• Term limits on Congress would help • The voter has spoken • Where are the owls?
Term limits on Congress would help
No body wants to hear the words, “Our boat is taking on water!” But it seems like our federal government is putting us in this position. An interesting recommendation to fixing this problem is placing term limits on Congress. “Another case for term limits” (The Washington Post, Dec. 3) and The Liberty Amendments mention a 12-year limit might be what we need.The 22nd Amendment was ratified in 1951, which limited the president to two terms in office. However, Congress did not institute term limits for their own seats. As a result, ambitious politicians have given us more than we can afford. Federal grants to state and local governments seem to be a pretty big hole in our sinking ship. Hopefully, smart minds will fix these problems. When the tide rises, so do all ships, and I hope ours is on top.
The voter has spoken
It seems that the county has money to burn; settling lawsuits for cash, losing a brand new pickup, plus a generator on a trailer for a total of $86,000. Now, another lawsuit is pending from a disgruntled transportation worker. We are appealing a GMO lawsuit at a cost of $250,000, which we know will fail because Big Island’s same lawsuit was thrown out Thanksgiving week.
If memory does not fail me, JoAnn Yukimura spearheaded the county lawsuit against the federal government over the jurisdiction of the Hanalei River estuary, it was astoundingly lost and the river is a federal waterway. The boats were already shut down for over a year before the final decision came down from the federal court. The boaters have proof of loss of revenue and triple damages and could have sued the county but that would be like suing your neighbors. However, they want to be in business so they moved to the Westside to other areas to continue with new permits. Tax money was again paid out to defend the county’s bad decision.
Now, Yukimura and Hooser are doing the same thing all over again with the GMO lawsuit by appealing a decision that was already struck down by a higher court. They will lose again, but they just don’t get it. Homeowners’ real estate taxes will rise, rents will rise, and if you are on a fixed income, you will be screwed.
My feeling is that this council better fly right and straighten up or the next election may clean out the remaining members that were missed this time. It was close for Hooser and Yukimura.
Nickel-and-diming the taxpayer with cat licenses every six months, garbage pickup fees, it sounds like Obamacare. The council talks and the county employees on TV Ho’ike roll their eyes back in their heads because they don’t know what to do. But, for now, we will all be watching you.
Where are the owls?
Many years ago a beloved kupuna in Waimea advised me to never leave a dead pueo on the road or anywhere else, to stop and bury it. I have honored that and have buried many pueo and barn owls on the Westside. Because I have been driving from Kekaha to Lihue and back, I have seen many of these beautiful raptors, hunting and, unfortunately, hit by cars on the highway. It was not unusual to see between three and five owls a week, mostly between Kaumakani and Kekaha.
It has been many months since I have seen just one. I scan the roadside and the sky, primarily on my way home in the evenings, when they were most likely to be hunting, and the frequency of sightings have diminished to nothing. Where are they? What has happened to them? Is anyone else paying attention to this? Are they the canaries on our coal mine? The absence of these magnificent creatures is profoundly sad to me.