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Ukraine-Russia fight is for them to settle

Here we go again.

Violence has broken out in Ukraine, and Russia has occupied the Crimean peninsula to "protect" its mainly Russian-speaking population.

War hawks in the United States are having a field day. U.S. Sen. John McCain demands that President Barack Obama announce consequences for Putin’s regime. Others call for everything from billion-dollar aid packages to dispatching of U.S. Navy flotilla to the Black Sea.

Can we have a little perspective here? Not only are the hawks ignoring reality, but history as well. Ukrainians themselves are divided — Easterners favoring alignment with Russia, while Westerners prefer association with the European Union.

For most Russians, the vast region surrounding Kiev represents the cradle of their history and culture. Ever since Prince Vladimir consolidated the Kievan state in the 10th century, Ukraine has either been part of, or closely associated with Russia. That’s more than a thousand years of shared history.

Let’s leave this one to them. It’s their backyard, not ours.

Richard McMahon

Minimum-wage hike is right thing to do

Employees in the service industry who work in tippable positions should be paid the mini- mum wage and the tip credit eliminated.

Tips should be shared by all employees through a valid sharing arrangement instead of being used to help employers meet their minimum wage obligations.

The impact of increasing the minimum wage on employment is one of the most-studied economic issues. While economists do not agree on its overall impact, one thing is clear: It lifts many Americans out of poverty. This alone is a good reason why the minimum wage should be raised. Further, some labor economists say that the benefits of raising the minimum wage far outweigh the costs.

Low-wage workers are the spark plugs of the economy. They need financial relief by increasing the minimum wage.

As a matter of social justice, it’s the right thing to do; as a matter of economic common sense, it’s the smart thing to do.

Rod B. Catiggay

UH wrong to not put TV deal to bid

The most recent example of the opacity of the University of Hawaii Athletics Department is the contract awarded for six years to Oceanic TV with no other bidding allowed.

Perhaps the article omitted other critical information, but based upon what was stated, certainly KHNL/KGMB should have been permitted to participate in the bidding process. What possible downside could there have been to having another bidder, particularly when that applicant is a major player in Hawaii television?

The general manager of KHNL/KGMB, Rick Blangiardi, has a long sports background and would have, in all likelihood, made a significant offer, one that would have provided UH football free for all Hawaii.

Rick Fried
Diamond Head

Tourists neglect cautions on turtles

I am a tour guide. I love to share our island and history with visitors.

Recently on a beach in Haleiwa, I walked up to a large group of people literally on top of a sizeable turtle that was struggling to get away from them. I raised my voice, telling them to back off, and then drew a circle in the sand around the turtle.

The group voiced dissatisfaction, took a few more pictures and dispersed. Only then did the turtle turn itself back to the beach and rest.Sadly, this is common practice.

Why do people neglect the most basic information? I’ll never forget the despair and struggle I felt and saw in that sea turtle. Yet all I can hope for is that someone will help protect them from people who just don’t care.

Hana Amison-Fellezs
Kalihi Valley

Back bill that would support caregivers

On Tuesday, the state Senate is scheduled to vote on a bill that is drawing the widespread attention and support of family caregivers in Hawaii.

Senate Bill 2264, also known as the CARE Act, would allow individuals who care for elderly friends and family members to be named on the medical record when those they take care ofare admitted to the hospital. The bill also allows caregivers to receive clear home-care instructions from the hospital when their loved ones are discharged.

As someone who cared for both my elderly parents, I can attest to the challenges of family caregiving and the need for better care coordination between hospitals and caregivers. I support this bill, which will help the thousands of people in Hawaii who are providing the increasingly complex types of care in the home setting — such as medication management and the proper care of wounds.

Audrey Suga-Nakagawa
Moanalua Valley

Public policy ought to be free of bias

It is astonishing and frightening that in 2014 a state legislator would propose and that the Legislature would even hear, much less pass a bill, allowingbusinesses torefuse service to anyone for any reason other than on-the-spot drunken or unruly public behavior ("Religious protection bill passed," Star-Advertiser, Feb. 21).

In no way does such a bill protect religious freedom. Indeed, itnegates religious freedom and denies the civil rights of people who do not share the business owner’s religious beliefs.

Although there may be more complex issues involved, the same could be said of laws banning same-sex marriageand access to affordable contraception or abortion.

Our Constitution inherently guarantees that public policy will not be basedon religious doctrine. It is high time we truly honored that guarantee.

Jean S. Gochros

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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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813



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