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Government at fault for high gas prices

John Priolo complained about $5-a-gallon gas and thinks speculators in the oil market are to blame, not the incompetence of elected and appointed federal government officials ("Oil prices raised by speculators," Letters, Star-Advertiser, May 4).

First of all, those bad, nasty speculators are, for the most part, certain businesses, like airlines and power companies, that use large quantities of petroleum-based fuel. They hedge their future fuel costs in the oil market so that they may deliver their products and services at a lower price than would otherwise be the case, to people like Priolo. They are therefore attempting to mitigate future price increases, not exacerbate them.

More important, the inflation-adjusted price of petroleum products has not changed a penny in the last 50 years. The entire change in the pump price is due to government stealing the people blind by intentionally inflating the currency to cover its fiscal mismanagement.

Jack M. Schmidt Jr.

How to write us

The Star-Advertiser welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (~150 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 Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published.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.

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Fax: (808) 529-4750
Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

Medical school won’t double tuition costs

An item in the newspaper mentioned that the University of Hawaii Medical School could raise in-state tuition to $58,000 in 2012.

We know space in news articles is not limitless, but felt it is important to put that figure into context, and to understand that it is unlikely we would double current tuition.

The number was based on questions asked during the legislative session about what tuition might have to be in order to offset reductions in tobacco funding monies, should there be no other financial options for the school.

However, we are pursuing all options, and no increase of tuition is expected to be above 10 percent.

Tuition increases at UH are decided by the Board of Regents, a process that includes notice and public hearings before implementation.

Many of our students receive financial aid and scholarships. Our already vigorous efforts to increase scholarship opportunities will be intensified in the anticipation of tuition increases.

The school will work tirelessly to give our students the best and most affordable education possible, along with generous support from our state, our university and the citizens of Hawaii.

Jerris R. Hedges
Dean, John A. Burns School of Medicine

Obama should have clicked his heels 

After the president announced the death of Osama bin Laden and he was walking away from the dais, he should have jumped up and clicked his heels.

Larry Baird
Foster Village

Let students carry cellphones in school

I don’t understand the strict rules on cellphone usage in school. I do understand that cellphones can be distracting, but that is where the parents of the teen should step in or the student takes responsibility.

I will readily admit that I have been distracted in class by my cellphone, but most of the time it is safely tucked away in my bag on silent. Not only do cellphones provide quick access to the Internet in cases where you need information for a class quickly, they also provide a security blanket for parents. If something happens at school, then their child can call or text them and they won’t have to wait for hours to get a call from the school. The good aspects of cellphones far outweigh the bad.

Jasmine McNair

State should deposit its checks faster

A rather painless way to help reduce the state’s budget deficit would be to have a much higher sense of urgency to deposit checks received upon their receipt. From excise tax payments to motor vehicle registration fees, every check I have ever written to the Department of Taxation takes several weeks before it is posted to my account. If this is consistent with all payments that are received by the state, there is a very substantial loss in revenue from interest that could make lives a little less painless for everyone.

James Radtke

Greatest Generation still deserves thanks

The wedding of Will and Kate wasn’t just about Cinderella coming to life or a commoner marrying a royal. It was a moment to revel in survival — the survival that the Greatest Generation allowed this generation of grandchildren to enjoy. Prince Philip at 90 and Queen Elizabeth II at 85 served as a reminder that this moment of complete joy and beauty and hope did not come without a price.

Being of Charles’ generation, I only can imagine what our parents and their communities endured during the 1940s. But watching those elders, the same age as my World War II parents, made me reflect that without their sacrifice, their courage, the willingness of the people of the allied nations to say "no" and act to defend what we hold dear, this beautiful opulent joyous ceremony could not have occurred.

Thank you again and again to those who served and those are serving today.

Becky Hommon
Ewa Beach

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