Letters to the editor


POSTED: Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Truck beds risky place to ride

Every day, the Department of Transportation has a TV warning about “;Click It or Ticket”; showing policemen saying, “;We're saving lives, so buckle up.”;

True, seat belts do save lives, but this safety law is pretty upside down. What justifies this when our so-caring lawmakers have allowed people to ride in the back of pickup trucks unbelted? Sure, pickup trucks don't come with seat belts in the bed. Why? That's because these trucks were made to carry cargo, not humans.

In 2006 while the Legislature was in session, four women riding in a truck to work in Kunia were thrown onto the highway and died from the accident. Has anything happened to stop this insanity since then? Of course not. If our caring lawmakers don't care about our schoolchildren riding buses without seat belts, why would they care about any future fatalities?

This serious issue was not even heard this year during the session. These lawmakers did care for their whopping pay raises. I bet they would not allow their mothers, daughters or loved ones to ride in pickup beds. If they did, they would not be caring for their safety.

Eugene Cordero

Pearl City

Gambling is needed to help out Hawaii

Our state, economically and socially, is in dire straits. We seem to have no new answers to our problems except to raise fees and taxes, and cut services. When the economic vitality of Hawaii weakens, the social safety nets that are available begin to unweave. Statistics that we're all too familiar with show our unemployment and under-employment rates at their highest levels in many decades.

Because we're in uncharted waters, we need bold moves that might not have been considered years ago. Gambling is an unpleasant and to some, an ugly term; so is smoking and alcohol abuse. The difference is that smoking and the use of alcohol are legal for consenting adults. The reality is that 48 out of 50 states allow gambling. Las Vegas, to no one's surprise, is the No. 1 destination for our residents, even our self-righteous ones. Hawaii needs to legalize gambling.

Gambling will bring needed well-paying construction and service jobs and taxes to this state. Taxes that can fix our roads, clean our environment, reinforce our social safety nets and support our public school system.

The children should not pay for the ineffective politicians whom we put in office. The time is now, not in the future, to solve our problems.

Chuck Cohen


Pricey rail will take toll on taxpayers

Mayor Mufi Hannemann's campaign pledge was to look at each project within the framework of “;Do we need it? Can we afford it? Can we afford to maintain it?”; When it comes to rail, the mayor is really stretching his pledge.

» “;Do we need it?”; The mayor says the project will generate 11,000 jobs. He also claimed that leeward traffic would be reduced. During this recession, will the 11,000 workers accept a lower wage to reduce the cost? Will traffic be reduced, or just “;not as bad as it would be without the rail?”;

» “;Can we afford it?”; The mayor kept stating it would cost $3.4 billion with overruns before the “;steel on steel”; vote. Now he concedes the cost will be more like $6 billion.

» “;Can we afford to maintain it?”; If we had roads that were well maintained and without potholes, I wouldn't be complaining. According to transportation experts, the maintenance of a train system is four times that of a bus system. They also said the city has not even tried “;the low-hanging fruits”; options, which are low-cost alternative solutions, before advocating the rail.

How much more will your property and vehicle taxes have to go up to subsidize the rail system?

Lawson Teshima

Pearl City

Her 1-cent tax bill ends up being costly

Wonder where your tax dollars are going? A couple months ago I received a letter from the state Tax Department adjusting my excise taxes. The total due was $13.37; total paid was $13.36. I owed 1 cent.

It cost the state 42 or 44 cents to mail this letter, plus some state employee was paid to write the letter and research my excise tax records. The letter also states: “;If there is a balance due, a billing notice with applicable penalties and interest will be mailed to you shortly.”; I've been waiting.

I really hope someone is not busy trying to compute penalties and interest on one penny. Hawaii may have more state employees per capita than any other state. Some are doing jobs that don't need doing.

Betsy McCreary





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