Letters for Friday, August 30, 2013

Please contribute to YMCA poolChristians, speak upKauai In TransitionTaxes are too highThanks for ‘Kauai style’

Please contribute to YMCA pool

It was disheartening to read that the wonderful, Olympic-sized pool at the YMCA may have to close if our donations don’t save it. I am a Y member and use that pool several days a week for therapy to strengthen my legs, arms, and back. For me, even short walks on land can become painful, nor do they strengthen the arms, but the pool is painless and refreshing and never crowded. They even have a special chair that can lower people into the water or raise them up. I also enjoy using the hot-tub spa to ease my achy arthritic bones. The locker rooms, toilets, and showers (with privacy curtains) are spotless.  

There are water exercise classes available, too, at no extra cost to members. Also, there is a shaded pavilion with picnic tables where anyone can rent time to have a party.  The pavilion is poolside and there is also a large fenced-in grassy area right there where keiki can play. This is a lot safer and cleaner than a gathering at the beach!  Lifeguards are always on duty and willing to assist. And they are the most polite and considerate folk I’ve ever met on Kauai.

I am elderly and have a very small fixed income but in addition to my monthly dues I am writing a donation check. I hope that others will also contribute. We need the YMCA pool and the Y needs us!

Judy Xenofos

Lihue

Christians, speak up

Hawaii’s Gov. Neil Abercrombie may, at any moment, call a special session to try to pass same-sex “marriage” legislation.

It is imperative that those in charge of making and changing laws hear from the people. It is important that Christians speak up — today. It is up to us to preserve biblical values in Hawaii. A decision like this, which would change the face of marriage across the Islands, is too important to leave to the governor and our legislators.

This is a decision that the people should make. Let your voice be heard!

Barbara J. Ferraro

Hilo

Kauai In Transition

The world as we know it will cease to exist in the next 5 to 20 years. See A Crude Awakening at http://www.archive.org/details/acrudeawakening with a synopsis here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19dXMTVX-M0. If you are to have any understanding of what Kauai and the rest of Hawaii are going to be facing soon, you must see this.

All our financial, manufacturing, agricultural and transport systems depend for their very existence on the continued availability of “cheap oil.” Imagine Hawaii’s tourist industry when gas is $10 at the pumps and air fares and local food prices have risen commensurately.

The world is running out of cheap oil. Gas prices must rise, and indefinitely. It is time we started moving communally toward a comfortable and sustainable transition into a post-oil economy.

Hawaii and especially Kauai are uniquely positioned to move past oil to an alcohol-powered economy and into complete local sustainability. With our year-round growing season, unlimited water, sun and well-developed agriculture, not to mention the sea around us, feeding us all would be easy.

All our traction, transport and transportation needs could be met by converting our land and water gas vehicles to alcohol and the establishment of local alcohol and bio-diesel plants based on our abundant rainforest cellulose.

We might start here by subsidizing vehicle conversions and the construction of alcohol and bio-diesel plants and distribution networks.

Alex Hay

Kekaha

Taxes are too high

I live on Oahu and have owned a property on Hanalei Bay since 1956.  In 1974 I built a three-bedroom home on my property. To afford the cost of ownership, I rented it out as a vacation rental, with the hope of retiring there one day.

Fast forward to 2013: the real property taxes have become unbelievably high, due to large increases in property values on Kauai and rising tax rates. While this is wonderful for speculators, it is very unfair to people who wish nothing more than to hold on to their property and enjoy it.

As I testified before the County Council during its May 1 public hearing, the big “gorilla in the closet” for the long-term landowner is increases in assessed value. Since the tax rate is normally fixed for years at a time, property tax due the county rises and falls with the value of the land. The county wins with rising values but the landowner suffers (and vice versa).

During the hearing one council member said the county needs to stabilize its income so that it doesn’t fluctuate up and down with the assessed value. Presumably, the county could lower its borrowing costs if its income was more stable.

With that in mind, I propose that the council adopt a measure in Bill 2495 that caps the fluctuations in real property taxes for all properties, not just some, as with the existing cap.  

I propose a limit of 3 percent, up or down, each year, beginning with FY2015 and based on 2014 assessed values, which are pretty high.

This would stabilize the budgets of all property owners and the county.

Buyers’ property tax burden would be based on their purchase price with the 3 percent cap applicable going forward. The exemptions proposed in the bill should also remain in place as a way to further reduce owner occupants’ tax burden.

There are probably many ways to solve this problem but my proposal is meant to be simple, straightforward and fair to all parties.

Geoffrey S. Avery

Kaneohe

Thanks for ‘Kauai style’

We want to express our appreciation and deep aloha to John Martin and his staff and the County of Kauai parks maintenance folks for managing the event on Aug. 3  at Hanalei Pavilion with aloha and efficiency. It was truly “Kauai style!”

Mahalo nui loa to all concerned.

Maka’ala Ka’aumoana

Executive Director

Hanalei Watershed Hui

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