil production, soaring energy prices and global warming. In fact, it exacerbates the problem.
Continued dialogue about the viability of toll roads is unnecessary and a waste of important time and space that could be dedicated to more important and pressing issues.Alicia Maluafiti
Make a difference. Donate to The Advertiser Christmas Fund.