Tougher rules needed for mo-ped drivers, too
I am in favor of laws on stopping for anyone in a crosswalk. I also am in favor of the "get tough" law
on Honolulu speeders. But I also think someone should start looking at mo-ped drivers who speed between cars like they are on bicycles.
I actually got rear-ended by one mo-ped driver. He plowed into me as I was stopped for traffic. My SUV sustained damage and the glass window on the tailgate was shattered by the impact of the driver's head. He ended up leaving the scene in an ambulance. He also received a ticket for "inattentive driving." I received a bill for repairing my car. I wonder why mo-ped drivers are not carrying any insurance of any kind for this kind of thing? I paid for my repairs, and my insurance paid for his medical bills.
Mo-peds are on the road among the cars and they need to carry insurance.
Military has right idea about road safety
In regard to all the pedestrian deaths on Oahu: Maybe the City Council should look at making it illegal to use a cell phone while driving. The military has made it a law that you cannot use a cell phone on their bases. Why? Do they know something we on the outside do not know?
Increasing the penalty for crosswalk violations does not solve the problem, it is education for walkers and drivers.
Pedestrian safety is a trivial topic
It would appear from reading the Star Bulletin's letters to the editor that the biggest issue facing Hawaii's people is how to properly cross the street. The politicians and residents who have found the time to push forward legislation to stop street performers "in the name of safety" should take their heads out of Waikiki and look for some of the real problems facing our state. There are more than a few.
Low education has created a "redneck culture" of big trucks, fighting and stealing. Aloha is going the way of the dodo. I have had countless things stolen from me, including CDs, cell phones, a bicycle and a moped. When someone drove by on my moped a few days later, I immediately called 911. I was excited to bust my thief, but the police never came. I did, however, gather no less than five police officers and a $75 fine when I was caught jaywalking a few weeks later.
Let's re-evaluate what's important for Hawaii. Let's build the bike paths and the rail and improve our school systems, and then we can go back to the discussion about what color socks to wear.
Tax administrator has cavalier attitude
I am writing about the article concerning the "rising tide of property tax appeals" (Star-Bulletin, Jan. 23
). I was offended by what Gary Kurokawa, administrator of the Real Property Assessment Division, had to say, and the tone in which he said it. He stated that, "This is the third year of consecutive increases (in assessments), and they are just appealing because of that, I think. They're just going to appeal. They don't want to pay any more taxes."
I take umbrage to his repeated reference to "they," as if we taxpayers are nuisances appealing only for the sake of appealing. Like we enjoy filling out a form that is easily misunderstood and paying $25 to do it. I think those 7,000 people, the record number who did appeal, put a bit more thought into filling out their appeal forms than just looking at the increased assessment.
There's a lot more to consider. I wrote a detailed two-page letter to accompany my assessment appeal. I'm the classic case of a longtime homeowner on the verge of being taxed out of her home.
Mr. Kurokawa thinks we simple folks just "don't want to pay any more taxes." Gee, I think he got that one right.
Taxpayers could pool refunds for homeless
Regarding state tax refunds, I have an idea. I don't know how practical it is, but it's worth sharing. Since the overall tax burden is a significant factor in Hawaii's houseless problem, we might consider pooling our refunds and contributing them to an organization that could apply them to solutions for those who are houseless.
I would feel extremely good about my refund going to that most worthy cause, but I don't have any confidence in our government officials administering those financial resources effectively -- after all, the houseless population is not seen as a highly coveted voting bloc.
For me, rather than resignedly saying, "it's better to let the government keep my money and try to solve some of our problems rather than giving me an insignificant refund," I say, "Give my tax money back to me and I'll earmark it for a worthy cause, because you'll just squander it pandering to special interests."
Perhaps a nongovernmental organization, like Habitat for Humanity or a charitable coalition, would be in a position to accept these donations and apply them to real solutions for Hawaii's houseless. Maybe other readers can see a way to help such a movement take hold.
City should work to reopen Paki Hale
Paki Hale, adjacent to Kapiolani Park, once was an active public facility, constantly in high demand for community meetings. It has been closed to the public for repairs for several years. This effectively precludes the community from productive interaction in the public interest. It appears that there are ongoing roadblocks to reopening this needed public facility, and some in the community are now questioning whether there is an intent to keep it closed.
The parks department will offer a litany of excuses and reasons for delay, but these fall flat in view of the years it has taken to remedy the problems. Whether the closure was the result of the deficiencies of a $1.5 million renovation two administrations ago, and whether the work to rectify these deficiencies was begun during the last city administration, it falls on the current administration to make this facility once again available to the public, which it has failed to do.
Calls and pleas from the affected public continue to fall on deaf ears. Will a class-action lawsuit against the city be next? I hope this letter will effect some motivation on the part of the mayor and his parks director to reopen this facility within the near future.
Fast campaign start will be good for voters
Earlier presidential primaries will make life tough for the candidates, according to "Fast Start increases election pressure" (Star-Bulletin, Jan. 22).
In that article, New York Times reporters John Broder and Patrick Healy comment, "The candidates could be forced to move more quickly to take positions on the big issues of the day ... exposing them to more direct criticism from rivals, interest groups and the news media."
Vincent K. Pollard