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Letters to the editor


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POSTED: Thursday, November 26, 2009

Make every day Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It's not a Christian holiday, Hawaiian holiday, Jewish holiday or a Muslim holiday. It's an American holiday that's all of the above and more, which everyone of all religions and nationalities can celebrate.

People feel compelled to invite friends and relatives and many times even casual acquaintances over for a festive meal of “;da kine with da kine”; and to talk story.

Many nonprofits will also have free food for the homeless and the less fortunate and those without families.

Thanksgiving, thanks and giving, what a great concept! Why not make Thanksgiving an everyday thing? Imagine the world without wars, hunger and prejudice!

I have a motion to make every day Thanksgiving. All in favor, say “;I.”;

James “;Kimo”; Rosen

Kapaa

 

Homeless man was police victim

The incident regarding the police shooting (”;Man shot in police encounter,”; Star-Bulletin, Nov. 23) clearly shows the difficulty of managing the rampant homeless situation in the city of Honolulu.

Just like homeowners and renters, those without shelter are entitled to protection. It can be difficult to differentiate between those violating others' civil rights through criminal behavior and those merely struggling to survive difficult life situations. But whatever the reason, an individual's person is private property and should be respected.

Whether the 29-year-old was engaging in behavior not considered appropriate, the officer should not have forced entry into the man's vehicle. There are many logical reasons why the driver might have been running his engine, such as recharging electronic equipment or maintaining environmental control (AC/heater), and it should not be assumed he was high on drugs.

Kamehameha I's “;Law of the Splintered Paddle”; provided protection for the helpless from senseless attack by those more powerful. The king recognized that all human beings should be afforded basic civil rights of life and safe passage. Society should not be so quick to condemn those less fortunate, since any one of us could easily end up in similarly dire situations. Learn sensitivity, because those often shunned by society could be someone else's loved one.

Matthew Kaopio Jr.

Ewa Beach

 

Oahu rail project helps entire state

M. Simpson's Nov. 23 letter (”;GET funds don't belong to county”;) suggesting that the city is somehow inappropriately keeping rail transit project revenue off-limits to the state demonstrated a total misunderstanding of how the project is financed.

In 2005, the governor and state Legislature authorized all the counties, at their discretion and upon adoption of a county ordinance, to levy a surcharge on the state general excise tax. The state law they approved specifically limits Honolulu's use of the GET surcharge to “;operating or capital costs of a locally preferred alternative for a mass transit project. ...”;

Similarly, the ordinance adopted by the city specifies that the only monies to be used for financing the rail project are GET surcharge receipts and federal transit funds. Consequently, all bonds we issue for the project will be retired solely from those dedicated sources.

With the city's recent award of the construction contract for the project's first phase, we have now encumbered funding for the project. Diverting city-authorized GET surcharge monies would be a violation of state law, and of the public trust.

Finally, Simpson fails to understand that the entire state stands to benefit from Honolulu's rail project. Its construction and related development will create jobs and help the economy, while providing a much-needed transportation alternative.

Mark Oto,

Deputy director, Honolulu Department of Budget and Fiscal Services

               

     

 

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