Letters for May 3, 2015

Letters for May 3, 2015

How can state give raises but not timely refunds?

This is a follow-up to my letter of April 13 about my tax return. As soon as the letter was published I got a call from Rep. Morikawa’s office (I still haven’t heard from Sen. Kouchi). She gave me a number of the tax office to call, which I did.

I was informed there was so much fraud they had to double-check every refund. I was also told instead of six to eight weeks for a refund it was now 16 weeks.

Both my husband, Bill, and I have run for public offfice, had our tax returns done by a CPA the last 17 years, and own two houses on the island. What do

you think the chances are that our return is fraudulent?

I find it interesting they can find money to give the state workers raises but they can’t find money to give tax-payers their money back.

JoAnne Georgi

Eleele

More reasons to not fast-track the TransPacific Partnership Treaty

Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress exclusive authority to determine the terms of U.S. trade policy.

The “Fast Track” that President Obama is pressing Congress to expedite would relinquish that authority to the president. Congress would only have 90 days to review the TPP draft, would have no power to amend the terms of the treaty — only an up-or-down vote to approve. Further, no provisions of the treaty could be modified without unanimous agreement by all signatory nations.

David Korten recently commented that “… promotion of Fast Track by a president, or voting for it by a legislator should be grounds for impeachment for failure to fulfill their oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” http://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/do-corporations-need-more-rights-fast-track-tpp

In January 2015, the European Commission on Trade asked the public for their views on the dispute settlement process being negotiated with the U.S. in the TTIP (TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), and was swamped with almost 150,000 responses. http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1234

In February 2015, as part of their latest transparency initiative, the European Commission began publishing the negotiating texts for the TTIP on its Trade website: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1230. That webpage also has a .pdf link to the 1,634-page EU trade agreement recently completed with Canada.

On April 18, tens of thousands of Europeans demonstrated against the TTIP provisions. http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-thousands-march-in-europe-against-us-eu-free-trade-pact-2015-4

Please urge members of Congress to reject Fast Track — and the TPP and TTIP as they currently read.

Susan Oakley

Wailua

More contraflow could help traffic

Concerning all of the current actions by the state and county when it comes to our traffic congestion woes, there is one thing for sure: We obviously don’t have the hundreds of millions of dollars it takes to build infrastructure and more roads to alleviate our congestion. Besides, if we did, it would only bring on more development and traffic like it does everywhere else.

We should then be focusing on creative ways for better management and maintenance to our roads and existing traffic flow. A prime example of better management is the contraflow, which allows to physically make the traffic do what it can’t do otherwise and that is move better. I’m sure there are plenty of areas that by creating a coned traffic contraflow at peak times of traffic congestion (Kapaa town heading north late afternoons) would help alleviate the daily bumper-to-bumper crawl though Kapaa.

I can just imagine the cost for the state to provide such a service. I don’t believe anything they do would be considered anything but expensive. If we were to privatize that service and contract by bid to a company to handle the management of this service, I’m sure the results would offer us better cost-efficient ways to manage our traffic flows during peak hours of travel and again will not cost the hundreds of millions that we don’t have.

Steve Martin

Wailua

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