Honolulu Star-Advertiser

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Letters to the Editor

HECO workers did not scheme

I found your article, "’Selfish’ strike stuns Ewa Beach" (Star-Advertiser, March 5) to be highly prejudiced against Hawaiian Electric Co. employees.

The article intimated that the employees had been waiting for such an emergency to occur so that when they walked off the job many people would suffer. But this was not a planned event; it was mere happenstance that the strike was called during a situation that required immediate attention.

Negotiations had been ongoing since October. The company knew a strike was coming; they had already imported people to replace the strikers.

The apparently intransigent management was determined to reduce the workers’ compensation and benefits to a lower level than they have enjoyed in the past. Is it not logical to expect that any person who has done certain work for certain compensation will reject a proposal that he or she continue to perform the same tasks for less?

Don Powers


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Strike timing irresponsible

I think that the Hawaiian Electric Co. strike during a storm is a good thing because of the potential positive results that might occur. Any activity during the crisis focuses our attention on finding an immediate resolution. Clearly, a strike at this time should not have been allowed to happen at all. It should have been postponed until the crisis had passed.

The union strike timing was brilliant but irresponsible. The union issues listed in the paper seem tame, hardly warranting the inconvenience the strike is causing. HECO management should not have allowed the strike to happen.

The state should insist on a no-strike clause with mediation and arbitration as the resolution for contract disputes.

Robson Hind


Is transgender bias an issue?

Call me insensitive, but doesn’t our elected Legislature have more pressing issues to address than anti-transgendered bias ("Anti-transgendered bias faces workplace ban," Star-Advertiser, March 4)?

Budget deficits and out-of-control government spending come immediately to mind.

And exactly how many Hawaii citizens are affected by transgendered bias? The article says 97 percent of the transgendered are affected — 97 percent of what?

An often referred-to 2008 abstract on the subject by Mary Ann Horton puts the total number of all Americans receiving sexual reassignment surgery annually at around 1,200.

Assuming that Hawaii represents about .04 percent of the U.S. population (half of which are under 18 or over 60), that means fewer than 25 people a year are affected.

Why do our representatives waste valuable time debating legislation that is already in place?

Jon Adamek


Democrats can cut government

One way to reduce our state’s forthcoming budget is for Gov. Neil Abercrombie to look at what might happen in the state of Washington. Gov. Chris Gregoire has an ambitious agenda to trim 21 state agencies down to nine. Granted, it will require much negotiation to have it happen, but the idea is sound.

It is indeed surprising to learn that a Democrat wants to reduce government. Could such a governmental overhaul happen here?

William Null


Invading Libya not wise for U.S.

Recently President Barack Obama has come under a barrage of unjustified neoconservative criticism from what local and national pundits have attempted to frame as clumsiness when it comes to handling the crisis in Tunisia, Egypt and most recently, Libya.

The reality is that no vital national interest will be served by sending troops to these places except to blow billions of tax dollars we don’t have, and there is nothing "conservative" about that.

White House Chief of Staff William Daley said it best on Sunday’s "Meet the Press": "Lots of people throw around phrases of ‘no-fly zone’ and they talk about it as if it’s just a video game or something. When people comment on military action, most of them have no idea what they’re talking about."

Danny de Gracia II
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