Bill would turn ag land into luxury parcels
I am amazed that our legislators will turn their backs on our farmers in favor of large corporate landowners. They really did it this time in a very underhanded and despicable way on the last day of the session, thus avoiding public scrutiny.
SB 2646 CD1 has given large landowners a legal way to eliminate public process protection and easily reclassify land for luxury home subdivision. By classifying 85 percent as "important agricultural land," they can simply reclassify 15 percent as urban (has land use conformities) or rural (does not have to follow plans), which could easily be "fake farms."
It was all a cover-up and unfair to the very people who we will want to save us by growing our food in the future. Where will they be able to plant? This legislation should be vetoed by the governor.
Gas bill gets bloated by fuel adjustment charge
I was shocked when I received my gas bill recently.
The total was $75.22 (last month's was $53.75). What shocked me is that the fuel adjustment cost I was charged ($35.10) is larger than the gas charge of $33.37! There is also a customer charge of $6.75, which I was told is an administrative cost to maintain the account.
The customer service rep told me that the Gas Company has no control over the fuel cost adjustment charge. The individual said that this was an estimated bill because the meter reader was not able to get a read for this bill and that any adjustment would be reflected in next month's bill.
It just strikes me as odd that consumers pay more for the fuel adjustment cost than for the actual amount of gas they consume.
I wonder what the Gas Company's profit margin is and if it could assume more of the fuel adjustment cost rather than pass it on to the consumers.
Lawmakers miss boat on campaign signs bill
The Star-Bulletin had an excellent editorial supporting the enactment of HB1832,
the bill designed to regulate the size of signs in residential communities, but the Legislature nonetheless declined to enact the bill, reversing course at the last minute.
Senate majority leader Gary Hooser was quoted in the Star-Bulletin as saying that the bill was "far too restrictive" and would "have impact on Huli Huli chicken (fundraising) campaigns (and) 'Go Warriors' signs."
This bill was carefully crafted to allow persons to display signs to their neighbors on their homes, while limiting the size of signs to protect against visual clutter. The rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court allow for such regulations so long as they do not discriminate based on the message being conveyed. In other words, expressions of support for the Warriors must be governed by the same rules governing expressions of support for a candidate or a constitutional amendment.
Commercial activity is generally prohibited in residential areas, so if chicken were being regularly sold from a person's house, that would raise other legal issues. Signage to support causes or noncommercial groups would be permitted by HB1832, so long as they remain within the reasonable size limits in the bill.
The Star-Bulletin's editorial said: "The measure strikes a reasonable balance between free speech rights and a call to curb the visual blight and distractions of campaign banners and should withstand legal challenges."
That is certainly true, and the last-minute recommittal of this important bill by our legislators seems to have been based either on a misunderstanding of the governing law or on a failure to appreciate the importance of protecting the unique beauty of our wonderful islands.
Jon M. Van Dyke
Legal consultant for the Outdoor Circle with regard to HB1832
Mahalo for increased help for Hawaiians
The Kamehameha Schools commitment to aid native Hawaiian children in any private school has lifted my heart ("School to widen its tuition option," Star-Bulletin, May 9
As a native Hawaiian and graduate of Punahou School, I am familiar with the struggles many families endure to get their child through school. I remember many nights spent with my parents combing for aluminum cans throughout Waimanalo. At the time, one pound yielded 36 cents. But they did it because they loved me and they wanted to give me the best possible education.
Other families may have no other choice but to send their children to public schools. This is our opportunity to get our children the education we want them to have; it gives our native Hawaiian families options other than public schools.
For those native Hawaiian families who prioritize the education of their child and opt to give their child a private school education, this is a blessing.
Kainoa K. Kaumeheiwa-Rego
Money and faulty logic corrupt U.S. politics
How can middle America embrace an idiot the likes of Rush Limbaugh? He and his "ditto heads" want Hillary Clinton to lose, so he comes up with a plan: vote for her.
The democratic system that is currently in play is all about strategy, donations, cash on hand, hit pieces and nothing resembling truth and honesty.
In the wings waiting for the vice presidential slot are millionaires Mitt Romney, John Edwards, John Kerry, Mike Bloomberg and Mike Huckabee.
Clinton had to float a personal loan to the tune of $11 million to keep her campaign going. Obama receives $40 million a month from the Internet.
How did this election, as well as all U.S. elections, become predicated on money and twisted logic?
Compared to Burma, other disasters pale
I witnessed the power of Hurricane Isabel in Elizabeth City, N.C., suffering roof damage to my house on Glade Road, but in reading your May 7 front page story about the Yangon, Myanmar (Burma) cyclone
that cut off electricity for 6.5 million residents, with 1 million people homeless and mounting numbers of dead, I feel shock, grief and concern for the Yangon, people and hope the Myanmar military there will let the United States help out with their need for food, water and shelter. I'm glad that we can help out here through the Myanmar Association of Hawaii.
CEO's stock sell-off causes unease
Hawaiian Airlines' CEO Mark Dunkerley dumps more than 233,000 shares of Hawaiian stock and then the value goes down 16 percent. Does he know something we don't?
It is the norm now to reward CEOs with hundreds of thousands of shares of stock, which is their real bread and butter, not their on-paper salary, while the rest of the industry suffers. His reps say he is just doing some "personal financial planning." Of course he is. Unfortunately, the employees don't have that same luxury.