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Tuesday, June 22, 1999


Taxes shouldn't be linked to property value

Property taxes were meant to fund things like water, sewage, access roads, the zoning department, etc. Those costs don't fluctuate like property values.

Why should property taxes be tied to a dollar amount that reflects market supply and demand instead of cost of government services?

It's time to change the tax code to set property taxes at a fixed dollar amount. If the government needs to increase it due to more required manpower or inflation, at least it will be accountable.

And forget about the rich paying more. A family of four in a big house generates a lot less sewage than a family of 10 in a small house.

Alan Kwan
Via the Internet

City Council lacks leadership

Every two years we go to the ballot box and elect our leaders. We want them to be innovative and creative.

We demand principled, honorable decisions. We desire consensus building and the ability to make the tough decisions. That is why we elect them.

Yet our City Council's decision to raise fees and taxes in a depressed economy shows none of the above. On the contrary, it shows cowardice and the propensity to seek an easy way out.

We do not have leaders; we have elected bureaucrats who can see no further into the future than where their next campaign contributions are coming from.

It sickens me to think that we actually pay these people to take up space at Honolulu Hale. I'm sure we could find a group of individuals who would gladly volunteer their time to raise our taxes.

On the other hand, if the good people of Oahu would bother to hold these leaders accountable, we wouldn't have to deal with such idiocy.

Mark Middleton
Via the Internet



"I took a very strict examination to become a geisha. I studied very, very hard. I want to correct the idea of geisha, but then I go to a party and see people putting chopsticks in their hair. Ridiculous!"

Kiharu Nakamura
87-year-old geisha who lives in New York
Annoyed at how the Japanese art has been distorted by American pop culture

"(I once said) this kid is going to make three stars. and now he's a four-star general. He was only a captain then and I was only half joking."

Alfred Los Banos
Childhood friend of Eric Shinseki
In awe that the Kauai-born Shinseki has been chosen to be the Army's 34th chief of staff

Elderly need to wear reflective vests

As a 39-year-old, even I find it hard to cross the street in a marked crosswalk without being nearly hit by a car. I don't know if the drivers can't see me or they just don't want to stop.

Therefore, since we can't change their way of driving, and the state government wants to be difficult about installing traffic lights, I suggest that all elderly pedestrians wear red reflective vests to be more visible while crossing the street.

Michael Nomura

Interisland ferry system would help Hawaii

The economy of Waikiki can be restored, and the economy of the state assured, by making Waikiki a distribution as well as a destination center. Visitors and residents would be distributed directly from Waikiki to each of the neighbor islands by fast ferries.

The structure of an interisland waterline system would be exactly the same as the present interisland airline system. The state would be responsible for the Waikiki waterport. Private parties would own the fast ferries and be responsible for their operation and maintenance.

The waterport would be half of the present Ala Wai Yacht Harbor. The land and water areas are the property of the state.

I offer to be the unpaid chairman of a task force to explore this proposal. Only minor typing assistance and advertising for proposals would be needed.

E. Alvey Wright

Hawaii should become leader in high-tech ammo

Guns are here to stay. There is no need for more gun-control laws. The problem is not with the guns but with the ammunition. The projectiles need to be revolutionized, so research and development of sophisticated high-tech types of heads is a must.

We need heads that:

Bullet Stun and disable to incapacitate the target for periods of time.
Bullet Splatter a dye on a target or leave a residue so targets can be traced.
Bullet Shoot liquids or vapors of high-intensity lights and sounds that can distract and/or immobilize the target for brief periods by use of sensors.

These sophisticated high-tech heads will be expensive and should not be used indiscriminately. High-velocity piercing types of metal heads made of copper, lead and steel are meant only to maim and kill, and should be banned.

Since Hawaii has strict gun laws and the state is badly in need of high-tech businesses, we should take the lead in research, development and marketing of these sophisticated types of heads.

Richard Lee

Elizabeth Dole is wrong about Supermoms

As a retired "Supermom" with one husband for 35 years, two sons ages 34 and 31, and 33 years at the office, I have become experienced and grown stronger as a human being by working both inside and outside the home.

I am a Kahuku High graduate (class of 1960), who earned my bachelor's degree from Washington State University and a master's of science from the University of Oregon.

I've taught junior high for 15 years, was Washington state program supervisor and director of curriculum, and also served on the governor's cabinet as state director of community development.

I have even served a term as the national president of the Asian Pacific American Municipal Officers, a group that encourages Asian Americans to run for public office.

So I agree with Diane Chang's June 14 column. Shame on Elizabeth Dole for saying that women cannot be successful working both inside and outside the home. The opinions of Dole and others running for president should be known to women and men alike, as we contemplate the upcoming election.

Gene Canque Liddell
Lacey, Wash.
Via the Internet


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