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Editorial | Letters

Raise wage floor to help homeless

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According to Scott Morishige of PHOCUSED, many homeless people have stable jobs but do not make enough to pay for housing.

“Shallow subsidies” of about $350 per month would help some of the homeless afford housing, he said (“The homeless need money, advocates say,” Star-Advertiser, June 15).

Because our society has reservations about giving money to the poor, we should raise our minimum wage to more than the $10.10 per hour that will not take effect until 2018. During the interim, the cost of living would continue to rise. Why can’t the minimum wage be tagged to the cost of living?

As I understand it, the cost of living does not decline unless we have a deep recession or depression. Otherwise, it just keeps rising. Of course, Hawaii has about the highest cost of living of all the states.

Another benefit of a higher minimum wage would be that people would not need some social services, thereby freeing up resources to people who need them more.

Sandra M. Barker
Hawaii Kai

Congress should approve Iran deal

Through diplomacy, the United States and international partners have reached a remarkable accord with Iran that blocks Iran’s pathways to nuclear weapons, provides for rigorous inspections and greatly reduces chances of war with Iran.

Bombing Iran would only set back Iran’s nuclear program while being disastrous to U.S. interests in the region and for global peace and security.

I hope U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono and U.S. Reps. Mark Takai and Tulsi Gabbard will stand up for diplomacy. I urge them to vote and to speak out in support of this accord.

Sheryl Gardner

Compromise not a solo task

A letter by Rowena Akana of the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs calls on Gov. David Ige to work out a “peaceful and equitable resolution” to the impasse on Mauna Kea.

Since the various parties concerned have highly divergent aims, an equitable, or fair and just, resolution will need to involve significant give and take on all sides.

It has been reported that the scientists are willing to make a number of concessions, such as dismantling and removing of a number of older telescopes, a moratorium on any further construction, and more extensive cultural training.

To date it does not appear that there have been any similar offers of concessions by the Native Hawaiian demonstrators.

Unless these two factions can agree to meet somewhere in the middle, there can be no “equitable resolution.”

Edward K. Conklin

Video will only sicken you more

Well before your deadline, Planned Parenthood’s President Cecile Richards apologized for Dr. Deborah Nucatola’s grim explication of that agency’s morbid practice of harvesting fetal tissues.

The entire video is available for those who might question the editing. Watching the entire video will only sicken you more.

And yet your paper decided to print an Associated Press story under the prominent headline, “Anti-abortion video is purportedly fake” (Star-Advertiser, July 21). This is not reporting news; this is conditioning the readership. The video is genuine, beyond any doubt. Shame on you.

Scott Gier
Ewa Beach

Federal contract must be lucrative

The contract that Albert Hee’s company, Sandwich Isles Communications Inc., has with the federal government must be a very lucrative one.

The company paid $2.3 million in personal and family expenses and was still able to “provide quality telecommunications services to native Hawaiians on Hawaiian Home Lands statewide,” according to the company’s written statement (“Hee’s tax fraud testimony fails to convince jury of innocence, ” Star-Advertiser, July 14).

Dennis Kohara

Crosswalks still terribly unsafe

It’s time to sue the city.

There should be zero crosswalks on streets with more than one lane in each direction unless they are at a traffic light or at least have a pedestrian-activated blinking light.

Drawing white lines across a high-traffic multi-lane road without additional safeguards is inviting disaster, and disaster has occurred too many times.

The need for improved crosswalk safety is especially high in Honolulu, where stopped traffic in several lanes is the norm when pedestrians aren’t crossing, so a stopped vehicle or two doesn’t draw attention.

Combine this with the general level of signage overload that nobody has time to look at and it should be obvious that people will certainly die.

It is negligent to set our friends, loved ones, and visitors up to be run down.

This must end.

Neil Szanyi

Kobayashi needs to do homework

I am dismayed at City Council member Anne Kobyashi’ s admission of being incompetent.

She said that when it comes to the homeless people in her district, “I don’t know what to do now” (“Shifting problems,” Star-Advertiser, July 19).

She is supposed to know, and if she does not, she is obligated to find out. Competence is a given for public office.

Does anyone have a plan for homeless people, and the ability to carry it out?

Beverly Kai

Obama article was a great read

Mahalo nui loa for running the great Dick Meyer commentary, “An extraordinary president” (Star-Advertiser, July 19).

I wish it would be required reading for all adult Americans, but especially for all Republican Congressmen.

I appreciate President Barack Obama for all the reasons Meyer stated, but also for having the courage to try diplomacy instead of guns.

Jan Newhart

People deserve spruced-up park

I smiled — beamed, in fact — when I read in your editorial on Ala Moana Beach Park: “At 81 years old, the park is showing its age and deserves some tender loving care” (“Park plan should be permanent,” Star-Advertiser, Our View, July 17).

Why? Because I just became 81 years old. I was born on July 22, 1934, in Kapiolani Hospital.

But there’s more. I’m a runner and have done many races — mostly 5Ks (3.1 miles) on the pathways around the park and including Magic Island. Just last month, on June 14, my wife Margie and I did the Mango Days 5K (Margie is a youngster of 76).

Most important, I think the people of Honolulu deserve to have a spruced-up Ala Moana Beach Park. With all of the high rises shooting up in Honolulu, some within walking distance of the park, it provides a welcoming oasis.

Oh, and I plan to do runs at the park well into the future.

Kit Smith
Hawaii Kai

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