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Thursday, November 4, 2004
No real need to apply vehicle safety stickersI live in Colorado Springs, Colo., due to my military commitment in the Air Force and have been away from home -- Hawaii -- almost 21 years, with periodic visits every so often when I get the chance. I'm responding to your Oct. 26 Kokua Line column concerning the safety inspection stickers on the cars in Hawaii. Being in the military, I have lived in many states and see that Hawaii still has those safety inspection stickers for cars, unlike many other states. Why doesn't the Department of Motor Vehicles just check the safety inspection upon the annual registration requirements, like insurance cards? This would save so much more money for everyone due to the cost of the stickers that the service stations have to apply to your car.
You don't see a sticker on the back of the car showing that each car is insured, so why the double standard? Safety inspection stickers have been around for years, even when I was a little kid. It's time for a change.
Dean Mark Sr.
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Voters didn't follow their best interestsIsn't it interesting that the people in the states that were attacked on 9/11 -- New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. -- gave their votes to John Kerry? The president prides himself on protecting America, yet he can't claim the victims among his constituents. It's clear that most Americans have voted their emotions, not the economic and environmental realities that affect them.
During the Middle Ages, the rich and powerful could use the clergy to rally the plebiscites to support policies against their own interests. Those days have returned.
Nothing like a squawk to ruin a quiet moodIt has been a tiring week, but it's Friday and it's time for you to leave work. You get into your car and leave the office parking lot. As soon as you enter the street you're stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. OK, you can deal with it, only 40 more minutes until you reach the sanctity of your home. Alright, almost there. Yes, you're home and you can finally lie down. Thank you, you softly say to yourself, this is what I have been waiting for all day. You gently set yourself on the couch, stretch out, let out a big yawn and finally close your eyes. Aaahhh! Heaven!
Peace and quiet, and you're almost at that point where you feel complete relaxation. Suddenly, AACCKKKK, AAACCCKKKK, AAAACCKKKKK, your neighbor's parrots go on a squawking frenzy. Ten minutes go by, 20 minutes, and you finally cover your head with your pillow, hoping to drown out the dreadful sound. Thirty minutes go by, AACCKKKK, AAACCCKKKK, AAAACCKKKKK; you can't take it anymore, and you shout, "Shut up!"
Nothing happens, the parrots continue to squawk and you feel more stressed than when you were in traffic.
This has not been the first or second incident. You've already talked with the neighbors, hoping they would be considerate enough to quiet their birds. That didn't work. The authorities tell you that they cannot do anything unless they hear the squawk of the parrots themselves. What can people do to protect their sanity against these disrespectful, irresponsible, offensive neighbors? Are we not afforded the right to have peace and quiet in our own homes?
Taxpayers shouldn't have to support trustPublic ads that support Bishop Trust imply that today's legal action seeks to end Kamehameha Schools' bloodline-based preference policy. However, that statement is false.
Regardless of the court's decision today, the Bishop Estate is, and will remain, able to continue its preference just like thousands of similar trusts. A local example is Campbell Estate, which is for the exclusive benefit of bloodline descendants of James Campbell.
The only issue before the court is whether Hawaii's citizens, whose children are excluded from benefiting under the trust, should pay the cost of granting a tax-exemption to the schools, when every other trust that shows preference pays its fair share of taxes.
A state-tax exemption for a $6 billion trust that earns, say, 8 percent is approximately $48 million per year, and that is more than twice the $20 million needed to pay teachers of all Hawaii's children what they deserve.
So is it fair to impose a $48 million tax expenditure on Hawaii's taxpayers for a trust that excludes their children from trust benefits? I think not, but that is all the court will address. Preferences have never been challenged.
George L. Berish
Donate your old phone to help abuse victimsThere is one simple and easy way that anyone can help fight domestic violence. The HopeLine Phone Recycling Program collects used wireless phones to benefit victims of domestic violence. The phones are refurbished or recycled, and generate funds that are used to purchase new phones with airtime for victims. Local shelters distribute these "lifelines" to those in need, and they are used in both emergency situations and to help the life rebuilding process. Funds also are used to fund prevention and awareness programs.
When you donate your phone to HopeLine, it goes to help victims right in Hawaii. Customers of any wireless carrier can donate phones and related equipment to any Verizon Wireless Communications store.
I urge everyone to take this simple step to help raise awareness of and prevent domestic violence. To date, more than 2 million phones have been collected, and more than 5 million dollars donated to domestic violence shelters and advocacy organizations.
Director of Hawaii sales
Perhaps Rainbows gave up too muchI'm a University of Hawaii football fan; I liked the Rainbow image, and got chills when the band struck up "Hawaii Five-O" when the boys ran onto the field. I was proud of the image of the "fight to the last man" tradition that the program developed over the decades. I was also more than ready to watch this program get taken to the next level.
So, I bought the hype, put up with the change to black uniforms, and put up with the pass-o-mania knowing sooner or later they would have to balance the act when opposing schools defenses figured out how to handle the "run and shoot."
I tolerated the annihilation of our traditional Rainbows handle that made us unique and even gave us a look that was indicative of Hawaii's peoples and our culture (a rainbow depicting the harmony of our race and cultural diversity amid the beauty of the islands).
I stood by in silence when all that I thought was good in our football program was put aside in the name of "taking us to the next level." In case anyone is wondering how we do that, all we need do is ask the coach in Boise, he's figured that out!
It's time for the members of the UH Athletic Department to ask themselves if the price paid for all of these changes might have been a bit too high.
Bottle bill undermines recycling effortsHawaii's bottle bill is nothing more than a tax for those of us who already recycle. Even in most, if not all, other states that have a bottle fee, they do not include a surcharge, which Hawaii does. The extra 1 cent will cost us about $8 million annually.
The Legislature that passed the bill knew that many people would eat the entire fee and not bother to get their deposit back; the Tax Foundation estimates those figures at $22 million in unclaimed funds. So with the surcharge of "only" 1 cent, that's $30 million those lawmakers have drooled over.
Instead of a bottle bill tax, what Sierra Club's Jeff Mikulina should have supported was more public education on recycling and easier access to recycling, such as placing recycling bins alongside trash bins at public facilities and encouraging more home pick-up options.
The public willingly recycles when it is easy. Apartment building recycling efforts are successful, and often I see the city's recycling containers so filled to capacity there is spillover several feet outside the containers.
The Star-Bulletin with its Oct. 30 editorial continues to hype and advocate the bottle bill instead of calling it the bad legislation it is.
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