Neo-con ruin holiday with political game
I was the father of two boys, and had a spouse who got childish pleasure from the pageantry, suspense and devotion surrounding Christmas.
Now the neo-con religious right has chosen to libel the liberals in an attempt to make a political issue of what they see as insufficient devotion.
Well, as a result, I find my own anticipation and enjoyment of Christmas has been destroyed by those making Christmas a political ploy.
Mayor, Council crave more of our money
Our mayor and City Council have a disease. It's an affliction that has devastating consequences if left untreated. Not unlike alcoholics or drug addicts, they are consumed with but one thought: Where can we get more money?
Mayor Hannemann's latest property tax increase ("Oahu property values up 26 percent," Star-Bulletin, Dec. 16) will have devastating effects on many around him, not unlike addiction. Fixed-income and low-income families might now lose their homes. Not unlike addicts, the mayor and the Council come up with a plethora of excuses for their behavior. The police union negotiated a raise, civil servants need a raise, and on and on. There is a cure, and it's a one-step program: Vote wisely!
City is gouging property owners
I was under the impression that the recent sewer rate increases were to pay for needed sewer upgrades and the vehicle registration increases were to pay for needed road improvements and police raises. We have a .5 percent increase in the general excise tax on the way to pay for mass transit.
So what is the city's justification for my family's 38.9 percent (one year) increase in property taxes (26 percent island-wide)? The Merriam-Webster Online dictionary defines "gouging" as an excessive or improper exaction. This new property-tax assessment is nothing less than government price-gouging. You have to pay. You need a home. Our property has not changed except for a few more Christmas lights that my kids insisted I string up this year. A yearly increase is to be expected, but 38.9 percent is excessive.
It is hard for my family to build a rainy-day fund, as the mayor suggests, if the city gouges us on our property taxes. The mayor and City Council must act to return property tax assessments back to reality.
HIV tests should remain anonymous
I'm more than a little concerned about the state's plan to allow the Department of Health to begin tracking people by name who have tested positive for HIV (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 29
This is the same Department of Health that is incapable of tracking the amount of money collected and paid out under the bottle bill, yet it assures us it is capable of protecting sensitive health information. I don't buy it.
Try acupuncture to treat addiction
Please consider an acupuncture-based drug and alcohol detoxification and treatment program for Honolulu. I went to the one in Portland, Ore., and it helped to cure me. I hope those in charge of solving the ice pandemic consider acupuncture to treat addiction.
Acupuncture is court-ordered therapy in Miami, New York, Portland, San Francisco and Santa Barbara. The use of regular acupuncture treatments become more responsive to treatment.
Treatment is accomplished by inserting 3-5 acupuncture needles just under the skin or surface of the external ear. Portland has a very good program that I think Hawaii and Honolulu should consider. I hope that representatives from Honolulu and the state go visit the acupuncture place in Portland to get information on starting a pilot program here in Honolulu.