DELAYING PAYMENT IS A STATE DISGRACE
The announcement that the state of Hawai'i, as directed by Gov. Linda Lingle, will delay tax refund payments to make up for a budget shortfall is nothing less than shameful.
Someone entitled to a tax refund already has provided an interest-free loan to the state for up to a full year. To then delay repayment of that free loan to cover budget shortfalls is a clear case of biting the proverbial hand that feeds you.
While I understand that this action is legally justifiable, it doesn't make it conscionable or moral, and it is a horrible trick to play on the working families and individuals of Hawai'i who count on that "windfall" at this time of year.
Constitutional attorneys, please inform me: Is there a clause or legal justification for delaying pay to the governor or state legislators until they balance the budget properly? I hope so.
jason blake | Kapa'a, Kaua'i
FRIVOLOUS LAWSUIT WILL COST BIG BUCKS
So the ACLU and Lambda Legal plan to file a lawsuit on behalf of Alan Spector against the state for failing to pass HB 444 to create civil unions which mirror marriage. They plan to base the lawsuit on the 1993 Baehr v. Lewin opinion of the Hawai'i Supreme Court.
That claim is completely frivolous because in 1999, the Hawai'i Supreme Court issued a follow-up opinion in the same case that ruled that the 1998 marriage amendment to the Hawai'i Constitution removed from the equal protection clause in Hawai'i any questions concerning whether or not homosexuals were denied equal rights by being denied marriage.
In effect, there is no legal issue to deny homosexuals the right to marry or the benefits of marriage. If they file their lawsuit, the court should throw it out and fine them for filing such a frivolous lawsuit which will cost big bucks in lawyer fees to defend.
At a time like this I call upon the homosexual community and Alan Spector to think about the bigger picture in the state with the economy in its present condition. Don't pursue such selfish goals.
James Hochburg | Honolulu
DOG'S OWNERS THANKFUL FOR HELP
While walking our dog Renji near Kewalo Marine Lab recently, he became frightened and slipped his collar.
After three hours of looking desperately with the help of family, friends and even strangers, we were reunited with our dog.
We would like to thank Howard who gave us a ride when Renji first slipped his collar and we were chasing him toward Ward Avenue.
Thank you to our family who did everything they could to help us.
We also would like to thank Pet Spot, Natural Pet, KSSK, the Honolulu Police Department and the Humane Society for spreading the word and keeping a lookout.
Also thanks to the people who found him, took care of him and fed him fried chicken, the Ward security officers who watched after him and all the kind people who showed concern on the street while we looked for him. Thank you so much.
Michael San Jose,Jaynee Kim | Honolulu
STOP PRACTICE BY BANNING FIN SOUP
We need a statewide and national ban on shark fin soup. It's the only way to protect sharks.
More than 100 million sharks are killed each year — most for the fin for soup — compared to 10-15 people killed by sharks.
Shark fin soup, which is sold in Chinese restaurants and is popular with the Japanese, has a very high level of mercury and has no taste unless flavored by chicken broth.
The FDA bans shark fin soup for children and pregnant women. Stop the end use of shark finning — the sale of the soup — and there will be no demand for fins.
I am sure readers of The Advertiser agree with the editorial's opening statement: "It's hard to imagine a more odious fishing practice than shark finning. The shark is caught, the fins sliced off and the rest of the still-living animal — which is of little commercial value — is thrown back into the water. The crippled shark soon dies."
All this for overpriced, unhealthy and tasteless soup.
Tom Sebas | Honolulu
CAREER POLITICIANS ARE HUGE PROBLEM
Two big obstacles that President Obama needs to deal with in getting things done are plain old ignorance and racial prejudice, which keeps lifting its ugly head during his first year in office.
But regardless of whether President Obama serves one or two terms, the largest problem with our political system is career politicians in Washington.
We have term limits for the president and for governors so why not congressional office holders? If we had term limits for senators and representatives in Congress it would go a long way in diluting the powers of the lobbyists (pharmaceutical companies, bankers, insurance companies, etc.) who feed on career politicians to push their own agenda, which usually does not benefit the general public.
A career politician is like the fox guarding the chicken coop. They are concerned only about getting re-elected instead of doing the right thing.
Corporations feed on the egos of career politicians, and it is easier to buy votes from the career politician than someone who knows they will be serving for limited time.
Ronald Lau | Ha'iku, Maui