Letters for Jan. 31, 2015

• A tale of Kauai’s legends • The NFL, nonprofit, my buttocks

A tale of Kauai’s legends

You know you are from Kauai if you can remember where the first stop light was placed. How many now?

I was employed nights, weekends, after nursing school, at Kapaa Mokihana lodge.

After pauhana, I could drive home to Poipu and not see another vehicle on the road.

Then, there were many more opportunities for legends and stories playing out, and sightings associated.

Specifically, one night traveling through the Tunnel of Trees, I had heard some of the things not to do, so in this case, I held my breath through the tree tunnel and onto the S-curves to the bottom straightaway. On the makai side abutment, a 5-foot backside shape of an old woman hunched, surrounded by a thick, white mist. The mental pictures were quickly “processed,” a lot of, what is that?

Wide-eyed, high brights in the miliseconds, desperately needing to remain cognizant, I got one final glimpse. The misted figure turned to look at me. Her shrouded face and whites of her eyes glared. Re-reprocessing, with pedal to the metal, I managed home base.

Eagerly, at Poipu park early the next day, I learned from Unko that the vision was that of Madam Pele in her elder form. He also explained other phenomena, with more stories of Madam, her sister, and Kamapuaa, or legends of the “lady in white,” that used to frequent the Koloa area.

Today, our island is on steroids. Billionaire with questionable intent making a bigger, unrecoverable mess, with politician monetary gigs.

Debra Kekaualua

Wailua

The NFL, nonprofit, my buttocks

Imagine Netflix, Facebook and Google declaring themselves nonprofits to avoid paying taxes. People would be in an uproar. Now, imagine the National Football League declaring itself a nonprofit. Well, they did, and they are.

Believe it or not, the NFL has avoided paying taxes since 1966 by defining itself as a nonprofit organization.

The NFL is not a charity, quite the contrary. How can an organization be when its top executive commissioner, Roger Goodell, makes $44 million a year and with many player contracts in the multi-millions be a nonprofit?

It was estimated that the NFL in 2013 made almost $9 billion in revenue and didn’t pay a cent in taxes.

The NFL is protected underneath an obscure clause in the Internal Revenue Code that states “professional football leagues” deserve the same tax breaks as soup kitchens, charities and endowments for the arts organizations.

This is ludicrous and needs to stop. The rich keep getting richer, while the poor and middle class absorb most the of the burden of society’s taxes.

Bottom line, NFL teams are a bunch of overpaid kids that — win, loose or draw — make more than most of us ever will. Minimum pay for players, even third string bench warmers, is $420,00 a year. Even guys not on the team but on the practice squads make a minimum of $6,000 per week.

So, it’s really all about money, because next year many of your favorite players will be on totally different teams only because of money and what free agency can bring. Go figure, and I’m getting emotional over these games.

It is beyond reason that a nonprofit entity can charge the following prices for Super bowl XLIX in Glendale, Arizona, between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks.

The highest priced tickets are listed for $17,800 and would put you in the lower center of the stadium. Most seats, it was reported two days before kickoff, were at least $9,000.

If you’re thinking $9,000 or $18,000 is a drop in the bucket, then you might consider upping the ante to a luxury box. Those are going between $726,000 and close to $1 million.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am an avid football fan and respect people’s spiritual rights to believe. However, my right to believe is that the NFL and many spiritual nonprofits are taking advantage of loopholes that seem to primarily benefit the ultra-rich. The NFL needs to start paying its fare share.

For those down on New England for allegedly cheating with deflated balls (Deflategate), remember the league itself cheats every American by not filing taxes with its nonprofit status. The pot calling the kettle black is what I see.

James “Kimo” Rosen

Kapaa

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