Let's pool our refunds to get better leaders
Are you kidding? A $1 state tax credit (Star-Bulletin, April 15
). Citizens should band together, select a candidate that would never endorse such meaningless, spiteful and utterly ludicrous tax measures, and donate a dollar to that candidate. That's $1.3 million! Maybe that's the real way to get meaningful tax relief. Maybe it's not the law but the lawmakers that need to be changed.
Lawyers' self-serving bill should be defeated
Congratulations to the Star-Bulletin on its April 11 editorial
in support of paralegals and others who are not licensed attorneys being able to continue to fill out legal forms for consumers who request assistance.
The headline of your editorial stated, "Restricting paralegals is harmful, unnecessary." In addition, it is self-serving and promises to be self-enriching for attorneys, who have a built-in conflict of interest on this issue.
A law degree and license to practice law are not necessary to fill in the blanks on a purchase contract to buy a home. Just ask any of the thousands of licensed real estate agents in Hawaii and the thousands of people who have bought and/or sold homes throughout Hawaii over the past few decades. Does anyone in Hawaii really want to pay even more fees to be able to purchase a home in paradise?
I have had licensed real estate agents fill out purchase contracts on my behalf. In addition, as a layperson, I have completed the standard 12-page Hawaii Association of Realtors purchase contract several times when making offers to purchase property. It usually takes me about three hours to do the job thoroughly and check my work for accuracy.
I recently read that some attorneys in the United States bill their clients as much as $1,000 an hour. If forced to hire an attorney to complete certain documents, the average lay person in Hawaii could be denied his civil rights and/or be forced to declare bankruptcy and/or lose his home if he could no afford to hire an attorney.
A law degree is not necessary for a person to fill out a form to purchase a piece of property, to file for a divorce or to review an insurance policy. A private citizen should have the right to hire a business person to assist him in filling out certain forms and preparing certain basic paperwork in exchange for reasonable financial compensation.
The Hawaii State Bar Association's proposed addition to the rules of the Hawaii Supreme to prevent paralegals and other nonattorneys from assisting consumers should be defeated to insure that our legal system remains accessible to all.
Don't let the sun shine on Kakaako's future
We at "Keep the City-City" wholly endorse the new 20-year plan for Kakaako's new skyline ("Ward master plan revealed," Star-Bulletin, April 17
). There have always been too many breezes and too much sunshine in the area. The cancer-causing sun and gentle (yeah, right) offshore breezes not only have encouraged better-shaped waves for those pesky surfer types, but have always encouraged the growth of plants in our otherwise "tidy" future city.
We all know the damage that plants, especially trees have done to our state. Trees not only litter the sidewalks, along with those other plant parts called flowers (which attract bees by the way), but cause numerous deaths. I cannot personally count how many times a tree has entered the "road space" where I happened to be driving home from the bar at night. Not to mention the weak food that trees provide.
The new skyline will provide much-needed shelter for our valuable citizens. And when the population doubles we will need the space to house this all important food source of the future. Go Kakaako!
Pope could have seen Bush's work in Iraq
I think I heard it right: President Bush lectured the visiting Pope Benedict XVI on "what God wants."
Instead of all the choreographed fan fair, why didn't Bush take His Holiness to Iraq and tour Baghdad and the surrounding cities outside the "Green Zone" for a look at the real world in real time?
The pontiff could have witnessed firsthand what $1.5 trillion, 4,000 dead Americans and countless dead Iraqis by this president's "godly vision" can accomplish in seven short years.
Effort to sell rail drowns out public opinion
Thanks for exposing how a few City Council members spent our money riding different transit systems ("Transit trips add up," Star-Bulletin, April 13
). Trouble is, their expenses are small change when compared with the millions that are being spent by the mayor to sell his preferred choice of steel wheels on steel rails.
For example, start your next expose with an accounting of the thousands in hourly fees paid to dozens of "experts" who show up at Council hearings with the intent of consuming hours of precious testimony time. Their city paid presence keeps the public taxpayer, who offers self--financed commentary, from expressing their views and sharing free expertise and commentary. Further, when Councilman Gary Okino asks these paid experts numerous self-serving questions; the public must run back and forth to feed parking meters just in case they are called for their one minute chance to testify.
The biggest swindle in this transit effort is that we taxpayers will pay for unsightly overhead rail stations impacting private neighborhoods that will be torn apart by noise, rail tracks and property seizures. The swindle part is that all of this yields no reduction in traffic congestion for most Oahu residents. Auwe!
Paul E. Smith
Let's out those who don't register for draft
Star-Bulletin writer Gregg K. Kakesako recently quoted a government spokesman as saying Hawaii ranks 36th in the nation with a mere 60 percent of 18-year-old men registering for Selective Service ("Failure to sign," April 13
Knowledge that those who did register constitute 60 percent of those who should have suggests Selective Service can identify those who have not complied with the law. Although there has not been a prosecution in the past 19 years, that is no excuse to give gutless, free-loading felons a pass.
We are at war. Brave young men and women are putting everything they have on the line to defend us. The least we can do here at home is learn the names of these would-be draft dodgers. Forty percent of those eligible take all the opportunity this country so abundantly heaps upon them, then refuse to do their duty? Their hypocrisy is a rank obscenity. The dishonor they reflect upon Hawaii warrants public rebuke: Publish their names for all to see!