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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Sunday, May 22, 2005

Letters to the Editor

Companies should be lured to 'Ewa area

With even more new homes being built in 'Ewa, perhaps we will have more of a reason to raise taxes again. As Haseko plans to build more than 900 new homes, has anybody considered the tremendous impact this will have on the poor commuters from 'Ewa and beyond?

In order to facilitate this increased commuting into town, raising taxes is the natural next step. Rather than allocating land for further housing development, investment in infrastructure and the community should be considered a priority. In order to provide jobs for people who are already living in O'ahu's "second city," offering attractive opportunities to a variety of businesses must happen.

If affordable land and tax incentives were used to lure companies to move to the Kapolei and 'Ewa areas, this would have the eventual effect of lowering the huge burden currently being forced upon everyone.

S. Mendenhall
Fukuoka, Japan

Vacation rentals are good for Hawai'i

There are many positive impacts that vacation rentals offer. These include:

• A boost to tourism. Vacation rentals provide an alternative to the hotel/resort/condo scene. Vacation homes provide an ideal and economical environment for extended family gatherings. In addition, bed & breakfasts offer friendly rental opportunities for couples or someone traveling alone.

• A boost to the tax coffers. A recent newspaper article states that "a search of Internet listing found 9,000 vacation units in Hawai'i, with 333 in Kailua." These units range from under $100 to several thousand per night. An average of $250 per night with 60 percent occupancy would net the state over $2 million in general excise and transient accommodations taxes from Kailua alone.

• A boost to local restaurants and businesses. It is hard to estimate a dollar value, but people on vacation tend to eat out more often and spend money on everything from T-shirts to art to kayak rentals. Vacation rentals also provide jobs for house cleaners, window washers and other trades.

• Improved neighborhoods. Vacation rentals provide real incentives to maintain and improve both house and yard.

• A friendly environment with the aloha spirit. Often people who seek out vacation rentals or B&Bs either used to live in Hawai'i, have been coming here for years or just want to interact with the locals.

• Vacation rentals provide extra income to families in an increasingly expensive world.

Although there can be negative impacts such as parking and noise issues, there are already plenty of laws to address such issues. Besides, parking and noise issues are certainly not exclusive to vacation rentals.

David Richardson

Shortage of nurses should scare you

Recently, several physicians have lamented the sad state of affairs in today's healthcare arena. However, there is another, and perhaps even more scary, thing to consider: That nurse who spends more time with you than anyone and the one who is the first to notice when you take a turn for the worse may not be around for long.

The coming nurse shortage should scare the heck out of you.

I've noticed over the last 10 years or so that the new graduates just cannot, or refuse to, handle the pressures of working as a nurse today. We are for the most part burnt out, demoralized, pathetic shells of who we used to be. We struggle to do the best we can, to keep you alive during hectic days and nights of usually 12-hour shifts, then we are "invited" to a pot-luck meal in appreciation of Nurses Week.

That's right; cook your own meal and bring it in to share with your buddies.

Randall Sexton, R.N.

Plan for roundabout should be scrapped

The city's plan to construct a roundabout at the entrance of Foster Village was a topic at a recent neighborhood board meeting. We all seem to be on the same page when it comes to safety and speeding, but the majority of residents do not feel a roundabout is the answer.

In these tough financial times, why does the city want to spend over $250,000 to construct something we don't need or want? According to Jeff Coelho, he has received calls and e-mails showing about a 90-to-10 split, with 90 being against this project. He has also stated that he and the mayor are "rethinking" the project, but according to Ed Hirata, the project is a go (maybe he hasn't checked with his boss).

This would be a huge waste of taxpayer money and an obstacle course for our elderly drivers as well as making it more dangerous for our school kids. Please think this out and kill the project.

Gregory Mishima
Foster Village

All sex offenders should be listed

I am an International Mid Pac College student from Japan writing about an article about sex offenders being removed from the state Web site (May 12 issue).

I am indignant at the state attorney general office's decision to remove the sex offenders from the Web site.

I understand that some people think it is too severe for sex offenders to have their information posted on the Internet, especially for offenders who committed the crime just once as a mistake. However, lower-level sex offenders should also be posted for at least three years because nobody can assert that they won't commit the crime again. I think we'd better make the time to watch their actions.

Regarding the repeat offenders, they should be posted forever. That's the only way we can protect our families or neighborhoods from sexual crimes. Even though the offenders have atoned for what they did while they were in jail, I think they should live with severe punishment for some time after they get out of jail.

Yoko Aikawa

Democrats no longer for the poor people

Both of my parents were taught during the Hawai'i plantation era that the Democrats are for the poor people and the Republicans are rich haoles.

It may have been true during their time, but it surely is a myth today.

Ever since the Democrats got a hook, line and sinker into this state, they have not taken care of their supposed supporters, "the poor people." The Democratic definition of poor people is "the union."

It seems every time the Legislature meets, there is always a pay issue that needs to be settled. Any surplus, as we had this year, will go for these raises. No tax relief for the taxpayer.

Our excise tax will increase to 4.5 percent, property tax has more than doubled; sewer bills will increase; our new mayor wants a 50 percent increase in our vehicle weight tax.

I would hope the wrath of Hawai'i taxpayers will show at the next election polls by voting every Democrat out of office.

Melvin Partido Sr.
Pearl City

Leave religious reports to religions

Unless I have had my head in the sand lately, I'm sure this state's governmental policies and majority social orientation are still secular, not theocracy-based. So, why is it that within the last week we have had two major, space-taking, front-page articles about non-secular events and individuals?

I'm referring to the bishop-elect article in the May 18 edition and the sainting of some woman a few days ago.

I have my own secular perceptions of some kind of higher power, which I'm sure most others don't want to hear about, so I don't really want to hear, or care about, what's going on in some other very non-secular group here in Hawai'i. Especially not in one of the major, hopefully unbiased journals in this state and especially not on the front page.

David Shapiro's May 18 commentary about Lt. Gov. Aiona's flagrant violation of the separation of church-state constitutional principle is another example of the pushing by the religious right into areas of political, social and cultural existence that your journal should not appear to be supporting in any way. Shouldn't reporting about such obviously non-secular events or people be left to their own reporting media such as the Catholic Herald?

Steve Vaspra