Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Friday, May 08, 2009

Tax burden too heavy for citizens

To protect the jobs and benefits of state government workers, the Legislature has proposed an increase in the general excise tax of between a half-percent and 1 percent. This is in addition to the tax increase on income, hotel rooms, fuel, conveyance of property, motor vehicle weight, cigarettes and tobacco. Hawaii is the only state that has a GET and not a sales tax. The GET is on all levels of goods and services. If we had a sales tax, the effective rate would be 16 percent. Hawaii is the most taxed state in the union.

When are people going to say enough is enough? When are the legislators going to realize the people are fed up with taxes and are rebelling? Didn't the legislators realize the recent tea parties were a result of their spending and taxing? State workers' pay and benefits are 70 percent of the budget. When are the state workers unions going to give up some of their raises and benefits just like the rest of us had to? It is time to call, write, e-mail or fax our state legislators and say that taxes are killing us. Cut the budget.

JoAnne Georgi

Eleele, Kauai




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Innovative DLNR legislation wouldn't have hurt schools

I am very disheartened that legislation that would have upgraded our seriously deteriorating small boat harbors and state parks has been killed — and with no explanation.

In his attempt to explain, Rep. Marcus Oshiro said, “;For every dollar in bonds you spent on fixing up a park, that same amount of money would be taken from a classroom or a school.”;

But that's simply not true. It was never about taking dollars from schools to fund park improvements. The Department of Natural Resources' Recreational Renaissance plan had innovative and entrepreneurial funding sources which would not divert money from public schools. What was so ingenious about the plan was that it set up an independent user fee structure to help fund $240 million in capital improvements — which meant DLNR would have been able to move forward with upgrades without having to compete with the demands of other departments like the Department of Education. People should be outraged that good, innovative legislation was killed for no reason, and that legislators are now trying to camouflage their own failure by saying things like, “;We had no choice — our schools were at risk.”;

When are we going to start calling them on their deceit?

Gae Berquist Trommald


Pigs' fatal voyage to islands continues despite outcry

Live pigs shipped from the U.S. mainland are still walking off or being hauled off long-distance containers to be slaughtered and sold as fresh pork on Oahu and other islands here. Until public outcry a year ago, this same meat was deceptively labeled “;Island Produced,”; “;Island Pork,”; “;Made in Hawaii.”;

The Star-Bulletin carried several full-page public service announcements for animal protection organizations a year ago, one on March 10, 2008. This announcement asked Hawaii to stop this cruel and unnecessary practice for good, and urged retailers and suppliers to consider purchasing chilled or frozen pork, which would include whole carcasses. It has not stopped.

As consumers, we can speak or write to the store manager or owner of our favorite supermarkets asking they not carry this product. It is up to the mercy of Hawaii stores and consumers to stop this unnecessary suffering as there are no regulations to prevent them from being shipped. There is certainly no aloha in any part of this practice.

Barbara Jessee

Ewa Beach

Folks should thank military, not complain about noise

In reference to the military aircraft in training or surveillance flights over the island (Star-Bulletin letters, May 4 and 6), I disagree with both of these people who wrote the letters. I, too, have lived above Kahala where the Coast Guard helicopters fly, and now live in Haleiwa where the Army helicopters fly in training. It is a comfort to hear their NOISE since they are training in various terrain.

Shame on you, who has the pleasure of living on the ocean, to complain about the military flying over your area. These are the people who protect you ungrateful citizens. I guess you don't hear the loud car radios, the cars with oversized tires and illegal mufflers driving past your house all day and into the middle of the night. Or, what about the barking dogs from the property next door? Have you called the police on them?

You say you support the military, but if you really did you wouldn't be complaining about their training.

Sharon Atwood Sollenberger


Hawaii running out of time to invest in clean energy

For more than a generation we have been waiting for the utility companies and government in Hawaii to do the right thing for our future and make a reasonable investment in clean and renewable energy.

Instead, they did the easy thing: more of the same. Hawaii is now more dependent on oil and coal for our energy than we were 25 years ago.

We are running out of time — the effects of global warming are obvious. The world is running out of oil — we will all pay more for gas and electricity as more people try to secure this diminishing resource. And I am running out of patience with lawmakers who refuse to take sure and dramatic action to end our state's oil addiction.

Hawaii has plentiful natural and renewable energy in sun, wind, wave, geothermal and quick-growing plants. We don't need oil. We don't need excuses. We need to ban oil and coal from our energy future.

Lorenz Sell

President, Blue Lava Technologies