It should be cheaper, easier to go solar
Solar hot water heating is only the beginning ("Our opinion
," Star-Bulletin, April 6). All new houses should be required and everyone else encouraged by tax incentives and utility rebates to have full solar power.
We are off the grid and have electric bills of zero. Even in east Hawaii, the back-up generator goes on once a week or less. It is heart-breaking to visit Kona or Honolulu and see no solar panels. They will pay for themselves in a fairly short time at Hawaii's electric rates. HELCO just raised rates $76 a month for the average home. It is crazy NOT to use solar.
HELCO and the government should see to it that everyone who wants to can afford solar.
Mark A. Koppel
Visiting Hawaii turns into expensive risk
After being affected by the ATA shutdown I saw the article about other airlines giving all these special rates to ATA customers. I don't think so. After being on the phone and Web, two trips to the Kahului airport, basically spending two days rebooking, rearranging and extending the stay here for three days, I've determined there wasn't much for special rates. It's costing my family of six another $6,000 of which $4,200 is for plane flights with Hawaiian one way from Kahului to Honolulu then to Portland, Ore.
Yes, the airlines were accommodating but I feel like someone got into my bank account and took 6K. We had flights with American held, they knew who we were, mid $700s per ticket, one way. You could go standby with US Air and maybe get out in two weeks, we were told. United had nothing until mid-April. There were no deals, just take it in the shorts and move on.
Will we be back next year or anytime soon? Heck no! I love this place but there is no way I will put myself and family in that kind of a situation again. One thing I will say, the kids are not complaining.
As you know, this isn't helping the economy here. I bet there's lots of folks like us who feel it's not worth it anymore. What a bummer!
Murder and mayhem are infecting Hawaii
Picture this 20 years ago: sunny skies, warm weather, friendly islanders waving to each other as they pass to and fro. Tourists laughing with excitement as they enjoy their vacations in the "Land of Aloha," even the local newspaper headlines read "Another beautiful day in paradise enjoyed by all," accompanied by pictures.
Fast forward to today: ice usage at an all-time high, teen gangs disrupt high school learning environment, Tourist numbers visiting Hawaii are dwindling, and last but not least "Murder suspect apprehended in execution-style grisly murder discovered in Hawaii."
Where is this beautiful, unique state going? Why are the problems that plague the mainland big cities finding their way to Hawaii? What will it take before our beautiful island paradise becomes a Pacific Ocean day/nightmare?
Let our politicians know we are fed up, we are deeply concerned, we want results from campaign promises, we want justification of their salaries and positions. And we want it now!
Honolulu and Iraq
U.S. has no room to criticize China
For the ones who worry about the Chinese abusing the human rights of the Tibetans, well I have bad news for you just thinking if the Hawaiians, the Mexicans or the American Indians started claiming their land back.
What would our president George W. do while facing a situation like this? He would call the troops. You would see the Stryker brigade rolling down King Street, the National Guard shooting and the Chinese newspapers would have us in their front pages. The present crisis in China is sad and six months before the Olympics it doesn't look good on a Chinese resume, but I bet you we would not do better.
Hawaii can't afford to raise politicians' pay
My family's prayers are with the 2,000 Aloha Airlines employees
and Molokai Ranch employees
. The question is: Will my family be next?
The governor and mayor are not to worry. According to the March 29 Star-Bulletin, "(Gov. Linda) Lingle, who makes $116,524.80 a year, received a 2 percent raise of $2,285 raise this year. (Mayor Mufi) Hannemann's raise would be $7,686, to $135,786 from $128,100."
In the past, we called these public servants. It is our tax dollar paying to keep these people in office.
Currently, the city is hurting for money to repair aging sewers, potholes and graffiti. Oh yeah, the mayor did not raise taxes; he just decreased the property tax exemption for the elderly with fixed incomes. In the mean time, the governor's supplemental budget cuts funds to run programs as more people lose their jobs in Hawaii. The reason for the cuts in services is the poor revenue projections.
The problem is only going to get worse because as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, there will be no one to pay taxes to support these three-digit salaries of the mayor and the governor. By the way, did you notice that politicians who are not re-elected to the House and Senate are voted onto the City Council? Are we the only ones in the nation to vote former state legislators into running our city government?