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Letters to the Editor


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POSTED: Sunday, April 19, 2009

It's time to truly tighten our belts

Seems our government is out of control. President Obama is the only one who can stop this from going on. He could have vetoed the last stimulus bill, which contained so many of these ridiculous earmarks, but didn't.

It seems like all these politicians want to get money for their states so that they look good and get re-elected.

We are spending borrowed money, not our own. We are paying interest, and every taxpayer is paying for it. Let's stop this stupidity and truly tighten our belts.

There should be some system of penalties to stop all these earmarks, especially those that are not necessary. No more wasteful spending with money we are borrowing.

Francis K. Ibara

Kahului

 

               

     

 

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Trustee backs bill on ceded-lands deal

I strongly support Senate Bill 995, which attempts to resolve claims and disputes relating to the portion of income and proceeds from the lands of the public land trust for use by OHA between Nov. 7, 1978, and July 1, 2009.

This bill proposes to convey Mauna Kea to OHA, along with several other parcels of land. The bill would allow OHA and the state to reach a “;global settlement”; of the past and future obligations of the state to native Hawaiians.

The committee felt that the proposal made by Gov. Ben Cayetano back in March 31, 1999, is a sensible and appropriate approach toward a “;global settlement”; and that it should be re-offered to OHA.

It should be noted that a global settlement does not include natural resources, water and gathering rights or any other rights.

The Senate's “;global settlement”; offer includes monetary payment to OHA of $251 million; conveyance of public lands from the state to OHA equal to 20 percent of the 1.8 million acres of ceded lands already inventoried, and the suspension of the $15.1 million in annual payments to OHA effective a date to be agreed upon in good faith.

In my view, SB 995 provides a great opportunity for all native Hawaiians to finally have the resources to build a strong nation.

Rowena Akana

Trustee, Office Of Hawaiian Affairs

True price of ferry reveals absurd waste

We have heard recently that the round-trip fee is $4 per passenger on the city ferry service and that it costs an additional $120 per person of our taxpayer dollars, $124 round trip! Hear the oink?

We the taxpayers have already been paying this absurd amount since 2007 it seems, via our federal tax dollars. Hear the oink?

Surely more express buses could have been added to reduce the amount of heavy traffic to and from Ewa and Central Oahu.

Do we even know if the new rail transit plan might also be an expensive taxpayer bust? What will the cost be per person that we taxpayers will have to pay above the rider fee? Certainly more than $120 by 2020! Hear the oink?

It is a tragic that it takes a monumental economic disaster to cause our elected representatives on city, state and national levels to even begin to think more of being frugal with our tax dollars.

M.E. Welte

Hawaii Kai

 

Government must reassign workers

In these tough economic times, one needs to remember that jobs are created by demand and each job has a description. Jobs need to be reviewed and adjustments made.

With a slowdown in tourism and construction, the private sector has adjusted, but the government needs to realize that civil-service jobs related to these industries also need to be adjusted.

Airport workers, agricultural inspectors, construction inspectors and engineers need to be reassigned or have their hours reduced.

Workers serving the unemployed, park maintenance workers or bus drivers should be increased.

Cutting wages is wrong since the duties of each worker remains the same.

Reducing services without analysis is nonresponsive to the needs of the public.

Leonard Leong

Honolulu