Thursday, May 26, 2022 |
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• Government is Us • End the
marathon • Native Hawaiians?
Government is Us
You hear Republicans say that “government is the problem.” Don’t you just know in your gut that they’re lying? Government is just we the people acting collectively for the common good. Our government provides vital services that benefit all of us.
I’m grateful that the government has experts tracking down and securing loose nuclear materials to keep them out of the hands of terrorists. I am grateful that there are regulations, and the staff to enforce them, to keep our air and water clean. Heard about any rivers catching on fire lately? That’s thanks to our government at work.
I’m grateful that there are government employees ensuring that our food, consumer products and automobiles are safe. I’m grateful that we have scientists monitoring hurricanes and other storms. I am deeply grateful for the service our women and men in the armed services provide us in keeping our world safe.
I’m grateful for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to protect our seniors and the poor. I’m grateful for the health care reform law that will insure that almost all Americans have access to affordable health care, and grateful that the new Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act will protect citizens from predatory practices by the financial industry.
So let’s cut the rhetoric. Government can be made more cost-effective. But saying that government is the problem is dishonest.
We can create a better country, and the tool we have built together, “our government,” can help us reach that goal.
David Thorp, Kalaheo
End the marathon
In May of 2011 our council, led by members Kuali‘i and Rapozo, asked the people who were putting on The Kaua‘i Marathon a series of very important questions. In fact, George Costa, who I have the utmost respect for, answered follow-up questions to Bill 2404 regarding the grant of $150,000 that our ta xpayers were being asked to fund.
One of the major questions asked was why weren’t the benefactors of the visitors coming here for the Marathon — the hotels, the restaurants, the car rentals, the boat tours, the gift shops and the helicopter rides — asked to be the primary backers of this event along with those promoting it?
Why should the tax payers who gain nothing from it other than more traffic and roads being blocked be the ones to pick up a huge part of the expenses?
Another question asked was, “How much funding do the neighbor island counties provide to their marathons (i.e. Honolulu, Maui?}. The answers were that the city and county of Honolulu do not provide funding for their marathon, that Maui County provides up to $25,000, and that Hawaii County provides up to $20,000.
From 2009 to 2012, our county has provided this race with $232,000 of our money, so shouldn’t the citizens be given the reason for this glaring difference of what we fund over what the other islands provide?
Also, from The Kaua‘i Marathon balance sheet, it appears on page 22 that “we” have already committed ourselves to giving this race another $85,000 for 2013. Why?
Remember, too, that if Councilman Kuali‘i in 2011 hadn’t wisely protested our “gift” to this race, the council would have given them $150,000 instead of the $100,000 that the county finally gave them after they “found” $50,000 from another source.
And isn’t it interesting that our KVB finds this event so beneficial to our island that they gave the marathon a grant of $25,000 in 2009 and gave them $51,000 in 2010 but gave them nothing in 2011, 2012 and 2013?
Yet our citizens are giving grants to this race of $10,000 in 2009, $100,000 in 2011, $120,000 in 2012, and $85 ,000 in 2013 for a total of $317,000. Isn’t there something wrong with this picture? The race balance sheet shows a five year loss of $326,072. But if our grant money is removed from that equation, the loss would be almost double that figure.
Kaua‘i Marathon founder Jeff Sacchini is on record as saying that if this event was not profitable in three years it would be shut down. We are now in its fourth year with their balance sheet showing losses. What did you mean, Mr. Sacchini?
Since it is showing nothing but red ink, isn’t it time for Mr. Sacchini to honor his word and close the book on the marathon? I certainly have no objections to marathons but like most of them, they should be self-supporting and not be held at the taxpayers’ expense.
Glenn Mickens, Kapa‘a
There are several questions I have about the actions of the OHA as described In the Tuesday (Jan. 10) article on federal recognition for native Hawaiians. First, the OHA is elected by the people who vote in Hawaii; the majority of these have no Hawaiian ancestry.
Second, it totally overlooks the fact that before the U.S. occupation of Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i had a constitution and a government, and this government was recognized by over 60 countries in the world as a sovereign nation. This constitution was updated and approved in May 2000 by all Hawaiians who registered to vote, and all Hawaiians were invited to register.
The process of registering Hawaiians through the state sponsored Kau Inoa and requiring that those who register allow the use of their names to meet qualifying criteria only serves to strengthen the control of OHA and the state and federal governments over the Native Hawaiians; it does not enable their existing rights.
Marjorie Gifford, Princeville
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