Letters for Wednesday, August 6, 2008

• Time to act on long-term care

• Biting hard on the hand that feeds me

• Fishing these islands

• Coco Palms buildings dilapidated


Time to act on long-term care

An open letter to Gov. Linda Lingle:

Hawai‘i — the state with the highest life expectancy in the nation — can and must do a much better job in the area of long-term care. Our growing population of senior citizens wants and needs better options. Hawai‘i’s current system places too much emphasis on nursing homes, which are very costly, and consume a huge amount of Medicaid (taxpayer) dollars. Most people would prefer at-home care which is much less expensive.

The Legislature addressed this issue recently by passing Act 224. The ball is in your court now.

You should make your appointments to the newly created study commission, and release the appropriated funds. The $100,000 spent will produce millions of dollars in savings, and result in much better care for our kupuna. Other states are doing a better job serving the needs of their elderly at lower costs to their taxpayers; Hawai‘i should follow their lead.

The time for action is now, unless you can come up with a way to reverse the aging process.

Allan Rachap

Koloa


Biting hard on the hand that feeds me

The timeshare tax sure seems to be causing a stir, especially in the form of threats from our welcome visitors who share their precious time vacationing in paradise rather than in Oshkosh. Their threats of a tipless night, or a scaled back vacation due to an increase in taxes has me shaking in my slippers.

These “unfairly taxed” grumblers once used to just visit our hotels and hang around the pool in their black socks soaking in coconut oil. They would frequent a few lu‘aus, sip mai tais in sandtraps, spend 4.7 days on Kaua‘i, buy some koa bowls in the lobby and mail a few postcards before they left. And all was fine with the visitor industry.

Now they buy empty lots, put gates up, slap a romantic Hawaiian name on it, list it on the Internet and construct a new cottage industry. An industry that goes untaxed in so many ways. Yet these grumblers wind up taxing us in many more ways. They are rescued at sea, or on hiking trails, digging deep potholes, screaming on their lanai at midnight in the moonlight, or flushing our beach park bathrooms to oblivion. And I remain stuck behind them in a traffic jam on a Sunday afternoon, or behind them in an express check-out line at the grocery store while their shopping cart has 77 items, plus out-of-state debit card and attitude to boot.

Gosh, Mr. Timeshare, what about my property taxes? What if we triple your taxes because you do not live here full time. Taxation due to punitive damages? Should we put it on the ballot? Or better yet, let’s just have a 25 cent toll bridge into Hanalei and another toll at halfway bridge for these heartbroken malahine. My humble apologies to the visitor society and Kaua‘i Visitor’s Bureau; however, it would be nice to see equal rights for the servers of our island on occasion.

Andy Melamed

Hanalei


Fishing these islands

Congratulations to newcomer Steven McMacken on his first letter to the editor (“Slaughter to extinction,” Letters, Aug. 3).

Perhaps being new to the islands, you don’t quite understand how sportfishing in the islands work?

Usually any fish caught would either be tagged and released, brought on board and divided amongst the crew, or sent to the auction block and sold to be used in supermarkets or restaurants. Occasionally, someone who reels in a big fish will want to have it preserved to take home and have mounted on his wall; but that usually doesn’t happen due to the expense involved.

Yes, I agree that this seems inhumane at times; but the fish sure tastes good, if properly prepared.

Francine Grace

Hilo, Big Island


Coco Palms buildings dilapidated

I very much understand and appreciate the cultural history and former beauty of the Coco Palms Resort/Hotel. The majority of the decaying buildings have been hidden from view by the overgrowth of plants and trees.

Recently, the overgrowth has been trimmed and has opened much of the unsightly buildings to view. It is sad to see the current condition of this once beautiful resort. Perhaps more importantly, it appears that the buildings may present safety concerns. In many communities the buildings might be condemned.

I wonder if the county is aware of the condition of the buildings?

Byron Haugh

Kapa‘a

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