The decision to raise taxes on electrical vehicles to offset the loss of state gasoline taxes is both wrong-headed and ultimately destructive. Citizens who continue to buy internal combustion engine vehicles are both knowingly and unknowingly contributing to global warming and sea-level rise, which will eventually make hundreds of thousands of square miles of coastline uninhabitable and the loss of millions in property.
It will also help damage, if not eventually destroy, one of the state’s most valuable resources: our beautiful beaches, responsible for so much tourism to our state.
Raise gasoline taxes if you must and stop punishing those wishing to protect the environment, the future of our state and the planet as a whole. Additionally, people who own plug-in hybrids must still purchase gasoline, which amounts to double jeopardy.
William K. Ellwin
Honor Cynthia Thielen for her public service
I feel strongly that either Kailua Road, Kailua High School or even the Pali Highway should be renamed in honor of Kailua’s greatest public servant who just retired after 30 years of excellent service in the state House of Representatives: Cynthia Thielen.
No one has done more for Kailua than Rep. Thielen, who was widely supported across the political spectrum for her tireless work to protect the quality of life in Kailua — from the environment, to public education and health, to restricting over-development and supporting small businesses.
She worked full-time at a part-time job, well past retirement age. We collectively owe her a big thank you!
Hawaii is not getting decent COVID-relief deal
On Dec. 21, Congress passed a $900 billion coronavirus pandemic relief bill. That amount equates to $18 billion per state but I personally feel Hawaii is entitled to at least $20 billion minimum in relief funds.
Why? First of all Hawaii is the only state that stands alone in the Pacific as the first line of defense protecting the West Coast borders from invasion. Hawaii has not engaged or participated in any bombings, violent and deadly crimes, including looting or property damage incidents, or aggression against law enforcement officers.
So why is Hawaii’s U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz so excited over receiving leftover scraps on behalf of the citizens of Hawaii in the form of a $2.5 billion relief package? Sorry, Sen. Schatz, but you are $15.5 billion short of a decent relief package for the people and the state of Hawaii.
Patrick N. Custino
More-specific COVID case details are needed
It is imperative that the Star-Advertiser continue to educate the public by following up on your Dec. 26 editorial, “Tracking COVID-19 clusters in Hawaii,” by publishing a front-page, daily break down of infection numbers. That includes the where and how COVID-19 infection clusters are occurring — actual locations and specific activities, so we can make informed decisions before engaging in such activities. Numbers alone are inadequate.
Another issue is isolation. Most virologists define effective isolation as a self-contained unit where the infected person has no contact with others for 14 days.
Many residences, especially multigenerational units, cannot meet this criteria.
Therefore, the state and city must establish criteria for isolation and offer to place the infected who are unable to meet it in appropriate isolation (e.g., hotels, individual tents on secured property, etc.).
Failure to address these two areas of concern will result in the continued escalation of infection rates in the community.
Outgoing mayor leaving us with long-term debt
Honolulu’s outgoing mayor who ran on “build it on schedule and on budget” has not succeeded at accomplishing that with any project. So for him to start replacing key employees while he leaves office this week, even if they are qualified, and announcing new projects that commit the taxpayers to fund, is embarrassing.
He is making these announcements to gain political play and support, not for our community benefit.
Remember, he has dumped huge long-term debt while little improved during his time in office. Stop all new projects until the new mayor and people are installed and have reviewed expenses and budget.
The people paying the bills aren’t running away or for another office. We shouldn’t need to carry his baggage.
So many convictions, yet man wasn’t behind bars
In reading the article, “Honolulu police fatally shoot man” (Star-Advertiser, Dec. 29): There is no reason someone with 48 convictions, including 12 felonies and 14 misdemeanors, is allowed the liberties enjoyed by law-abiding citizens. Yet the justice system obviously concluded this man was not a danger to himself, police officers or society.
How many felonies does it take to put and keep someone behind bars?
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