Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Tuesday, April 23, 2024 81° Today's Paper


Letters to the Editor

Obama policies favor workers

Reading Cliff Coleman’s letter ( "Government has taken over much of economy," Star-Advertiser, July 31) I can’t help but feel that, while we live on the same island, politically we don’t share even the same universe.

Where Mr. Coleman laments "government ownership of General Motors," I’m encouraged that thanks to a government loan, auto sales are up and jobs are being created.

While the power of big money has corrupted both parties, there is a significant difference between Democrats and Republicans. While one party supports real campaign finance reform, the other believes in unlimited corporate donations. One party supports extending unemployment benefits for the working class, the other wants to extend George W. Bush’s budget-busting tax cuts for the richest. One party backs health care for all, the other puts insurance company profits first.

America needs a robust business community, but there must be limits to its power. Having seen the damage inflicted by the not-so-bright product of a rich family, I’ll take the self-made community organizer any day, any election.

Pat Smith
Ko Olina


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Sand stamp ads pretty harmless

I was disappointed in the knee-jerk response of the Outdoor Circle in condemning Bobby Godwin of Earthstamp for his modest attempt at promoting a temporary medium for self-expression ( "New advertising company could have sand thrown in its face," Star-Advertiser, July 30).

My teenage son was chosen to make a stamp every 100 feet along Kailua beach. Having lived in Kailua since 1965, we have always had a great respect for the beach and its beauty and have tolerated monstrous homes built on the beach as well as the tangles of kite surfers, holes, sand castles, dogs, trash and, of course, more people.

This stamp is harmless to the environment. I can see these being used for special events, birthday parties, beach weddings and funerals. It’s heavy and not easy to make lots of impressions, which will limit its use.

Greg Kemp


Seitz’ opposition was overblown

Eric Seitz’ overblown opposition to Supreme Court nominee Katherine Leonard should not have been dignified by an article ("Chief justice appointee ‘unqualified,’ lawyer says," Star-Advertiser, July 27).

Seitz claimed he spoke with 40 unidentified people who had "concerns" about Leonard’s appointment. He cited her lack of administrative experience. This "administrative experience" test comes out of the blue.

Ronald Moon had no administrative experience either. He was a law partner, as was Leonard, and a judge, as was Leonard, and then appointed to chief justice, as was Leonard. He managed to manage. So can Leonard.

It’s hard to get good candidates. No one wants to run the gauntlet against this kind of cheap attack.

Katherine Leonard is eminently qualified. Let’s promptly confirm her and let the court get on with its work.

Jay M. Fidell


Many deserve praise for role in advancing education quality

Thursday’s editorial ("DOE, Unions must unite to win," Star-Advertiser, July 29) noted that statewide replication of education innovations "only works if all the players, including elected leaders and private partners, are lined up as well."

That was well said.

As leaders of four foundations and trusts that have been engaged with the improvement of Hawaii’s public schools in recent years, we are completely aligned with our state’s bold and well-crafted reform plans that are encapsulated in the Race to the Top application.

We congratulate and applaud the state Department of Education, Board of Education, Legislature, Hawaii State Teachers Association, Hawaii Government Employees Association, Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, University of Hawaii and the Office of the Governor for all being present at the table to craft this game-changing plan and to set out new policies and agreements that convinced Washington, D.C., that we mean business this time.

Special thanks are due to Interim Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi and her team for working literally around the clock to build consensus and to make the plan coherent.

Imagine a Hawaii where your zip code or family background no longer determines the quality of education your child will receive in your local school. Imagine that every one of our high school graduates enters college with the critical-thinking skills needed to succeed in the knowledge-driven economy of the future. Our Race to the Top plan embraces these goals and lays out a detailed roadmap to get us there.

Ms. Matayoshi has made it clear that our DOE will follow the plan and achieve these goals whether or not we get the $75 million award. Our private philanthropies will do everything in our power to help win this race. Why? Because our children are worth it, and our future depends on it.

Debbie Berger and Bill Reeves, co-founders, The Learning Coalition; Mitch D’Olier, president, Harold K.L. Castle Foundation; Don Horner, chairman, First Hawaiian Bank Foundation; Dee Jay Mailer, president, Kamehameha Schools

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