Letters for Thursday, March 22, 2007

• Lauding increased tipping fee

• Let’s define ‘rural’

• Kansans for Superferry

• Simple math

• Extremists right here

• An ounce of prevention


Lauding increased tipping fee

I support the Kaua‘i Mayor Bryan Baptiste’s budget request to the County Council to increase the tipping fee from $50 to $80. When the County Solid Waste Plan was approved by the council in 1993, the consultants working on the project estimated that the costs to run the waste management department were over $100 per ton. The problem with just raising the tipping fees is that the commercial haulers are the ones who pay since residential trash services are “free” to households. The commercial haulers will pass this on to their business clients who have for decades subsidized the costs of the current waste management program on Kaua‘i. And businesses, especially large hotels, are already onto the benefits of sorting and recycling at their job sites to cut down on hauling and tipping fees.

The county needs to start a “Pay as You Throw” program that charges residents for the number of trash cans they put out at the curb. Those with fewer cans are charged less. Each household is held accountable for dealing with their “resources.” This is being done all over the county with tremendous success. Each member of the Kaua‘i community will then have an acute awareness of the value of reduce-reuse-recycle and will pay for trash removal accordingly.

Connie Clausen

Lawa‘i

Let’s define ‘rural’

I wonder if the Kaua‘i County Council can clarify what keeping Kaua‘i “rural” means?

On one hand, they are objecting to Wal-Mart’s expansion to an affordable grocery store with a one story addition, and on the other say that they will not approve anything higher than four stories for hotels, condos, time-shares, etc.

Now, if these four-story buildings are to keep Kaua‘i “rural,” will they be required to be built as four-story silos or barns? Otherwise, they certainly don’t qualify as “rural” structures.

Robin Voorhies

Kapa‘a

Kansans for Superferry

As a travel agent in Olathe, Kansas (suburb of Kansas City), I would love to see Hawai‘i Superferry progress. So many travelers coming to the Islands would appreciate it.

Mary Morgan

Olathe, Kansas

Simple math

The letter to the editor from the Woerpels of California on Sunday (“Can’t stand it anymore,” Letters, March 18) prompted me to share this experience.

There’s an old saying in sales that goes like this: If a client is happy with your product and service they will tell 10 people, but if they are unhappy they will tell 100 people.

During my most recent flight to the Mainland I was seated next to a young couple who were returning from their honeymoon on Kaua‘i. I was excited to hear about the great times they had, but the first statement was, and you can quote me because I wrote it down, “We will never go back to that place again. We felt like we sat in traffic for half of our vacation and it was miserable. We plan to tell all our friends to stay away.”

Seems to me, albeit slowly, our tourist problem is being solved 100 people at a time.

I would also like to voice my support for an accelerated completion of the new bike path because with the relentless development of the Wailua/Kapa‘a area it just may be the fastest way to the airport in a few years.

Don Hoyt

Kapa‘a

Mission of omission

Why does The Garden Island report every anti-war and pro-abortion demonstration while totally ignoring every pro-war and pro-life demonstration? Why must the press continue to deceive by omission?

Peter R. Saker

Lihu‘e

Extremists right here

As a rational humanist, I have no patience for the religious extremism Paula Zina warns against in her letter Tuesday (“‘Tis of thee,” Letters, March 20).

However, I would like to point out that we already harbor dangerous religious extremists in the United States. They form extremist cells in our communities across the land, and their members occupy some of the highest political offices in the country. They advocate for the replacement of scientific inquiry in schools with the propagation of myths and delusions. They undermine hopeful medical advances which could alleviate the suffering of millions of sick and injured people, in order to protect small clumps of cells known as blastocytes. They are willing to guide us into bloody wars without remorse because they believe in an afterlife. They subscribe unquestioningly to a text which advocates death as punishment for adultery, homosexuality and disobedience to one’s parents.

Some will argue that the majority of adherents to the faith of these extremists are peaceful, loving people. I am certain that is true, just as I am certain this is the case within every religious community, including Islam. Yet that should not distract us from resisting the very real danger posed by relgious extremists here in our own country.

To paraphrase Paula Zina, I do not have to look very far to see evidence of this danger — I was born and raised in the biggest Christian nation in the world.

Katy Rose

Hanalei

An ounce of prevention

Grave robbery, an excerpt from the AARP Bulletin, March 2007:

A new approach to identity theft is occurring, now from the newly deceased, with scammers using names and addresses from obituaries, and buying Social Security numbers and other personal data (such as credit histories) from the Internet. With this information, new checking accounts and credit accounts are opened in the name of the dead. The numbers of people affected by this new scam are surprisingly large.

To avoid this happening to you: (1) Don’t include details of birth (year only) or addresses, (2) Mail copies of death certificate to all 3 credit-reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion), and all credit issuers to cancel all accounts right after a person dies, (3) Contact the state Department of Motor Vehicles to cancel any driver’s license and prevent duplicates from being made, (4) Run a credit report on the deceased a few weeks after taking these measures to ensure there is no suspicious activity. You can get a free credit report from each bureau at www.annualcreditreport.com.

In cases where identities have been stolen and debts incurred on the deceased by scammers, surviving family members are unlikely to be held liable for the debts, but they still may pay a price (in time and money) to unsnarl the credit and bank records of their relatives. Remember, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Bill Hackett

Kalaheo

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