Allow monthly payment of real estate taxes
Many homeowners and apartment owners will feel economic uncertainty over the next few months due to the coronavirus outbreak. Rental and employment income may drop as job losses mount.
The city can do its part by allowing homeowners and apartment owners the option of paying their real estate taxes on a monthly basis, without any late penalties.
The City Council should make this a priority. No services would be curtailed generally but stricter budgeting will result.
Property owners still need to pay the tax
Thousands of Hawaii residents could lose their jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic, but Honolulu property owners are still expected to pay their property taxes as usual.
Don’t worry if you can’t pay for your medications, hospital visits or nursing care and Tutu has died — by damn, you need to pay that property tax.
They need you to pay that tax or the rail will lose funding. Of course, if you don’t have a job, you don’t need the rail and won’t buy a ticket. They will have to raise taxes to cover the shortfall. Anybody see a pattern here?
How do we sanitize our money against virus?
Who is determining what is safe and what is unsafe regarding the coronavirus? Social distancing is set at 6 feet. So is 5 feet unsafe? Events with 50 or more people are unsafe. Is having 49 people attend an event safe?
We are getting a lot of advice on how to help prevent the virus from spreading, including washing hands, sanitizing cell phones and staying home when not feeling well. There is one source of transmitting this virus that I have not heard addressed: money, the cash in our wallets and purses. How do we sanitize our money?
Train laid-off workers to provide emergency care
About 57,000 hotel workers face a layoff. Oahu will face a massive shortage of care providers over the next 12 months should COVID-19 spread to the general populace. Surely some of the hotel workers can be re-employed immediately to start online training as emergency-care providers. In the worst-case scenario, we won’t have sufficient licensed professionals and will benefit from well-prepared support staff.
An extra tip for take-out can make a difference
I was at my local Chinese restaurant picking up some food for my family and myself. Looking around at all the empty tables and the lady who was getting my order ready.
I realized that besides preparing all the take-out orders for pickup (as usual in normal times), she was also the one waiting tables when people could eat inside. Because of that, the tips she would normally receive for that task was now gone.
Now, I’m not rich or anything like that, but I slid her an “extra” tip. The smile said it all.
If you can afford that extra dollar or two, if there’s a tip jar for the workers, or to the workers themselves, please kokua. That tip might mean all the difference.
Remember, they’re our ohana, too.
Lack of sports leaves fans without an escape
You don’t know what you got until it’s gone. I miss sports. I know there are things more dire and important while under this cloud of COVID-19 uncertainty.
However, sports is an escape. It allows fans to converse about subjects like March Madness. How our brackets are being busted due to upsets. Which teams in the NBA will make the playoffs.
Some events like the Masters are postponed. Baseball’s starting date has been pushed back. The situation is fluid.
Driving home, I was listening to sports talk radio. They were talking about “The Bachelor.” Really? I had to change the station. I miss sports.
Robert K. Soberano
Expand use of EVs to address climate change
When according to scientists, to avoid catastrophe from climate change we need to drastically reduce carbon pollution in as little as 10 years, it is depressing to read that we burned more gasoline in Hawaii in 2019 than we did in 2018 (“Gearing up to go green,” Star-Advertiser, March 1).
This is in part due to trucks and SUVs accounting for an increased fraction of vehicle sales, as well as at the same time becoming bigger and less fuel-efficient. It is hard to believe that this is happening in light of climate change, where Hawaii will suffer greatly from rising seas and storms with increased severity.
Humans are behaving much like lemmings heading for the cliff.
Much more needs to be done to encourage and speed up the use of electric vehicles (EVs), including offering rebates, adding more charging stations, and renewing Act 168, which exempts EVs from some county and state parking fees and expires in June.
County and state vehicle fleets should be converted to EVs as soon as possible. The clean transportation goal of 100% light-duty clean vehicles by the end of 2045 (House Bill 2699 HD2) is not soon enough. Now is the time to act.