Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Monday, November 02, 2009

City Council pulls 'fast one' on bill

On Wednesday the City Council pulled a fast one at the urging of city Managing Director Kirk Caldwell. Seven hours after Council members unanimously agreed to recommit Bill 51 to committee and let it die, they passed it. This was after Chairman Todd Apo met with the mayor during the hearing to discuss the bill, which would create a separate real property class for homeowners who occupy their homes.

Whether you support or oppose this bill, this method of passing legislation should not be allowed. If bills can be pulled back into session and voted on again after lobbying by the mayor and managing director, what good is the process of committee hearings and Council meetings?

It is important for people to understand that there is no guarantee rates for homeowners will go down just because this bill was passed. In fact, they are likely to go up for everyone simply because assessed values have fallen and the budget deficit is expected to be at least $140 million for next fiscal year.

The managing director is running for mayor. The mayor is running for governor. Bill 51 sounds like it will help homeowners save taxes. Homeowners vote. These are the reasons this bill was so important to the mayor and managing director that it had to be pulled out of the dust.

Natalie Iwasa






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Sen. Sakamoto dropping the ball

Sen. Norman Sakamoto reveals the leadership vacuum at the Legislature in his commentary (”;Furlough opponents must consider all budget options,”; Star-Bulletin, Oct. 29).

Although he professes “;an unwavering commitment to education”; and “;unequivocal”; support for funding teacher salaries, he is unwilling to offer a proposal to fund the elimination of teacher furlough days. But he is more than willing to let the governor, the state Department of Education and the Hawaii State Teachers Association try to come up with a solution, even though they failed before and appear to be stuck there.

Perhaps Sen. Sakamoto is forgetting that he is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Education and Housing. He and his counterpart in the House should be leading the charge to protect our children's education instead of sitting back and waiting for things to happen.

John Kawamoto



Phone hold at film fest bad call

Much kudos to the staff and volunteers at the Hawaii International Film Festival for another great festival. It was very well done. There was, however, one major glitch. Someone in charge of the movie “;Precious”; determined they wouldn't let anyone in with a cell phone or camera. If this was in their contract with HIFF, fine, it should have been told to us earlier and we could have left our phones home.

However, if it was a last-minute requirement by the film presenters, HIFF should not have been involved. Never, ever should the staff and volunteers have been put in the position of being responsible for what could have been thousands of dollars worth of electronics. They put signs up saying to put cell phones and cameras in the car. Now there's an invitation to a break-in.

Finally, the people in line just gave up their phones, no questions asked. They just handed them over and got a torn piece of paper with a handwritten number to redeem their property. What is wrong with these people that they don't find it offensive to be searched for a movie? They really need to avoid this in the future.

Pat Hammers

Alewa Drive


A lottery might help fund schools

For those interested in alternate funding for schools, I suggest looking up the Idaho State Lottery, its commission and rules, and how much in dividends have been paid out since its inception in 1989. There seems to be a small but loud group opposed to adopting a lottery in this state. What does the population in general think?

Edward H. Lewis