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Oahu critical for Army training

Al Frenzel’s recent commentary is short-sighted and divorced from reality ("Hawaii and nation would do better if Army reduced its footprint here," Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, Nov. 16).

With 13 years experience commanding, training and leading Oahu-based Army units in both Iraq and Afghanistan, I can tell you that the training we received in Hawaii was on par with units stationed on the mainland.The opportunities to train with our Oahu-based sister services and allied armies in the Pacific was the difference-maker in combat.

Today, Oahu-based Army units are training across the Pacific Rim, building relationships and ensuring stability in light of an increasingly assertive China; try doing that in Kansas.

The Army brings more than 3,000 good-paying non-uniformed civilian jobs, takes exceptional care of Hawaii’s cultural and environmental resources and ensures stability in the Pacific.

If Hawaii does not want the $1.3 billion worth of economic activity that will be lost if forces are cut from Oahu, there are plenty of mainland cities that do.

Matthew Kelley
Retired colonel, U.S. Army Mililani

Commentary was well-balanced

Thank you for running the Island Voices commentary "Dems bear blame for poor voter turnout" by Warren Iwasa (Star-Advertiser, Nov. 16).

I thought this was a well-balanced commentary that made good note of issues with the Democrats, the Republicans and the voters.It was refreshing to read such a well-written piece.

Ken Berkun

UH should place students first

As a University of Hawaii graduate, I was very sorry to read that more cuts are being proposed to academic programs at UH ("Tightening the belt," Star-Advertiser, Nov. 15).

We continuously hear, correctly, that a good education for our young people is critical.Further academic cuts will reduce the quality of education at UH and discourage enrollment.

Alternatives are available to reduce expenses at UH without penalizing students.A look under "State of Hawaii, University of Hawaii" in the white pages of the telephone book reveals dozens of offices that appear to have little, if any, direct connection with education at UH.At least some of these could be eliminated or reduced without harming the educational purpose of the university. The money saved would be substantial.

Unnecessarily depriving students of a good education is grossly unfair to them and their families. It must not be allowed.

Robert Raul

UH budget needs transparency

Year after year, the same old song is repeated by the University of Hawaii administration.

Honestly, is the priority to achieve academic excellence?

According to the Star-Advertiser ("Tightening the belt," Nov. 15), the university could be downsizing, leading to larger class sizes and fewer course selections. There is always much talk about the importance of a quality university system, but ineptness seems to be a hallmark of the UH administration.

As suggested by a UH faculty member, more budget transparency and equality must be required in an atmosphere of financial challenges. Is thecurrent $3.5 million deficit of the floundering athletics program squeezing funds from UH academic departments such as the College of Arts and Sciences? Are students being shortchanged by a financial shell game?

Tony Locascio

Young will benefit from Obamacare

Ben Boychuk wrote that Obamacare is based on a huge lie as it "disguised a massive wealth transfer from the young and healthy to the old and sick" (Star-Advertiser, RedBlueAmerica, Nov. 16).

Boychuk does not seem to realize, or chooses to ignore, the fact that the young and healthy of today are the old and sick of tomorrow.

The principle of the popular Social Security system is the same: The seniors of today are paid with the contributions of the workers of today. In both cases, younger people provide and save for their old age, a good thing.

Adolf Mader
Lower Manoa

Public restrooms needed in Honolulu

Everywhere yougoin Honolulu, you will breathe in the odor of urine from people who can’t use a restroom that’s available.

Even in Waikiki, the urine odor is at bus stops and other places. Where do you use a restroom if you’re not near a hotel room?

Being visitors touring Hono-lulu is no fun. It makes you never want to come back to Hawaii. It’s also not healthy to have to deal with the foul odors. They can make you nauseated.

We definitely need more portable toilets at strategic places around the city. We could give unemployed people jobs cleaning these restrooms 24/7, reducing the number of people who don’t have jobs, including those who frequent these temporary restrooms.

We have to somehow alleviate the problem. We need to give a break to our residents who use the public sidewalks and wait at bus stops.

Gabrielle Makuakane

Don’t develop Kewalo Basin area

Thank you for publishing the editorial, "Value Kakaako’s open waterfront" (Star-Advertiser, Our View, Nov. 14).

I totally agree with this view. The development of this Kewalo Basin park and parking area should not be considered.

There is a shortage of parking and open space at Kewalo Basin, and this is a public space not suitable for another business development. I am surprised the zoning would even allow such a consideration.

Mark Hogue
Pearl City

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



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