For Monday, August 1, 2011
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Aug 1, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 2:22 p.m. HST, Aug 5, 2011
Homeless camps won't come for free
So the controversy begins: What do we do with our homeless during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference?
These are people we are talking about. They are either underemployed or unemployed. They have fallen off the mainstream track of the American economy either by bad luck or poor choices. So we want to hide them from view so that the rest of the world doesn't come away with the impression that there are any problems in our paradise?
And what will be the cost of setting up the proposed temporary camps for these people? Who foots the bill? And who benefits from this?
It would appear the only group benefiting from these camps would be the tourist industry. Gathering up the folks who make their homes along Ala Moana and Nimitz is in effect sweeping the problem under the rug.
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Do more to catch red-light runners
I am dismayed to read that the Honolulu Police Department's response to all the pedestrians killed in Hawaii is to have an enforcement event for two hours "at least once a month" ("Deaths spur street safety plan," Star-Advertiser, July 27).
I would think that the lives of Hawaii citizens are worth much more than that.
I am a retired senior who frequently walks to downtown and elsewhere for exercise and doing my part for the environment. Invariably, any city intersection will have drivers violating right-turn-on-red rules. Many drivers show no attempt to slow down at the red light. Any pedestrian stepping into the crosswalk without looking left would be hit.
HPD should have a police officer stand on busy city intersections with a video camera to issue citations. This should be at least one police officer, eight hours per day, for 40 hours a week. I have no doubt they would be busy.
Can refunds do not reflect their weight
The HI-5 recycling program has been in effect for more than five years and there is a lingering question that bothers me: Why are we not paid for the weight of the aluminum cans that we recycle as we were prior to HI-5?
We receive a 5-cent refund but we are not paid for the weight of the aluminum. Before the HI-5 program we were paid for the weight of the cans we recycled.
Someone is being paid for the recycled aluminum cans and it isn't the consumer. In today's economy we all need every cent we are due.
Music studies have long-range benefit
An article on science exams says that much work needs to be done to bring students up to standards ("Students score poorly in science exams," Star-Advertiser, July 28).
It has been proven time and again that students who were exposed to the arts, especially music, starting in first grade, had higher test scores in math and science by the time they got the middle and high school.
Students don't have to learn to play and instrument or sing in a choir. But just exposing them to music, with dancing and singing, and teaching them the basic concepts of music, gave them the training in spatial and critical thinking needed to stand out in science and math.
Short-term rentals are a golden goose
We need cash. Everyone seems to be saying that, but on Aug 10, the Planning Commission is hearing testimony on further regulating short-term rentals.
There appears to be no legitimate government purpose for this proposal. The findings on complaints are contrary to statistics kept by the city Department of Planning and Permitting's enforcement branch and appear to be in deference to some community members' disapproval of, and rancor toward, other neighbors.
Passage of this amendment would cost us the company of President Barack Obama and his family and entourage at Christmas. It would interfere with vacationers who want to provide a homecooked meal for their sons and daughters who have a week of vacation prior to being shipped out to Afghanistan. It would remove accommodations to visitors seeking a less colorful environment than Waikiki for themselves and their children.
It also would mean less tax revenue for our general fund, as well as less income for the yard man, the cleaners, booking agents, remodelers and restaurants, if short-term rentals are closed and tourists seeking alternate accommodations are not welcomed here.
While one hand of our government reaches out to tax our property, the other hand reaches out to discourage us and regulate us out of business.
Mayor Peter Carlisle needs to stop being a prosecutor and start encouraging our ability to bring in cash to the general fund.
Earned income tax credit worth saving
Our great nation was founded by brave men who revolted against the tyranny of the British monarchy more than 200 years ago. They revolted against taxation without representation and other forms of oppressive rule.
Now, Republican governors across our beloved country are cutting the earned income tax credit, which benefits the poorest of low-income working families ("Poor Role Model," Star-Advertiser, July 28). These cuts can mean the difference between being able to buy groceries or paying a sky-high electric bill. At the same time, these same governors are proposing new tax loopholes designed to benefit only the wealthiest individuals among us.
It is sad that even in our country selfish people would lay the heaviest burden on those least able to afford it, while the rich get richer.