Letters to the Editor
Wednesday, January 22, 1997

Tax freeze by any other name
is a tax increase

No matter what the mayor says, a property tax freeze is a tax hike and worse. He is merely substituting an unfair scheme for a routine and honest schedule. Under the freeze contrivance, the many who lost property value last year are further burdened by paying more tax than usually prescribed. The few whose property increased in value will benefit doubly by having to pay less tax than usual.

All this smoke screen and deceit just because the mayor made a rash promise he could not keep. "A ruse by any other name would smell as stink!" The mayor would do better to save his integrity instead of his face.

Richard Y. Will

Letter to editor tipped scales
in customers’ favor

Earlier this month, this newspaper printed my tongue-in-cheek letter to the editor which criticized the new visual-audio weight scale in the lobby of the newly built First Hawaiian Bank downtown. I lamented that the scale was registering a full pound higher than the scale across the street at the Bank of Hawaii.

Also, I "groused" about my weight being flashed on a TV-type screen following a visual "welcome" by the president of the bank. I suggested a pretty girl with a pleasant smile would be more appropriate.

This past week, I revisited the downtown First Hawaiian Bank, stepped on the scale in the lobby and to my surprise, the president of the bank had disappeared from the screen and my registered weight on the screen was now only a half-pound over that of Bank of Hawaii's scale. I couldn't believe my eyes! Apparently, someone in the bank had read my letter and took some immediate earth-shaking action!

This proves the awesome power of a satirical letter to the editor. Happy New Year!

Robert M. Lowe

‘Whole language’ concept
ignores tools of learning

I am a product of the 1950s. I was not taught phonetics (rules on how words sound). I did not sound out words. I memorized them. I was reading before I entered the second grade.

I don't think "whole language" was what they called this type of teaching, but I knew phonetics was old-fashioned.

Just as important, I was not taught the rules of math. In the 1950s, we memorized the process, not the rules. I learned how arithmetic rules (associative, commutative and distributive rules) were used, in calculus.

I believe the concept of "whole language" is inane. Think about it. Would an engineer be able to build a bridge by studying the bridges of Madison County?

Education gives our youth the tools for life. If they don't know the rules, they don't have the tools.

David Fanning

Lawmakers keep fiddling around
with gay marriage

Due to relentless pressure from fanatic anti-gay organizations, our state Legislature is now going to spend more tax dollars toying with the idea of a same-sex marriage "compromise."

Can't they leave this civil-rights matter to the courts and instead deal with issues that affect us all, such as crime?

This "compromise" creates a domestic partnership to provide "some" marriage rights for same-gender couples. This is not going to solve the problem!

Domestic partnerships are not equality; they are institutionalized second-class citizenship. This "compromise" is equivalent to telling gays and lesbians that they can board the bus, but only if they sit in the back!

Our lawmakers are wasting their time and our tax dollars because this issue will not go away until gays and lesbians are granted full-fledged marriage rights.

Ray Quinn

Matsunaga has served
the community well in past

Grandy Perry's Dec. 17 letter, which criticized the appointment of Sen. Matt Matsunaga as co-chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was based solely upon his perception of Matsunaga's position on the same-sex marriage issue.

It is unfair to judge any legislator solely on his or her position on an issue as complex and controversial as same-sex marriage.

I have watched Hawaii's Legislature and participated in the legislative process as part of several community-based groups concerned with the women's community, violence prevention, domestic violence, sex assault and other crime-related issues, Hawaii's elderly, equal rights, juvenile crime and workers' compensation.

The co-chairmen of the Senate Judiciary Committee must be able to understand and deal effectively with all of these issues and more.

Based on his record as a senator, and former vice chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Matsunaga has demonstrated his ability to meet the many challenges facing the committee. He has also demonstrated his commitment to our community.

Further, I value his willingness to do what he thinks is right rather than to do what is politically expedient or what may be easiest.

Naomi C. Fujimoto

Same-sex archive

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