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Letters to the Editor

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Local 5 fighting for all

It was encouraging to see Local 5, the hotel employees union, go on strike last week at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. These workers are fighting on the side of the majority of people in Hawaii. They represent the interests of those who believe that Hawaii needs to balance its economic books by nurturing good jobs and a healthy community here in Hawaii.

In contrast, Hilton Hawaiian Village’s contract negotiators are fighting on the side of the Blackstone Group, the multibillion-dollar private equity investment company that purchased the Hilton hotel chain in 2007. Local 5 workers have been without a contract since June, and have resisted Hilton management’s proposals to subcontract existing jobs, which would then become lower paid and less stable positions.

The striking Local 5 workers stand on the side of those who believe that Hawaii’s economy will recover only if ordinary people fight to keep good, fair jobs here on the islands. 

Amy Donahue
Treasurer, Pride at Work Hawaii

 

How to write us

The Star-Advertiser welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (~175 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 Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published.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 your area of residence and a daytime telephone number.

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

Strikers are obnoxious

Shame on the Local 5 strikers! During this time of economic hardship, with so many people out of work, these people, who have jobs, show no gratitude. On the contrary, they have chosen to harm Hawaii’s tourist industry by wrecking people’s vacations, harming local businesses, and being loud and obnoxious non-stop to all of the residents in the area. They have made life miserable for many innocent people. They should not be allowed to go back to work whenever they stop this terrible behavior after being so mean and cruel. There should be a job fair to hire people who want to work and will be grateful to have a job, loyal to Hawaii, appreciate and show aloha to the tourists, and be respectful of the neighborhood.

Karen O’Neil
Waikiki

 

HMSA gets in the way

In response to the Star-Advertiser article ("Dispute threatens health care," Star-Advertiser, Oct. 8), Hawaii Pacific Health and other hospitals and physicians should not renew their contract with Hawaii Medical Service Association.

Health insurance is a contract made directly between the patient and the insurer. Insurance companies do not provide care or improve care. They do remove valuable health care dollars from the system to pay exorbitant overhead (over $30 billion annually).

Out-of-network care costs more because the insurance company penalizes the patient by providing reduced compensation for expenses or increasing deductibles and copayments.

Educated patients select the best providers and do not want their care to be rationed by an insurance company under the disguise of quality control. As more hospitals and providers remove themselves from third-party insurance contracts, patients will have greater access to quality care.

To date, 20 percent of health care providers have eliminated insurance contracts from their practice. These providers do not work for the insurance company. They are dedicated to working for the patient. 

Todd Thompson, M.D.
President & CEO, Welltheon Corp.

 

Give mayor a chance

There seemed to be so much negativity prior to our new mayor even stepping foot in the position. I find it unfair for people to cast judgment before he even has a chance to tackle all the tasks that will be on his plate.

He will need to work closely with our new governor and lieutenant governor so that the needs of the people of Hawaii come first. This did not happen with the past administration. Friction only caused more friction, and soon we had a nasty split among the leaders of our own state.

Michael Springhetti
Waianae

 

Sparklers dangerous, too

Sparklers injure hundreds of Americans each year, many of them children. A sparkler’s tip can reach 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and the sparks can ignite clothes. In their excited state, it is too easy for a child to burn an eye, a cheek, a hand or worse.

A few years ago a neighbor disposed of legal fireworks in our condo lobby trash, where it ignited the trash can and burned a wall and a door. It could have been worse.

As a child I did play with sparklers, but I am wiser now and know things I didn’t know then.

Connie Patton
Honolulu

 

Thief is cold-hearted

Last month, my cousin had her iPod Touch stolen from her bag during school. The classroom in which students leave their belongings was left unsecured.

The most upsetting thing is that the iPod was a special gift and is engraved. So the person who has it now has an iPod that has my cousin’s name on it as well as a special message from our grandparents. But that didn’t stop the person who took it.

It is very disappointing that teenagers and, in some cases, adults, think it is OK to take what is not theirs, even when it has the owner’s name and a message from a loved one on it.

Kimi Nakagawa
Mililani

 

Students lack respect

The campus of the high school I work at sounds more like a prison yard than a schoolyard, and the administration will not do anything to stop it. It has created a culture where students feel that it’s acceptable to talk back and be openly disrespectful to teachers.

The control I have over my classroom is seriously impaired when students feel that as soon as the bell rings, they can be two feet away from me on the other side of the threshold and can say anything they want without any recourse. It also makes teachers the enemy when students see only teachers enforcing rules that the administration will not. Without serious administrative changes, the school will continue to encourage an environment absent of real adult guidance and supervision.

David Gardner
Ewa

 

Envision Laie has broad community support

Regarding your editorial, "Don’t skip Laie planning steps" (Star-Advertiser, Oct. 18), we certainly support appropriate steps and have been taking them, one by one, for several years now as we seek to help address the needs of the greater Laie area.

Here is the situation: Brigham Young University, Hawaii needs to grow in order to survive.

BYU-Hawaii and the related Polynesian Cultural Center have a significant impact on Windward Oahu as economic engines and community influences. There is a serious need for housing for people who live and work here, not just for those who can afford second homes.

We have undertaken, as part of Envision Laie, intense community outreach, gathering data that shows there is a high degree of support for growth of BYU-Hawaii, the PCC and for housing at Malaekahana. We have presented all of this to the city, to boards and associations in our community, to the media and others. We’ll continue to do so, and note that the Laie Community Association, Kahuku Community Association and Koolau Loa Neighborhood Board all voted to support Envision Laie’s proposal.

We live here; most of our parents are from here, and many of our grandparents are, too. We want our children and grandchildren to be able to live and thrive in this special place.

We are pleased to share our community’s needs and vision with those who are interested, and look forward to the continuing robust process.

R. Eric Beaver
Hawaii Reserves, Inc.

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