PREVENTION PROGRAM BRINGS FUTURE SAVINGS
I appreciate the concern that some of the public have expressed regarding the use of tax dollars for prevention. ("Healthy Start facing the end," April 6).
Hawai'i's investment in Healthy Start is an investment in the human capital of our state. Furthermore, programs such as Healthy Start prevent child maltreatment and promote child health and development, saving tax dollars in the years ahead. The savings are gained through: 1) enhanced school readiness of children, with fewer children needing special education services; 2) fewer families requiring costly child welfare and intervention services; and 3) reduced health and mental health services in adolescence and adulthood.
The cumulative effect of these program benefits is a healthier society and more productive work force. Prevention saves resources. Concerned members of the community should see the summary report presented at the National Council of State Legislatures (Web site: ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=16436), which outlines these benefits and cost savings to communities.
While I believe investments in social justice and social responsibility are worthwhile endeavors, those concerned only with the financial costs should look to the increased tax burden ahead when making prevention funding and advocacy decisions.Elizabeth Mcfarlane
AT VETERANS CENTER
THEFT OF FLAGS IS AN INSULT TO VETERANS
During the darkness one night last week, some person or persons sneaked onto Oahu Veterans Center in Foster Village property and stole the American and POW flags right off the flagpoles.
The American flag is a visible symbol of all that this great country stands for. The POW/MIA flag is a visible symbol of remembrance for those who are missing in action or have been, or still are, being held as prisoners of war.
The center's flags also stand watch over a section of bricks that commemorate a loved one's service to their country. What an insult this theft is to them and those they have left behind.
We hope that whoever took the flags really needs them; however, if you can't afford one and want one bad enough to consider stealing, just come in and ask for one. We might help you out.Fred Ballard
Director, Oahu Veterans Center, Honolulu
FALLEN ELDERLY MAN CARRIED TO SAFETY
A heartfelt thanks to the young man who carried me to safety from the middle of a busy Waikīkī street one recent evening.
Islipped in the rain while crossing, and was unable to get up, and lay there staring at headlights from both directions.
Mahalo also to the drivers, both on 'Ena Road and Kalākaua Avenue, who were aware of the situation and did not move until I was safely on the sidewalk.Rudy Grau
OBAMA DID NOT OFFER TRUE COMPROMISES
A recent letter writer insists that President Obama has attempted bipartisanship only to be thwarted by hardcore conservatives, Tea Partiers and racists ("Hanson need to be careful with labels," April 6).
The letter further states that the health care legislation includes bipartisan balance and that fear mongering about government expansion is rampant.
In fact, Obama's form of bipartisanship has been a couple of grip-and-grin meetings followed by "my way or the highway."
Tort reform and national health-care competition would have guaranteed Republican votes. Neither was given serious consideration. The assertion that Obama was blocked by conservatives is a laugh, given his initial filibuster-proof majority.
The branding of Obama's opponents as racists and claims of "fear mongering" about the expansion of the federal government is sad and inaccurate.
Charges of racism are the last resort in the political tool kit when fact-based argument has failed. And we should all be very afraid because the Democrats have just added a costly new health care entitlement when we already have $50 trillion in unfunded entitlement liabilities.Jeff And Mary Pace
STUDENT EXPRESSES 'THANKS' FOR DAYS OFF
I have several emotions about furlough Fridays that I wish to express through the following "thank you's."
I would like to thank the government for implementing furlough Fridays so I can "chill" with my friends and do lots of careless things teenagers do.
I will thank the government when I find myself being offered a "joint" because what else is there for a bunch of high school students to do on a Friday?
I thank the government for butchering the amount of education I will receive because who needs to read and write well to be successful in life?
I will thank the government when I find myself lost as my college professor lectures on a topic I don't know, because my school just simply didn't have enough time to teach me.
But hey, even if I grow up to be a drug-addicted school dropout, at least my mind will be at ease knowing that my lack of knowledge helped the state, because furloughs were a part of debt reduction.
Glad to know my education didn't go down the drain for nothing.Briana Kuhns
Junior, 'Aiea High School
ARMY COL. MARGOTTA ALWAYS COURTEOUS
I have to commend U.S. Army Col. Matthew Margotta for his stamina and perseverance.
I have attended many Wai'anae/Mākaha Neighborhood Board meetings when he is present. Every time, he is verbally waterboarded.
He always conducts himself with respect and courtesy, and is an excellent example of the finest in our military. Thank you, Col. Margotta, for your patience and commitment.Linda Asato
LEGISLATURE SHOULD LOWER, NOT RAISE GET
While the Legislature is considering raising the general excise tax to cover the shortfall in state revenues, the taxpayer is struggling to make ends meet. Instead of raising the GET, the Legislature should consider lowering the GET on groceries so people can save money on already outrageous food bills.
One in eight people go to bed hungry every night.
The teachers and the unions should suck it up and go back to work on Fridays and deal with it, just like the rest of the majority does.
Special interest groups and the Democrats run this state and it is time for them to start thinking about the people of Hawai'i and not the people that put money in their political pockets.Steven Norstrom