Others take recycling much more seriously
I just returned from visiting in Seattle. The people I encountered take recycling seriously. They diligently sort all items and place them in the proper container for curbside pickup. At parks I observed three separate containers marked for specific recycling items. I observed no trash or abandoned autos along roadsides.
Obviously the people of Washington state take pride in their environment. Why don't the people of Hawaii?
Congress should reject higher tobacco tax
Members of Congress are at it again -- they want to raise taxes. The current bill in the U.S. Senate proposes a 61-cent increase to the tobacco tax. Not only is this a bad idea from an economic standpoint, but it hurts Hawaii by potentially costing the state approximately $9 million a year in reductions to the master settlement agreement.
I urge our congressional delegation to vote "No" on this new federal cigarette excise tax.
Existing natural food stores are enough
As a longtime employee of a natural foods store in Honolulu, it's hard to take the media's genuflecting to Whole Foods
. I have been with Umeke Market since they opened four years ago. Most, if not all, of our publicity the owners had to pay for. We are one of eight or nine local natural food retailers, including one with three stores, that provide customers produce from local growers. Whole Foods is not doing anything the local NF stores aren't already doing, when it comes to local produce. That's not even taking into account the Farmer's Market at Kapiolani Community College.
It's already hard enough to get our elected officials to make it easier for small local businesses to thrive. Stop stroking Whole Foods, and visit one of the many local NF stores that take pride in serving their communities.
Case should flip the GOP switch
A July 20 Star-Bulletin editorial informs us that "Dems should welcome future Case Senate bid."
You maintain that Democrats should consider Ed Case a worthy party candidate in 2012 for a U.S. Senate seat. Why? After all, as a congressman, Case voted for a host of G.W. Bush's favorite bills, including: to support the Iraq war, to limit bankruptcy protection for individuals, to use the Patriot Act to intrude into the private affairs of Americans and to provide tax giveaways to the richest Americans (while our national deficit balloons).
Indeed, Case's public record shows that far from being the "independent" Democrat he claims to be, his politics are those of a Republican favoring the wealthy and big business. It would be more honest for him to run as a Republican.
Noel J. Kent
Parking fees aren't low considering salaries
Regarding this quote from Thursday's editorial:
"State employees on Oahu pay monthly parking fees ranging from $30 to $60."
Before you say we should be paying more for our parking, you might want to find out how the salaries of state workers compare to the other downtown folks'. That might be worth an editorial in itself.
And while you're at it, do a survey to find out how many hours, on average, people at the Capitol work each week, particularly during session (and then what their per-hour pay actually works out to be). And another opportunity -- those who work as session hires, who work 12-15 hours a day (or more!), and who lose their jobs when spring comes around.
Retired judge isn't thinking of commuters
Retired judge Joe Gedan ("According to Joe," July 27
) makes light of a serious issue that affects all of us on Oahu -- our growing traffic congestion. With nearly 60,000 new homes planned for the island in the next 20 years, there will be many more cars on the road. No matter what we do, short of passing laws limiting one car per family, and perhaps even one child per family, we are in for more traffic congestion. But I'm sure Gedan realizes such draconian measures would be unpopular and unconstitutional.
Retirees don't have to commute to work daily like the rest of us, and can plan trips away from peak hours. But the majority of island commuters will be well served with a rail option that will run on time, unaffected by bad weather, stalled cars and traffic accidents.
Mayor Mufi Hannemann is doing something about future traffic congestion by providing an option to roadway gridlock. Apparently, others prefer to pass their time writing poetry.