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Letters to the Editor

For Saturday, November 23, 2013


POSTED:



HCDA catering to developers

It is appalling that the Hawaii Community Development Authority has allowed conditional approval for 10 high-rise condo buildings to be built in Kakaako when city reports say there is not enough information to make a full determination on infrastructure capacity.

The HCDA members are gubernatorial appointees who have direct ties with construction and development interests. They do not represent the interests of a balanced community.

The sewer in the area is old and incapable of handling the present community load — witness the unpleasant odor in the air during rain storms.

Ten high-rises will double the population. And who is the target population the HCDA developers are aiming for? Not median-income Oahu residents but foreign nationals who want expensive second homes and places to use as business client housing.

Read closely the skewed report data eliminating median-income people. Is this the kind of future community Kakaako wants?

John and Rita Shockley
Kapolei

Obamacare good but so is choice

As an American citizen, I support a public health care plan.

The Affordable Care Act is the first open resource that lets all citizens purchase a health care plan without health condition limitations.

There is a lot of debate between supporters and opponents of this Act. Without agreeable alternatives, it will be an ongoing issue for Democrats and Republicans.

I don't think the federal government should make it mandatory for all citizens to enroll in a health care plan, or pay a penalty otherwise.

We are Americans. We are proud of and live for our freedom. We should have the right to choose what we want and what's best for ourselves.

Bianca Yu
Punchbowl

Have U.N. broker Middle East talks

The United States can never be an honest broker for peace between Israel and the Palestinians because of the enormous political power Israel has within our country.

To win a national presidential election, one must boost ones's chances by winning New York, California and Florida, states with large Jewish populations. Beyond that fact, Israel has an outsized lobby influence in Washington that gives it unequal influence with our lawmakers who often look to their next election results.

So what to do?

The U.S., along with the rest of the world, should support the United Nations as a third-party player to achieve a peace agreement. The signal to Israel would be that its land-grabbing days are over. The signal to Palestine would be that it has a real chance to achieve a state of its own.

It is worth a try, as nothing else has worked over the last many decades.

Thomas Gambino
Kailua

Kudos to hotelier for parks idea

Although many would have no objection to an ordinance that prohibits lying down in public places — directed toward behavior, not individuals — Outrigger Enterprises has come up with a most creative proposal for dealing with the homeless residential issue in our parks ("Hammer won't ease homelessness," Star-Advertiser, Our View, Nov. 20).

It suggests that park maintenance responsibilities include nighttime closure, thereby emphasizing function rather than people.

We can thank our own locally grown hotelier for its initiative in going beyond the purely commercial and addressing its community responsibility.

Jack McDermott
Waialae-Kahala

Theft of carts simply a crime

When is theft OK?

All this nonsense about state Rep. Tom Brower's attempt to draw attention to the failure of our officials to control the homeless is just that, nonsense.

Our politicians say they are doing things to improve the situation. Well, doing various things that cost money and improve nothing solves nothing. It is throwing money down the sewer.

I have one question to ask anyone who is sympathetic toward the homeless on our streets. When did theft become legal? These people have stolen the shopping carts. Stealing is a crime. When did it become legal to steal if you are homeless?

End of story.

Diane Tippett
Waikiki

 

