Monday, May 7, 2001
Retirement gets more complicatedJust what we need -- another complicated tax-deferred retirement plan to figure out ("House overwhelmingly passes bill to raise retirement contribution limits," Star-Bulletin, May 3). How much simpler if they would just exempt investment income from taxation.
Recycling bill is better off deadSome people will think the death of the bottle deposit bill was wrong. But the proposed bill would have increased the price of a can or bottle by 7 cents. Two cents per can or bottle would go to the state to hire bottle cops to police the program. Five cents per 12-ounce can or bottle was the initial deposit proposed. Each six-pack would cost 42 cents more just to cover the costs imposed by law on consumers.
The question that needs to be asked is whether litter is so bad in Hawaii that we are willing to pay 42 cents more for each six-pack of soda?
Although there was no money in the budget for schoolbooks or computers, many legislators were willing to increase the cost of a can of soda. It appears many legislators don't realize that taxpayers and consumers are one and the same.
[Quotables]"Sooner or later, I've got to get out of here. I feel really good about myself now."
A former drug offender who lives at Matlock Hale, a treatment and furlough facility for women offenders. The employment counseling she received at Matlock helped her get a job as a taxicab dispatch officer.
"One guy tried to touch it, and it almost bit him. Other than that, it's been sleeping all day."
Sandy Beach lifeguard, who found himself watching out for the welfare of a Hawaiian monk seal as well as the usual human swimmers Friday. The 5-foot monk seal, an endangered species, slumbered on the beach behind a barricade erected by National Marine Fisheries officials.
Civil service reformers will get stung at pollsLame duck Gov. Ben Cayetano and all those legislators who voted for passage of those two anti-union civil service reform bills are patting themselves on the back.
But retribution will be forthcoming in the next elections. House Speaker Calvin Say says that the unions' attempt to intimidate them backfired. Say, Sen. Colleen Hanabusa and the rest of those who led the charge will feel the heat in their re-election bids or campaigns for new offices.
Say said that the repercussions from the public sector unions will be felt more in the statewide races and not on the district level. Big mistake! When they messed with the public employee health fund, they awakened a gigantic sleeping gray giant, in the form of the civil service retirees and their extended families that number into the thousands statewide. We will not take this lying down.
Steven T.K. Burke
Hui Ana O Makai (Police retirees)
Plot is too small for Hilton towerI am one of the hundreds of local resident condo owners who will be affected by Hilton Hawaiian Village's greed with its plan to jam a 350-foot tower on a thin sliver of land (1.9 acre). Many local residents are just now hearing about Hilton's outrageous plan that will ruin the looks of the entrance to the village and kill the last remaining view of the ocean.
To quote Daniel Dinell, vice president of Strategic Planning and Community Affairs at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, "Plans are being made to keep the 'footprint' of the building small and create as much open green space and pedestrian walk way areas as possible."
Please ask Mr. Dinell how this is possible when this building will be a massive wall 600-feet long, 350-feet high blocking out everything between Rainbow Tower and the Ilikai.
The New Kalia Tower is a beautifully landscaped property because there was enough land. The odd shape and lack of land for the seventh planned tower makes proper landscaping impossible. This plan must be stopped or scaled back. The city Department of Planning and Permitting should do its job for once. This project will be as ugly as the new movie theater monstrosity at Ward Center, but triple its size.
Who's concerned about missed exam?Isn't it interesting that the parents of public school children would be up in arms about the withdrawal of the Hawaii high schools from the various sports state tournaments, but nary a whimper that the statewide testing had to be cancelled for this school year?
Strike continues to penalize studentsAlthough the teachers' strike is now over, its implications are still being felt by many students around the state. All school activities that interrupt class time are now canceled, which include school assemblies, field trips and other school activities that have been planned months in advance.
Is it really fair to the students that these activities be canceled? The students were not the ones on strike. I understand the need to make up the lost 14 days of instruction, but I feel that certain activities should still occur. If the school year did not have to be extended unless the strike continued until May 3, then activities should still be scheduled. The teachers and the state both got what they wanted. Shouldn't the students get something?
Jarrett T. Yara
Pearl City High School senior
Skate parks' flaws were ignoredNo one is denying that Hawaii Kai is in need of a skate park. However, the proposed site at Kamiloiki Park will be very close to existing homes and will directly affect the community and Kamiloiki School. There is only one road to and from the park from Lunalilo Home Road, the parking lot is very small (and not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act), and the proposed site for the in-line hockey rink is so well hidden from public view as to invite loitering and vandalism.
We voiced our objections at community meetings. We also presented a petition with 100 signatures. We were met with deaf ears, blind eyes and ignored by the majority of the board and the board voted in favor of the proposal.
The rush to build at Kamiloiki Park just to get it completed nine months earlier escapes me. A park with lights, adequate parking and presenting no impact is already in the master plan for Koko Head Regional Park to begin next year. That is not an eternity to wait for a much better facility.
Sovereignty move doesn't discriminatePaul de Silva of Hilo is absolutely correct. He wrote in his April 15 letter to the editor:
"I feel unconvinced that the rights of sovereignty and self-determination belong only to Hawaiian natives."
Self-determination is a right that belongs to all the people who call Hawaii home. The independence movement in Hawaii has always been inclusive of all of the people. The only folks claiming otherwise are the anti-independence activists who try to paint the movement as racist.
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