Letters for Monday — December 12, 2005

• Tip of the iceberg

• Repeal the bottle tax

• Support the island economy

Tip of the iceberg

It was a pleasure to see the cartoon and the Lima Ohio News item about the Cunningham and Abramoff corruption in the FORUM, Thursday, Dec. 8. The cartoon was a bit misleading, Cunning-ham and Abramoff should have been the ones creeping out of a viper’s nest of Republican corruption. And Cunnigham and Abramoff are just the tips of this disgraceful iceberg.

This administration is the most corrupt, inept, incompetent, warmongering, lying batch of thieves this country has ever known. My guess is a lot of big rats are running for cover in Washington. Cheney, who is a certifiable lunatic and speaks and plays the part to perfection, is a major player in the Halliburton scandal and his puppet, George … even if he is stupid enough to be ignorant of Cheney’s participation … is guilty as sin. His lies are legion.

I am angry with the Democratic Party. Being honest, decent people does not relieve them from their duty to go after these rodents with every weapon in their arsenal.

Please anyone don’t come back at me with the ‘Clinton lied about sex with Monica’ madness. Your morals seem to be stuck in your zipper.

  • Bettejo Dux

Repeal the bottle tax

As the person in charge of collecting, sorting and meticulously (religiously) counting the redeemable, recycled containers which are deposited in bins for St. Catherine School in Kapa’a. I would like to commend Mina Morita, the State of Hawai’i, and Reynolds Recycling, Inc. for their diligent, studious, calculating and nefarious tactics to profit excessively from those who bring containers in for redemption.

The money I collect is given directly to St. Catherine School. I receive no compensation for my efforts. Therefore, the school (not I) is being grossly shorted by the above mentioned by the procedures in place to pay for recycled containers.

Prior to last month, I received payment based on my count of containers. I was notified that henceforth, Reynolds Recycling would pay by weight and not by count. My first experience, Oct. 21, with the new method was that I had 1745 containers which should have netted $87.30. By weight I received $81.85, a shortage of $5.45. The next time, on Nov. 8, it was in my favor by about $9. On Nov. 22, I turned in 2085 containers which should have netted $104.25. By weight I was paid only $70.40 (check #23147), a shortage of $33.85.

I had contacted Reynolds Recycling last month to inquire about the paying weight and was told that a provision is the state law permitted recyclers to pay by weight rather than count when there were more than fifty containers. According to a small piece of paper put out by the state, the first item reads: “5c Deposit Per Container The deposit is refunded when you take your empty beverage containers to a redemption center.”

This so-called provision to pay by weight rather than count is obviously in favor of someone other than the person bringing in the containers. If the person or entities mentioned about felt that people would not be honest about the count, then the recycle containers. This, of course, would prove disastrous.

With the state garnering about $27 million in excess profits from the bottle tax for the general fund, I feel that the consumer should be trusted at least as much as we trust the state, but I won’t go into that. One way or another, St. Catherine School was cheated out of $33.85.

Best solution? Repeal the bottle tax and install curbside pickup.

  • Doug Nielsen

Support the island economy

In the Saturday, Nov. 19, Forum, Tommy Thompson’s, “Hawai’i buyers getting a raw deal,” many items purchased via the Internet can be purchased if not special-ordered by a local business on Kaua’i. Many of our local merchants are only too happy to provide their customers with personal attention, many times meeting or exceeding their expectations.

Our island’s future and prosperity depend on all of us to buy from local Kaua’i businesses owned and operated by local merchants. Our economy depends on the dollars spent here. Unnecessary purchases which are readily available here on island and are purchased via the Internet simply deplete the economic base which provides for the island’s infrastructure and the county department’s funding in the attempt to keep up with the ever-increasing populace.

Internet purchases send Kaua’i dollars away without any compensation. You also need to recognize that locally owned-and-operated businesses incur shipping and freight charges as well. These charges, in many cases, are built into the bottom line retail price to the consumer. Local businesses ultimately get a much better rate for freight being shipped to the island in volume and on a regular basis. It only stands to reason that a “one unit” purchase is going to dictate a much higher shipping cost. Mainland businesses are not exempt from and are faced with ever-rising fuel rates, hazardous material surcharges, road taxes and salary increases perpetuated by the unions which negotiate the continued demands of employees, all of which we depend on for deliveries, whether it be to the island or the contiguous 48 states.

Being a merchant myself on the North Shore, I am not pleased by these rising costs either. These costs ultimately have to be absorbed or passed on to the consumer. When I relocated to Kaua’i 18 years ago, I responsibly took the time to weigh the financial impacts of my move and realized in advance that the cost of living here would not be cast in stone as time marched on.

You knew what the shipping charges would be when you pushed that “process order” button and had the choice to accept or decline your order knowing what the incurred total would be. How dare you “yell” about your choice and decision to accept responsibility for your purchase, only to contest it following its delivery? If you disagreed with the policy of the Internet merchant you chose to do business with, more than likely you couldn’t afford the price of instant gratification. Phone batteries, maintenance products for a convertible vehicle and the purchase of personal computers are luxury items. Take responsibility for your decisions and count to 10 before pushing those buttons.

You need to explore the money you part with versus the savings that are so often not realized when ordering merchandise on the Internet. Before making that off-island purchase again, take a moment to do the math. Shame on you!

In conclusion you should, as so many of us do, take a moment to remember where we have chosen to reside, count our blessings for the “Aloha” spirit we are embraced by and give and take appropriately for the prosperity, economic health and protection of our piece of paradise.

  • Terry Caplan

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