Why punish taxpayers for Japan's atrocities?
At the risk of sounding heartless, I have to ask why in heck we U.S. taxpayers will have to pay $12.5 million to Guamanian victims of Japanese atrocities during World War II.
I know the details, as recounted in your June 12 editorial, of the 1951 pact that relieved Japan of paying reparations to U.S. citizens. But that was then -- a struggling, bankrupt new government needing financial protection. Today, with Japan's booming economy and institutionalized denial of most WWII guilt, it seems appropriate that it accept moral and financial responsibility for its atrocities.
After all, Japan's soldiers did the beheading, not U.S. taxpayers. We are twice victimized. Uncle Sap loses again!
City officials ignore most pressing issues
It's so frustrating here in Honolulu that our City Council, mayor and mayoral candidates cannot and will not grasp our glaring issues. That air-conditioned City Council Chamber is a lot more comfortable than our muggy streets and beaches.
I read about our new natatorium dilemma, the concrete decks are caving into the recently rebuilt restrooms and bath areas! Why is it only Fred Hemmings and I who want to remove the concrete and put in stadium-sized beach volleyball courts? Cannot our overpaid mayor and City Council walk and chew gum? But these are not their issues; their issue is pleasing us enough to re-elect them by contriving dumb problems like re-doing Waikiki (again) and now constipating our traffic flow on little narrow Kuhio Avenue with medians and trees and fancy trash cans while our park employees try to feed their families on $10 per hour.
I ride a bicycle in this little tropical town that is barely five miles Diamond Head-Ewa and maybe two miles mauka-makai, a seemingly perfect place for those enlightened citizens who choose healthy alternatives to the products sold by the car dealerships. But Gov. Lingle thinks we should stack the poor freeways to accommodate her approach to Oahu's gridlock.
I wonder if anyone thinks about cleaning Nimitz Highway once in awhile? Even I know that the asphalt will decompose at an accelerated rate if left to the elements. Again, a no-brainer. But hiring a street sweeper to brush Nimitz at night is too easy.
It's nice to have such a fat tax base that we can support those fat cats and their rich families who work at Honolulu Hale ... to be exact, those elected fat cats.
Michael E. Powers
Honolulu mayoral candidate
Underage drinking needs more attention
I would like to address the problem of drunk driving and speeding. We need to address this problem because of all the deaths caused by speeding, racing and drunk driving.
We should be more aware of the underage drinking and buying of alcohol. Some convenience stores might not even ask for identification when people buy alcohol. We could get police volunteers to act as undercover clerks at convenience stores and give tickets to all the underage people who try to buy alcohol, if this is even possible. This would probably reduce underage drinking, and could add to Hawaii's population because of all the less alcohol poisoning.
I think Congress should make a law where juniors and sophomores have to take driver's ed and have a form filled out and signed by the parents stating that their son and/or daughter is a safe and responsible driver. This would probably lower the risk of automobile accidents and produce a generation of safer drivers. The population might grow 10 percent because of fewer automobile accidents.
William Paul Jarrett Middle School
Hawaiian Acres issue has some seeing red
People in Hawaii buy their land with varying degrees of assurance that their deeds are secure. Their property rights are usually respected and protected by our elected officials. This public trust of our Hawaii County Council is quickly being eroded by Bob Jacobson and Gary Safarak trying to persuade the Council to condemn and take for the county Hawaiian Acres Subdivision's private road and pay them $1.
Hawaiian Acres landowners are outraged at this betrayal of trust. The H.A. Community Association is unanimously against this proposal, except for Julie Jacobson, Bob Jacobson's wife, whose advice to H.A. residents who live on the route is "if you don't like it, you should move out."
Bob Jacobson was narrowly voted into office following his wife's stint on the County Council. I appeal to the voters that we never let this happen again. Bob struts his stuff saying he is the highest-ranking Red Party official in the state -- oops, did I say "red"? My mistake. He says Green Party, but those of us who know his politics know it is like a watermelon -- green on the outside but red on the inside.
When the County Council votes on Jacobson's proposal tomorrow in Kona, I hope they opt to stop this unnecessary attempted theft of Hawaiian Acres Subdivision's private road. I say "theft" because H.A. has something that belongs to them and they want to retain ownership of it. H.A. already willingly shares the road with everyone anyway. Where's the aloha in that? Is your land next?
Vice president, Hawaiian Acres
Bill 10 puts farmers in financial hole
Mayoral candidate Duke Bainum and Councilman Gary Okino are trying to convince Oahu voters that farmers are not being hurt by Bill 10. Our family has been growing lotus and taro on the North Shore for more than 60 years. Thanks to Bainum's legislation, our tax bill will increase by 100 percent if the Council does not give us a remedy by August 20.
It is sad to see that someone like Duke who wants to be mayor so badly fails to understand the deep financial hole he will put my family and other small farmers in.
Honestly, Mr. Bainum, do you really think people will support candidates who have a history of raising taxes?
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[ BRAINSTORM! ]
The ponds at the state Capitol are full of icky green stuff. What, besides holding an election, can we do to get rid of all that scum at the Big Square Building? Or should we just replace the ponds with something else?
Tell us what you think, whether you know of a way to clean the ponds or if you'd rather see a remodel of the Capitol grounds. Anything would be an improvement.
Send your ideas by June 16 to:
Or by mail:
c/o Nancy Christenson
500 Ala Moana
7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Or by fax:
c/o Nancy Christenson