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peanutgallery wrote:
IRT Bianca Yu: Obamacare will be the end of the Dems as we know them today. That will be a good thing! Obama has been the most divisive president this country has ever had, and the inability of our Congress to move forward with any continuity, or bipartisanship clearly demonstrated the strident chaos in Washington. This has all been overseen by the most divisive prevaricator of all time. "Obama"
on November 23,2013 | 02:38AM
false wrote:
The most divisive behavior is the undoing of this president at every turn. Medicare cannot continue to endure the fraud. If you have Medicare and full coverage, Medicare gets an inflated bill as primary. This is socialistic fraud. It's not okay. So something has be done because tax payers are being played on all fronts. Obamacare needs to happen to save all of us. President gets blamed for all the human failure in the world everyday.
on November 23,2013 | 04:38AM
mikethenovice wrote:
Like a person in a coma, we do not choose death as the first answer. We at least try to attempt to fix the problem to save it.
on November 23,2013 | 05:15AM
soundofreason wrote:
If you get a chance, watch a youtube from "Star Parker". She makes a very good point. Why mess with EVERYONE'S insurance when there's only a pocket of problem areas.
on November 23,2013 | 06:41AM
buttery wrote:
IRT soundofreason: if you have insurance, no problem. the penalty goes to those who do not have coverage.
on November 23,2013 | 09:43AM
mikethenovice wrote:
Your bias is showing. Do I need to ask you if you are a Republican for your one sided comment?
on November 23,2013 | 05:14AM
Nevadan wrote:
Aloha novice and Bianca Yu: If it is not "mandatory for all citizens to enroll in a health care plan, or pay a penalty", then how do we expect our president to ensure that all illegal immigrants get free medical care? It's the Hispanic vote, stupid !
on November 23,2013 | 06:25AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Hey Neva if the Hispanic can vote, that means he/she is an AMERICAN. Duh....what does an AMERICAN look like Neva? Ahhhhh, not Obama? Ahhhhh ,not Hispanic? Oh, I see.
on November 23,2013 | 06:56AM
Nevadan wrote:
No. You don't see. Think, boy. This is too advanced for you?
on November 23,2013 | 01:31PM
ehrhornp wrote:
lol, love phony conservatives making silly predictions. You would be better if you predicted the end of republicans as we know them today. Republicans by taking a take no prisoner approach and just say NO at every turn have only succeeded in getting the filibuster amended. When almost half of the filibusters have been done under the Obama administration, something is wrong and the party doing it should be penalized. While there are lots of things I disagree with Obama with, he has had one hell of job coming in after G W Bush who drove the economy off the steepest cliff since the great depression. I appreciate the stock market now reaching new highs as compared to the previous president who gave us new lows.
on November 23,2013 | 05:34AM
stef wrote:
Ehr, still spouting those phony arguments. I'd like to see Obamacare enacted and enforced "as written" and right away. If it works, great and I'll be the first to admit that I was wrong. But don't you find it curious that if it would work, why the dems and the pres are scrambling to delay pieces of the legislation until after the next elections. The repubs dummies -- for trying to save this thing. Just let it happen.
on November 23,2013 | 08:01AM
buttery wrote:
IRT stef: you know it isn't phony arguments! It is FACT! Here's one back at you---"but don't you find it curious" that the GOP lost the Presidential election twice in a row and lost BADLY?! Who supported Wall Street bail-out? In case you are in denial, the answer is George W. He dug a deficit hole so deep this country may never get out of that hole! He wasted over a TRILLION dollars in this Middle East debacle and we are still there, we are still spending and taking insults from the people we are helping. So don't go casting stones at Obamacare(ACA) or anything else this President does!
on November 23,2013 | 10:03AM
hawaiikone wrote:
Anyone with eyesight wasn't surprised at all. Easy to vote for freebies, harder to get someone else to pay for them.
on November 23,2013 | 11:36AM
false wrote:
hawaiikone: "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." Margaret Thatcher.
on November 23,2013 | 11:43AM
ehrhornp wrote:
Problem with Capitalism is soon the economy blows up. Have we missed GW or Hoover yet?
on November 23,2013 | 11:56AM
ehrhornp wrote:
Well it doesn't take many brains to see that to continue the broken health system just is not smart. In fact it is stupid. Frankly am amazed that the republicans decided to abandoned their past.
on November 23,2013 | 12:30PM
ehrhornp wrote:
What is phony about it? Lets see republicans generally give us economic downturns and democrats give us growing economies. Yes I also want Obama care, or I should write Nixon care enacted as it appears that tricky Dick has come out on top. Actually it is the repubs who want to delay it. Forever if possible. So tell me what is so great about America's health care prior to Obama care? Should have been dumped decades ago. Probably is the main reason why Canada is now ahead of the United States.
on November 23,2013 | 11:54AM
buttery wrote:
IRT peanutgallery: does geo. w ring a bell? does the GOP congress ring a bell? The MOST divisive person of all time is in your mirror!!
on November 23,2013 | 09:29AM
pcman wrote:
IRT Yu on "good." Obamacare might be good for a few millions but bad for the majority hundreds of millions. Additionally, it will cost $Trillions, half of which could have been used for Medicaid to cover those who could not get care and half which could have been used for homeless and unfortunate children. We did not need to create a new health care industry of thousands of administrators and get rid of thousands of doctors and health care professionals. Vote out Obamacare by voting in people who will vote to repeal it.
on November 23,2013 | 11:54AM
mitt_grund wrote:
RE: Bianca Yu on Obamacare. Objectively, the ACA can offer some great options for lower income and lower middle income families, with the allowable tax deductions, etc. And the ability to be insured with pre-existing conditions is great for the chronically ill.

