Letters to the Editor

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Oahu residents should rollback taxes, too

Last November, voters on Kauai voted to rollback property taxes to 1999 levels and limit increases to 2 percent per year. The Kauai government sued to stop the voters' will and, fortunately for democracy, lost.

Most homeowners on Oahu have seen their property taxes more than double in the last four years. With millions of Oahu taxpayers' dollars frittered away on boondoggles such as the Bus Rapid Transit, it's time the citizens here have a chance to vote to rollback property taxes, too. We need to decentralize the Honolulu government and enable towns like Kailua, Waipahu or Kaneohe to incorporate and give them the power to tax for truly local projects.

Stuart Browne

Akaka took principled stand against Rice

Thank God there is at least one congressional representative from Hawaii who has intestinal fortitude. A big mahalo to Sen. Dan Akaka for voting against the confirmation of Condoleezza Rice as secretary of state.

Moveon.org says it best:

"No one in the country, except perhaps President Bush, is more responsible for pushing the pre-war lie that Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction. At the same time CIA briefings told Dr. Rice that Iraq had no active nuclear program, she was appearing on TV talk shows raising that possibility. 'We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud,' after all, was Rice's line. And when the war started, Rice was one of its central architects and continued the WMD deception asserting, 'I believe that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,' and telling us, 'we're finding interesting things.'"

Last month the U.S. military ended the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Kudos to Akaka for being one of 13 to vote against her.

Dot Buck
Kahului, Maui

New mayor's first act is to slow traffic

Great news, bus riders! Mayor Hannemann has just declared that "rapid transit is not an option" in the congested, bus-stop-dotted routes of Honolulu. His first action toward fulfilling his "no rapid transit policy" was discontinuing the E transit route (Waikiki to Iwilei) because it is the foremost source of the evil idea of "rapid transit," which just happens to be convenient for many bus riders, but that's just a minor detail.

To conform to his policy, he might as well get rid of the A, B, and C Express routes while he's at it, since they too are sources of sinful rapid transit.

After the first outposts of rapid transit are demolished, he can further his conquest to end its existence by combining all of the individual bus routes into one long, endless route all around the island. That way, no bus riders will be granted the privilege of express travel.

Kathryn Rose

Negligent pet owners need to feel the heat

It is unfortunate but necessary for the city government to crackdown on irresponsible dog owners. However, new regulations will not be effective unless the city gets more serious about enforcement.

Two of my neighbors are dog owners who are unable or unwilling to keep their dogs on their property or obey the city's leash law.

My neighbors probably think of themselves as good neighbors and loving pet owners. One is even a state legislator who is very outspoken about pet owners' rights.

Besides speaking about the problem to both neighbors, I have made complaints to the city animal control agency and police. I have been told there is little they can do unless they catch the dogs running free. I also was told to take pictures of the dogs off their owners' property and not on leashes.

Although I will continue to press for the city to insist my neighbors follow the law, the effort that this takes and the burden on me and others in this situation are frustrating.

Ken Pilkenton

Store won't take your empties? Complain!

I agree with Randy Ching (Letters, Jan. 22) that retailers should be required to take back beverage containers. Other states that have bottle bills require stores to do so. It is a public service and a service to their customers.

If the customer receives the cash back they probably would use the money to buy more beverages in that store, rather than some other store.

If every customer who believes that their local store should redeem the cans, would complain to the managers, we may see a change of heart.

Grace Furukawa




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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