Editorial | Letters Solve problems in Hawaii first By Star-Advertiser staff Nov. 19, 2015 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. Tuesday’s Star-Advertiser headline trumpeted “Ige welcomes refugees” (Nov. 17). A laudable sentiment to be sure, but before Hawaii welcomes refugees, the governor should address the issues already vexing our state, including dealing with Oahu’s homeless population, funding a rail project well on its way to exceeding a $7.6 billion estimate that convinced Linda Lingle it was unaffordable, funding the massive existing shortfall in public employee retirement and health benefit plans, overseeing a non-disruptive, incremental shift to a mix of cleaner energy sources in a state woefully dependent on oil-fired power generation, to name only a few. Before the governor invites more problems into our beloved state, he needs to solve the most pressing ones he already confronts. Idealism in politics makes for good headlines, but solving major problems that are within his power to influence is how he will be measured as a leader, if not as a politician. David L. Mulliken Waikiki Express Yourself » Write us: We welcome letters up to 150 words, and guest columns of 500-600 words. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and length. Include your name, address and daytime telephone number. » Mail: Letters to the Editor Honolulu Star-Advertiser 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210 Honolulu, HI 96813 » E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org » Fax: 529-4750 » Phone: 529-4831 Refugees helped build our nation I totally understand the reaction to Gov. David Ige’s announcement that he would welcome Syrian refugees. We are struggling to house our own people, now let’s open the doors to the refugees? We are missing the big picture. We are a nation built by refugees. Let’s remember what President Franklin D. Roosevelt said: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Let’s not join the fear mongers. Remember our roots as a nation. Mary Jo Morrow Kailua Accept only those who can contribute I understand the governor’s impulse to welcome refugees to Hawaii, but I do not agree with it. First, Hawaii’s tourism-based economy is ill-equipped to accommodate refugees with no marketable language skills (Japanese, Chinese, English) in this service industry. Second, Hawaii is as culturally immodest as you can get from Middle Eastern mores. Third, we can’t even house our own huddled masses. Fourth, our military presence makes any possibility of extremist infiltration a potential national disaster. I propose a solution: Follow the example of the Swiss and Bhutanese, who have strict immigration standards based on what the immigrant can contribute to society. For example, Hawaii has a doctor and nurse shortage and good teachers are always needed. Let those Syrian professionals and their families in — all who can afford to live here and speak the language. We certainly do not need more bureaucrats, lawyers or huddled masses. Don Brown Waialae Nui Ridge Governors are right to oppose refugees Yes, we have lots of aloha, but we obviously don’t have the social services resources to solve our acute homeless problem. So why in the world is Gov. David Ige jumping in and saying he welcomes more social service dependees from Syria? Oh, I guess more federal giveaway money will finance it. And we can count on federal vetting to ensure no terrorists will be in the group. Well, I don’t buy it and neither do the two dozen-plus state governors who have said no. They aren’t betraying their values. They are exercising common sense and supporting their people. Jack Busekrus Kailua Middle Street terminus can work So the Star-Advertiser says the Middle Street terminus for the rail does not make sense (“Don’t deviate from original plan for rail,” Star-Advertiser, Our View, Nov. 15). For possibly a majority of taxpayers who will foot the bill for all of us, what makes sense is to not tear up Honolulu with those huge, ugly, monstrous pillars and rails and constant noise along our lovely waterfront city. Once done, our city will be tarnished forever by this noisy and now very questionable project. There will be 4,500 condos built in two square miles of Kakaako. I venture to say most owners will have two cars. Let’s add the 9,000-plus cars to the buses, taxis and current traffic in an already very busy urban small shopping area, and then tell me why the Middle Street terminus with the major bus terminal already there does not make sense. In addition to saving millions, and more important, our city itself, well-placed zipper lanes at Middle Street would allow passengers to get to their final destination. Bob Vieira Pauoa Valley Religion can’t stop TMT construction Those who oppose building of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea claim it is the desecration of a sacred site, not an environmental violation or other harm. If the state stops the TMT project on the basis of that argument, isn’t that the declaration of a state religion? Wouldn’t that be unconstitutional? Rhoads Stevens Hawaii Kai Combat dengue with mobile health care The state Department of Health is refusing the Hawaii island’s request for support in dealing with this dengue fever outbreak. State Sen. Josh Green and state Rep. Richard Creagan requested a mobile unit of health care specialists be set up to respond to the needs of people who cannot afford or lack the ability to get tested by a doctor. Not initiating this plan will drive the cases underground and increase the spread. Is this what we want for the state of Hawaii — endemic dengue? Be under no illusion: If dengue on Hawaii island becomes endemic, kamaaina and visitors who island-hop will bring it to you. That is how it arrived here. Let’s not have politics or the cost be what allows this to spread. The economic downturn resulting from people not wanting to travel where they can catch dengue will be very visible. Helen Behrmann Naalehu, Hawaii island Previous Story We can’t add more homeless Next Story Can feds force risks on states?