Letters for Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Working students would appreciate minimum-wage increase

I am a student at University of Hawaii at Manoa. Five years ago, I moved to Oahu with my family. Before I started pursuing my bachelor’s in political science, I took a year and a half off from school and worked full time while earning less than a living wage in Honolulu.

As a young adult responsible for her living expenses in the most expensive state of the U.S., I know firsthand the challenges of barely getting by despite living very frugally. I know if it weren’t for my parents’ assistance with insurance and phone bills, I would not have been able to make ends meet.

Unfortunately, many students and young professionals do not have the safety net that I had, and face far more challenges while working several jobs. I would like to implore our lawmakers to improve the minimum wage and give us a real living wage bill sooner rather than later.

Allison Fluetsch, UH Manoa student

Tired of being scammed by politicians

In Sunday’s paper an interesting article by Richard Borreca clearly depicts the deceitful tactics that politicians use to scam us out of our money. In the article, he quotes state Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz as having told our mayor to “re-prioritize” — take the money you had budgeted for roads and use it for salaries, and make up the money with the GET (general excise tax).

So, he is advising our mayor to lie to us. We were told that the excise tax increase was for ADDITIONAL monies to correct the serious deficiencies in our roads and bridges. Now he is saying “take out the existing money and replace it with the GET funds.” So, net growth in the road budget, ZERO! But, they can say they did use the GET money for roads, so they get away with scamming us.

Last fall, I warned that that is the game they would play with the funds raised for “education” through a proposed state tax increase, by letting the state tax properties. Thankfully, the people of Hawaii were smart enough to defeat that at the polls. They would simply have reduced the budget for education and replaced it with the “new” money and point and say, “see, we used the money for the education budget.”

I suspect that the proposed increases in gas tax, weight tax and registration fees will see the same net result, with no added money to repair roads. They will simply “cook the books” to gloss over their blatant lies and deceit.

I for one am tired of being taken advantage of, lied to and treated like I am oblivious to the scams that they play to get more of our hard-earned money. They “promise” that the increased taxes will go to a popular cause (such as fixing our substandard roads), then when we are not looking, they pull a bait-and-switch on us. They make the great magicians look like second-rate hacks when it comes slight-of-hand tricks to make our money disappear!

I certainly hope that our new mayor and councilmembers are clever enough to realize that we are wise to these tricks, and will be watching how they allocate EVERY dollar of the additional GET funds, and will compare previous years’ road funding to new. We will know if they try to pull the wool over our eyes!

We, the people of Kauai, are not stupid. We expect open, honest government, truth in the way you spend our money, and expect that promises made are promises kept (guess that maybe we are naive). Simply put, keep your hands off the GET money for anything but additional funds to fix our roads and traffic issues. Twenty-five years of broken promises to fix our traffic is enough! Every councilmember and the mayor campaigned on promises to fix our traffic. YOU may have forgotten those promises the day after the election, but WE have not!

Barry Dittler, Wailua

  1. Rev Dr. Malama February 19, 2019 6:50 am Reply

    The corruption is part of the collusion of deception on the part of an illegal occupation by a small group of individuals with cultural ties that are not connected to Kanaka Maoli nor Hawai’ian Kingdom subjects….
    The Plantation Mentality is alive and well so get over it or overcome through ICC LAW!!!

    1. Jake February 19, 2019 2:37 pm Reply

      Annnnnd, it has been 8 generations since 1893. Every culture has been conquered, reconquered, occupied, reoccupied. Tell ya what….let’s go back 400 years…..how about 600 years. I want to play to the “Victim Card” too.

      Stop the madness!

      1. numilalocal February 19, 2019 5:53 pm Reply

        “Malama” Robinson is NOT kanaka. Her given name is Catherine (Katherine?) and she’s pretending to be local.

  2. Jenny, Wailua February 19, 2019 7:31 am Reply

    Well said, Barry Dittler. Thank you for speaking for so many of us.

