GOVERNOR SHOULD NOT CONTROL POSITION
Plato said the two most important questions any society needs to ask are "Who gets to teach the children and what dothey teach them?"
This egregious bill to place the superintendent in the governor's pocket, er, I mean Cabinet, is an insipient attempt at tyranny. It would put a stranglehold on the minds of the next generation and render the Board of Education, the teachers union, parents and students powerless.
E-mail, write, phone your representatives and tell them how outraged you are at the "thought" of a state-governed education system that will squash creative curriculum development. Then ask them to vote no on the bill.Deborah Coleman
WAR IN IRAQ
COUNTRY MUST STOP FIGHTING AND BUILD
As we wind down our military presence in Iraq, I wish that the different ethnic and religious groups would earnestly find ways to work together and begin the process of rebuilding their country. Surely, in their history there must have been periods where all the groups were able to labor harmoniously for the good of the country. If so, they could use that as an example for the future.
August 2010 is not too far away, when most of our troops will leave Iraq, with about 50,000 remaining to train the security forces. And all U.S. forces will be gone at the end of 2011.
This is the time for all Iraqis to step up and be counted on to give up their weapons and grab the pick and shovel, and commence laboring for Iraq.Roy Shigemura
INCREASING PATTERN OF PLANT THEFTS SEEN
Auw[0xeb] to the low-class person or persons who stole the newly planted ti plants from the Kailua Post Office. The good ladies of the Lani-Kailua Outdoor Circle spent all morning on Martin Luther King Day cleaning up and replanting the post office grounds and planter boxes, using donated plants and plants specially purchased for the project. It's really scraping the bottom of a barrel when folks steal plants.
There sure seems to be a silent epidemic of plant hijackings. Recently someone helped themselves to the Pele's hair hanging from my shower tree. Then today while in line at Don Quijote a lady told me about how her in-ground and hanging plants are regularly taken. This surely begs the question — what the heck is up with people?Leigh Prentiss
PAPER CHALLENGED TO STOP ANONYMITY
In his column in The Advertiser, Leonard Pitts Jr. challenges newspapers to make people writing comments on message boards sign their names to what they say ("Anonymity ruins online discussion," March 31).
Reading a lot of the tasteless dreck that gets into these unsigned online comments makes me wonder how anonymity for such writers contributes to the goals set forth in The Advertiser's mission statement, including the following: "To perpetuate the qualities of aloha — tolerance, humility, sharing and respect.
Well, Advertiser, what are you going to do?Walter Wright
CRITICISM OF LINGLE PLAN IS UNJUSTIFIED
House Speaker Calvin Say is unfairly criticizing Gov. Lingle's call for an emergency appropriation of $40 million so the state can make its April payment on time to five health plans that cover Medicaid patients ("$40M sought for Quest," March 25).
Borrowing from next year's budget to pay this year's obligation is a necessary but short-term solution for our Medicaid budget woes.
The long-term solution is contained in the governor's six-year financial plan, which pays off the $40 million and reduces future shortfalls by adjusting Medicaid benefits to a level that is fair and fiscally sustainable.
In March alone, the Lingle-Aiona administration proposed 11 ways of bringing Medicaid spending under control. The Legislature responded by ducking the issue.
Now many legislators want to "solve" the economic crisis by adding to our already heavy tax burden. Their plan to increase the general excise tax by one point amounts to a staggering 25 percent tax hike for the Neighbor Islands and 22.5 percent increase on O'ahu on all individuals and on businesses at every transaction level.
Raising taxes during the worst economic downturn in state history is not responsible leadership — it's a prescription for a double-dip recession.Barry Fukunaga
Chief of staff, Office ofthe Governor
VET SAYS BENEFITSNOT GIVEN EQUALLY
In 2000, Congress authorized retroactive GI Bill benefits. However, the person had to be on active duty as of April 1, 2000. This omitted more than 100,000 veterans who served their country honorably, but who either separated honorably or retired before April 1, 2000.
I retired from the U.S. Navy after 22 years of active duty service on Dec. 31, 1999, and I am one of those 100,000 veterans who were omitted from receiving retroactive GI Bill benefits.
Congress then approved a Post 9/11 GI Bill. The 100,000 veterans who were omitted in 2000 from receiving retroactive benefits also were omitted from this bill. And now funds are being allocated to pay tuition for spouses for those who qualify.
Where is the fairness and equity in these congressional decisions?
Why should I and 100,000 other veterans who served our country honorably get a slap in the face? Why continue excluding us from receiving a benefit that we feel we earned?
I recently obtained a bachelor's degree in business administration. I have a $25,000 student loan. If I continue on with my master's degree, it will be an additional $20,000, either out of my own pocket or through student loans.
This is not fair and equitable treatment. I feel that I am being discriminated against. Why?Elroy K. Kihano
Chula Vista, Calif.
LIEUTENANT GOVERNORPOSITION NOT A 'JOB'
Candidates for lieutenant governor are out trying to get your vote, claiming they will get more jobs for local people, lower our taxes, improve education and many other things to make life better in Hawai'i, if elected.
One candidate already claims he has the most experience for the job. But akamai voters will ignore these false promises, because they know the Hawai'i State Constitution assigns no duties to the lieutenant governor. They just sit back for four years and collect pay and benefits from our tax money.
What a great job. What experience do you need to do nothing? Just say "no" to paid holidays for elected officials. Haven't we been ripped off enough already?David Bohn