But in the case of dependent adult child (still attending college), option under COBRA was lower given the huge deductible payable up front before HMSA/Kaiser ACA benefits would kick in. Something like $8,000 besides monthly insurance premiums, before any benefits are forthcoming. And in my tax bracket, no tax deductions.

Only option provided by Hawaii Health Connector site was to not claim adult dependent child and let them file for Medicaid as a non-dependent, which somehow doesn't sit right, given that they still live at home.


on November 23,2013 | 03:43AM
serious wrote:
Allowable tax deductions??? Obama keeps talking about that to the people who elected him, they don't work, are on welfare--what do you do with a tax deduction if you don't pay taxes???
on November 23,2013 | 10:57AM
mikethenovice wrote:
Bianca Yu doesn't think that a healthcare insurance should be mandatory, but is will to pay for the visit to the ER whenever these people just drop in at their own convenience at the tax payers expense? Everyone must be responsible for paying for their own services that they use.
on November 23,2013 | 05:10AM
ehrhornp wrote:
Obama care really is not mandatory as there is no real penalties for not complying with it. Withholding tax refunds is about the only option the government has. Not much of a penalty especially when compared to other taxes.
on November 23,2013 | 05:39AM
soundofreason wrote:
"Really" not mandatory? What color is the sky in your world.
on November 23,2013 | 06:42AM
ehrhornp wrote:
Ah shame so many on the right didn't read the bill. This is a toothless bill as there are no penalties like there are in other tax bills. About the only thing the government can do is to withhold tax refunds. You would know this if you listened to pinko commie media. lol
on November 23,2013 | 06:50AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
I believe you need to go back and read that bill again. There is obviously no penalty if you don't pay taxes.

"The penalty for not having health insurance, at least for 2014, is up to $95 per adult and $47.50 per child or 1 percent of your taxable income — whichever is greater. It does go up substantially in a couple of years. The amount you owe will be pro-rated to reflect the number of months you were without coverage."

http://www.npr.org/2013/10/11/230851737/faq-understanding-the-health-insurance-mandate-and-penalties-for-going-uninsured


on November 23,2013 | 07:25AM
ehrhornp wrote:
The point is the government cannot enforce it. They cannot put liens on your income, or even arrest you. About the only thing they can do is withhold tax refunds.
on November 23,2013 | 08:01AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
So again. It looks like it's only taxpayers who need to worry about enforcement.

If you are part of the 46% of Americans who pay no income tax at all, then there is no enforcement at all.

Any idea why the democrats created such an unenforceable system?


on November 23,2013 | 08:34AM
false wrote:
ehrhornp: So, withholding tax refunds is not an enforcement? Of course, if you don't pay taxes, you don't have anything to worry about. Get real.
on November 23,2013 | 11:47AM
ehrhornp wrote:
Yes Kalaheo, I do know why. Obama was initially against the mandatory provision of the health care bill. But republicans liked it so he put it in. So typical of republicans, they hate something they used to like. Just love their flip flopping.
on November 23,2013 | 11:59AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
ehrhornp wrote: Yes Kalaheo, I do know why. Obama was initially against the mandatory provision of the health care bill. But republicans liked it so he put it in. So typical of republicans, they hate something they used to like. Just love their flip flopping.

