Unions’ benefits extend beyond just members

There is a belief that unions benefit only their members when fighting for better wages and benefits. This is not true.

Since the beginning, unions have fought to bring economic and social equality and justice to all workers. Unions continue to fight for high wages, paid family leave and other benefits at the national level — as it not only impacts members, but also non-union employees.

Today’s workers enjoy an eight-hour work day, holidays, weekends, paid vacations, paid sick leave and more. Things unions fought for. Don’t let the anti-worker propaganda about “Right to Work” misconstrue the facts.

We are all humans and deserve to be treated equally. No one should dedicate their time to make someone else wealthy if they themselves are not being properly compensated. Time is something we never get back. Support your workers and support our unions.

James Logue


Raising minimum wage to $15 still falls short

I couldn’t agree more with Raymond Catania’s “Stand up for livable wage for Hawaii’s poor workers” (Star-Advertiser, Letters, Jan. 13). A $15 minimum wage is only 61.6% of Hawaii’s median income while $17 is still just 69.8%.

We have too many houseless/homeless individuals and families with children unable to afford Hawaii’s high cost of rent. It’s nothing to be proud of being ranked No. 2 of 50 states.

Raising the minimum wage is not only the right thing to do for Hawaii’s financially struggling people, it means we care and are committed to reducing their pain and struggle while many of us are living comfortably.

Brad Baang


Supply bigger bottles of water in emergencies

It is dismaying to see water in small bottles being delivered to victims of emergencies. Why are we not sending water in at least 2-liter bottles, or better yet, larger containers?

The water will be used for cooking as well as drinking and will be used in one place, not carted around. Small bottles of water are convenient for people moving around and not wanting to carry heavy containers of water.

Large containers could deliver many times the amount of water in the space taken up by a case of small bottles of water.

Pearl Johnson


Seems more Oahu roads have potholes than don’t

Regarding the new campaign to report potholes, I’ll say what many are thinking: It would be much easier to report those few sections of Oahu roads without potholes.

If there is still a steel plate over a water main repair after more than three years (see 40 S. School St.), what hope do we really have for our roads?

Peter Swanson


Kudos to Rolovich — too bad isles can’t afford pay

We have another fantastic person leaving Hawaii. He stoked our imagination and gave us hope and pride not seen since 2007. We love him. We support him.

We had started to believe again in the top of the heap. He made us better, and instilled in us and young men the winning idea that all is possible.

Now he is moving (as am I) to a lower cost of living and a much-higher- paying job; on his way to make history in another town. He made it to the epoch of this town like his mentor before him years ago; $15 million is the pot of gold he deserves over five years. Well played.

That is our problem in a town where a $10 billion county project sucks all the economic growth into political coffers, so that we don’t keep our very best on island.

Mahalo and aloha, Nick Rolovich — you gave us four great years.

Warner Kimo Sutton


Ditch tax-and-spend; do proactive budgeting

“Big ideas” finished at Legislature? In a Star-Advertiser Jan. 13 article, state Sen. Stanley Chang said, “Hawaii went from being one of the most progressive … to really not being a very progressive state.” Indeed! That’s when it becomes obvious that the state is running out of “other people’s” money.

Taxes for “feel good” projects to support big state government is just about played out. Think bloated bureaucracy driven by tax and spend. All that isn’t coming close to addressing our unfunded obligations (debt).

We need proactive budgeting for reduction of “our” debt — then see how today’s negatives begin to turn around.

To begin with, end-of-year surpluses must be used to pay down public debt. It ain’t funny money.

Charles Rushforth


Many Trump negatives simply obscure all else

I would like to ask Robert Vogtritter (“Unlike politicians, Trump gets things done,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Jan. 13), just exactly what he thinks Donald Trump has accomplished that benefits Americans.

Yes, Trump has gotten things done: He has made regulatory changes that will foul our air and water, making it dangerous for our young people as they get older.

Yes, he has brought us to the brink of war by assassinating an evil man and then boasting about it. Yes, he has alienated our allies and threatened to pull us out of NATO.

Yes, he has made it harder for some Americans to get food stamps. Yes, he did cut taxes — but for the rich while most of us have seen little benefit.

Yes, he has ignored climate change as our seas rise. And yes, he has lied 15,000 times.

The economic “boom” is a leftover from Barack Obama’s legacy. Health care is a mess, as Trump’s disrupted the Affordable Care Act. I see many negatives.

Eileen Glaholt



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