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POSTED: Thursday, April 30, 2009

Golf school plan a 'head fake'

Interesting article on the Ka Iwi Golf Academy Development (”;New owners propose a golf academy for a Hawaii Kai parcel,”; Tuesday Star-Bulletin). This proposal could just as well be a “;head fake”; to establish intent and more importantly, value. I don't think this is a viable business model and would be hard-pressed to reflect a positive return on investment or cash flow especially considering the development costs.

If they used artificial turf instead of grass to cut the water use potential, one would still be out in the sun, rocks and wind. Why would someone want to go to this kind of development when there are so many beautiful golf courses around that teach golf? I think that they might have better success proposing an observatory.

 

Greg Schmidt

Hawaii Kai

 

               

     

 

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Increases in room tax will drive visitors away

Increasing taxes on tourists is a bad move at the worst of times. Nearly 65 percent of visitors to Hawaii are repeaters, and many of them have been to the islands half a dozen times or more, so they know what's going on.

How can they not think that we are socking it to them to make up for our inability to run our own government in an efficient and economical way?

Let's look at it from a tourist's point of view. A hotel room in Waikiki that costs $100 a night, if you can find one, already gets hit with $4.17 in general excise tax and $7.25 in transient accommodations tax.

So now we're talking $111.42. That's before they spend any other money on meals or transportation or visitor attractions or shopping, and every time they do that, they pay general excise and other taxes.

The room tax, though, is the one that they know is directly aimed at them and some of our legislators have made that plain in their widely reported remarks.

So, in July the room tax is set to go up by another dollar and our $100 hotel room will cost $112.42. In July 2010, we get to soak them another dollar and the room is now $113.42. Shouldn't we realize that tourists know that we're singling them out to cover our deficits?

It's easy to say it's only a couple of dollars but it is also easy to see that tourists these days care about those couple of dollars. And they also know they could spend a week in another tropical destination, such as Acapulco, for maybe 10 or 12 percent less.

 

Russ Lynch

Kailua

 

Waterboarding needed to get vital information

Now that President Obama has let our enemies know what we will do (or won't do) when we capture them, I wonder what we will do when we capture more terrorists.

There's been a lot made of waterboarding as a horribly cruel torture that's way beyond what America should use while questioning terrorists.

I am sure that waterboarding is harsh. It uses everything we've learned about the fear of drowning. I would certainly rather we never had to use it.

The world would be a nicer place if Islamists weren't trying to kill us. Or, at the very least, if captured Islamists would tell us everything they know right off the bat.

But the world isn't like that and we need to employ techniques and people willing to do rough things.

I'm waiting for Obama, congressional Democrats, the ACLU and the Red Cross to step up to the plate and tell us why this procedure needs to be completely outlawed and why it is equal to such things as the breaking of bones and the pulling out of fingernails.

I don't believe waterboarding is torture but it is a very effective means of getting vital information from people who are trying to murder us.

Perhaps the current administration should be using feathers to tickle the feet of a captured terrorist to get information, or is that torture, too?

 

Eric R. Daido

Mililani

 

Give homeless respect, not more harassment

First, how can waking up the homeless in the middle of the night be “;pono?”; What harm do sleeping homeless people pose? Why are we criminalizing and demonizing folks that do not have a home to live in?

How can our state and city expect folks with total incomes amounting to less than the cost of rent to have safe, clean, dry places to sleep, much less money to eat?

Those who complain the most have no idea what it is like to be without a home. One really needs to walk many miles in “;homeless shoes”; and live a life “;without.”; The homeless are not “;bad”; people, these are folks that need help to get back on their feet.

And above all, they need affordable decent housing. And don't think you can just go to one of the homeless shelters and check right in. They are entirely full most the time!

Let's show our aloha and treat people without homes just as you would like to be treated. Reach out with compassion and respect, treat them to a meal, give them some money, listen to their stories—you may come away with a whole new outlook.

 

David Cannell

Waipahu