You seem to want to blame republicans for the shortcomings of the ACA. How many of them voted for it?


on November 23,2013 | 05:42PM
false wrote:
I was just thinking… about half the population does not pay taxes, right. So the other half has to pay for them? Another thing… even if buying Obamacare is mandatory… so is car insurance, and the estaminet is that 20 to 30 % of the cars on the road have no insurance. I'm wondering where the money is going to come from to pay for the Obamacare (and car insurance) for those people who choose not to participate? I thought the object of Obamacare was to provide insurance for those who could not, not choose not to have insurance.
on November 23,2013 | 06:55AM
Pacej001 wrote:
Careful with this thinking thing. Could cause problems. Keep this up and pretty soon we'll be thinking that there's no way to add all the freebies and remove the caps/limits on health insurance with out some taxpayer, to include many in the middle class, having to pay for it in the form of much higher insurance premiums and/or much higher deductibles. ------------ Wait a minute, that's already happening! Now, this prenatal care and birth control, and coverage for adult children (when most don't need these things) isn't looking quite as good with a price tag attached.
on November 23,2013 | 09:36AM
false wrote:
ehrhornp: IF republicans liked the mandatory provision so much, why didn't any of them vote for the bill?
on November 23,2013 | 02:39PM
wiliki wrote:
Almost all of those that pay no taxes are either too young or too old. They are children or seniors who are retired. We should not demonize them.
on November 23,2013 | 05:01PM
Pacej001 wrote:
Not mandatory? That means that the planned financing of Obamacare is guaranteed to fail. -----------Let's just add the financing model Obama sold Obamacare on to the growing pile lies that he and the congress told us to get the law passed.
on November 23,2013 | 09:39AM
false wrote:
We are going to have to force the young healthy people to buy expensive insurance for those older or preexisting condition people who can't afford it. In other words, high taxes so the government can provide medical care for all it's citizens… right?
on November 23,2013 | 06:56AM
mikethenovice wrote:
Diane Tippett. She has a point. Suppose the homeless were stealing cars instead. Would Tom have gone with his trusty hammer and do a number on the car?
on November 23,2013 | 05:12AM
ehrhornp wrote:
Well I am not sure what her point was. To arrest homeless with shopping carts? Good luck with this. Will really speed up our court system.
on November 23,2013 | 05:45AM
mikethenovice wrote:
John and Rita. Don't you get how politics works. It's always the next generation that will deal with any issues that arise.
on November 23,2013 | 05:17AM
wiliki wrote:
Nobody thinks long term. We just let that happen....
on November 23,2013 | 05:04PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
People buy groceries then take the carts to their condo. They leave it on the sidewalk thinking the store is going to round it up. Sometimes others will use it to carry stuff. Other times homeless people throw their stuff inside and use it. The store comes by gather the carts and no police case is generated. Simple. Most thieves are moms and elderly using the convienence of these wheels. Even seen a paperboy using one. Arrest them all.
on November 23,2013 | 07:09AM
dontbelieveinmyths wrote:
And it's not free to lose or "round up" the carts. Guess how they recover the loss? That's right. It's built in the cost of your groceries. All these "little" things that businesses have to deal with, cost money. So next time you grumble about your grocery bill, just remember what contributed to the higher cost.
on November 23,2013 | 07:26AM
Nevadan wrote:
You give kuli too much credit. She can't remember or think.
on November 23,2013 | 01:43PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
It's rare for me and NanaBoss to agree but on this he is spot on. The carts are generally not stolen from store cart corrals. They are taken by customers to help take groceries home and then left on the streets because the shopper is frankly too lazy to return the cart. The carts still belong to the store at that point but the stores take no initiative to collect their property once it is claimed by a homeless person. At that point the store has abandoned its interest and the homeless person owns the cart. The carts are a cot of business no different than any other expense and frankly it is not a big deal to the store - far less expensive than a lawsuit or the negative PR a dispute with the homeless would cause. Blame the store for taking the easy way out and just cranking cart costs into prices.
on November 23,2013 | 07:35AM
Peacenik wrote:
The City and State are clueless and gutless in approaching the homeless problem. Build a camp already, make if totally inconvenient for homeless to break laws, i.e. steal carts, sleep and pitch tents on public sidewalks and parks that they want to go to the camps.
on November 23,2013 | 09:01AM
sailfish1 wrote:
Stores need to put up big signs telling people not to take shopping carts off the store's property.
on November 23,2013 | 10:45AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
You think the people that take them don't already know they shouldn't? I've got an elevated rail system I'd like to sell you...
on November 23,2013 | 11:24AM
Imagen wrote:
No thanks!
on December 2,2013 | 12:02PM
wiliki wrote:
That's true.... conservatives think the worse of people. They forget that somepeople may have good uses for the carts and are hurting no one.
on November 23,2013 | 05:07PM
mikethenovice wrote:
I once called a grocery store to let them know that a few carts were left at the bus stop. They answered me by saying, So What! I never bothered with these carts again.
on November 23,2013 | 06:47PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
IRT the Schockleys on HCDA: why blame this agency for doing what it was formed to do? The HCDA was never, ever intended to be a champion of the people. It was created to expedite development. It is doing exactly what it was created to do and it is doing it very, very well. It is probably the most efficient agency of the State.

