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Letters to the Editor

For Saturday, December 22, 2012


UH tuition needs to be affordable

Having once directed the health services of our university, I find your Dec. 14 editorial on the athletic program and the commentary by Armand Alacbay noting the "culture of deference" of the University of Hawaii regents to be interrelated ("UH athletics worth defending," Our View; and "UH regents seem neutered by ‘culture of deference'").

Employing nine lawyers directly to assist the institution manage its affairs, UH finds itself spending thousands of dollars to hire additional lawyers from the private sector.

What concerns me greatly is that the increasing costs of higher education throughout our nation has put a heavy burden upon many students and their families.

How do we create and establish good affordable programs for our state? We need to prepare students for careers and employment after graduation, better integrating science, technology, engineering and math in their education.

We cannot focus exclusively on producing more students with degrees alone. We must consider how to best educate them to be self-supporting and self-determining citizens.

Donald Char
Niu Valley

Kudos to all in farm land deal

Through the purchase of the Galbraith Estate land, farmers in Hawaii will gain more than 1,700 acres of land to grow their businesses. I commend all involved for taking steps toward improving food security in Hawaii. The newly acquired land will support up-and-coming farmers, as well as farming veterans.

In addition, the land may provide space for Ho‘opili farmers to eventually relocate. As a private donor in the purchase, D.R. Horton-Schuler Division has contributed to a solution that will balance agriculture needs with housing needs.

It's encouraging to see the diversity of groups involved in the partnership with The Trust for Public Land. Thank you to all involved for making farmers a priority.

Georgette Stevens

Drug war diverts from real crime

Thanks for publishing Froma Harrop's thoughtful column, "Laws easing pot prohibition reflect sense of decency" (Star-Advertiser, Dec. 15).

I'd like to add that those who think that marijuana prohibition somehow protects our children and society might with to go online to YouTube.com and search for "Judge Jim Gray" or search for "Law Enforcement Against Prohibition." You will see that marijuana prohibition substantially increases all other crime.

Back in the 1960s, police solved more than 90 percent of all homicides.Today they solve just over 60 percent of all murders.

Why? Because of our so-called war on drugs. There are great financial incentives for police to make drug busts and confiscate the drug dealers money and property, but no financial incentive to solve rapes or murders.

Kirk Muse
Mesa, Ariz.

Terminally ill need choices

I have provided counseling to dying patients for 30 years. Many express trepidation about not having the same right to "be put down" that they could afford a suffering pet.

At least a dozen doctors I have worked with in Hawaii, Oregon and Washington state, who have expressed their desire to help mentally capable people with terminal illnesses, fear prosecution at the very idea of providing prescription medication for a patient to self-administer to end his or her own life.

Because I have witnessed far too many unnecessarily prolonged, expensive and inhumane deaths, I support Compassion and Choices (www.CompassionAndChoices.org/Hawaii).

It works to protect the rights for the terminally ill to choose how and when to die, and is incredibly well-educated on the matter.

Sunny Massad
President, Hawaii Wellness Institute

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ichiban wrote:
IRT Donald Char==If you want lower UH tuition fee, the State should revamp their procedures and criteria for hiring dept. heads, coaches, etc. Something is awry when an athletic coach or administrative head of a public institution of higher education are high in the list of top wage earners in the state. As for the students, they know for some time they had it easy with student loans but now because of the economy, the markers are being called. Lastly, before these students graduate and enter the real world emphasize this==THE WORLD DON'T OWE YOU ANYTHING!!!
on December 22,2012 | 01:40AM
peanutgallery wrote:
U.H. subscribes to the theory that paying top dollar brings top talent. We were reminded of this insanity when Brian Schatz was interviewed recently on a morning talk show, singing the praises of this methodology. It has bankrupted more institutions than you can shake a stick at, but liberals love feeling good about their new hires. The public would be much better served if those given the responsibility could recognize talent when it stood before them. There is a plethora of it out there, at bargain prices.
on December 22,2012 | 03:28AM
wiliki wrote:
Except that most of the wealthy donors went away to ivy league schools on the mainland and did not attend the UH. Their only connection with the University is through the football team. That also applies to the majority who did not attend the college at all.

There are few talented coaches available for cheap wages. Hopefully, the program pays for itself, and legislators will support the UH for fear of criticism from the public who love their Warriors.

