Legalizing illegals is unfair to others
It is grossly unfair to provide any type of concessions to any illegal immigrant. It gives legal
immigrants who want to be citizens no level playing field. The current policy of deportation is what it was intended to be under the law.
The policy change "waffling" is just politicians pandering for the Latino vote (the largest group of illegal immigrants), but at the expense of all others. The protesters/politicians say that this country was built by immigrants (the key word left out is legal). Anytime we make exceptions to laws for one group of people the ramifications can be enormous to the other groups.
If Maui can cut taxes, why not Honolulu?
Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa recently announced a 39 percent cut in the real property tax rate
and a cut in each of the classifications for improved residential and apartment dwellings equaling a reduction -- a reduction
! -- in taxes for property owners.
Citing the strong state economy and Maui real estate at record levels, the mayor actually proposes helping out the tax-paying public while still increasing capital improvement spending. It appears that the mayor is trying to be realistic and fair to all Maui taxpayers, including those more than 70 years of age. How refreshing!
Not so in Honolulu. Although Maui and Oahu have different problems, we in Honolulu are part of the same strong economy with record-high real estate prices that are generating windfall increases in city and state coffers. Why can't our City Council members and mayor present a simple, realistic and equitable proposal to help all property owners? Their proposals are complicated, imbalanced and clouded by the lure of huge new expenditures at the expense of certain taxpayers, especially the elderly.
Maybe they should talk to Mayor Arakawa.
Diane D. Ackerson
Make airport a nonsmoking facility
Kudos to Governor Lingle for the $2 billion proposal to improve Hawaii's airports
. The most important issue missing from the proposal, though, is changing the state's airport smoking policy. The policy permits smokers to light up in any open-air area between designated smoking area signs that are so poorly posted and confusing that no one obeys them.
As you walk down the open concourses toward the gates, you run the gauntlet of second-hand smoke from passengers on both sides, or walking in front of you, puffing away. I've even seen the security guards and Transportation Security Administration employees smoking.
I propose making Honolulu Airport smoke-free, like all mainland airports. Second-hand smoke is a proven killer. To think Japanese tourists will stop coming just because they can't smoke in the terminal is ridiculous. This has not reduced their numbers to Seattle or Los Angeles, which are smoke-free facilities.
In the interim, start enforcing the smoking policy. What good are confusing signs and regulations if security personnel don't enforce the policy?
There's no need to upgrade airport
I was amused by your article about spending $2.3 billion on airport improvements and paying for it with higher airport fees, federal funds, etc. (Star-Bulletin, March 25
). The proposal calls for an indoor terminal with moving walkways. Please don't waste your or our money.
When people land in Hono-lulu they need a nice walk outside to the main terminal. We have always enjoyed the fresh air after being cooped up in an airplane. Also overweight people could use the walk. Do us all a favor and leave things alone.
Interisland airlines finally must compete
Look at the sudden changes in air service! Why now with high fuel costs? To put "go!" airlines out of business, as the interisland airlines have done to new competitor airlines in the past. I intend to fly go! exclusively
to ensure that competition remains in the Hawaiian skies, otherwise the two colluding airlines (with Senator Inouye's help) will continue to screw us like they have for years. Hawaiian and Aloha are riddled with nepotism, incompetence and plain old-fashion greed.
Thank God there are still businessmen with the courage to fight monopoly and try to run a fair business.
Both sides abuse campaign fundraising
Republicans are upset that the Hawaii Democratic Party received a $6,000 out-of-state donation in return for giving $5,000 to Rhode Island Democrats. Yet Republicans see no problem with the governor accepting more than $550,000 from mainland "donors" in just six months last year.
As an independent-minded voter, I can't defend the Democrats for trying to exploit loopholes. But they admitted what they did was questionable, and returned the money. Lingle should do so as well, since her "legal" donations were essentially the same sort of payback arrangement.
In case anyone forgot, Lingle raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign. Legally, of course. And in return, well-heeled Bush supporters repaid the favor when Lingle held fundraisers in California raking in nearly $200,000; New York $80,850; Florida $52,500; and Pennsylvania $30,400.
What possible interest could -- or should -- residents of those states have in Hawaii politics, other than trying to ram the national GOP agenda down our throats?
Clearly, we need to reform the way local campaigns are financed or we'll wind up with the same kind of influence-peddling and corruption that currently exists in Washington.