Now, you may not like rampant development or the rules governing development. That's a fair position to take but then you need to focus on the laws that enable HCDA to exist. Get to your legislator and get some laws drawn up. Go to the Governor and complain (hahaha, that's a joke, he loves development and 750' buildings). But recognize that the public authorized the HCDA back in 1976 and it is doing what the public asked. Change must come from the legislature.


on November 23,2013 | 07:39AM
control wrote:
Ms Tippett - since when do two WRONGS make a right? Brower's activity was as ILLEGAL as the theft. As a person in the public's eye, he is held to a higher standard and he failed, miserably. He was engaged in an orchestrated publicity stunt and after getting the exposure he wanted, he dropped out of sight. Our leaders hard a work - yeah, right.
on November 23,2013 | 09:10AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
And he was promoting vigilante justice that encourages people to operate outside the law. Irresponsible.
on November 23,2013 | 11:25AM
tinapa wrote:
RE: "Obamacare good...." The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a conservative creation. It was concocted by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank and hatched by Mitt Romney (Romneycare). The notion that the Republicans had no say is a pure hogwash. In fact, more than half of what is in the ACA are their ideas. They refused to embrace their own creation because to do so would be a naked violation of their scheme to sabotage Obama's agenda. The technological glitches will soon be fixed and the poor and middle class workers will be stampeding to use the instrument of enrollment. These are the groups of workers, the backbone of the economy, that the ACA has targeted. It would enable them to buy health plans, at affordable rates, that give them peace of mind in that they no longer faced with the painful decision to choose between health care and foods for their children. ACA gives them the needed protection against bankruptcy should they incur major medical disaster. Health care is a basic need and therefore, a basic right. America's luster as a compassionate country is fading incessantly due to its lukewarm approach in providing help to its less fortunate citizens. Republicans continue to shut off the spigot of compassion in the name of ideological purity, a euphemism for cruelty.
on November 23,2013 | 09:21AM
Pacej001 wrote:
To term the ACA a conservative creation is a falsehood. While there were, in some conservative circles (Heritage being one) ideas regarding universal healthcare, none took root nor did these ideas resemble the current form of Obamacare. A couple of examples: the Heritage version did not demand BOTH an individual and employer mandate. Also, the Heritage proposals DID NOT include a mandate for comprehensive health insurance as does Obamacare. Instead, Heritage called for a mandate for catastrophic coverage only. Big difference.------ In the case of Romneycare, Romney vetoed the legislature's bill requiring BOTH the individual mandate and an employer mandate.--------------------------For a pretty good summary of why your post is wrong/incorrect/misleading, please to read the following: http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2012/02/07/the-tortuous-conservative-history-of-the-individual-mandate/-------------- If Republicans' response to Obamacare is based on cruelty, then, due to Obamacare's transparent unworkability, negative economic impact, and unaffordability, democrat's uncritical support for it must be based on lack of intelligence.
on November 23,2013 | 10:30AM
Pacej001 wrote:
or democrat support for Obamacare could be based on malice, a means of destroying the nation's health delivery system to the point that the only possible option is a purely government control of national healthcare. Makes a nice parallel to you "Republicans want poor people to die" implication.
on November 23,2013 | 10:36AM
tinapa wrote:
The salient features of the ACA are affordability, workability, positive impact on the economy according to leading economists and provides protection against disastrous health related unforeseen events. Your narrative is in direct contrast with the truth. Democrats support ACA not because they lack intelligence (as you suggested) but they do believe in fairness and equality for all not just a select few as espoused by conservatives. You need to get out from the echo chamber you are in and refresh your mind.
