Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Wednesday, July 24, 2024 84° Today's Paper


Letters to the Editor

Furloughs only add to ag crisis

Not only do these furloughs of agricultural inspection workers further exemplify the inefficiencies of Hawaii’s government during this budget crisis, it also sheds light on the difficulties associated with agricultural inspections in general ("Fresh costs," Star-Advertiser, June 13). We already pay sky-high prices on produce, and as the article infers, the costs importers are bearing will continue to raise prices on consumers already reeling from the recent recession.

We would be better served if the government did away with inspections altogether, because if it doesn’t, we will continue to pay for the service of agricultural inspection through taxes even if it’s not working, on top of higher prices at the grocery store. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of taking out my checkbook.


Paul Lazaro


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Just enforce immigration law

The article on the situation of the Vietnamese family facing deportation ("Scam Victims Face Deportation," Star-Advertiser, June 14), shows the two-faced attitude of our government. While working to reform the current immigration law and give amnesty to illegal immigrants, and rejecting attempts to deport those on the mainland, they have no qualms on deportation of the small minorities here in the islands.

Our current immigration law does not need to be reformed. It only needs to be enforced. Failure to enforce the law creates an environment that seems to approve of the idea that breaking the law is OK, and that if enough people ignore the law, then the law should be changed to make the action legal.

This only reinforces disobedience and creates an irreversible situation.

Such policy would be similar to reducing the divorce rate by making marriage illegal.

It is time to reverse this attitude and enforce laws fairly and equitably.


Len Hammond
Schofield Barracks


Balanced view from columnist

Alice Folkart ("Cal Thomas a loose cannon," Star-Advertiser, Letters, June 14) must also be outraged to hear that more than 56 percent of Americans disapprove of President Barack Obama’s handling of the immigration and oil debacles that are happening under his watch. Did she object to the bashing that George W. Bush took in the newspaper when he flopped? I bet not. I also checked with reliable and reasonable sources that Thomas is a politically centered columnist.

The Star-Advertiser must publish the views and opinions of both political sides as long as they are backed by the truth (facts). Kudos to the Star-Advertiser for doing its job.


Steven G. Norstrom


Single-payer won’t cut costs

There are several points to consider regarding single-payer systems ("Abercrombie proffers idea of single-payer health care," Star-Advertiser, June 12). First, changing the identity of the payer (i.e. insurance companies) does not reduce medical costs, since medical practitioners, medication, technology, etc. play a role in establishing those costs.

Second, I cannot think of an instance in which a monopoly results in greater efficiency and lower administrative costs than a competitive free market. This is especially true of government-run bureaucracies such as Amtrak, the U.S. Postal Service, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Medicare.

If Neil Abercrombie wants a single-payer system in order to gut the insurance companies – today’s bogey man for liberals – that is a political decision, not an economic one. He should simply say so.


Gerald Chong
La Quinta, Calif.


Students first, teachers second

Thank you for the report on teacher tenure ("Taking on tenure," Star-Advertiser, June 13) as it has been an issue that former state Rep. Michael Kahikina and the Waianae Coast School Concerns Coalition identified as a major cause for our kids’ lack of success in learning more than 30 years ago.

However, our efforts were always stymied by the Hawaii State Teachers Association and schools in advantaged areas benefiting from the system.

Farrington High School Principal Catherine Payne is absolutely right when she said, "Get rid of tenure – for everybody," to get immediate improvement in the schools.

Unfortunately it will not happen as long as the state Board of Education and HSTA believe that treating teachers fairly takes precedence over our children’s needs to be successful in learning.


Bill Punini Prescott
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