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See if charities want your stuff

While watching the local television news channels’ report on curbside bulk trash, I noticed that there seemed to be a lot of good, reusable toys and furniture that were being left out on the curb for bulk item pickup.

I’m not sure if a lot of folks know this, but a call to the Salvation Army or Goodwill or other charitable organizations that offer free pickup of reusable items in good condition would be a positive and beneficial solution for removal of many recyclable items.

If you’re thinking of putting items out for bulk pickup, please keep this in mind, and let your neighbors know about this, too. It would benefit not only less-fortunate folks who might be able to use the items, but also be less of an eyesore in our neighborhoods.

Bill Romerhaus


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The Star-Advertiser welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (~175 words). The Star-Advertiser reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include your area of residence and a daytime telephone number.

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

Obama hangs with the rich

Regarding President Barack Obama’s entourage staying in the virtually tax-exempt historic property owned by Kevin Comcovich: No one can blame Comcovich for taking advantage of this tax break. It is legal, and a smart business decision for him, regardless of any perceived unfairness to other property owners or taxpayers.

What is insulting, though, is the fact that this entourage made the decision to stay there without considering the backlash that may result. Or maybe they did consider how it appeared and concluded it didn’t matter.

The historic property tax-exempt privilege (for the wealthy) is just one of many. I never for a minute believed that the president compromised or agonized over the recent extension of the tax cut for the 2 percent of the population who are very wealthy — it is that 2 percent that he hangs with. And that is how the rich get richer.

Robert Lebo


Charge big fees for fireworks

I’m tired of reading the whiners cry about losing their cultural right to play with fireworks! What a scapegoat of an excuse to be a wannabe pyrotechnist.

Maybe a vote should be taken to see how many people actually would like to keep their incessant need to blow up paper and gunpowder with disregard for the environment, people with lung problems, scared pets, and the potential for fire. If those people win, raise the permit fee to $100. If they are caught without a permit, then fine them $5,000. Illegal fireworks should be punishable up to $10,000 and jail time or community service.

With this approach, the city could make some money to alleviate the deficit and people could light up to their heart’s content — if they have the money. No pay, no play.

Nora Santiago
Ewa Beach


True believers can’t be swayed

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has a difficult, probably impossible, job in convincing birthers of their error on President Barack Obama’s alleged Kenyan birthplace.

Scientific studies have demonstrated the futility of convincing true believers that their myths are false via factual rebuttals.

Last winter, Michigan University political science professor Brendan Nyhan presented conservatives with economic facts rebutting the ideological myth that President George W. Bush’s 2001 tax cuts increased federal revenue.

From 36 percent who believed this myth before reading the rebutting facts, the percentage nearly doubled, to 61 percent, after reading these facts.

Similar experiments have produced similar, if less spectacular, ideological resistance to the facts.

Ridicule is a stronger weapon than reason in dealing with fanatical ideologues. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are leaders here.

C.W. Griffin
Phoenix, Ariz.


Not all palm-oil firms dodgy

In response to Ken Berkun, I’m on the same side of the fence on the palm oil issue ("Palm oil not a clean-energy option," Star-Advertiser, Letters, Dec. 17). Palm oil as Hawaii’s green energy future just isn’t a viable option for us. However, to say that all palm oil produced in tropical regions is not well managed and environmentally unfriendly is incorrect.

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is an organization that "promotes the growth and use of sustainable palm oil through credible global standards such as responsible harvesting." There is no clear-cutting forests or ravaging of wildlife’s natural habitats by the members of RSPO.

There certainly are producers of palm oil that practice unsound policies, but to blanket the entire industry is unfair. Legitimate trustworthy companies can be found in many industries, including the production of palm.

Would anyone really want to see palm replace rain forest on the Big Island? Of course not.

John Balawa

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