Letter to the editor


POSTED: Sunday, March 29, 2009

Don't raise taxes — cut spending

Our lawmakers still don't get it.

Raising the general excise tax hurts consumers more than businesses. For the most part, businesses simply pass this cost on to consumers.

Raising income taxes on those earning more than $125,000 a year will encourage small-business owners to cut spending and seek tax shelters.

Tax increases are seldom reversed. Raising hotel-related taxes will drive away more tourists, negating any increase in revenue.

Instead, our esteemed lawmakers should do what they have avoided doing all these years: Cut wasteful and unnecessary government spending.

Pradeepta Chowdhury


Don't take park space from early risers

I am fortunate to have been able to visit Hawaii six times over the past 10 years, always staying in Honolulu. How wonderful to be greeted by rainbows and watch the surfers early in the morning, sitting in a pavilion or wandering along the beach or walks, under the gaze of Prince Kuhio and Duke Kahanamoku.

It was a privilege to share the seats and grounds along Kalakaua Avenue with citizens living from bags, who were not as fortunate as I was to rely on bags just for travel or shopping. Sometimes we had amazing conversations; sometimes we just rested, each in our way, in the breeze and drifting sounds.

If the pavilions are closed until 9 a.m. and the ground-resters removed, what a loss — not just to these residents of the islands, who shared with me their space, but to other short-term visitors as well. I know there is trouble in paradise, like everywhere else; people need decent homes and safe surroundings. I know there are service agencies and government offices working with the land and home issues.

I hope that when I come again the pavilions will be open for early risers, and if there are no sleepers, it is because they are safe on their land and not just regulated out of sight. May Prince Kuhio's statue smile with what he sees.

Virginia Parkum

Harrisburg, Pa.

Public outcry halted debate on civil unions

This letter is in response to Ken Sentner's letter (Star-Bulletin, March 26) complaining that House Bill 444, the civil unions bill, was denied debate on the Senate floor. Maybe the reason it was denied is because of a loud enough outcry from the public that we don't want it debated again. It was overruled 10 years ago and, obviously, the majority of the public still remains opposed to it. Why is that so hard to accept?

The people of Hawaii value traditional marriage and the families that result from the union between a man and a woman. Any other deviation is an insult to God. Calling those who value traditional marriage “;bigots”; reveals his level of intolerance for those with opposing viewpoints. Hypocritical?

Jeff and Janet Eisenbach

Hanalei, Kauai

Democrats by title only defeated civil unions

Hawaii has officially become a red state. The government has moved so far to the right that a coalition of Christian conservatives dominates the once-progressive Democratic Party. The defeat of the civil union bill is a clear indication that constitutional rights will be bulldozed when they conflict with biblical authority.

A state that promotes aloha, ethnic diversity and racial tolerance sends a clear message to gays: Stay away, even if you are affluent, educated and law-abiding.

With this political shift, the current generation of lawmakers chooses to ignore the painful struggles and sacrifices made by earlier generations for basic rights. The New Democrats seem not to care that in former times voting was limited to property-owning male citizens, and Asians could not become citizens; interracial marriage was illegal; English-only schools barred most working-class children from a decent education; internment camps obliterated constitutional protections; and striking workers were shot to death by police.

Otherwise, these New Democrats could not continually deny rights to a minority who happen to be born with an unpopular genetic makeup.

Paul Lerman


Is your traditional marriage that shaky?

After reading some folks' comments about the civil union bill destroying their marriages, it occurs to me they might want to turn their attention toward what makes their marriages so frail in the first place. Hatred makes a lousy bond.

I'll be praying for them, but in truth, I don't hold out much hope.

Jim Slagel


Hannemann makes right moves on budget

Mayor Mufi Hannemann is responding well to our difficult economic times. Holding down city expenses and personally taking a pay cut shows us he means it when he says, “;We must tighten our belts to face these economic times.”;

Nobody likes to see tax and fee increases, but the increases do not seem unreasonable. I think the mayor's plan to balance the city budget is responsible and wise.

JoAnn Morimoto


State, city should move toward teleworking

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka has again introduced a bill that would expand teleworking for federal employees. The state and city also should have such a program that can save money, help the environment and cut traffic problems.

Why don't the city and state accept the existence of Internet and the transformation of business IT services? Why is Hawaii so backward and out of touch?

John Bond





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