Tie property tax rate to length of ownership
I believe our property tax burden can be lessened if the politicians create an assessment scale directly tied in with years of actually owning and residing in a home. Each successive year of ownership would see a lower assessed tax compared to property value.
Assume a person buying a home for the first time is aware of that home's assessed tax value. The first year that person would pay full assessed value. The next year, by some percentage rate to be determined, the assessed amount is reduced. Over a long time of living in the same home, the assessed tax is greatly reduced.
To qualify for this sort of tax break, the person would have to live continuously at the same address. If the home is not lived in full time, the tax assessment is full value.
This would greatly help older, longtime nesters, particularly those on fixed incomes.
DOE does need to be more accountable
Some might want to blame the governor for "not dishing out the funds," but I agree with Governor Lingle -- the Department of Education needs to be more accountable for how it is spending taxpayer money.
The governor's request is the same as if a mother asked her daughter how she would be spending the money that the mother gives her.
If the DOE and Board of Education can't answer a simple request to explain the use of funds, then I'd rather have my money go to the Department of Transportation for road repair -- something that can be accounted for and would benefit my budget in terms of car repairs.
Franklin embodied best of America
The Hawaii Society of the Sons of the American Revolution calls to your attention the tercentenary of the birthday of Benjamin Franklin. He was an authentic American, the nation's first homegrown philosopher, scientist and publisher of wit and wisdom.
Franklin's theories and observations of electricity and other natural phenomenon, along with his enthusiasm for invention and innovation, embody the best of American character and civic progress.
Though Franklin had many friends among the nobility, the powerful and the learned, his pithy sayings and written words were circulated in such publications as Poor Richard's Almanac across the American colonies and helped inspire them to rise up and embrace the cause of freedom and the rule of law.
He held various offices of considerable power and stood tall in the American Revolution for democracy and constitutional traditions that Americans of all backgrounds and distinctions cherish in the 21st century.
We encourage our schools and citizens of all ages to learn more about the 300th anniversary of Franklin's birthday and his many accomplishments by visiting the official Web site at www.benfranklin300.com
Jeffrey Bingham Mead
Director of communications and chaplain
The Hawaii Society of the Sons of the American Revolution
Seawater is a pretty cool resource
One of the best near-term measures to help alleviate Oahu's energy problems is the use of seawater air conditioning (SWAC). Cold seawater is pumped through a heat exchanger where it cools fresh water that is circulated to buildings. Renewable energy replaces fossil fuel-based electricity in each building.
Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning, LLC (HSWAC) is developing a 25,000-ton SWAC system for downtown Honolulu and a 25,000-ton system for Waikiki.
Each of these systems will provide the following benefits: eliminate the need for up to 17 megawatts of new electricity generation; save up to 63 million kWh per year; reduce oil imports by up to 145,000 barrels per year; reduce the production of pollutants from fossil fuel combustion; eliminate the need for cooling towers; reduce potable water use by up to 265 million gallons per year; and reduce the generation of sewage by up to 83 million gallons per year.
HSWAC looks forward to working with Hawaiian Electric Co., the state and the county toward meeting Oahu's energy needs in a cost-effective and environmentally beneficial manner.
Associate development director
Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning, LLC
'Dog' lets criminals get off too easy
I recently departed Oahu because of an employment opportunity. Prior to my leaving, I read an article from a citizen that mentioned how the judges releasing all the criminals with nothing more than a slap on the wrist, is a huge slap in the face to the police force. I couldn't agree more.
Now ... I enjoy watching "The Bounty Hunter" with Duane "Dog" Chapman, but he is no better. I just finished watching a rerun, and the punk he arrested had many bags of "ice" in his possession. On national television, the "Dog" allowed this criminal to flush those drugs down the toilet. Had he turned them over to the police, that criminal would hopefully be facing a much stiffer sentence.
In my opinion, the $2 million "Dog" is no better than the light-hearted judges.
Former Hawaii resident