Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Saturday, June 20, 2009

Don't apply GET to Internet sales

I urge Gov. Linda Lingle to veto the bill that would require Internet sellers to collect Hawaii's general excise tax. The reality is that many Internet sellers will find it easier to refuse to sell to Hawaii customers than to collect the tax.

Some Internet sellers already flatly refuse to ship to Hawaii, or they refuse to ship certain items. Many of them charge an exorbitant fee for shipping because they can't be bothered to use the U.S. Postal Service for Hawaii customers. These sellers typically use a private shipper, such as UPS, even though it's an expensive and slow way to get packages to Hawaii. I've written to some of these sellers to explain how reasonable the Postal Service rates are, how they will lose our business, etc., but nothing changes.

Some Internet sellers already collect the G.E. tax for Hawaii. If the latest attempt to tax the remaining Internet sales is enacted, most of the others will just stop selling to Hawaii, rather than collect the tax.

Karen Essene





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North Korea threat must be monitored

Numerous international news outlets carried a story that North Korea is reportedly planning to launch a missile in the general vicinity of Hawaii by as early as Independence Day as a demonstration of its technological capability.

Almost seven decades ago, my grandparents woke up one morning to smoke rising from Pearl Harbor from an attack that many “;experts”; claimed would be impossible to launch. Today, I have no desire to see myself, my family, my friends or my neighbors waking up to a radioactive mushroom cloud from a North Korean missile strike. For the sake of our children, for the sake of all our accomplishments, Hawaii needs to send a loud and clear message to Washington, D.C., that we need protection against North Korea's missiles and we need it now. On Dec. 7, 1941, we slept. I pray that today, we will all have our eyes wide open and avert a nuclear catastrophe.

Danny de Gracia II


It's time for new ideas to get us out of slump

All these people are complaining about Gov. Linda Lingle making all these cuts. Those are the very ones who strongly oppose gambling, prostitution and other vices. A lottery created only for the government-run agencies would be more than enough so that we would not be in this financial mess. Even small-scale gambling would be of help.

We have so many laws against all these vices that we have to have a huge police to enforce all of this. Our “;run-of-the-mill”; politicians all have the “;ban”; mentality which costs us more in the long run. We need new and fresh minds in our government.

Francis K. Ibara

Kahului, Maui

Still lamenting the loss of Superferry service

I have been following the Superferry story for quite some time and don't understand why it was forced to leave our islands.

An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is required by the state, not the federal government. There is no federal requirement for an EIS to be conducted for business inside any state (county to county). The Legislature passes laws and the judicial branch interprets the law. The state had passed a requirement for an EIS to be conducted at some earlier time in our government's history for commerce between the islands, and I am assuming that Young Brothers shipping had one conducted.

The state Legislature voted to modify this law for the Superferry in order for it to commence its service lawfully under laws the Legislature can and is designed to pass. The judicial branch, after lengthy delay, determined that the laws were not binding and required an EIS be conducted prior to the Superferry continuing its services. This decision put over 250 people out of work. It also curtailed the ability of many private business operators to ship their goods cheaply, and halted quick response to a state disaster similar to Maui's when the Hawaii National Guard sent heavy equipment to clear roads after flooding.

Common sense and just plain good thinking would have resulted in a decision that would have benefited the people, not a political position. I can find no other reason for this decision other than politics. We will no longer have this service available.

Larry Wilson


Rail will help ease traffic flow as H-3 did

The letter from Geoffrey Paterson about the cost of rail (Letters, Star-Bulletin, June 18) reminds me of the definition of a cynic: “;Someone who knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing.”;

True, rail comes with a multibillion-dollar price tag. But H-3 was incredibly costly as well, and it has added immeasurably to the quality of life for those of us on the Windward side. I don't see why we must be the only community on Oahu to benefit from a quicker commute to town and reduced traffic congestion.

Matthew Highbright