Letters for Wednesday, July 20, 2011

• Water falls under public trust • Less

income, less tax revenue • Primitive

Water falls under public trust

James Satterfield, Kaua‘i Springs owner, started business about 2000/2002, and was initially summoned to the Planning Commission due to violations. The executive session hearing is at 9 a.m., Thursday, July 21, at Council Chambers.

The Planning Commission endured years of Satterfield’s evasive responses and non-compliance to their requests. Commissioners finally issued a cease and desist but he continued to operate and receive more violations.

Then, instead of risking a vote that might have denied him permits, he voluntarily waived an automatic deadline to continue; then he filed suit against the Planning Commission for allowing him to continue claiming his civil rights were violated. Judge Watanabe made rulings in his favor on the missed deadline and on the after-the-fact permits. Now he is demanding a settlement for impacts to his business due to the “cloud of the off-the-wall denials.”

In the County Answering Brief: “Kaua‘i Springs states that Commission on Water Resources Management had ‘no interest’ in its permit applications. This is not supported by the record. In fact, a statement contained in CWRM’s response to the Planning Commission’s inquiry provides that ‘all waters of the State are held in trust for the benefit of the citizens of the State, therefore, all water use is subject to legally protected water rights…’ This statement illustrates CWRM’s acknowledgment that the public trust doctrine must be followed in all decisions regarding the use of water from any source on Kaua‘i, and that it is certainly interested in any use of water even though Kaua‘i Springs was not required to obtain a permit from CWRM since Kaua‘i is not a designated water management area. There is no indication in the record that Kaua‘i Springs attempted to obtain a declaratory ruling from CWRM at any time concerning its rights to the water obtained from Grove Farm.”

“He who seeks equity must do equity.” No one is entitled to the aid of a court of equity when that aid has become necessary through his or her own fault. Equity does not relieve a person of the consequences of his or her own carelessness and will not assist a person in extricating himself or herself from the circumstances that he or she has created nor will it grant relief from a self-created hardship. Kaua‘i Springs “was basically operating illegally for a number of years,” Tagupa told Judge Watanabe. And the fact that he was before the Commission for so many years was due, in part, to those violations.

The Planning Commission was diligent about fulfilling their obligations as a political subdivision of the state by hearing from all agencies, especially regarding the unusual and unprecedented water use.   

Kaua‘i Springs is taking water that originates from conservation land routed through agricultural land and under the public trust; it is not for personal enrichment but for “reasonable” uses. This remains a concern.

Elaine Dunbar, Lihu‘e

Less income, less tax revenue

Bob Downs focuses on tax rates for the “rich” in his quest for “fairness” rather than the bottom line of tax revenues (“Fairness first,” Letters, July 17). And history shows that lower rates for all result in more dollars to the treasury, whether it be cuts in the 1920s, the Kennedy cuts in the 1960s or the Reagan cuts in the 80s.

All resulted in greater revenues and resultant job growth.  

Reagan cut top marginal rates on the wealthy from 70 percent to 28 percent. What followed was the tax share of the top 1 percent went from 17.6 percent in 1981 to 27.5 percent in 1988. Total tax revenue increased by 99.5 percent during the Reagan years and the tax burden on rich increased during those years.

Yes, the rich got a huge rate cut and their share of taxes paid went up. Why? Because more people got rich!  

The left continues to focus on a static analysis of the economy. But the economy is not static. When the government confiscates wealth, job-creating capital becomes scarce. Hence, less income, less tax revenue. When the government gets the hell out or the way, job creators put capital at risk, the economy grows, and we get more taxpayers.

As to liberal Democrat Warren Buffet, he got rich by picking stocks, not by being a job creator.  

John Burns, Princeville

Primitive

In response to “In Our Opinion – High wire, high road” in Sunday’s Garden Island paper. I applaud your lofty goals but, considering our primitive societal condition throughout our world, I don’t think they can be achieved. See the many diverse opinions on any subject in your daily Letters-To-the-Editor column.

My theses have always been on the failure of a coercive state social structure to be the cause of all our problems. I have used non-coercive principles and my observation of human nature as arguments. However, I have no way of proving that I am right, so in general, my letters are futile and a waste of time.

Only in the Physical Sciences do we have the tools to establish rightness. I firmly believe that the only solution to our social problems is for the Social Sciences to become a true science where rightness on any prognostication is achievable. The physical sciences did not always possess these tools.

The Scientific Method, developed by Francis Bacon and later improved by Isaac Newton, was and is the physical sciences’ primary tool. Without it, advancements would have been impossible.

Our world needs to figure out a way to adapt the Scientific Method to a societal context so that we can understand cause and effect.

I know of at least one organization that is in pursuit of this goal and they have made considerable progress. The survival of the human species may depend on the success of this quest by them or someone else.

Ralph Tamm,  Lihu‘e

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