Speculators back as favored group
Under the previous city administration, non-occupant homeowners — speculators and investors — were not considered a positive influence for our City and County and received a higher property tax rate.
Under the Carlisle administration, they are now considered a favored entity, and resident property owners are obviously just another tax opportunity.
If the Carlisle administration would raise the resident property owners’ rate by 6 cents (instead of 8 cents) it wouldn’t make us real happy, but more happy than raising it 8 cents and giving non-occupant homeowners and 8-cent tax break.
And if the rate for nonoccupant home owners remained the same, we would have a greater yield than the current proposal, and I would guess the non-occupant homeowners would have been happy not to incur an increase.
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GOP to blame for fiscal crisis
Gary Stark wrote that "the Democrats controlled Congress for President George W. Bush’s terms" ("Abercrombie using same old playbook," Star-Advertiser, Letters, March 5).
However, except for the U.S. Senate from May 2001 to January 2003, both houses of Congress were solidly in Republican control for six out of Bush’s eight years, until January 2007, when the Democrats took both houses.
Runaway federal spending and deficits were caused by the Republicans in Congress with their wars and tax cuts for the rich.
Here in Hawaii, a Republican administration swept deficits under the rug, while at the same time crippling needed services through short-staffing and furloughs.
President Barack Obama and Gov. Neil Abercrombie are both struggling with the consequences of Republican fiscal irresponsibility.
Pet dogs are not like wild animals
Attorney Victor Bakke, who represents Dave Becker, manager of a dog-breeding facility, was quoted as saying: "They are equivalent to farm animals. They’re being housed, fed and bred, and that’s basically all that’s required," and, "These aren’t kids. They’re animals." ("Crackdown vowed on animal cruelty," Star-Advertiser, March 2).
If that is Becker’s attitude toward being a dog breeder, I don’t think that is a business that he should be in. I believe that serious dog breeders should take pride in what they do and at least make sure that the dogs are kept in clean kennels and have veterinary checkups.
The dogs were not kept in good condition. It’s deplorable for Bakke to say that the reason was because his client was ignorant of the law.
While it is true that dogs are animals, they are domesticated animals, not wild animals, and it is our responsibility as people to take care of them.
EPA has fulfilled original purpose
Paul Mizue implies that Republicans, in calling for downsizing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, are deviously positioning for a retreat on environmental consciousness. ("GOP has ulterior motives," Star-Advertiser, Letters, March 2). Nothing could be further from the truth, and this logic is typical of those wishing to put the GOP in a bad light.
I suggest that we consider that the regulatory purpose of the EPA be complete. The agency has promulgated more than sufficient legislation to address environmental compliance, and stewardship is delegated to the state level. The bulk of investigation and enforcement in Hawaii is conducted by our Department of Health. Why do we need a huge and expensive federal entity?
Some sort of federal presence may be necessary to address such issues as multi-state corporations and new industrial technologies, but surely not the behemoth that we currently pay for.
Akaka race not top issue now
I am totally disgusted by the lead article focused on who might replace Sen. Daniel Akaka ("Getting in gear," Star-Advertiser, March 6). We are in mid-legislative session, facing disastrous budget issues, an insane, lemming-like plunge toward the ocean of debt that is rail, and in the midst of a utility strike. Yet your focus is on the election of 2012, using rhetoric better suited to a sports event than a potentially significant shift of power.
We need our newspaper to help us by keeping us informed of the issues of the day before it’s too late.