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Letters to the Editor

For Sunday, November 6, 2011


HawTel workers treated unequally

This year Hawaiian Telcom and the IBEW Local Union 1357 have been in negotiations for a new contract for the unionized workers.

In the last two quarters, Hawaiian Telcom has been showing a profit and making a move into the video market to compete with Oceanic Cable.

In August, the Star-Advertiser printed that Eric Yeaman, the CEO and president of Hawaiian Telcom, made $6.72 million in compensation in 2010. The year before, Yeaman made $1.32 million. That is, by my calculations, a 408 percent raise.

In Hawaiian Telcom's final offer to the members of IBEW Local Union 1357, it offered them a 1 percent raise and a $500 bonus each year over the life of the contract. It also removed their retirement plan.

It appears that Eric Yeaman has been rewarded beyond all reason; and at the same time he has forgotten about the employees who work each day to make Hawaiian Telcom a better company.

George Waialeale

Occupy movement hurts the 99 percent

The Occupy movement participants are misinformed, misguided and hypocritical. As they illegally occupy public areas in major cities, costing cities tens of thousands of dollars in police overtime, protection and sanitation costs, who do they think are paying those bills? The 99 percent they are supposedly representing, that's who.

The taxpayers are footing the bill for these illegally squatting protestors, many of whom, when asked, have no clue about why they are there or what they hope to achieve.

Newscasts capture catch phrases like, "We are here for the cause," without expanding on what "the cause" represents.

City administrators need to end this nonsense and take back their cities for the sake of the 99 percent.

James Roller

Kawaiahao Church acted appropriately

Kapuananaialiiokama Kala'i criticized Kawaiahao Church after its construction site was broken into and a set of burial remains was damaged by a maliciously set fire ("Kawaiahao to blame for iwi desecration," Star-Advertiser, Letters, Oct. 30).

She falsely claimed the remains were left exposed and unprotected.

On the contrary, the site containing the remains is patrolled by a security company and is behind a high-fenced enclosure with a locked gate. The affected remains were under a tent and were also protected by a plywood cover, with a cushion of paper between the remains and the plywood.

Not only has the church and its archaeological contractor followed the explicit directions of the state Historic Preservation Division, the church has conducted extensive outreach to the families with loved ones in the cemetery and developed culturally appropriate protocols to ensure all remains discovered are treated with respect and dignity.

One has to wonder why Ms. Kala'i angrily decries the church, but shows little interest in or outrage toward the person or persons who perpetrated this crime.

Kahu Curt Kekuna
Kawaiahao Church

Fund schools better to avoid advertising

As parents of public school children and community members, we are appalled by the proposal to allow advertisements on the walls of our schools in an effort to raise money ("DOE backs plan to allow limited ads on school campuses," Star-Advertiser, Nov. 2).

We agree that schools need adequate funding. However, the adults in this state need to take responsibility for adequately funding public education rather than continuing to offer solutions that have negative consequences for children.

Children are vulnerable and impressionable. Schools should be places where children and youth learn to make good, reasoned decisions.

We should not take advantage of children by forcing them to be an audience for corporate messages, however innocuous they may appear.

We all know the kinds of companies who will want to advertise in our schools. We do not need more messages to eat junk food or buy the latest video game. Our children deserve better than that. Let's be fair and accountable to them and keep advertisements out of our schools.

Lois A. Yamauchi
President, Parents for Public Schools Hawai'i

HMSA likes rate hikes but not for providers

The Hawaii Medical Service Association regularly imposes significant rate increases, often well over our consumer price index, it citing its rising costs.

What should be understood is that HMSA does not pay providers a rate that even keeps up with our CPI. Apparently, only its increased expenses are to be considered in its warped equation.

Ron Kienitz

APEC is all about pampering the elite

Cynthia Oi's insightful column clearly exposes the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit's fraudulent promise: that the lower 99 percent of us will somehow benefit from holding APEC in Hawaii ("Grumblers have a point when it comes to APEC," Star-Advertiser, Under the Sun, Nov. 3).

The truth is that all we will see is inconvenience, delay, disruption and a huge bill to be paid by the taxpayer, all in the name of boosting the incomes -- not to mention the egos -- of the upper 1 percent.

But what else is new?

Bob Newell

APEC will challenge HPD traffic skills

It is good that the public is being informed of traffic restrictions and limited access to certain areas during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference.

This information is, however, being released in a piecemeal approach. A public agency needs to distribute a complete summary in the newspaper and have it available in Waikiki, Kapolei and online. Island residents and tourists need a handout that they can carry in their cars.

Security personnel should also exercise common sense when dealing with the public who may be driving either uninformed or mistaken.

The Honolulu Police Department should also use the extra traffic cameras to improve the flow of traffic in congested areas. This will be a test to analyze the efficiencies of the cameras and how HPD can respond in traffic gridlock.

Let us welcome the visitors with aloha and extend it to our fellow citizens as we experience the traffic challenge of APEC.

Leonard Leong

Bicyclists often do not follow traffic laws

I applaud the efforts of police to make our streets safer by ticketing people who speed. No one enjoys getting a ticket, but those who drive safely need not worry about this.

The police can make our roads even safer by ticketing bicycle riders who do not follow traffic laws. Frequently, bicycle riders do not stop for red lights, they do not use hand signals before turning, and they ride right in the middle of a lane or between lanes instead of riding to the right of the road.

At best, these people are a nuisance. At worst, they are a hazard to themselves and others.

The police need our help in stopping these dangerous behaviors. Just as we call in (using hands-free devices) car drivers who behave irresponsibly, we need to call in bicycle riders who are an equal threat.

Allison Ikeda

All casualties of war deserve to be counted

You've published for us the numbers of dead and wounded of our present wars. We've been given statistics throughout the carnage, numbers of casualties on our side.

But what about those of the people we invaded? What are the casualties of our "shock and awe" and years and years of combat? Don't their dead and wounded (and destroyed homes) matter at all? Are they "children of a lesser God"?

Rosemarie H. Tucker

How to write us

The Star-Advertiser welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (~150 words). The Star-Advertiser reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include a daytime telephone number.

Letter form: Online form, click here
Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

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