Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023 |
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• Ocean use requires sensitivity • Just like riding a bike •
Tourism dollars could dwindle • Toy guns for adults only? •
‘Roundabout’ shouldn’t mean negative
Ocean use requires sensitivity
The sad photos of a back-broken whale and a dying blue shark giving birth on the beach demonstrate there is something very wrong with the behavior of some sailors and fishermen. They are not showing proper respect for marine life and we, as a society, need to help them do better.
One idea worth considering is to require as a prerequisite to a boating or fishing license the completion of a course. The focus of the course should be the ethics of protecting the sea and its animals, including how to treat a captured, but unwanted fish.
Kath Bailey, Anahola
Just like riding a bike
The letter concerning the 10 speed bicycle holding up traffic on the Kukuiola bypass road (Feb. 6 Don’t Cause an Accident) struck a chord with me as I also dislike sharing the road with others. But since state law requires that bicycles and motor vehicles share the road I willingly share the road with cars. Even though cars are responsible for half of the greenhouse gasses expelled by oil burning and pollute the air, water, and ground as well as killing several tens of thousands of people every year, I share the road because this is the law. I even use cars myself, sparingly.
Of course, sharing the road would be easier if the developers who designed and the county that approved roads would consider the needs of the people who use them. After all, it has been a standard of road design for several years now to include bicycle lanes on busy roads with relatively low speed limits. For example the Kukuiola bypass has a speed limit of 25 mph and the South side has a lot of bicycle traffic, yet there is not even a shoulder, let alone a lane for bicycles. There is a nice pedestrian path but those are off limits to bicycles and anyway unusable by a 10 speed. Hence the 10 speed’s true name. Road bike.
We are all using the roads so lets ride/drive with aloha, even when we don’t want to share.
Kurt Rutter, Kapa‘a
Tourism dollars could dwindle
I write as one who has been coming to Kaua‘i since 1991, and was a resident of Koloa from 2002-2007. I love this place!
I am concerned about the life of the principal industry of these islands, which I believe to be tourism and I am now speaking as a tourist and time share owner. I have noticed a marked increase in the various fees and taxes we are asked to pay in order to have some leisure time in these islands.
One example is the extra costs for rental cars, which exceeds by far extra costs elsewhere. This year I am paying $560 for a four-week rental, and the various fees and taxes are adding $338, an increase of 65 percent! (Thank you Kaua‘i for the new $4.50 per day charge)
Another example of “tax creep” occurs in my time share fees. As a time share owner a portion of my annual maintenance fees is property taxes. Fair enough, as I am a partial owner of the building I occupy while visiting the island. But a few years ago the legislature decided that we should also pay an additional daily fee called a “transient accomodation tax”. At first it was nominal, one dollar a day. But once the camel got its nose into the tent that fee was increased until I now pay $4.89 per day. I was recently advised that there is now a proposal being floated at the legislature to increase the daily charge by 400 percent!
How far do those governing Hawai‘i intend to go in taxing tourism? When is enough too much? Perhaps elected officials behave the way they do because tourists don’t vote. Here’s a news flash for those contemplating more fees and taxes for us. We do have a vote, and that is with our feet!
I sincerely hope the tourist tax problem is resolved before the goose that lays the golden egg gives up and migrates elsewhere.
Fred Terrill, Wilsonville, Ore.
Toy guns for adults only?
Thanks to the genius of Representative Scott Saiki (D-22nd District) we can all feel much more secure and safe. You see this titan of logical thinking & common sense has written HB 432 which proposes to make it illegal to sell toy guns to anyone under age 18.
Imagine, no more massacres at the hands of crazed eight year olds wielding Super Soakers and Nerf guns! Why didn’t Saiki or his fellows come up with this piece of work many years ago? Just think of all the terrorized and soaking wet people that would have been spared.
Of course, once HB 432 is passed into law the police will have to be super vigilant and on constant lookout for adolescents roaming Wal-Mart’s parking lot seeking out surrogate buyers.
We are all indebted to the brilliance and foresight of Scott Saiki and his colleagues should this bill be voted into the law.
RS Weir, Kapa‘a
I was thinking about how government is and how it should be. Traffic lights and roundabouts are a perfect example of the difference.
With traffic lights, government builds a structure — an array of energy consuming devices to tell us what to do and when to do it.
With a roundabout, government builds a non energy consuming structure, perfectly designed to slow traffic that also allows individuals the freedom to decide for themselves what to do and when to do it.
Both methods control traffic flow, but the light imposes itself upon us while the roundabout allows a bit of freedom to choose. Wouldn’t it be nice if our government provided more “roundabout” ideas to solve to the many issues we face.
On a separate subject, now that we all know the county has a $31 million surplus, it’s obvious we property taxpayers have been overcharged. I will be expecting a reduction in tax rates or a rebate check when the county council approves this years budget and tax rates. But I wont be holding my breath.
Michael Wells, Anahola
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