Chronic felons should be in jail
Why on Earth is a criminal with 32 convictions, 16 of them felonies, walking around free among the general population ("Police shoot theft suspect," Star-Advertiser, Feb. 23)?
It’s an absolute miracle that an innocent citizen wasn’t hurt or killed during Tuesday’s shooting in Kalihi. Something is seriously wrong with a system that keeps turning habitual felons loose, giving them the freedom to create further mayhem in our midst.
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Big Pharma likes us to be obese
Your article about the obese monkeys on Feb. 20 brings up a public health issue we should all be concerned with — the creation of disease in order to make a profit from the invention of a pharmaceutical cure ("Monkeys pit out and dog it to support medical study," Star-Advertiser, Feb. 20).
Big Pharma is happy to have us fat. Our obesity brings increased drug purchases from Big Pharma and consequently more profit for them.
We don’t need to be obese. A healthy diet and physical activity are the cures for obesity, not drugs that have deleterious side effects and high prices.
Protect beauty of Mauna Kea
It seems like the natural beauty of the Hawaiian islands is slowly disappearing from under our feet. Please help protect the beauty of Mauna Kea from the development of the Thirty Meter Telescope project.
Hawaii has more endangered species than anywhere else in the world because of the alteration of our ecosystem by scientists who place their research projects over our beliefs and values.
They really don’t know our culture. The relationship we have with beautiful Mauna Kea is pure and wholesome.
Don’t furlough disabilities staff
The article, "Fixing the foreclosure ‘mess’" (Star-Advertiser, Feb. 13) touched on a serious problem in Hawaii, and other states, that deserves more attention.
A recent Allsup survey found that one in eight people waiting for a ruling on their Social Security Disability Insurance benefits claim expect to face foreclosure. That’s in large part because their disabilities makes it impossible to earn an income — 66 percent report annual income of less than $10,000.
The Social Security Administration is being handcuffed by states, such as Hawaii, that are furloughing Disability Determination Services employees, even though the federal government pays the administrative costs for DDS as well as the benefits.
The SSA estimates that nearly 1,300 disability cases have been stalled because of Hawaii’s furloughs, delaying nearly $500,000 in benefits to citizens.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie should follow the lead of states such as Washington, Illinois and New York by exempting DDS employees from state furloughs.
President and CEO, Allsup Inc.
Raise excise tax to end deficit
Gov. Neil Abercrombie wants to increase the state’s budget for 2012 by $490.8 million, despite a projected two-year deficit of $700 million ("Gov pushes budget fix," Star-Advertiser, Feb. 22).
Where is the fiscal discipline needed to solve the state’s budget problem?
Abercrombie says that he will not increase the excise tax because he promised not to, but he also promised to not increase taxes generally; yet he intends to tax retiree pensions.
If the excise tax is regressive because the poor spend more on food and medicine relative to income, then eliminate the excise tax on food and medicine and increase the tax on everything else for two years. Just a 1 percentage point increase in the excise tax would bring in the $700 million needed per year. Why press the elderly and those least able to get new jobs?
Bring back the rainbow spirit
As a life member of the University of Hawaii Alumni Association and a staunch UH supporter, I recall the days when the beautiful Manoa rainbow was well represented as an integral part of life on the Manoa campus. We had jackets, shirts, hats, cups, blankets, pens and notebooks emblazoned with the UH Rainbow.
We need to have rainbow spirit items to show our support for them. We are hanging on to countless UH Rainbow jackets, hats and T-shirts that are faded and full of pukas, but we keep them because we can’t replace them. We are still Rainbows at heart.