Letters for Thursday — October 20, 2005

• Keep keiki safe in cars

• Ohana Kauai Tax Relief update

Keep keiki safe in cars

Are we really being responsible when we jump into our cars and neglect to secure our children in car seats or seatbelts?

Too often I’ve seen babies sitting on a driver’s lap facing outside the driver’s window or even standing on the driver’s lap steering the vehicle with the adult’s hand guiding.

Believe me, with the cost of insurance they’ll have plenty of time to drive us around when they get older.

We say we love our children, but we put them in the front line of bodily injury or maybe even loss of a normal life for everyone.

Lots of us say, “only short distance, my mom and dad nevah put me in car seat or seatbelts and nothing bad happen to me.” Praise God for his grace.

Our children are a gift from God, entrusted to us. So let us train them in a way they should go and when they become older they will not depart from it.

Including securing them properly in their car seats or seatbelts, so when they become parents, they also will follow the examples given them.

So the next time we get into our cars with our children, let us remember the first time we laid our eyes on our little miracle and show them how much we love them.

Besides, it is the law.

  • Lynette M. Viluan

Ohana Kauai Tax Relief update

For the 21,000 voters on Kaua’i who voted on the Ohana Kauai Tax Relief Measure, this is to serve in part as an update. By now, you are well aware of the flood of property tax dollars into the county’s coffers as well as the painful cries of taxpayers. All arguments that were presented against the measure by every member of the county council as well as the mayor have been shown to be comparable to the bleating of sheep and were wrong. The inadequacies of each council member as to showing an honest interest in serving the people have been exposed as a ploy to regain favors with voters as collectively they have passed by ordinance what Ohana Kauai as well as the majority of voters requested by mandate. Where are we now?

The county’s lawsuit against itself regarding the Ohana tax relief measure for resident homeowners is now before the Hawai’i Supreme Court and tax collections are proceeding. Keep in mind, the county initiated a lawsuit against itself in an attempt to void your votes.

Before the adoption of the Ohana measure the county tax department issued what it called a statement of the impact of the Ohana charter amendment. This “impact analysis” showed that the amendment would result in a county “revenue loss” between $3 million and $9 million per year. This means the county is saying that the measure would save resident homeowners these amounts each year. This saving would begin in the current fiscal year (2005-06). Using the county’s numbers, when the election occurs, next year’s resident homeowners will have overpaid their tax obligations if the Ohana measure was in effect by somewhere between $6 million and $18 million.

It is unlikely that the Supreme Court will have rendered its decision before next year’s end. If that decision is favorable to the Ohana measure, it will mean that the Kaua’i County government has unwarrantedly taken at least $6 million and perhaps much more out of the pockets of Kaua’i’s citizens.

When a matter is in litigation it is prudent to recognize that the outcome is not certain. Again, the sage members of the council are side-stepping their fiscal responsibilities and continue to act recklessly without regard for future liabilities. If there is a tax refund, where will the money come from? The county has made no provision whatsoever for the fact if the county loses the lawsuit it well may have to refund the excess taxes it collected. We can imagine the cries of anguish which may arise in the council chambers when the realization sinks in that the county will need to find perhaps $27 million in its budget for 2007-08 to meet its obligations to the overcharged residents.

While we wait for the Supreme Court to make its decision, it is abundantly clear that county residents could make much better use of the disputed funds than the county. A requirement of government is that it acts on behalf of the public and for the public good. Can this be said of the members of the county council? It would be well to remember this as the next election draws near.

  • Monroe Richman

Gas cap was bad law

The headline in today’s issue, “Buy now, gas price to rise Monday,” is the result of the bad law passed by the Hawai’i Legislature. As professor Dr. L.O. Laney of Hawai’i Pacific University stated in this article, as price cap is a “bad policy.” I wholeheartedly agree! In my opinion it is “legalized price gouging!!”

The Public Utility Commission is incorrect in using other areas of supply that are not in direct competition with supplies to Hawai’i. The real question, consumers and the editor of The Garden Island, should be asking the PUC, “What do the prices and supplies from here to New York and the Gulf Coast have to do with authoring such a large increase per gallon of gas in the state of Hawai’i?? There could be some measure of stating Los Angeles, but not 75 cents or more for a gallon of regular.

Furthermore in my opinion, this bad policy based on a bad law of price-cap controls has accomplished setting up the oil industry in Hawai’i as a public utility. Thus, the consumers are at the mercy of the PUC government agency for the price of oil products! Not competition, as it should be!

The state legislature should call an emergency and immediately pass a new law to eliminate the wholesale price-cap law! It was a real bad idea to help establish the oil industry in this state, or any other state, as a public utility!

  • Frank Barich
    Canby, Ore

In defense of private property rights

Mr. Drew, in his G.I. viewpoint, cites the Bible in his quest to discredit Grove Farm’s right to use its property as it wishes. He fancies himself the “good” man carrying on the “good” fight against the evil of private property rights. He deems it good to fight to deprive others of the free use of their property because that doesn’t fit into his picture of how things should be. Of course, he couches all this in terms of the root of all evil—money—rather than a straight up attack on property rights.

It seems to me that in his rambling condemnation and obvious resentment of the rich and their Rolls Royces (versus his poor status as a pensioner) he commits one of the seven deadly sins—envy. Dante referred to it as: “Love of one’s own good perverted to a desire to deprive other men of theirs.

  • R.S. Weir



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