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Editorial | Letters

Sen. Slom is our beloved voice in the wilderness

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Richard Borreca erred (“Squabbles over rail reflect divisions among lawmakers,” Star-Advertiser, On Politics, July 21): Seventy-six lawmakers did not vote to hammer Oahu taxpayers.

There was one lucid argument against the rail boondoggle, that of state Sen. Sam Slom. And he said it in hearings directly to the mayor’s face.

Slom also voted against the Health Connector, which collapsed in a heap of excuses after blowing through $133 million from taxpayers.

Legislators spurned his mature and cogent pleas for a more frugal approach to governance. A nearly $1 billion giveaway to union bosses in mid-contract costs us dearly, but Slom stood up.

Now is the time for voters to stand up and free themselves from expensive and bossy government.

Michael G. Palcic

Peter Principle is alive and well in government

Well, they’ve done it again. The Peter Principle of promoting someone to the point of incompetency has already taken place in the form of the elections director. Now they have decided to reward the incompetency, by giving him a $10,000 raise (“State election chief receives $10,000 raise,” Star-Advertiser, July 10).

Who are these people on these boards? Why do they still have their jobs? Do they have any idea what they are doing?

Bob Dukat
Pahoa, Hawaii island

Hawaii should do more to support its caregivers

A new report on the value of unpaid care provided by family caregivers clarifies the enormity of the contribution Hawaii’s caregivers make (Family care worth $2.1B, group says,” Star-Advertiser, July 17).

What’s less clear from the article is that the proposed CARE Act would require hospitals to do three simple things:

>> Allow the caregiver’s name to be recorded on the patient’s hospital record;

>> Notify the caregiver when the patient is to be discharged or transferred; and

>> Offer to instruct the caregiver in the tasks needed to be performed at home after their loved one is discharged.

At last count 17 state legislatures across the country had passed bills providing for greater involvement and instruction of family caregivers at the time of hospital discharge.

Hawaii should do everything possible to support the 154,000 men and women who are critical to achieving a more patient-centered health care system in Hawaii.

Audrey Suga-Nakagawa
Moanalua Valley

There’s a reason praise for Obama is rare

I read a letter praising a positive piece on President Barack Obama with simultaneous bewilderment and amusement (“Positive article on Obama rare,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, July 14).

Perhaps praise for this president is so remarkably scarce as a result of the impact of his policies of the last nearly seven years: A flat-lined GDP; the lowest workforce participation rate in more than 35 years; more folks on some form of public assistance or another than in recent memory; more national debt incurred than under all previous presidents combined; double-digit percentage increases in health care premiums (you ain’t seen nothing yet); deficits higher than President George W. Bush’s highest; an America more divided along racial and class lines; a Middle East on the brink of Armageddon

— when does one come up to breathe? I’m not buying whatever snake oil is out there portraying this administration as anything other than the calamitous failure that it is.

Stephen Hinton

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