Why is it that our politicians want to please everyone in our state instead of tackling difficult issues?
We do not have an open pocketbook to fund all of the outstanding city and state issues, including homelessness, affordable housing, unfunded state pensions, the rail funding shortfall, Honolulu Airport expansion, air-conditioned classrooms and deferred maintenance of highways, schools and University of Hawaii buildings.
Raising taxes is not the solution, except to make Hawaii the most expensive state in which to live.
>> Use the $1 billion state budget surplus to fund some of these issues, rather than funding new initiatives.
>> Eliminate the state’s pension fund for the part-time legislators in the House and the Senate. Most of the elected officials have other professional positions.
>> Establish a state-funded lottery. Lots of states use the funds to support projects rather than increase taxes.
Extend surcharge with conditions
To complete the rail transit system to Ala Moana, extend the current 0.5 percent general excise tax surcharge to 2047, with the following conditions:
>> The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation should complete all rail work and stations to Ala Moana Center and do a feasibility study to extend rail to the University of Hawaii and West Kapolei.
>> The state should forgo the 10 percent it skims from the surcharge and provide some of the funds to the state Department of Transportation. The state DOT then will have a steady source of funds for new roads.
Most citizens are used to paying the surcharge. With this fund going to both the city and state DOT, we would not need to increase fuel, weight and registration fees.
Cruz Vina Jr.
Obama should set Hawaii free
Abraham Lincoln issued an executive order of emancipation. President Barack Obama could do something similar for Hawaiians. Like Israel, Hawaii can be restored as a nation.
Queen Liliuokalani said that the provisional government of the Hawaiian kingdom “has been marked by a succession of arbitrary, illiberal and despotic acts, and by the enactment and enforcement of pretended ‘laws’ subversive of the first principles of free government and utterly at variance with the traditions, history, habits, and wishes of the Hawaiian people.”
The United States did overthrow the Hawaiian kingdom. The vote for statehood included everyone living in Hawaii rather than reflecting the “wishes of the Hawaiian people.” Land was taken from existing descendants. These “despotic acts” undermine property rights and the “principles of free government.”
It is within the president’s purview to do justice and exercise righteousness.
Restaurant grade not a guarantee
How ironic that a restaurant chain named Genki Sushi is at the forefront as a primary vector in the hepatitis A outbreak. The Japanese word “genki” means healthy.
The photos showing Genki Sushi employees “sanitizing from top to bottom” their outlets may not appease public concerns about improved sanitary conditions (“State embargoes suspect scallops,” Star-Advertiser, Aug. 17).
The current hepatitis A outbreak emphasizes the reality that the state Department of Health’s “green pass” posted at the entrance of any establishment is never a sign indicating customer protection against many sight-unseen factors, including potential pernicious pathogens that negatively affect food safety, handling and quality.
Jobs with halos don’t get a pass
I agree with Nancy Manali-Leonardo about the need for reforming the whole police system (“Police system needs reforming,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Aug. 26). I was glad to see the issues finally put on the table for public scrutiny.
I disagree with Ken Zitz because I think he missed the point (“Police on Oahu do a great job,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Aug. 26).
Certain professions just come with a halo, so to speak. Among them are teachers, nurses, police officers and, yes, those serving in uniform. There are others who are expected to be above reproach, such as airline pilots and physicians.
I did not find the articles to be sensational (“Crossing the line,” Star-Advertiser, Aug. 21-23). I also would not be interested in follow-up articles about what a good job the police officers do. People doing good things in professions where it’s expected is just not news.
The articles were about “a few bad apples” among many good officers, and that needs to be addressed.