For Friday, July 2, 2010
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 2, 2010
In the past I have supported U.S. Environmental Protection Agency waivers exempting Honolulu's treatment facilities from performing secondary treatment on sewage, because upgrade costs would significantly raise sewer fees for our residents, many of them who are already living paycheck to paycheck.
However, the recent proposed agreement between the city and EPA is a step in the right direction.
All funding options should be studied with a fine-toothed comb. Will there be a blanket fee for all residents, or higher fees for commercial or densely populated areas? Whatever the city proposes, it is important that the funding system be affordable for Oahu's residents.
Finally, the city should pursue as much federal funding as possible, since it is a federal consent decree. In the end, the amount of federal funding we receive for this project will determine how much Oahu residents will have to pay.
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The Star-Advertiser thinks that current Hawaii gun laws comply with the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision ("Hawaii gun laws are sound," Star-Advertiser editorial, June 30).
But what don't the editors and dissenting justices understand about the phrase "keep and bear arms?" My dictionary says that the word "bear" means to "carry."
Without provisions for the issuance of concealed weapons permits to Hawaii residents who meet certain criteria, and without provisions for the recognition of such permits issued by other states, Hawaii law most assuredly does not meet the mandates of the Supreme Court.
Thanks for the Jay Ambrose article ( "Oil spill tragedy spotlights Gov. Jindal's leadership skills," Star-Advertiser, June 25). If there's one thing the Republican Party has given us, it's leadership!
We were led into Iraq, chasing al-Qaida and weapons of mass destruction, and that led us to trillions of dollars in war debt.
We were led into the financial market deregulation that brought us to the brink of economic collapse.
And now we have the main course of this banquet of leadership, a course conceived through the cooperation of the oil industry, Republicans, conservative Democrats, Dick Cheney and everyone who has ever chanted "Drill, baby, drill!" And that is the great oil spill of 2010.
This is where I believe President Barack Obama is a true leader. He takes the time to look at the results before jumping the gun.
It's what we need now more than ever; leadership based on facts and consequences.
Many thanks for the excellent front page coverage of the success of Hawaii's Graduated Drivers' Licensing program ("A drive to save lives," Star-Advertiser, June 28).
It was a wonderfully comprehensive description of the life-saving system, its five-year statistics and what teens and parents think of it.
It was a great service to the community in light of the fact that the 2010 Legislature made the program permanent.
MADD Hawaii believes that the GDL program will continue to be successful in providing more protection to novice teen drivers than was afforded them before the Legislature first passed the measure in 2005.
One more comment: MADD believes that most crashes, especially those which are alcohol-related, are not truly "accidents" but statistically predictable incidents.
Therefore, we encourage the public, including the media, to use the words: crash, collision, incident, or wreck rather than the "A" word.
In his guest column ("Congress being derelict in not enacting a budget," Star-Advertiser, June 30) Congressman Charles Djou calls for tough decisions on the federal budget. Yet nowhere in his article does he mention any tough decision that he would be prepared to support. Presumably he has ruled out any tax increases, so he must be prepared to cut spending. The three largest items in the federal budget are defense, Social Security, and Medicare/Medicaid. Where, and what, would Rep. Djou cut? And please do not insult our intelligence by calling for "the elimination of inefficiency and waste" or banning earmarks (less that 1 percent of the budget).
Congress may well be derelict in not passing a budget, but Rep. Djou is equally derelict if he has no solutions to offer.
The column in Wednesday's paper by Congressman Charles Djou should have been run as a paid advertisement of the Republican Party. It has all of the catch phrases that they use: "higher taxes," "ballooning deficits," "runaway government spending," etc.
Congressman Djou is a graduate of the Wharton School of Business and he understands that in times of recession, government spending should increase to offset the reduction in consumer demand, or the economy will spiral into deep depression.
At the end of World War II, we were left with a government debt of 140 percent of gross domestic product and a top marginal income tax rate of 95 percent, yet the next 15 years were years of great growth. With increased economic activity the debt was quickly reduced. On the other hand, in 1938 when they tried to balance the budget, it stopped the recovery from the depression that was under way. We don't want to do that again.