Pension problem needs solving
Your recent guest column, “Don’t begrudge pensions for public employees,” (TGI, Nov. 27) misrepresented the position of groups like the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii as an attack on local and state government employees.
In reality, we are trying to save their pension program before it goes bankrupt and they end up with nothing. Certainly our public employees deserve to be compensated fairly for their civil service. It’s precisely for that reason that we want to ensure there are benefits for them to receive. Resolving Hawaii’s public pension crisis will help our government employees, not harm them.
Our other goal is to spare Hawaii taxpayers from paying through the nose to rescue the system before it collapses.
As an independent, nonpartisan public policy think tank that is funded mostly by private individuals, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is dedicated to finding solutions that work for all Hawaii.
Joshua Mason, Director of communications, Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
Pantry thankful for help
The St. Catherine Food Pantry in Kapaa is thankful for all the support we receive. The pantry is almost 9 years old and distributes food to an average 375 people (125 are children) once a week at the beaches in Kapaa or at the church on Wednesday. All the clients are thankful for the sharing.
This ministry could not exist without the help of so many. We get 90 percent of our food from the Hawaii Food Bank in Puhi. We get an average 4,000 pounds of food a week at discounted pricing and many items for free. Kapaa Banana also has partnered with us to provide fresh fruits to our clients at an affordable price.
The Kauai Humane Society provides free pet food once a month to help clients keep their pets at home.
We are thankful for the 40+ volunteers who collectively put in 90 hours a week in support of this ministry. June Munoz of Hoola Lahui Hawaii has attended our distribution for years to help clients with medical and dental services. She has also helped coordinate other health care provider services like the Wilcox Medical Center nurses, who come and provide free flu shots and blood pressure checks.
This ministry could not succeed without the financial support we receive from the Kauai United Way, Friends of Hawaii, Atherton Foundation and the parishioners and school children of St. Catherine Catholic Church.
A big mahalo to everyone for supporting all the food pantries on our island and helping the less fortunate ohana of our community.
Mark Whitson, St. Catherine Food Pantry operations manager, Kapaa