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Leaf-blower ban would hurt small business, working class

The Honolulu City Council is looking at enacting a law that would further hinder small business in Hawaii. Bill 38 will completely ban the use of leaf blowers. The small group of citizens pressing the Council to ban all blowers apparently has no concern for small business or the working person. Thousands of workers would be impacted if this bill were to pass.

I have owned a lawn maintenance business for more than 25 years. Leaf blowers are a necessary tool for thousands of lawn crews, roofing companies, hotels and maintenance companies who must clean parking lots and other large open spaces including parks and recreational areas.

Imagine trying to sweep or rake large parking lots, between hedges and behind walls. The additional time and labor will increase the cost to our clients, many of whom will no longer be able to afford our services. The amount of work we do will decrease, as will the taxes we pay and taxes on millions of dollars of equipment sales and repairs.

The economy can’t afford to be restricting the working man to pacify a handful of people who are unwilling to accept the recent compromise in the new state law, Act 206. These tools may be inconveniences to some, but they are necessary to the livelihood of the working class.

Norman Wilhoite
Ohana Lawn Service


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Mail: Letters to the Editor, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 210, Honolulu, HI 96813


BOE should know what it’s looking for

Some people might think it’s a good idea that the state Board of Education is surveying the public to get input for the selection of a new superintendent. But that is like the UH football coaching staff asking the public for their ideas about formations and plays that the team should run. Fred von Appen might have considered ideas suggested by the public, but June Jones didn’t need their input to know what he was going to do during the games.

Hawaii’s public schools are suffering from a severe leadership deficiency. Any BOE member who doesn’t already know the qualities to look for in a superintendent should resign. Otherwise, Hawaii should prepare for the educational equivalent of an 0-12 season.

John Kawamoto


Conservatives’ health hypocrisy

The Founding Fathers would likely agree with Jay Ambrose, though I do not, that this presidency is a tyranny ("Some truths should be self-evident, but aren’t," Star-Advertiser, July 9). After all, how could slave owners imagine, much less tolerate, a black president? The cry of "tyranny!" rings back to the days when the majority of those who elected Barack Obama had no rights. How fiercely the conservative holds the Constitution in one hand, the Bible in the other, proclaiming the great ideals of both while denying them by their deeds.

"Give to those who would beg from you," said Jesus, but the conservative refuses the poor, who beg for health care. "Right to life!" the conservative proclaims, undisturbed at those who will die for lack of a doctor.

Mr. Ambrose calls health care reform an abomination. Such is conservative hypocrisy.

Peter Barmus


Hawaii should try gambling

I have to respectfully disagree with Suzanne Green even though she is on the right side of the issue since gambling is illegal here ("Legalized gambling didn’t save Nevada," Letters, July 10).

Nevada was ground zero of the housing crisis. The massive foreclosures and the economic downturn are the real sources of their revenue problems. Gambling is actually helping to slow the slide.

Hawaii has a lot in common with Las Vegas. I think we should instead be looking to replicate its successes, rely on more private sector opportunities, increase revenues in our tourism industry by offering more options that enhance visits, and encourage more travel here.

Lots of visitors who aren’t so crazy about the beach would love it if they had another place to go while the rest of the family were swimming or shopping.

Eddie Delzio


How will F-22 protect us?

The incredibly expensive F-22 Raptor created by Lockheed Martin is certainly a product of man’s genius. The overriding question we must ask, however, is how will this magnificent airplane protect us from our primary enemy, namely terrorists of every stripe and, particularly, suicide bombers? Lockheed Martin’s ad boasts "300 million people secured." Can they answer that question?

Ed Sullam


Bus fare increase a policy mandate

I would like to correct misinformation from Gov. Linda Lingle about the TheBus and the Honolulu rail transit project.

The governor has been saying recently that city bus fares have been increased because of the rail project. Nothing could be further from the truth. By City Council policy, about 30 percent of TheBus revenue must come from the farebox. And that is why the Council approved bus fare increases last year. At the request of the Hannemann administration, fares were not increased for seniors and the disabled.

Wayne Yoshioka
Director, Department of Transportation Services, City and County of Honolulu


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