Letters to the Editor
LINGLE HAS PROTECTED HAWAI'I'S ENVIRONMENT
The April 19 letter from Nancie Caraway was truly ironic. Gov. Lingle has been very publicly commended by organizations such as the Sierra Club for her work in protecting our environment. On the same day Ms. Caraway's letter was published, the Audubon Society honored the governor for her creation of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands State Marine Refuge.
The Democrats were in control of the state administrations for 40 years. They are the ones who paved over paradise. Gov. Lingle is doing a great job of stopping further destruction of our 'aina.Anne Sabalaske
QUALITY OF LIFE
PAY HEED, OFFICIALS: ISLES NEED MAKEOVER
It is important to encourage tourism and business investments in Hawai'i. But the priority should be to correctly juggle these issues and their possible adverse side affects toward local quality-of-life issues.
We should strive to maintain the uniqueness of our special ocean, wetland and mountain environments. We deserve nothing less. That means better schools, parks, tough law enforcement, less crime, protecting our environment, etc.
Our law enforcement needs the full support and backing of elected officials to do its job correctly. We need to get tough on discouraging car break-ins, auto chop-shops, drug use, etc. Are the mayor and governor truly doing the best job they can? Is their job too much for them to handle? California voted one of its elected officials out of office years ago. Will Hawai'i voters head in that direction?
The city has extended the Ala Moana Park closure hours only until June? People want this done forever in all parks for our future families. It's time for us to surge ahead and improve, and not be an example to the rest of the world of what not to become.John Burns
ALTERNATIVE MINIMUM TAX BAD FOR EVERYBODY
Congratulations to Democrat Brian Schatz for finding a tax (the alternative minimum tax) he doesn't like.
His rationale rests on the fact that middle-class voters in Hawai'i are getting stuck with the bill, not on the negative effects of the tax economy. Mr. Schatz underscores his point by saying the elimination of the alternative minimum tax, a.k.a. the AMT, should be financed by doing away with the Bush tax cuts. Libertarians believe the budget shortfall created by tax cuts should be made up by spending cuts.
It should be agreed that the AMT is a bad tax. But it's bad for everybody. Doing away with deductions for medical expenses, state income tax payment and prior year losses is no fairer for the wealthy than for anyone.
On the other hand, the recent tax reduction of the top rate on capital gains and dividends to 15 percent helps the entire economy. The capital gains rate reduction combined with the phasing out of estate taxes are enormous benefits to Hawai'i residents with rapidly increasing real estate values.
Doing away with these cuts would hurt thousands of middle-class property owners in our state and would increase the proportionate share of federal taxes paid by Hawai'i.Tracy Ryan
Chair, The Libertarian Party of Hawai'i
STATE SHOULD RENEW PROBE INTO GAS PRICES
I feel as if Hawai'i's consumers are being forced to choose between the lesser of two evils: Do consumers choose legislators to effectively understand a commodity market, or do we choose the oil companies that just reported record profits in a period of instability and record prices to set the "reasonable" price?
I think Gov. Lingle needs to reinstate Gov. Cayetano's investigation into gas providers' operations in the state. I don't say this to disparage Gov. Lingle. I think she has done a wonderful job, and I will vote for her in the next election.
Consumers need protection from monopolistic commodity providers. Consumers have the PUC to protect against energy price hikes; we need similar protection from the oil industry.Ryan Thornton
DON'T BE AFRAID, TELL US WHAT YOU THINK
Oaktree Capital's plan to expand the Turtle Bay Resort by 700 percent is threatening not just the pristine Kawela and Kahuku areas. It will impact every citizen on O'ahu (traffic, infrastructure, taxes, pollution, housing).
The city corporation counsel says that our mayor and City Council members can't comment about this monstrous development because of a pending lawsuit. Our neighborhood board members can't even speak about it within our communities. Are they so afraid of Oaktree's attorneys that they're speechless?
I'm not. I didn't vote for Oaktree or the corporation counsel. I voted for Mufi Hannemann and Donovan Dela Cruz so they could represent all of us and our beloved O'ahu. Let them speak.Mark Kahuokapono Manley
IT'S TIME FOR CHANGE WITH OUR SENATORS
I read Sen. Inouye's commentary in the April 23 Focus section and could not disagree with his point of view more.
As Time magazine pointed out, our Sen. Akaka has not been effective as our representative. The facts speak for themselves. For the last year, both senators have supported legislation that would drill for oil in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge. Almost 70 percent of Hawai'i citizens disagree with that. These two men have voted lock step with Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska against the wishes of the Hawai'i citizens.
When I wrote to Sen. Inouye about ANWR drilling, he advised me that he voted with the citizens of that area. What he did not say was that those people initially wanted drilling but later changed their mind and now don't want that drilling to take place.
Inouye has served his country with distinction and has done much for the state of Hawai'i. When his term is finished, he should receive a rousing farewell. It is time for change in Hawai'i.Bob Lloyd