For Thursday, August 26, 2010
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Aug 26, 2010
The recent Hawaii Poll results for the lieutenant governor's race are incomplete at best, and misleading at worst ("Schatz tops lieutenant governor's race," Star-Advertiser, Aug. 23).
No mention was made of the fact that the most well-known candidate in the race had 47 percent of the respondents say that they didn't know the candidate at all, or well enough to make a decision. The least well-known candidate had 67 percent of respondents say the same thing.
But this poll does show that the media has not paid nearly enough attention to this important race. It's inexcusable that more than half of "likely voters" do not know the lieutenant governor candidates well enough to make a logical decision.
A wonderful and talented young man, Kurt Kanazawa, will be singing the national anthem at the New York Mets' game tomorrow, Japanese Heritage Night. Kurt is the son of Hawaii-born parents, Millicent Sanchez and Sidney Kanazawa, and the grandson of Mrs. Shimeji Kanazawa of Manoa.
Kurt, an opera student at Columbia University, recently performed at the residence of the Columbia University president, as well as at the Japanese Consulate General in New York City.
Congratulations to Kurt, who makes Hawaii so proud.
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According to a recent Federal Communications Commission report, 13 states raided more than $135 million last year from their 911 funds -- with Hawaii redirecting $16 million, the third-highest amount of any state. ("$16M from e911 fund used to balance budget," Star-Advertiser, Aug. 20).
Raiding tax revenues from funds for 911 services, roads or any other programs with a dedicated tax stream for reasons other than their intended purpose is bad policy.
Diverting these taxes from their original purpose only creates slush funds for big-spending politicians. That is why taxpayers should be wary about approving earmarked tax increases in the first place.
Congratulations to schools Interim Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi and her Race to the Top team. Through their dedicated efforts, Hawaii moved up 97 points, and was ranked third, just behind Massachusetts and New York.
The tremendous work in preparing for this rigorous application process was a team effort, with much community support. I look forward to all of us working together to keep us moving forward.
Kudos for securing $75 million for our schools.
I have noticed two things happening at parks around Oahu, both good.
Some helpful folks are planting aloe and mother-in-law's tongues at the base of trees where the ainokea crew dump their hot coals. Second, folks are putting recyclable bottles and cans next to rubbish containers, rather than in them. This makes it easier and safer for the can- and bottle-collecting public to retrieve their haul without spilling trash. I was told that city workers sometimes are doing the same. That's smart and helpful.
I would like to provide clarification of the classification of real property ("Tax jump alarms Kalihi residents," Star-Advertiser, Aug. 20).
By law, the city's Real Property Assessment Division is the sole agency responsible for determining the classification and assessment of all taxable real property in the City and County of Honolulu. To suggest that the mayor or City Council could influence an assessment is irresponsible.
The main objective in assessing the city's real property inventory is to be uniform and equitable. The employees of the division work hard to maintain the integrity of the assessment system.
Recent changes in classification from residential to commercial/industrial were done to address complaints from taxpayers who were paying a higher tax rate than some of their neighbors. Unfortunately, application of existing laws sometimes results in unintended, negative consequences, as was the case here. Acting Mayor Kirk Caldwell and the Council are currently working to fashion a measure of tax relief to assist taxpayers impacted by the reclassification this year.