Don’t charge for parking at park
We are concerned about the proposal to start charging parking fees at Ala Moana Beach Park.
It appears to us that the park is used almost entirely by kamaaina, mostly working people. For many, the park is their chief source of entertainment, offering an opportunity to get together with their families. It is a place they can barbecue, play their ukuleles, enjoy the water and just relax.
All of us value the principle that the beach should be available to everyone. Charge for parking and you negate that.
We understand the government’s need to find additional revenue, but let’s be careful not to do that on the backs of those who can least afford it.
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Legalize lottery participation
Forty-one states plus Washington, D.C., participated in a mega-millions lottery. More than 5 million people won prizes, ranging from $2 to $10,000, including two top prize winners who each won $190 million this week. Meanwhile, Hawaii residents were left out in the cold.
This is preposterous. It is high time the state legalize lottery participation. In addition to allowing us to join other Americans who enjoy this pastime, we could earn much-needed tax revenue. The only ones paying would be those buying tickets. Instead, the Legislature will be looking to hurt us in the pocketbook by increasing fees or removing tax credits.
Increasing fees is a good idea
Mayor Peter Carlisle got it right when he said that city revenues should be increased by user fees. It’s only right that those utilizing the service should be the ones paying for them, be it the golf course, zoo, parks, etc.
With these economic monetary shortages, we all have to bear the pain, and if you can’t afford something, do something else.
Have cops focus on minor crimes
George Will wrote a wonderful column several years ago on the correlation between minor crimes and major ones.
The major ones are committed by people who believe they can get away with it because they never get caught for their petty ones. If minor infractions are enforced, major crimes will be held down.
I defy anyone to stand at any major intersection in Honolulu where there are traffic lights and count fewer than 100 traffic violations in an hour. Running red lights and not using turn signals are both a given. The Honolulu Police Department has its DUI and speed traps — that’s all for show. That after-the-fact enforcement should be at the intersections.
Hamas to blame for woes in Gaza
Palestinians in Gaza are being victimized, but not by a double standard as Ann Wright suggests ("Gaza victimized by double standard," Island Voices, Star-Advertiser, Dec. 22).
The Palestinians are the victims of Hamas and other terror organizations that believe the destruction of Israel is more important than the well-being of Palestinians.
The demonization or delegitimization of Israel will harm Palestinians rather than help them, as it strengthens the position of the groups like Hamas that oppress their own people.
Efforts to help the Palestinians should focus on weakening such groups, thereby enabling those who wish to make peace with Israel to do so.
Science issues deserve debate
If it is hotter next Thursday than today, that difference is not caused by global warming. This theory predicts that climate change is gradual in response to carbon levels.
But an Associated Press article linked climate change to a 23 percent drop in tea production based on two data points: 2007 and 2010 ("Climate change blamed for lackluster tea taste," Star-Advertiser, Jan. 1).
Back in the days when it was OK to debate climate change, I might have pointed out that carbon levels were already elevated in 2007, so the magnificently growing tea almost disproves a carbon relationship. And this dramatic three-year drop is just too sudden to be a response to carbon levels. If tea production goes up next year, is climate change over? I wager not.
I propose we reinstate debate into climate-change journalism and science itself, so that reporters feel free to include contrary arguments. Journalism can return to the lofty goal of informing the readership from an objective position, even on complex and socially charged matters.