Letters to the Editor
Friday, October 24, 1997

Don't release inmates
despite overcrowding

I am astounded that Keith Kaneshiro, the state "public safety director," thought up the idiotic idea to let the prisoners go free (Oct. 21, "Inmates may be freed to ease crowding").

I may be young but I still have a say. My biggest worry on the streets is, "Will I be safe?" I am always a little afraid that I might be robbed, kidnapped or even killed!

Whatever happened to the idea of the tent prisons? They were so big during the elections.

I am not the smartest person in the world but I think Kaneshiro should do something so that children will be safe!

Jade C. Higa
Age 11, Kaneohe

Raising state excise tax
won't have desired effect

The governor thinks that raising the general excise tax and lowering the income tax will stimulate the economy. He thinks this will pass the tax burden onto the tourist. Wrong!

Tourists have a budget. If the GET goes up, tourists will still spend the same amount. Private industry will only get less and the state will get more. The governor thinks they will spend more to compensate for his greed. They will not.

Example: $200 at 4 percent tax. $96 (item) + $4 (tax) = $100.

6 percent tax. $94 (Item) + $6 (tax) = $100

The tourist will be cheated out of 2 percent of goods and services. If customers are unhappy, they will go elsewhere.

If private industry is forced to reduce its work force due to the loss in revenue, these individuals will still have to pay the GET increase, but with no income.

Retirees also will have a greater tax burden. Their pensions are not taxed. They will have a GET increase, but since they pay no income taxes, they cannot be compensated to adjust for the GET hike.

Governor, please don't raise the GET. This will cause severe damage to the already hurting economy. Hasn't Hawaii suffered enough?

Sherman Takao
Former Budget Chief
Department of Public Safety

Nuuanu is no place
for a wedding chapel

Attorney Rick Fried's proposal to build and to operate a commercial wedding chapel at the Walker Estate in Nuuanu has drawn heavy criticism from more than 100 area residents who've signed petitions opposing the idea.

The Star-Bulletin's coverage of the recent neighborhood board meeting documented that fact.

However, an important point has been lost in this growing controversy. In his presentation to the neighborhood board, Fried failed to answer the residents' key argument against the chapel: There is no justification for expanding commercial activity in an area that has been zoned for residential use.

We don't want more business activity abutting our homes. We simply want to preserve what's left of the residential character of our neighborhood.

That's why we oppose his commercial wedding chapel, and that's why this same controversial proposal was soundly rejected by his current neighbors in Kahala.

Muneo Hamada

USS Missouri also honors
contribution of Marines

In response to Navy Captain Donn V. Parent's "non-problem" assessment of the USS Arizona-USS Missouri, it is generally accepted that members of a particular branch of service will expound on the merits of that service. Well done, Captain.

However, general reference to the "Mo" being a memorial to the proud men and women of the Navy, and to the role of sea power, ignores the contribution of the Marines, who are among the deceased aboard the Arizona and who served aboard capital ships, including the Missouri, from day one.

Concern for the memorial should be given preference over any visual synergism that includes the "Mighty Mo," especially as a tourist attraction.

Sen. Daniel Inouye's sage advice about the Missouri emphasized that "it not become a tourist attraction...it is a memorial where you go to pay your respects."

Unpublished details surrounding the "beginning-end," i.e. "bookend" placement in Pearl Harbor, are disconcerting.

Donald Barnhart
First Sergeant
U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)

Message to thief: You
took more than money

This letter is directed to the young man at Aliamanu Intermediate School, who on Sept. 17 was seen going through my daughter's backpack after school. Not only did you take her $13, which was supposed to pay for bus fare and lunches, you took away more.

She was taught to trust, but now she feels violated. If it had not been for her friends who also saw you, she would not have been able to get on the bus to come home. She didn't think that by putting down her backpack along with the others, and standing a few feet away while waiting for her bus, that someone would rifle through the backpacks.

Thank you for not taking her I.D. card, as that was more important than the money. Coming to Hawaii from a small school where the kids were put on a trust system and things were not locked up, this was very hard on her.

She did not deserve to have this happen to her on coming to a new school.

Tammie Jones

Don't deprive 15 year olds
of the right to drive

When the news reached me that the driving age might be raised, I was shocked. Many of us freshmen in high school are about to become 15 and the wait feels like centuries.

Since we may have to wait even longer, it'll feel like eternity! We have waited to drive all of our lives and now, when we finally have the chance to drive, the age is going to be raised.

This is an outrage! Even if some of the teen-agers are irresponsible and risk-taking, that doesn't mean we all are like that! Most teens are trustworthy and can handle the responsibilities of driving.

Shannyn Lee
Mililani High School

Let illegal immigrants
stay here? Hell, no!

In his Oct. 16 column, Emil Guillermo asked the rhetorical question, "Are you ready to hug an illegal immigrant?" I suppose if I answer no, I will be branded "mean spirited." Well, I don't feel politically correct today. So I say, hell no!

Guillermo laments that, after Oct. 23, "illegals will have to return to their homelands to wait out the process abroad." Excuse me, but if you are here illegally, what is wrong with that?

Frankly, I am tired of the whining about people (aliens or otherwise) who choose to break the law. Law-abiding taxpayers are taking it in the shorts, and it's about time the immigration laws are enforced.

R.D. Greenamyer

Trustee doesn't understand
how airport fund operates

Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee Rowena Akana's Oct. 11 criticism in a View Point column of Governor Cayetano's decision to waive the airline landing fees for a two-year period clearly demonstrates her lack of knowledge of the landing fee waiver and the airport's special fund

The fund supports the facilities and operations of Hawaii's airport system and is based on airport user charges like landing fees, concession revenues and terminal rent. It is totally independent of the state general fund.

Under federal law, money from the airport fund cannot be used for non-airport purposes.

Simply put, even if there is surplus cash in the fund, it cannot be spent on public schools, the university, prisons, welfare service or other non-airport programs.

It makes good economic sense to reduce the costs of running the airport, costs that airport users -- traveling residents and visitors to Hawaii -- would ultimately have to bear. Waiving landing fees immediately cuts airline operating costs.

The governor's decision is intended to send a message that Hawaii is indeed open for business, and that the state administration is serious about improving Hawaii's business environment.

Kazu Hayashida
State Department of Transportation

Column on Palolo woman
was uplifting journalism

I would like to express my deepest respect and appreciation for Diane Chang's Oct. 20 column, "A mom shows true meaning of sacrifice."

I have not always agreed with or appreciated some of her columns but her comments on humility, service, sacrifice and unconditional love were most inspiring.

Holbrook B. DuPont

Bishop Estate Archive

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