Letters for Friday, November 29, 2013

• Outstanding performance • Keiki education up to all of us • There are times intolerance is OK • Thanks for mirror • Cost of Obamacare is being exaggerated • Kapaa Turkey Trot enjoyed success • Give president credit

Outstanding performance

I was fortunate to see “Aloha” — true Hawaiian Aloha in the presentation Nov. 15 at St. Michael’s Church in honor of King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma. All the performances were outstanding. Kauai needs more of these true Hawaiian presentations from the heart.

Gaylyn Bradley, Lihue

Keiki education up to all of us

We would like to congratulate the students and teachers of Hawaii who have achieved national recognition through their performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Those that truly deserve credit for this accomplishment are the teachers and students who have worked hard together to improve the practice of teaching and producing improved student learning.

Standardized tests like the NAEP provide a snapshot in time and can only indicate a trend over time. We hope that this trend continues and Hawaii remains one of the leading states in producing such significant gains.

In the spirit of the upcoming holidays, let’s celebrate teachers who have led Hawaii’s keiki to become more proficient in reading, writing and math.

In order for us to continue to make progress, it is important that all of us accept and embrace our responsibility in providing the best education for our keiki. That means we need to provide teachers and students with the necessary tools and resources to be successful. It also means that we must continue to invest in our future through supporting public education and those who teach by providing professional salaries to attract the best and the brightest into our classrooms. Educating our keiki is everyone’s kuleana and we must work together to ensure the best teaching and learning environments for Hawaii’s students.

Wil Okabe, Honolulu

There are times intolerance is OK

Despite having read several times your editorial about intolerance as it pertains the debate surrounding marriage equality, I don’t understand the point you were trying to get across.

Are you suggesting that we should be tolerant of the words and opinions of others regarding this issue, no matter how ridiculous and loathsome they are? If so, that begs the question, when is an idea so worthless that it doesn’t deserve to be tolerated by civilized society. Would opposing interracial marriage meet the bar you set? That’s probably a good place to start, since the people arguing against marriage equality are using exactly the same words and phrases — and the same biblical argument — that were used during that fight. How about slavery? That was in the Bible, too. Using your standard, should advocacy for slavery be tolerated?

The fact is that having the government deny this privilege to one group of our friends and neighbors is simply not sustainable for the long term. If the advocates for marriage equality lose the current battle, they can comfort themselves with the knowledge that this is a generational issue. When the current group of protesters is silenced by old age or death, the matter will resolve itself. But that’s obviously too long for this issue to linger. We are not a theocracy, and the fact that some people claim to know what God is thinking about is not material. And if your marriage is so fragile, and is hanging by so thin a thread, that what two people down the street do can affect it, you should probably consider speaking with a divorce attorney. The marriage of others is, frankly, none of your business.

The people fighting against marriage equality have already lost the battle. Society has ruled on the issue. Now the question is: When will the people of Hawaii admit that, and move aside, so our friends and neighbors can live as they choose?

Kurt Last, Anahola

Thanks for mirror

Hallelujah! A traffic mirror is standing at the junction of Olohena, Kaapuni and Kaehulua roads (above Kapaa Middle School). It has increased safety a thousandfold, making it possible to see vehicles coming up Olohena Road. Mahalo nui loa to all who had a part of this improvement.

Caroline Okasako, Kapahi

Cost of Obamacare is being exaggerated

The people who would smear the White House and lie or exaggerate have struck again.

In the editorial “On the Price of Obamacare” in Monday’s paper, the cost is stated as “HealthCare.gov cost $671 million” and later it refers to this as the cost of Obamacare. This incredibly high number is a myth, however, and it was fabricated from records of the software contractor (the Montreal-based company awarded the contract to build healthcare.gov, CGI Federal) which showed the company had received $634 million in contracts “related to healthcare.” But this was not just Obamacare software (the website for the ACA).

At the time all the news people were announcing Obamacare cost $634 million, they had actually reported an erroneous amount as it included every CGI Federal company’s contract for the Health and Human Services Department program for the last seven years. In his Fact Checker column in the Washington Post, Glenn Kessler looked at the question of the healthcare.gov cost and concluded, “A conservative figure would be $70 million. A more modest figure would be $125 million to $150 million.” So the reverse of “if it looks too good to be true it probably isn’t” holds in this case, as the ridiculous $671 million dollar figure is inaccurate.

Barney Blankenship, Kapaa

Kapaa Turkey Trot enjoyed success

We of the Old Town Kapaa Turkey Trot organizing committee would like to extend our warmest Mahalo to those who assisted in making the fourth annual Kapaa Turkey Trot a great success! We were gratefully blessed with the world greatest participants. We look forward to seeing you again next year.

Randy Blake, Kauai Path, Inc.

Jeni Kaohelaulii, Work It Out

Give president credit

I do not know why this country finds the concept of universal health care so difficult to imagine and implement.

Despite all the problems, I must give Obama credit for trying. Cut him some slack.

“When a wise man points to the stars, only a fool stares at his finger.”

Henri Carnal, Kekaha

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