Letters to the Editor

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Democrats play games with tax rates

Two articles in the Jan. 29 Star-Bulletin outlined the Democratic plan for tax relief: a $60 million tax cut skewed toward middle-income taxpayers, combined with a mass transit tax increase for everyone of $340 million to $400 million.

So the Democrats in the Legislature think tax relief consists of raising everyone's taxes, but with smaller increases for middle-income taxpayers? I'd call that robbing Peter less than you're robbing Paul.

Jim Henshaw

Hannemann should rethink Mahi decision

The decision by Mayor Hannemann to replace Aaron Mahi as bandmaster of the Royal Hawaiian Band is appalling.

Consider Hannemann's words: "It's not about Aaron. It's just a general feeling there should be a change of direction in every department." These same words could have been used by those who overthrew the Hawaiian monarchy.

Mahi is a true son of Hawaii who has dedicated 24 years of his life to advancing the Hawaiian roots of the band into the 21st century, with a knowledge and expertise of the culture and music that are second to none. He has an unmatched gift for spreading aloha. This is far more important than any band in-fighting.

We implore Hannemann to reconsider. It's not too late to rethink, as a lot of voters did in the second ballot that brought him to office.

Larry Spieler
Kino'ole-O-Liliha Spieler

Polynesian politicians repealed unfair law

I was so happy to read that Bill 53 repealing the leasehold law was passed by the City Council ("Fee law repealed," Star-Bulletin, Jan. 27).

For far too long, the city has used its imminent domain powers to justify the corrupt practice of forcing one person to sell his land to another. In a free and democratic society, this should never happen.

I found it interesting that it took two Polynesians to bring sanity back to land ownership in Hawaii: former Councilmen John De Soto and Mike Gabbard. I admire Gabbard for introducing Bill 53 and taking unbelievable heat from disgruntled lessees who never quite understood what a contract or lease means. Gabbard is a fighter who doesn't have the words "give up" in his vocabulary. And with a new Polynesian mayor in office, the demise of Chapter 38 is finally assured.

Let's hope that we never again have a City Council like the one in 1991 that passed legislation like Chapter 38.

Kimo Kalama

It's hard to believe 'Lost' is a loser

Regarding the TV show "Lost" ("High filming costs force ABC network executives to consider relocating," Star-Bulletin, Jan. 26): Before the Legislature revises the tax credit bill and/or its criteria, I suggest an independent audit of the show's accounting.

Recall that in the 1990s, Paramount Pictures was sued by humorist Art Buchwald for plagiarism over the movie "Coming to America."

Paramount lost and was supposed to pay Buchwald from the movie's profits. In response, Paramount claimed to have lost money on the movie, which took in well over $300 million at the box office. Forbes magazine did an audit of that movie's finances and discovered that Paramount views accounting much like moviemaking -- lots of artistic license.

So, they say "Lost" is losing money. Right. I say wait until the revenue from the inevitable DVD sales come in. That money will easily offset any and all of the supposed deficit.

Hawaii taxpayers shouldn't be subsidizing Hollywood.

James Ko

City rerouted hybrid bus too soon

I am disappointed to hear about the decision to discontinue the E Express bus route from Waikiki to Iwilei ("Hybrid buses shift to different route," Star-Bulletin, Jan. 26). I think it's sad that after only two months the E route bus will no longer be expressing it's way along Waikiki.

It has been only a couple of weeks since the bus signage was changed from Aala Park to the more familiar sounding Chinatown-Ala Moana.

After this change was made I noticed more visitors on the buses since riders then knew where the buses went. Everyone I've talked to loves the E Express bus. I liked the fact that the bus stops right in front of Ward Theaters.

Summer is just three months away and masses of visitors will be here. The E Express would have made a big difference. The E Express needed more time. It was a great way to travel and one that will be missed greatly.

Josh Amas

Voters should hold legislators to vows

Do you think Hawaii's legislators got the message from the last election? You break the public's trust, we will vote you out immediately. With the 2005 legislative session under way, I hear all the promises they make, and I remember all the promises they break. We need to keep track of legislators to see if they keep their promises. We need to hold them accountable. If they break more promises than they keep, vote them out.

Alan Kim

Bush can't understand Americans' struggle

George W. Bush bankrupted the only business he ever ran, and he is bankrupting our country. He has no clue what it means to struggle, to work to make ends meet and to save for some security in the future. Nor does he care.

Take his idea for privatization of Social Security: Volume determines the value of the stock market. If he is successful at tricking the general public into investing in the stock market with their Social Security money, who would benefit from that massive influx of money? Not the stockholders, who are regularly taken by greedy and often crooked executives and money managers. They are Bush's base -- the "haves and have mores."

Unless the president guarantees that we will receive a fair dividend -- or even just our money back -- from these investments, then we should not trust him. He has already proven he has hidden agendas that have nothing to do with the average American, and he has no problem misrepresenting facts in pursuit of his agendas. Don't trust him again.

Judith Pavey




Seeking state symbols

Hawaii has a state bird, a state fish and a state flower. What other symbols should the Aloha State have? For example, should we have a state insect? If so, what should it be? Or how about a state bento? Come up with your own categories and share them with Star-Bulletin readers.

E-mail your ideas and solutions -- please include your name and address -- by Wednesday, Feb. 16 to: brainstorm@starbulletin.com

Or fax to:
c/o Nancy Christenson

Or mail them to:
c/o Nancy Christenson
500 Ala Moana
7 Waterfront Plaza
Suite 210
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

How to write us

The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (150 to 200 words). The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include a daytime telephone number.

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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813

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