For Sunday, December 5, 2010
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Dec 05, 2010
We applaud Kelvin Taketa's commentary, which provided good historical context to the relationship and called on the new administration to make improvements ("Nonprofit groups need government to provide payment on timely basis," Star-Advertiser, Nov. 28).
Late payments are not the only contracting challenge for nonprofits. Two national organizations recently released studies on the widespread problems nonprofit providers experience with government contracts. In October, the Urban Institute released a report, "Contracts and Grants between Human Service Nonprofits and Governments." The National Council of Nonprofits released a companion special report, "Costs, Complexification, and Crisis: Government's Human Services Contracting 'System' Hurts Everyone." Both give a solid background to this nationwide issue.
The Urban Institute report ranks Hawaii as eighth in the nation for government midstream changes to contracts and 15th for late payments to nonprofit providers. Other problems include complex application and reporting processes and contract payments that don't fully cover costs.
HANO is committed to facilitating discussions around these issues and welcomes working with government colleagues and community partners to restore the essential government-nonprofit partnership to better serve Hawaii's people.
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I knew President Barack Obama was more conservative than many thought, but in light of his appointments to the Deficit Commission, he exceeded my fears. Conservatives should definitely re-elect him in 2012 because he bows to big money, big corporate interests and the very wealthy among us.
Of the 18 members of his "bipartisan" commission, only four are progressive. The rest want to make workers work longer to "fix" Social Security, a self-funded program that is not broken. Your employer pays half and you pay half. It does not add a penny to the debt. Raise the cap so that the wealthy pay the same percentage of their income as everyone else and Social Security can pay out more and be 100 percent funded forever.
They also want to charge seniors an additional $500 premium on Medicare. If Medicare had been an option that every American could buy into, the costs would have been low and spread out among the healthy as well as the less healthy senior Americans.
My 80-year-old sister-in-law from Australia has just completed her umpteenth trip to Hawaii.
Over the past 40 years she has come nearly every year to visit and Christmas shop, and the same thing has happened again and again: The flights arrive in the mid-morning, after a 10-hour uncomfortable flight. When she gets to her Waikiki hotel, she finds that her room will not be available until 4 p.m.
I realize that for some who are on a tour, the companies schedule a "shopping tour" to fill in this void. My sister-in-law is an independent traveler. Even if she weren't, surely she wouldn't want to go shopping after that 10-hour, cramped flight.
Couldn't hotels easily solve this problem by providing a pleasant place for the elderly traveler to sit and relax until the room is available? During that time, they could also take advantage of the dining room.
This is a season for giving, not just to our friends and family members, but also to those who desperately need help to feed the hungry. So please be generous with your donations during this Christmas season.
Better yet, perhaps we all should make a commitment this Christmas that we will donate at least 1 percent of our gross income to charity every month. Hopefully, every small sacrifice that we make in helping the others on Earth will one day be recognized in Heaven.
But for now, knowing in our heart that we have helped to make a positive difference in other people's lives is all the reward that we need.
Hawaii Foodbank needs our help to continue helping to feed the hungry people in Hawaii.