Rail will bring many economic benefits
On behalf of the membership of the Pacific Resource Partnership, consisting of 240 signatory contractors and 7,200 members of the Hawaii Carpenters Union, it is our hope that developers will embrace the opportunity provided by the rail transit project to shape the future growth of Oahu ("If they build it, will developers come?" Star-Advertiser, Feb. 20).
The project will provide not only tremendous direct economic and environmental benefits but significant indirect benefits as well.
In addition to providing thousands of jobs and alleviating traffic, rail transit encourages transit-oriented development (TOD) that will accommodate our growing population and protect other sensitive areas from urban sprawl.
Moreover, the jobs provided by both rail transit and TOD will put many local residents back to work. This increased employment through construction, retail and commercial opportunities also promotes additional consumer spending that will further benefit local businesses.
Executive director, Pacific Resource Partnership
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More taxes is not way to help businesses
How are local businesses supposed to survive when the government keeps taxing the shirt off their backs? The proposed beverage tax is yet another one of these taxes that will hurt local businesses the most.
Countless mom-and-pop stores, local beverage companies and our farmers who sell their fruit to the local juice companies will all be negatively affected by this tax. These local companies are already struggling to survive in one the most difficult economic times in our state’s history. Let’s not make it harder for the working class to survive.
No more taxes.
Retirees have earned the benefits they get
State of Hawaii retirees earned the benefit of being exempt from paying taxes on retirement pension by working and paying their dues for more than 30 years.
Who do you think shouldered the burden when these retirees were young and working? These same retirees.
The younger workers should suck it up and pay their dues just like these retirees. Now it’s the retirees’ turn to enjoy what they have earned.
Being in the private sector for 27 years, I realized retirement is a dream for most. I say let them enjoy the benefits earned and give them the respect they deserve.
Eligible conservatives should run for office
The Republicans will have to just re-establish themselves with a stronger foothold and bring back two-party rule in Hawaii ("Republicans in Hawaii in better shape than victories of last election suggested," Star-Advertiser, Island Voices, Feb. 19).
The current one-party rule by the Democrats permits them to push forward their liberal agenda.
With all the retired military in Hawaii, eligible conservatives need to run for office for the GOP and the conservative movement. This would be a first step for the Hawaii GOP to re-establish itself and move Hawaii from a blue to a red state.
It has been done in other states. Why not in the land of aloha?
Silver Spring, Md.
Lingle’s lament about equality rings hollow
Rather than demanding acceptance and equal treatment within the GOP as a religious minority ("Lingle schools state GOP on religious diversity," Star-Advertiser, Feb. 19), former Gov. Linda Lingle should follow her own advice and let the voters decide by referendum in 2012.
After all, "a vote by all the people of Hawaii is the best and fairest way to address an issue that elicits such deeply felt emotion."
If this argument sounds familiar, it was Lingle’s explanation to the people of Hawaii about why she discriminated against, and hence alienated, another minority when she vetoed the civil unions bill last year.
Lingle thinks minority rights should be decided by the majority rather than protected by our Constitution.
Has Lingle’s opinion about minorities changed now that she feels alienated?
Or perhaps this is a thinly veiled attempt to repair her shameful legacy of exclusion for an upcoming election.