Letters to the Editor

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Lousy bottle bill needs to be rewritten

The recycling debacle is laughable -- or would be if it wasn't so stupidly serious! There are bottle and can recycling systems successfully in place in communities on the mainland. A law that isn't enforceable loses credibility.

This particular law, in Hawaii, is poorly planned, poorly researched and poorly implemented. It is nothing more than a thinly veiled "highway robbery" type of new revenue stream for the state. Why not just pass another "tax" on beverages? That is all this amounts to.

Requiring a deposit on all beverage containers, then not providing an efficient and convenient way for people to redeem their deposits, is nothing less than an illegal tax.

Our legislators who proposed and then voted this into place should hang their heads in shame for not doing their jobs properly. I for one will look to see who supported this idiotic mess.

Governor Lingle should step in, suspend this stupid thing, and send the legislators back to the table to fix this and, at the very least, to pattern it after successful programs in communities on the mainland. Reinventing the wheel in this manner is unconscionable.

Bill Martin
Kurtistown, Hawaii

Use bottle deposit for good causes

I am surprised at the number of letters to the editor that deal with the new bottle deposit law. The letters have said that the law is a scam to get more taxes for the state. OK, let's do something different.

We are an island full of apartments, condos and hotels. We also have many charitable organizations. Let's get together and save bottles and cans for a school, scouts, church, canoe club, disaster victims or whatever. Maybe the grocery or drug stores could have a barrel at their entrance for people who don't want to save bottles or cans for themselves. Dedicate the barrel to an organization. We can put bottles and cans in the barrel to use it as a fund raiser.

Carol Sallee

Akaka, Inouye should oppose oil drilling

Some New Year's resolutions could have lasting implications for America. The Bush administration's resolution to open the Arctic Refuge for oil and gas drilling is a perfect example. Despite the fact that the American public stands solidly against drilling in the Arctic, the White House appears more interested in giving a New Year's gift to big oil companies.

The coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge is one of our last wild places. The refuge is a birthing ground for caribou and polar bears, supports large populations of migratory birds, and is home to the Gwich'in and Inupiat people.

I urge Senators Akaka and Inouye to protect the Arctic Refuge by voting against any attempts to open it up for drilling. Instead of drilling, we should make a New Year's resolution to promote energy efficiency, increase fuel economy for cars and SUVs, and expand the use of renewable sources of energy, thereby working toward a more sustainable future that protects our wild places, cleans up our air and makes the United States less dependent on foreign oil.

Moira Chapin
Field organizer

Inauguration will be money poorly spent

Since 2000 we have had some historic tragedies and loss of life, yet President Bush continues to plan a second inauguration costing more than $35 million, and is even asking $2 million for a presidential yacht. A review of his first term reveals failures and political manipulation of historic proportions: His election in 2000 was extremely dubious, with his brother and the Florida secretary of state and even the Supreme Court pulling strings in his favor, even though Al Gore won the popular vote; Sept. 11, 2001, was an enormous tragedy of administration incompetence, which they then used for political gain; Bush's war in Iraq is a failure costing enormous death and destruction and is based on lies and manipulation; the election of 2004 was a repeat of 2000, in which the Bush team used dirty tricks, pandering and a secretary of state in Ohio who was also his campaign manager (the Ohio vote is still in doubt and the secretary of state is blocking efforts to find the truth); and now the tsunami, after which Bush had to be shamed by much smaller countries into giving more than $15 million, a fraction of his inaugural bash cost.

This is the worst and most dangerous administration in our history, which, if we are not allowed to find out about the Ohio vote, will have four years to promote its ugly, destructive agenda.

Nancy Bey Little

Uniforms would keep girls looking modest

Kaiser High School students are pulling detention for breaking school attire policy ("Dressed for detention," Star-Bulletin, Jan. 2). Well, make everyone at the school wear uniforms -- that will solve the headaches. The teenage girls nowadays want to bare it all, and it's for attention and exhibit.

Eilene Cabra

Bill 53 would add affordable housing

Regarding your Jan. 5 editorial, "Use caution in promoting affordable housing": Just a thought about why there were so many "housing units" (18,000) developed during the 1970s in Makiki. Those "units" were leasehold condominiums built on small landowners' properties.

Too bad the city passed Chapter 38. This law discouraged Oahu landowners from any future encumbrance of their lands for affordable housing (units being purchased without the land costs increasing the values of homes). If the current City Council passes Bill 53 to get rid of this threat, we may see multi-family condominium housing again provide the much-needed affordable housing in the most desirable locations on Oahu.

Manya Vogrig

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