In response to the recent Island Voices column (“The high cost of depending on your car,” Star-Advertiser, March 24), a reader noted the cost of Hawaii’s ground transportation system to island households ($46,800 per year per household) is seemingly an unbelievably large portion of the average household income ($80,212) because it leaves little to pay for other necessities (“Estimates of high vehicle costs don’t add up,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, March 27).
While vehicle ownership costs ($22,400 per household) reflect actual out-of-pocket costs in the form of household bills, the indirect “public” costs are not experienced as direct bills. Some are paid by government through taxes (such as infrastructure investments) while others are not (such as congestion, injuries and air quality impacts).
Combined household costs are a representative metric that conveys the magnitude of hidden costs. The reader validates that these costs are too often unseen and removed from discussion of major transportation investments. The purpose of our report was to expose these very real costs.
Unlike other states, Georgia law unfair
If columnist Cal Thomas would make the effort to review state election laws, he would eventually find four states who do more than “aim” for accurate and fair elections (“Georgia election law aims to make voting accurate, fair,” Star-Advertiser, March 30). They set the model for achieving such goals.
They are Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Hawaii. None of them has outlawed providing food and drink for those standing in line to exercise their voting rights. Georgia has.
Despite recent events, hopefully Thomas is correct in believing that people will accept the defeat of their candidate if they believe the system was fair and the tabulations accurate.
Too bad that the recent changes in Georgia law seem to be a solution looking for a problem. That problem, of course, being Georgia’s last national election, which was reasonably fair and accurate — except for a candidate who called state officials and asked them to add a specific number of votes in his favor.
The recent changes do little to reassure the voters of Georgia that the system will be fair in the future.
Edward B. Hanel Jr.
Short-term rentals will harm neighborhoods
Research conduced by the Harvard Business Review found that Airbnb is having a detrimental impact on housing stock across the U.S., as it encourages landlords to move their proper- ties from the long-term rental and for-sale markets to the short-term rental market.
Where are local folks supposed to live if Airbnb and its ilk are allowed soak up all the rental inventory? The more Airbnb, the less work for our struggling hotel workers.
Airbnb negatively alters the neighborhoods it is in. Please submit testimony for the Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting hearing on April 6.
Why isn’t everyone wearing masks outside?
I must be living in a COVID-free Zone. I live near the Hawaii Convention Center and recently, as I was walking toward Kapiolani Boulevard, I encountered more people not wearing masks than those wearing masks.
I can only assume that this neighborhood somehow has become COVID-free and nobody told me. Aren’t I lucky?
Law enforcement for ‘will-not’ homeless
The problem of homelessness can never be completely solved. Here is why. The homeless fall into three distinct categories: the have-nots, the cannots, and the will-nots.
Effectively dealing with the homeless situation requires it to be appropriately managed, rather than completely solved.
Solutions can most definitely be achieved for those in the first two groupings. It requires the help of social service providers to compassionately offer and achieve solutions.
On the other hand, law enforcement may be required to manage the will-nots.
Almost all progress takes place outside of traditional comfort zones. Therefore managing the will-nots may require law enforcement to do good by sometimes appearing bad.
Managing the will-not homeless may necessitate law enforcement intervention, and for homeless assistance advocates to be more concerned with the reality of the necessity for management rather than covering up the homelessness problem with a fig-leaf solution.
Stann W. Reiziss
Register ammunition along with firearms
People still remember Dec. 7, 1941, as the day when our military was caught with its pants down and everyone wondered how to protect their loved ones from a pending invasion.
The solution to gun violence is simple: Instead of restricting firearms, require all firearms to be registered, with registration qualifying the owner to apply for an annual license to purchase ammunition for that specific firearm.
The cost of the annual license should be sufficient to cover the cost of maintaining a system that, like a credit card with photo ID, immediately registers the purchase of ammunition and alerts authorities of any abnormal purchase.
Just imagine the benefits to law enforcement if registration was also required for a bullet fired from the firearm.
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