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Early education needed for well-prepared military

The story titled "38.3% in isles fail military tests" (Star-Advertiser, Dec. 22) is an alarming story for our state and our country. That is why a growing number of retired military generals and admirals (including two former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Hugh Shelton and Gen. John Shalikashvili) have joined the organization Mission Readiness: Military Leaders for Kids.

In their November 2009 report, "Ready, Willing, and Unable to Serve," they recommended to state and federal policymakers that America’s children have access to high-quality early education as the best way to make certain that more young Americans will meet the tough standards of the United States military should they choose to serve. Hawaii is still one of 10 states without a state-funded early education program.

We must take this bold step forward to ensure our keiki receive the high-quality early education needed to keep America strong and safe tomorrow.

Retired USAF Col. David A. Tom
Director of public policy, Good Beginnings Alliance, Honolulu


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 Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published.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 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


‘No Child Left Behind’ lowered bar for students

A recent headline claimed that more than 30 percent of people taking the Army admission test for the first time fail.

Why should anyone be surprised? "No Child Left Behind," for all its good intentions, made sure that no child was left behind by lowering standards for all. Good grades, self-discipline, dedication and rigorous study habits have been sacrificed on the altar of passing almost everybody, regardless of individual effort. After all, we don’t want to make demands on these students and lower their self-esteem. Those who do display such individual effort are likely frowned upon by fellow classmates.

We are graduating people ill-prepared for the future, regardless of it being with the Army or any other field of endeavor.

Dave Verret


Feds’ spending bubble will burst eventually

We have all heard about the $200 hammers and toilet seats purchased by our government. Did you hear about the more than $400 billion that the government spent in fiscal year 2010 and didn’t even get a screwdriver for all that money? That’s the amount we taxpayers paid for interest on the national debt.

With the debt increasing by leaps and bounds, when will the bubble go kaboom?

There will come a time when we will not be able to pay the interest and have enough money left to run the government. How soon will that time come?

Warren Fukushima
Pearl City


Earmarks fund useful projects in Hawaii

The anti-earmark fervor in Congress jeopardizes a lot of important Hawaii projects. For example, Sen. Daniel K. Inouye has secured $150 million to reconstruct and realign the Big Island’s Saddle Road, a critical cross-island link for residents and the military. Approximately 25 miles of this roadway has been improved using a combination of Defense Access Road and state Department of Transportation funding.

However, there are about 15 miles of roadway that requires reconstruction and/or realignment. The prospects for funding these last two phases has dimmed considerably over the last couple months.

I hope our congressional delegation is able to secure the additional funding to complete this important roadway improvement project.

Aaron Stene


Charles Morrison was good choice for series

Good choice, Star-Advertiser, of Charles Morrison as one of the "10 Who Made a Difference in 2010" ("For 50 years, East-West Center has built ties," Star-Advertiser, Dec. 24).

Aloha, Mr. President …

With the world’s most powerful man home in our backyard, here’s a chance for you, Hawaii citizens, to write President Barack Obama a letter about the Top 5 priorities he should tackle in the next two years.

Keep it clear, concise, thought-provoking—and under 175 words—and send to; include your area of residence and phone number.

We’ll run some while the president’s vacationing here.

Charles epitomizes what East-West relations and the East-West Center are all about, and the central role that Hawaii plays in the eyes of many Asian and Pacific leaders.

One cannot travel in the region without meeting an East-West Center graduate who is either a prime minister, educator or other community leader. And now the Center includes students from China—where the future of Hawaii’s economy lies.

Hawaii Rep. Gene Ward
East-West Center graduate


Kudos to Warriors, but quit going on national TV

First, congratulations to the University of Hawaii football team and coaches for a great 10-win season. Their Hawaii Bowl performance will be hard to swallow and take with them into 2011.

If I may offer a bit of advice for 2011 preparations: Avoid all offers to play on national television, especially during prime time!

Tim Baier


Wealthy should do their part like everyone else

In spite of what Jack Hoag claims in his letter, the tax bill recently passed is, in fact, a continuation of the Bush-era tax cuts ("’Tax cut’ was no such thing," Star-Advertiser, Letters, Dec. 23).

The distribution of income hasn’t been so skewed in favor of the wealthy since the days of robber-barons. This recession was mostly the result of unethical and criminal actions of certain wealthy banking and investment company bigwigs.

The poor, middle class and small-business owners are all doing their part to revive the economy (pay cuts, furloughs, layoffs, shorter hours, smaller profits, etc.).

God forbid that Mr. Hoag and his wealthy friends should pay a tiny tax increase to help reduce the deficit. Instead, they would have us cut Social Security for the elderly, Medicare for the sick and so on.

Isn’t it about time the wealthy do their part like everyone else?

Vern Lentz

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