For Tuesday, December 18, 2012
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Dec 18, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 10:51 a.m. HST, Dec 18, 2012
Solar industry rules are legislative turf
Gov. Neil Abercrombie's characterization of the solar industry as "people who cheat" is a disservice to those who care about green energy.
The Hawaii Solar Energy Association has been working closely with policy makers to address the issue of state solar tax credits and wants the incentives fair and clear.
Nevertheless, the governor unilaterally pushed his Tax Department to implement energy policy that fails to fix any problems, makes solar more expensive for homeowners, slows Hawaii's goal of energy independence and hurts the state's solar industry, which accounts for 24 percent of our entire construction trade. Never mind that the role of the Tax Department is to interpret laws — not make new ones — and that the governor's new rule limiting state solar tax credits was put into effect with no public hearings.
Don't punish the whole solar industry for the bad acts of a few. Let's fix whatever problems there are in the Legislature where the issue belongs.
Executive director, Hawaii Solar Energy Association
Let's work together to avoid gun deaths
"Did you hear what happened in Connecticut?" Those were the words Friday morning that introduced many to the tragedy that occurred in an elementary school in New England.
As we ponder the "why" of this catastrophe, we are all wondering how to make sure this doesn't happen again. The media have been reminding us all day of previous shootings at Virginia Tech, Columbine and other mass murders. And, of course, the issue of gun control will again be raised. Considering the current amount of legislation in place for the controlling of firearms, it would appear it was not enough to prevent what happened in any of these tragedies. Will even more laws prevent it in future?
We need to have a serious dialogue. We cannot afford another Connecticut.Schools and other public places should be safe. How do we accomplish this? I can't supply the answer but I do know that we all need to work together to find answers.We can no longer afford to be confrontational and emotional. There has to be a solution that completes the equation.
Many massacres in gun-free zones
Another gun-free zone, another massacre.
And another predictable response: a call for gun control.
I do not own any guns — pistols, rifles, BB guns, etc. I do know that past discussions always fail to note that these massacres have occurred in gun-free zones. I suspect that some, if not many, massacres might be avoided if perpetrators know beforehand that the targets are not gun-free zones.
Perhaps the focus should be on active, not just passive, security measures and less on gun control.
Tow firm executive seems bad at math
The excuses Hans Tandal of Leeward Auto Wreckers made for the incompetence of his company are laughable ("City towing vendor inflated its fees," Star-Advertiser, Dec. 16).
Computing the correct towing fees is hardly higher math. The maximum charge is $165, period! Is it that difficult tounderstand or compute? Billing J.C. Lopez $227, or $62 over the maximum, is preposterous.
"Misunderstanding, inadvertently missed by our monitoring efforts, new employees, new system not learned by subcontractors" — give me a break.Either they are stupid or they're cheats.
Now the question is: Will the city continue to retain them as a contractor?
Locals should run Hanauma Bay shop
I'm distressed at learning that the mayor and Honolulu City Council have awarded the concession contract for the Hanauma Bay gift shop to a mainland company.
Thegift shop has been operated by the same local people, in cooperation with the Waikiki Aquarium, for many years. They have worked hard to find local products and useful items at a reasonable price.
It is important that this shop be operated with an emphasis on local people and products.It is also important that the symbiosis with the aquarium benefited that wonderful place as much as Hanauma Bay.
I sincerely hope it is not too late to change this decision, and that the current management will be able to continue the good job that they do for our visitors at both the aquarium and the bay.
Shame on city officials for choosing a mainland company.
North Shore on verge of gridlock
Turtle Bay's draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement claims that its proposed new development will add "only" 25 percent more traffic to Kamehameha Highway on the North Shore. But Envision Laie also proposes development that will increase that traffic.
Kamehameha Schools' proposed redevelopment of Haleiwa will add 165 more parking spaces, and thus traffic, to Haleiwa. Then there's the hair-brained idea of trucking the whole island's trash along Kamehameha Highway to a future dump site near Kahuku. If even only some of these projects advance, traffic will overwhelm the highway, which is already at capacity much of the time.
If we're going to allow any of these projects, there has to be direct highway access into the Windward North Shore — say, a Wahiawa-to-Kahuku extension of H2. This would take load off Kamehameha Highway, provide a badly needed coastal emergency exit road, and give the windward north towns a reasonable commute to central and south Oahu, greatly improving their residents' job opportunities and their economic base.
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