Letters for Wednesday, September 10, 2008

• Tax reform serious issue

• My candidate

• Reading bumperstickers

• Remember his golden heart

Tax reform serious issue

The Garden Island reported last week on the Kauai County Council’s vote to defer legislation that would overhaul the real property tax system (“Council defers tax bill again,” A1, Sept. 5).

I serve on the council and I am in the race for mayor of Kaua‘i. But this proposed legislation is something that could have significant impact on the community and should not be shaped by the individual political prospects of candidates running for office. I would like to emphasize that my decision to vote for the deferment of the legislation sprang from my conviction that, in our current economic climate, government should think long and hard before introducing legislation that could make life harder for residents and businesses alike.

The economy is sagging. The latest numbers on unemployment and decline in the number of new jobs created nationwide tell a story that we see borne out on a micro level on Kaua‘i. This is not the time to increase the burden on older residents and those on fixed incomes even more by removing the 2 percent cap. This is not the time to further dampen business growth by shifting a greater tax burden to resorts and hotels. We need to encourage the visitor industry to invest and grow. Because their growth means more income to the county, more jobs for our people and more customers for all of our small and medium-sized businesses.

Finally, legislation of this magnitude and with as many ramifications as this could have should not be embarked on without more expert input. We need more than just a finance committee’s take on this. We need to hear from economists who can bring perspective and assess the broader impact of revamping our property tax system. We need to better understand what the people of Kaua‘i think and ensure that we have a thorough knowledge of who it will impact and how. There has been some concern expressed about the need to move this fast. I believe our greater concern should be to ensure that we are fair — and have a clear eye on the future by taking clear stock of the present.

Mel Rapozo


My candidate

With the upcoming opportunity to vote for seven council members upon us soon I’d like to share with you a few of the reasons I am casting a vote for Lani Kawahara. Having attended County Council and Planning Commission meetings throughout the years I do have some understanding of what the job entails. I believe Lani has the qualifications needed to do a great job on our County Council. As an administrator in our public library system for over 10 years, she has experience in budgeting and policy making. Lani also has a working knowledge of the legislative process. As a legislative aid for Sen. Gary Hooser she assisted in the successful legislation of two important bills, increasing the minimum wage and establishing better shoreline setbacks. And on an entirely different note, I do believe the council benefits when women are “sitting around the table.” Lani Kawahara has the necessary communication skills and a true desire to work with and for the people of Kaua‘i.

I am delighted I have the opportunity to cast a vote her way.

Tracey Schavone


Reading bumperstickers

Over the last month I’ve noticed two disturbing bumper stickers.

The first one is “Chicken Fighting isn’t a Crime” and then goes on to say “Respect Local Culture.”

The last time I looked, chicken fighting is a crime, legally, and in my opinion one that is rather low morally also. Yeah I know that in the wild roosters spar each other, but I’ve yet to see any cold steel lashed to their talons with a cackle of bloodthirsty betting spectators in that wild.

As for respecting the culture, a lot of times that’s the rallying cry of upholding a practice that’s cruel or unjust. With that there’d still be slavery, women would be possessions, many of us couldn’t vote and Michael Vick wouldn’t have gone to prison for dog fighting. All cultures need to grow up, including one of mine that is Norwegian and still practices whaling. That’s not a badge of honor or respect for me. The other bumper sticker was a rifle scope with an image in its cross hairs and the caption was “This is my Peace Sign.” This bumper sticker was on a truck that was in the parking lot of Wilcox Elementary School and isn’t that an enlightening message to all the youngsters.

Mark Perry


Remember his golden heart

Ronnie Boy, a true friend, one of the most humble at heart, where God has created just one mold, breaking this mold soon after creation. Ronnie was a friend to all he knew, full of life, funny in every way with a heart of gold. He is missed by all, and he will never be forgotten. I am very fortunate to have gotten to know Ronnie as a classmate, a co-worker and a friend. To lose Ronnie or anyone in life whom we hold close to our hearts causes great pain deep within, but never forget them, for when we forget, we truly have lost them completely. Friends, family and those who knew him, please look within yourselves, remember Ronnie and his golden heart, and his sore stomach, tears in da eyes, no can stop laughing funny ways. To the family of the late Ronnie Boy Perreira, I am truly sorry for your loss, may God comfort you and guide you through the days.

Aloha Ronnie … until we meet again.

Eddie Kinzie

Hilo, Big Island


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