Don't let Council impose 'B&B tax'
The Honolulu City Council is considering a new huge property tax increase for all homeowners and renters introduced by Barbara Marshall and Donovan Dela Cruz. Because a bill for a tax increase usually loses votes, they are doing it with a bill to legalize bed & breakfasts.
They know that, currently, legal B&B houses sell for $200,000 to $300,000 more than similar homes in the same neighborhood. But when one of these homes sells, it becomes a "comparable" that the city appraisers can then use to set the value of neighboring properties. It matters not to them that the house sold had a B&B permit. What this would mean at our current tax rate is that all the neighbors taxes would increase $658 to $987 per year.
It is conceivable that Council members who want to get re-elected might want to use this ruse as a way to sneak in a new huge tax increase on what they might think are unsuspecting residents. They could do this by passing either Bill No. 6 or Bill No. 7 at a committee meeting on Thursday, March 27. Don't let that happen.
Charles A. Prentiss
Farewell to a great, visionary thinker
I was deeply shocked when I learned that Arthur C. Clarke, world-renowned author of "2001: A Space Odyssey" and the inspiration behind the telecommunications satellite, passed away yesterday at age 90 in Sri Lanka, having had no children. As a forward thinker and a man of great intelligence, Clarke was a great gift to our world and he helped inspire many generations to turn science fiction into science fact.
My thoughts and prayers are with the friends and relatives of Clarke, and I can only hope that one day, another person of his caliber will arise to spur mankind to look not to what it is, but to what it can be if it harnesses its energies and talents in peace.
Daniel de Gracia II
Get Robin Hood out of government
I agree entirely with Janae Rasmussen's letter of March 9
decrying the socialistic trends of our government and our left-leaning educators. She is absolutely correct: our government, for too long, has operated as if it can take what it wants from those who work for their money and disperse it to whomever it chooses for whatever it wants. I too am concerned about the attitude of our potential presidential candidates; they think they know better than we what we need and want. Apparently, we are children and they are adults who will assure that we do "what is right." When charity is needed, I would prefer to make my own decisions.
As exemplified by Todd Shelly (Letters, March 17), not only is socialism alive and thriving in Hawaii, the right to criticize the actions of the government are threatened by the Left, not on the basis of logical debate, but by personally attacking the writer. Family and the needy are just excuses to tug our heart strings and assure we dance their dance. The government's Robin Hood approach is not the only way to help those who really need our help.
Some children are wiser than some adults. Janae, you are not alone in your belief that we have a right to disperse our earnings as individuals and we have the right to express our own thoughts freely.
Chaminade welcomed visiting musicians
A grand thank you to Tim Carney of Chaminade University. Carney invited my brother and me to perform and teach music on March 6 and 7 at Chaminade. I am a violinist with the Kansas City Symphony; my brother is a distinguished professor of piano at Northern Illinois University.
We were treated so graciously and enjoyed performing and sharing our music for his great composers class. The faculty and students were most appreciative and treated us like family.
Hawaii is a gentle and kind state -- we wish you all a blessed Easter and say mahalo nui loa.
Violinist, Kansas City Symphony
Kansas City, Mo.
Meyer off base on global warming
Rep. Colleen Meyer (Capitol Matters, March 16
) stated that "we have heard theories about global warming" but there is "no scientific proof." This refusal to accept reality will do nothing for Meyer's constituents (District 47, Laie to Haiku). Global warming effects have already caused sea levels to rise, and recent ice-melting rates have accelerated beyond scientists' predictions, indicating that the projected sea level rise estimates have been too low. With our current path, much of Kamehameha Highway, the lifeline of our community, will be under water in our lifetime. Before that, rising waters will severely erode our shoreline and cause increasingly destructive flooding.
Fortunately, if businesses, government, nonprofits and communities work together, we can plan for the future and find solutions. To reduce our contributions to global warming, we need to reduce our fossil fuel use and dependence and boost the local economy. That's one reason I'm endorsing Jessica Wooley, who will run for state representative for District 47. We need fresh, new leaders who are willing and able to work on solutions to problems, not deny their existence.
Robert D. Harris