  3. gordon oswald February 19, 2019 7:54 am Reply

    Sorry Allison, any artificial minimum wage hike is nothing more than a mirage. Yes you will make a little more money for a few minutes, yes the jobs you can get will begin to disappear as business owners find more efficient and cost effective ways to do your job than hiring you, yes prices for all goods will go up because business owners will have to raise them to pay for your artificial job reward. Artificially raising the minimum wage beyond what free market economics dictates is a fools game. You should turn your cause to stopping illegal immigration in it’s tracks. Those are the people who are ILLEGALLY taking lower wage jobs thereby allowing businesses to pay less money to it’s workers than the LEGAL workers would accept under the natural “free market” model. There is a cause for you to champion Allison if you want to solve the problem long term and permanently. BUILD THE WALL!

    1. Pete Antonson February 19, 2019 2:49 pm Reply

      Building the wall will also save the coal industry, slow global warming, feed the hungry, feed the Hungarians, fix our rusting bridges, reduce traffic, and squash centipedes! That’s why it’s worth billions and billions and billions!

    2. LTEreader February 20, 2019 11:09 am Reply

      Gordon Oswold:
      * For the 7th consecutive year ‘visa overstays’ exceed illegal border crossings. Fact: 62% percentage of those here illegally are the ones that came into the U.S. on visas and stayed after they expired. The percentage far exceeds those crossing the border illegally. Per the report from the Center for Migration Study dated Jan. 2019: “As these numbers indicate, construction of hundreds of more miles of border wall would not address the challenge of irregular migration into our country, far from it.”
      * I’m guessing you’re also not aware that the Trump organization is at a 10 year high with employees here on work visas, and even some that are still working within his organization with expired visas. Locations include Mar-A-Lago, Trump Vineyard Estates, Trump National Golf Club Westchester in NY, and his golf club in Bedminster, NJ. It’s interesting to note that CareerSource Palm Beach County, a nonprofit placement agency, has said for a few years they have over 5,000 qualified U.S. workers available.
      * And, you do realize the largest drug hauls have been at the designated border crossings and not in refugees meager belongings right?
      * Finally, you must know that nearly all of the mass murders since 911 have been committed from home grown, born and & raised, U.S. citizens.
      Dang, I love facts. I wish more Trump worshipers would remove those red hats and enlighten themselves with some. Twitter just doesn’t make the grade as a reliable news source!

  4. Kauaidoug February 19, 2019 9:07 am Reply

    Right on Mr Dittler! My question for a long time is where, who is responsible for our traffic? Whose office do we hold responsible? Federal, state,, county? I live in the wailua homesteads but recently started driving in Poipu and westside and I can’t believe my westside Kauaian neighbors have put up with that mess. Unbelievable. Who plans this traffic road improvements? People sitting in an office in DC, Honolulu or Lihue.

    1. numilalocal February 19, 2019 5:54 pm Reply

      Who’s responsible for the traffic? Everyone who drives a car. Especially everone who’s moved here.

      1. Kauaidoug February 20, 2019 7:29 am Reply

        I guess one could say it all starts with having babies then?

  5. Jake February 19, 2019 2:40 pm Reply

    Too tired of typing the same stuff on the “Minimum Wage” drama. Here you go Allison:


  6. Sheeples February 20, 2019 5:33 am Reply

    Try counting how many cars are obviously rentals filled with tourists. On the west side it is way more than 40 percent of all vehicles. Any hint of rain and the concierges send them straight to the west. Add that to increased tour boats and you will see the main traffic problem. Sure, lots of people move here too but don’t think that they are the main contributors to traffic. Also watch out for homeless shamelessly hitchhiking and panhandling, one is bound to get hit on one of the long straightaways heading west towards the gi joes and gmos.

  7. Judtmyopinion February 20, 2019 10:57 am Reply

    Allison, why did you move to Hawaii in the first place? Didn’t you know it was the most expensive state to live in? No? Then maybe you should have educated yourself a little more before making the move. Or maybe you should go back to where ever you’re from, where the cost of living is lower. We don’t mind. Really!😁

  8. rk669 February 20, 2019 5:41 pm Reply

    Tourism Equals,Jobs,Jobs jobs and Tax Revenues!
    Read it and Weep!

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