on December 22,2012 | 07:41AM
ichiban wrote:
IRT Georgette Stevens. BEWARE WHAT YOU ASK FOR. So farmer go 1700 acres of land to cultivate? How many acres of choice farmland did DR Horton-Schuler get in return to build houses? I feel in the long run no kudos for the farmers.
on December 22,2012 | 01:56AM
bluebowl wrote:
Really, how much of a market is there for the type of produce they will be able to grow on land that is tainted with pesticides from past agriculture of sugar and pineapple?
on December 22,2012 | 07:20AM
wiliki wrote:
In that sense, all agricultural land is tainted. But the levels are probably not high enough to be a danger to the food grown on the land.
on December 22,2012 | 07:45AM
brb905 wrote:
@Donald Char - The way to lower tuition is for the state to increase their share of supporting higher education. For over the past decade, across the nation, the state's share for supporting higher education has dropped significantly, thus requiring institutions to raise their tuition and fees and pass the buck onto students. Until education is viewed as a public good, the trend will continue where lawmakers require more public institutions to operate like private institutions, because they will not be getting much of their operating funds from the state.
on December 22,2012 | 03:24AM
tiki886 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on December 22,2012 | 05:11AM
wiliki wrote:
Let's catch up with the rest of the world.... Tuitions to even good foreign universities are a lot less than at US universities.
on December 22,2012 | 07:47AM
DPK wrote:
wiliki: Then why do so many come to the US to study?
on December 22,2012 | 12:41PM
sailfish1 wrote:
UH tuition is low compared to many big universities on the mainland. And then, if yu go to UH West or UH Hilo, it's even lower.
on December 22,2012 | 06:05AM
wiliki wrote:
Right... that may be a legacy of Evan Dobelle?
on December 22,2012 | 07:49AM
bender wrote:
Disagree. No increase are in order until UH demonstrates some fiscal responsibility. They hand out big salaries for mediocre performers. I'm sure we could get a better Uh President at a lower rate, and they would probably live on campus. The attitude starts with the President and trickles down. The newly hired UH Chancellor all the sudden decides he needs someone to "sell the UH brand" at a cost of $200k a year. I would remind you that we hired Apple at twice the cost of his predecessor and gave his predecessor a generous golden parachute. If that kind mentality were brought under control, the overhead goes down and so does tutition.Right now it's good, very good to be a UH administrator. But I suppose I can't fault them for taking what the BOR gives.
on December 22,2012 | 06:28AM
Charliegrunt wrote:
IRT bender. Excellent points. It would sure help if the BOR would exercise "due diligence" in checking the backgrounds and work histories of candidates considered. Their careless and carefree spending of taxpayer dollars are completely unacceptable. Notice how Noel Kent was silenced when he tried to speak the truth at a news conference regarding the Wonder Blunder. There has to be a better way for the selection of the BOR and making them fiscally responsible for their decisions.
on December 22,2012 | 07:38AM
wiliki wrote:
We should pay administrators according to what other colleges pay their administrators. But make the pay contingent on high research revenues that the University brings in from grants. Thus, for example half of their pay might be contingent on a financial goal for the university. No fair raising tuition to meet the goal....
on December 22,2012 | 07:53AM
lee1957 wrote:
Where do you think the state's share comes from? No magic bullets here.
on December 22,2012 | 06:43AM
whs1966 wrote:
When those in power in the fifties and sixties were sending their children to UH, they made sure UH tuition was reasonable. Now that they send their children to mainland schools, they cut public support for UH, which has resulted in huge increases in tuition. Additionally, since their children don't attend UH, they are not concerned with how the tuition money is spent. Therefore, it's OK for UH to employ not only a bunch of attorneys but a platoon of public relations specialists.
on December 22,2012 | 05:06AM
Bdpapa wrote:
Like every department or government entity in the State or City. It is time for each department to purge all programs and prioritize which ones to keep. No more grandfather clauses, and take care of bruddah. The only problem is most of these departments is gonna wait for the other departments to cut first so they don't have to. But if they really want to do this, they can. This would definitely cut tuition cost.
on December 22,2012 | 06:25AM
Bdpapa wrote:
IRT Muse: The war on drugs has been a hard fruitless battle. The main problem is the casual user sees no problem with hitting on a doobie after work, much like having a beer or glass of wine. The problem is the harder drugs and people who can't have enough. Its the same with alcohol, to an extent. Having seen many friends and relatives addictions to hard drugs, there is no way I would ever stop the war on drugs. We have enough intoxicants in this society and we don't need any more.
on December 22,2012 | 06:31AM
Bdpapa wrote:
Sent for approval S/A whats up with that?
on December 22,2012 | 06:32AM
wiliki wrote:
Funny... I've never seen that message and you would think that I should have gotten it at some time.
on December 22,2012 | 07:55AM
Bdpapa wrote:
There it is! Thanks!
on December 22,2012 | 01:36PM
wiliki wrote:
Donald Char is right that tuition for higher education is now too high.... we must bring down tuition costs for students.
on December 22,2012 | 07:33AM
tiki886 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on December 22,2012 | 09:00AM
wiliki wrote:
I disagree... Loans are so high now that students without a high paying job will not be able to pay off their loans.
on December 22,2012 | 10:22AM
DPK wrote:
wiliki: Kids don't have to rely on loans for college. Joining the military will give anyone the opportunity through educational benefits. The GI Bill and working 2-3 part time jobs allowed me to go to college and grad school with no help from anyone.
on December 22,2012 | 12:46PM
thos wrote:
IRT Kirk Muse: PUHLEEZE quit with the nauseating euphemism “war on drugs” already. The way we coddle dope users it ain’t even a light fabric softener mist on drugs. The real war needed – the one we are too timid to wage – is a war that targets dope USERS. We have the technology and remote real estate (on the mainland and throughout the remote reaches of the Pacific) to surveil, identify, transport and permanently incarcerate every marijuana user in America after giving six months notice of intent.That would be campaign #1 of any real war. Campaign #2 would be to target the next rung of the user ladder and rid society of cocaine dopers, then consumers of opium derivatives and so on. Unless DOPE USER ERADICATION becomes primary, all other “preventive” measures are nothing more than the white flag of surrender. No wonder dopers sneer and snicker whenever the silly “war on drugs” is mentioned.
on December 22,2012 | 12:19PM
econklin wrote:
The President of the Associated Students of the University of Hawaii is quoted in this article as saying, "One of the challenges is class availability and also just not knowing what their degree requirements are." In 1968 I was working for the College of Letters & Science at UC Berkeley (CA). I developed and administered a computer system which, before registration each quarter, provided each student with a list of all the courses taken so far, remaining requirements for graduation given the current declared major (if any), and recommendations for courses to take to satisfy the remaining requirements. If this was possible in 1968, why is it so difficult now?
on June 2,2013 | 09:09PM
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