Letters for Thursday, February 12, 2015

• HoKua Place would benefit Kauai • ‘Citizens United’ is wrong • ‘Jones Act’ keeps driving up cost of living in Hawaii

HoKua Place would benefit Kauai

I found out the facts about the proposed HoKua Place project in Kapaa, and I encourage others to do the same. They are proposing a residential community that will focus on benefiting the people of Kauai.

Among the benefits are an alternative to affordable housing, meaningful solutions to our traffic woes and additional services to our community in the form of a park, swimming pool, public services and projected business facilities.

I am of part Hawaiian ancestry, a retired law enforcement supervisor, a lifelong farmer, and currently, a cultural monitor for a local archaeology company. 

I am a resident of Kapaa, District of Kawaihau, County of Kauai. My father, his siblings and my grandparents formerly lived makai of this project, on Lehua Street, in the 1920s through the 1940s.

My concerns on this project references to the possible discovery of any archaeological and historic sites. The discovery of inadvertent burials may be encountered in any construction site during earth and ground movement. 

HoKua Place has addressed these issues and proper protocol will be followed based upon present applicable laws of the state of Hawaii, Department of Land and Natural Resources, Historic Preservation Division and other government agencies.

In addition, 66 acres of land will be retained for the continued use for agricultural purposes, thus providing a place for the local farmers to graze livestock and the growing of crops.

This project will bring economic stability to the local economy by way of construction jobs, new infrastructure for the County of Kauai in the form of its water system, and finally, an alternate road for the upper Wailua-Kapaa community.

I support this project and humbly ask others to do the same.

Milton K.C. Ching, Kapaa 

‘Citizens United’ is wrong

For the people, yes! For the Homo sapiens with more money than God, no! The Supreme Court’s decision to grant citizenhood to non-breathing corporations and then have the audacity to call it “Citizens United” is beyond comprehension.

We are now witnessing the consequence of this decision with the Koch brothers promising $1 billion campaign dollars to candidates of their choice, and this is just the beginning! 

Do you want to know how to tell a real human being from a non-breather? A real person acknowledges fairness, honesty, accountability, and when it comes to the body politic, a level playing field and true representation!

As for the Homo sapiens who own the non-breathers, ask them, “How much is enough?” and they will answer, “What’s your point?” 

They are takers and assassinators. They take your money and assassinate your character. They are the mongers of all wars. I don’t want them representing me.

I would like to think all of you in the newly elected Kauai County Council will see fit to join Oahu and the Big Island in an appeal to have the Supreme Court reverse Citizens United. You won’t be wasting your time.

Ellin Valois, Kapaa

‘Jones Act’ keeps driving up cost of living in Hawaii

Congress has passed the Keystone Pipeline Bill. Obama says he will veto. You should know that there is an amendment in the bill regarding repeal of the antiquated Jones Act of 1920. In a recent meeting with leaders from the most financially adversely affected areas, Hawaii state Sen. Sam Slom said the law punishes the people of Alaska, Puerto Rico, Guam and Hawaii with high costs of living.

“All of our areas are specifically impacted by the Jones Act,” Slom said. “It is now known that the Hawaiian cost of living, primarily because of our additional shipping cost and because of the Jones Act, are now 49 percent higher than the U.S. Mainland. And this is becoming unbearable. It’s difficult for individuals. It’s difficult for families. It’s difficult for small businesses as well.” 

Slom is part of a bipartisan group of Hawaii lawmakers pushing Congress to reconsider the Jones Act or to consider a waiver for noncontiguous states and territories. Slom said it costs about $790 to ship a 40-foot container from Los Angeles to Shanghai, but it costs $8,700 to ship the same container from Los Angeles to Honolulu.

This amendment would solve the issue. Hirono, Schatz and Gabbard all voted against the Keystone bill. If (when) the president’s veto makes it necessary to garner more votes in order to override, we have a chance of persuading our representatives to change their vote. 

Call Mazie Hirono (202) 224-6361, Brian Schatz (202) 224-3934 and Tulsi Gabbard (202) 225-4906. I know I’m going to. 

Gayle Hughes, Kalaheo

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