on November 23,2013 | 01:48PM
Pacej001 wrote:
Echo chamber? Look who's talking. There's something more than a bit wrong about having no doubts about Obama, whatsoever, in spite of the events of the last 5 years. As to who's right on Obamacare? I believe I am and that time will prove this to be a fact. Meanwhile, the incompetency and mendacity that has marked Obamacare's passage and implementation should give a reasonable person cause to worry.
on November 23,2013 | 02:43PM
pcman wrote:
IRT tinapa on Obamacare. Maybe many ideas were conservative in Obamacare, which I doubt, but the Repubs had no input into the writing and passing of the law. The ACA is a total Democrat creation and a total loss for which there is no doubt. Just don't blame the ACA on the Repubs. That is a total lie. But, I don't blame the Dems for trying to pass the blame on the Repubs. It's like trying to blame ever scandal of Obama on Bush. Enough already. Dems should take the blame. Obama has.
on November 23,2013 | 01:16PM
tinapa wrote:
pacman:: your narrative is indicative of how minimal your knowledge about what is in the ACA and yet you talk with authority about the subject matter. If you want someone to take you seriously, be serious..
on November 23,2013 | 01:56PM
wiliki wrote:
John and Rita Shockley suspects the motivations of the developer in providing local housing and theorizes that the condos will mainly be bought by those out of state. Time will tell. We will see. Hasn't happened yet....
on November 23,2013 | 09:21AM
wiliki wrote:
Thomas Gambino wants brokered talks with Israel. The US lacks credibility. He may have a point because the previous four party talks pitted the US and Israel against the other parties. Israel simply ignores them if the US isn't involved. That's why these current talks may work. The Iranians and the Palestinians now have our attention.
on November 23,2013 | 09:25AM
pcman wrote:
IRT Gambino on UN. Unfortunately, the UN is not an honest broker when it comes to dealing with Israel. Half the countries in Europe and most of the Asian, African and Arab countries hate Israel. If it were not for the US, Israel would not exist today.
on November 23,2013 | 01:05PM
wiliki wrote:
Sooner or later, the American public is going to question this one sided relationship with Israel. Americans need some assurance that there will be fairness and justice coming out of this. It's the only permanent solution.
on November 23,2013 | 04:58PM
Pacej001 wrote:
"Obamacare is Good, but So Is Choice" misses the point of Obamacare, which is to eliminate choice, or more accurately, to take the choice (of healthcare decisions) away from individual Americans and give it to a group of elite bureaucrats in Washingtion DC. This sort of thing is imbedded in the liberal/progressive mindset: to them, free individuals are not capable of thinking and deciding for themselves on matters of great personal importance. ------------------ This belief is at the very core of the current brand of American left wing political thinking. This is manifested everywhere well meaning (for the most part) liberal/progressives dominate: Our school system (rife with political correctness). Our universities (governed by free speech limiting speech codes and radical faculty). Our own state legislatures over turning the 1998 vote on gay marriage.------------ You see, Ms. Yu, the mind set that forced Obamacare on 90 percent of us to fix a problem for less than 10 percent of the population doesn't care about your ability to choose. They care about their ability to control, to redistribute wealth, to implement their elite top down form of governance.
on November 23,2013 | 09:27AM
HawaiiNoKaOi wrote:
Tippett is absolutely right!
on November 23,2013 | 10:13AM
jankenpo wrote:
Re: HDCA....Call it what you want, pay to play is alive and well.
on November 23,2013 | 10:25AM
RandolphW wrote:
Kakaako will continue to "drown" in sewage waste as permits continue to be issued for new developments.
on November 23,2013 | 04:02PM
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