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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Saturday, June 25, 2005

Letters to the Editor

City Council trying to fool us on transit tax

Your June 23 editorial's title, "Transit tax must come after planning," is right on the mark.

Too bad the City Council's promise not to "spend" transit money until a plan is in place has fooled you.

Here's the problem: The council is desperate to enact the tax right away, before people see a plan and start asking questions. So council members have promised not to "spend" the tax until a plan is in place.

Have they made the more serious promise not to "impose" any tax increase until a plan is in place? No, no, no.

"Tax after planning" should mean we have a plan first, then impose a tax. 

Councilman Rod Tam's June 1 draft showed how to do this: write into law that no tax goes into effect until the council has first seen the full set of plans and endorsed a "locally preferred alternative." Only then would the council, in the words of your editorial, "impose the new tax."

That's putting "the horse before the cart."

Rep. Galen Fox
R-23rd (Waikiki, Ala Moana, Kaka'ako)

Akaka bill: It's time to stop being intimidated

Wake up, Hawai'i: There is a freight train coming down the track at high speed and the citizens of Hawai'i appear to be spread out on the track sunbathing, oblivious to what is about to decimate them. The freight train is named "The Akaka Bill."

Stop worrying about potholes and other mundane things and start thinking about what Hawai'i would be like if the Hawaiian activists were successful in dividing Hawai'i into two groups: those with "Hawaiian blood" and those without. Try to think about the ramifications to a Hawai'i with two sets of laws and the loss of revenues from government lands that benefit all Hawai'i citizens and which were developed and improved with taxpayer funds.

The constant whining by the Hawaiian activists that we stole their "'aina" and that we should correct a wrong is really tiresome. Nobody stole their "'aina," period. They never owned the land. The land was always owned by the monarchy and was held for the benefit of all of the residents of Hawai'i, which is still the case today.

The activists need to get to work like everyone else and stop looking for handouts, and the residents of Hawai'i need to stop cowering in the corner and being afraid of making waves or offending someone.

It is time to wake up and voice your strong objection to a Hawai'i divided along racial lines before it is too late. Remember the names of the politicians who are supporting this bill and vote them out of office as they are surely not representing the majority of the residents of Hawai'i.

Robert M. Chapman

We must crack down on illegal operations

Shame on Kerry Gellert and the like: those who operate illegal B&Bs and transient vacation units (Letters, June 21). Gellert is completely wrong in trying to get us to believe that the operation is not illegal, just "unlicensed."

Use of a euphemism does not change law. If Gellert were to be broadsided by an unlicensed driver or operated on by an unlicensed surgeon, well, no offense taken, right? Because they would merely be "unlicensed" instead of "illegal." Legalizing them to enforce them is not an option.

Yes, a crackdown is needed. The Department of Planning and Permitting needs to sit up and do its job to enforce the law and crack down on illegal operations, which are straining the services of our residential neighborhoods. Give some desperately needed rental space to students and other residents, many of whom work to provide our aloha spirit.

As a parent, I am concerned about additional traffic on the street and not knowing who my neighbors are. I worked in the visitor industry for many years. The very visitors who claim to really care about our aloha spirit will respect and understand our position.

D.L. Ratay

Full-speed ahead

As exasperating as slow walkers definitely are, please consider that teenagers may be exercising control, being inconsiderate, indifferent, or merely unconscious, whereas, as humiliating as it is, the elderly very likely are moving as fast as they can.

B. Hanson

Abercrombie aware of military problems

Congressman Abercrombie is not being "two-faced," as one letter writer put it, but forward-looking, and he sees the bigger picture about this war and the health of the U.S. military.

If you are up to date about Abercrombie's resolution for bringing troops home and his support for H.R.163, "the Universal National Service Act of 2003," then you should know that our armed forces are stretched thin.

As an informed reader, you must be reading the reports that the U.S. Army is repeatedly falling short of recruitment goals; this spells trouble for a long, proactive military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are documented reports that some recruiters are targeting youth who need a way to college and jobs. In some school districts, there are parental fights over giving student contact information to military recruiters.

I understood Abercrombie's initial support of H.R.163 to say to fellow lawmakers and the White House: Do what you need to do in Iraq, but stop exploiting the poorer sections of our society, and stop stretching our military forces (National Guard and Reserve included).

In the end, Abercrombie voted against H.R.163.

Ruby Marcelo
Silver Spring, Md., formerly of Mililani

Sartorially defamed

Dick Adair's golf cartoon on your June 16 editorial page was a downright defamation of character.

I don't wear yellow pants!

Fred Smoot
Hawai'i Kai