Tourists bring clutter, T-shirt shops to Kailua
by Velma Fisher telling us that visitors help pay her mortgage made me more angry than usual.
If one has to rent out rooms to pay their mortgage, they are obviously buying too large a house for their pocketbook.
Greed is turning our town into a tourist glut of embroidered "Kailua logo" T-shirt shops; a beach we can no longer enjoy because of novice kite- and wind-surfers oblivious to swimmers and beach walkers; stretch limos and tour buses dropping off more tourists than the beach can handle, leaving garbage that no one picks up.
Contrary to those with the boarding-house mentality, tourists are not helping Kailua at all.
Don't blame retailers for high gas prices
Frontline retailers are often asked, "Why are gas prices so high?" Our response: "High gas taxes, high business costs and continual government interference."
We take no pleasure in being government's tax collector and keeping Hawaii the No. 1 highest gasoline-taxed state in the country. Hawaii consumers annually pay nearly $83 million in federal, $122 million in state (including the 4.5 percent general excise tax) and $75 million in county taxes, equating to a whopping $280 million a year to maintain roads, highways and help subsidize public transportation.
The current Legislature has an opportunity to reduce gasoline taxes, but it appears to not be willing to help consumers. Sen. Ron Menor says he is concerned tax reductions won't be passed on. History shows otherwise -- in March 2006 when the GET exemption on ethanol gasoline began, the industry immediately passed that savings on to consumers. We agree it was difficult to notice when the gas-cap legislation fiasco was causing weekly price jumps. Wouldn't it be nice if legislators kept their promise to help the people of Hawaii by easing government's take from our pockets at the pump?
Dealer, Waialae and Nimitz Chevron
Mismatching teams erodes quality of play
Scores from games played on March 28:
Pearl City 24-Waialua 0;
Leilehua 12-Nanakuli 0;
Campbell 10-Waipahu 0;
Kaiser 22-Farrington 1;
Kalani 10-Kalaheo 0;
Castle 20-Kaimuki 0.
These are baseball scores, not football, mind you. All of these games ended after five innings, one went six, because of the mercy rule.
Isn't it time that the OIA go to Red/White Divisional play for baseball as they do for football? There is not much good that happens when a game is played between mismatched opponents. It is hard for the losing team's players, coaches, fans and supporters. I give a lot of credit to these struggling teams for staying with it and giving their best efforts. Divisional play would surely give these teams more competitive games and enjoyment in playing the game of baseball.
We need to reduce dependence on cars
Lately, there's been more media attention given to the environment and the problem of global warming. It's about time we take this threat seriously.
One of the biggest polluters of our air and water is automobile exhaust. If we continue to be an automobile-dependent society, we will only increase global warming and create more harm to our environment. That's why I'm a strong advocate of rail transit.
The city made the right decision on rail. Now let's move forward. We need rail for the good of our island home and people.
Poor taxpayers should get their money back
If lawmakers hope to ease taxes on the poor, as they claim in your March 28 article
, then why wait another year to help them out? Why not offer tax refunds this year to the poor who had to pay so much so unjustly?
For example, I calculated what a minimum-wage, single person would have to shell out in taxes in this last year. Let's say the wage was about $6 an hour, averaging about 166 hours a month, or $1,000 earned a month, $12,000 a year to simplify the arithmetic. The state allows only $25 credit on tax of a total of $406, or $381. Federal taxes amount to $358 after standard deductions and then deduct about 7.5 percent or $750 for FICA (Social Security taxes), and the total deductions amount to almost $1,500, or 15 percent of the total annual earnings at least.
The poor sop is left with only $10,500, or $875 a month. I'd like to ask Gov. Linda Lingle and any legislators if they can live on that little every month and still be able to inhabit four walls and get by.
Of course not! That poor taxpayer is doomed to live on the beach and ride a bike or bus to work. And still they have the heart to skim off nearly $400.
If legislators want to do justice to the poor, then return all the taxes they collected from anyone living below poverty level. Or do they merely serve those who add to their campaign re-election funds?