Historic homes tax break unfair
Kudos to the Star-Advertiser on your investigative reporting on tax breaks for historic homes ("Hidden homes get big tax breaks," Star-Advertiser, Sept. 12).
Those tax breaks are another scam being perpetuated on the public to the detriment of all the citizens and especially those poor whose taxes have risen to exorbitant levels, as in Kalihi.
Where is there justice in such a system when the historic-home owners are not providing the government evidence that public access is being granted, that the funds saved from taxes are actually being spent in preservation, or that the provisions of the exemption are actually being followed?
I would grant that the owners could be provided a slight reduction (similar to that accorded to senior citizens), such as 5 to 15 percent, but not reduction from $5,000 to $100!
The reduction simply shifts the government income from the rich to every other citizen, especially hitting the poor.
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Neighbors can discourage visits
The issue of hidden
historic homes enjoying tax deductions was well presented.
What was not covered is that a few neighbors of these historic homes can make it nearly impossible for the owners to provide for public access.
At least 12 public visits a year should be enforced, along with a revision of regulations within the city and conservation districts to prevent these neighbors from denying the rest of us access to these beautiful historic structures.
Treat bicyclists like pedestrians
Bicycling laws in Hono-lulu are unrealistic. Bicyclists are pedestrians, too.
Many of us cannot keep up with traffic or are not as able-bodied as those
professional road bikers. We are in no way prepared to compete with either the small 2,000-pound vehicles or the large 50,000- to 75,000-pound trucks and buses for space on the road.
Why do our laws disagree with common sense? No one expects children to go out in morning traffic down Kapiolani Boulevard to get to school on their bicycles.
Our laws say that bicyclists must share the road with motorists.
We need common sense in our laws.
Language usage cuts both ways
Keith Haugen laments the mispronunciation of Hawaiian words ("Oral Hawaiian being mangled," Star-Advertiser, Letters, Sept. 14).
I’ll make a deal with you, Keith: When the people of Hawaii make an attempt to speak English correctly, then I’ll make an attempt to speak Hawaiian correctly.
‘Angels’ musical tells it like it is
I have to disagree with John Berger’s assessment of "The Honky Tonk Angels" ("Angels’ wings restrained," Star-Advertiser, Sept. 14).
He was right about
Allison Aldcroft, Amber Williams and Anita Hall: They were outstanding in every respect. They can sing country and they can act country. Lina Doo’s band had the right touch.
I grew up in the Tennessee mountains and Ted Swindley got us. Southerners love to laugh at themselves and "Angels" had more authentic humor than I’ve experienced in a while. I think it may be the Irish influence that gives the South the range they experience of pathos and humor.
Thank you, Manoa Valley Theater. I hope Swindley writes more about the South. We are different and "Honky Tonk Angels" tells it like it is.
Don’t remove Pali crosswalks
The plan to remove crosswalks from the Pali Highway was obviously made by people who don’t walk anywhere. Removing the crosswalks will get more people killed rather than less. When the crosswalks are too far apart, people will jaywalk anywhere it’s convenient.
Keep the crosswalks and add a signal with a button that changes the light only when someone pushes it, and then it changes in sequence with the other lights along the highway.
Enhancing options rather than taking them away is almost always the better way to go.
I was also under the impression that the Transportation Department was supposed to be looking out for all of the users – pedestrians, bikes and the cars. The decision to remove crosswalks is purely a car-based decision.
Zealots can’t have it both ways
I was amazed at the militancy in some of the letters on religion and politics in yesterday’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Yes, we are all free to use our personal values, religious or otherwise, in our voting. But do those who advocate mixing church and state realize they are opening a Pandora’s Box?
If organized religious groups such as churches want to enter the political arena, they walk a fine line. By receiving tax exemptions they are prevented from directly interfering with how the government operates in that they cannot endorse any political candidates, they cannot campaign on behalf of any candidates and they cannot attack any political candidate such that they effectively endorse that person’s opponent.
What this means is that charitable and religious organizations that receive a 501(c)(3) tax exemption have a clear choice to make: They can engage in religious activities and retain their exemption, or they can engage in political activity and lose it, but they cannot engage in political activity and retain their exemption.
Those of us who believe in our country’s separation of church and state are watching.
OHA ignores its own candidates
As a candidate for Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee, I find it rather disturbing that OHA has paid for other candidate debates but makes no such commitment to its own office. With important issues like the ceded land revenues, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and the decade-old Akaka Bill, shouldn’t there be a debate so that the public can see who is fighting for whom?
Kaneshiro best to be prosecutor
When Peter Carlisle resigned as city prosecutor in July, people were worried who would be able to step into the fine job that he did. Their concerns were over when former city Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro decided to enter the election.
In 1974, I was appointed to start the fire investigation program for the Honolulu Fire Department with limited knowledge in fire investigation. Keith Kaneshiro, who as the senior deputy prosecutor during those early years knew that fire/arson investigation was very important, was instrumental in providing me the knowledge and training to do my investigations well. Keith Kaneshiro was very important to me and the police detectives who worked with me on fire/arson investigations, many of whom have high regard for him. With his experience, qualification, humility and background in understanding, Keith is the best person to take over the city prosecutor’s office again and its responsibilities.
Retired fire captain, Honolulu
Okino critics give Inouye a pass
I had to chuckle reading about the possible expulsion, censure or reprimand of Gary Okino from the Democratic Party for supporting Republican candidates in the upcoming election. Why was no action taken against the mighty Dan Inouye several years ago when he assisted in the candidacy of Alaska Republican Sen. Ted Stevens? His opponent was a Democrat who was not a DINO (Democrat In Name Only), but a true progressive, meaning a real Democrat.
I guess Inouye is untouchable. An interesting contrast.
Prosecutor job should go to Ching
I waited anxiously to see whom the Star-Advertiser was going to endorse for prosecutor and I was very surprised that Don Pacarro was endorsed. The endorsement stated that "continued success in reducing Oahu crime during the two years remaining on (Peter Carlisle’s) term is best achieved by going forward with what is working well." ("Franklin ‘Don’ Pacarro should be next prosecutor," Star-Advertiser, Sept. 2).
Wasn’t there a "crime’s up" headline in the paper recently? More and more of my friends and neighbors have become victims of home invasions and burglaries or know of someone who has.
We need to go with someone who has new ideas and not someone who has been there a while or someone who had the opportunity to be the prosecutor and left without leaving a mark. We need to give Darwin Ching the chance to make all of us feel safe again in our homes.