LETTERS for February 24 issue
GOVERNOR’S PROPOSAL WOULD HURT RETIREES
The governor’s proposal to tax pension plans would impose a new and grievous tax on our senior retired citizens with fixed incomes. The 8-11 percent tax starts with incomes of $37,500 — which is half what is required to live in Hawaii — and primarily affects those with low to middle incomes. Neither national major political party has spoken for increasing taxes to these income levels.
The tax would primarily affect regular citizens of Hawaii who worked and saved, in a state with the highest income tax in the nation and high cost of living, in order to retire with dignity and independence. Most important, they planned their retirement based on our pension tax plan, similar to that in ten other states. Suddenly imposing this new tax would harm many lives and be unconscionable.
The governor said the tax was because of wealthy mainlanders retiring in Hawaii for this tax advantage, but if so motivated, they go to states with no or low overall taxes and a low cost of living.
The governor said that this was only fair — all paying their way. But those who live on pensions paid their way, and those to follow would have the same system which is fair.
During his campaign for governor, he promised no new taxes in spite of new spending on many fronts. Many wondered where the money was coming from. He did not tell us, but now we know.
There are other ways to balance the state budget, such as less government spending and possible assistance to the states recently mention by the President.
Political organizations that move against this tax would do the right thing and could benefit. Individuals against this new tax on pension plans should voice that concern to their legislators and note their response. Seniors do vote.
GEORGE S. LAVENSON, Lahaina
BILL WOULD ALLOW DANCING IN BARS
On Feb. 10, House Bill 1339 passed its first committee. Maui Dance Advocates wants to thank Rep. Kyle Yamashita for introducing the bill and Rep. Angus McKelvey, chair of the panel.
It now must be heard by committee Chair Gilbert Keith-Agaran and the judiciary panel, and voted on by the entire House of Representatives before March 4 to become a law.
Mahalo to Senate President Shan Tsutsui for introducing Senate Bill 588. This bill must be heard by two committees before it can be voted on by the Senate.
If voted on and passed into law, these bills will allow people of Maui, and all of Hawaii, the right to tap their toes and bob their heads in restaurants and bars.
Currently, there is no definition for dancing, yet the Maui County Liquor Commission does not allow “dancing” to happen without a permit (Section 08-101-23 a and b from the rules of the Maui County Liquor Commission).
For more information, visit www.mauidanceadvocates.com, call (808) 264-7691 or contact your representative and senator and ask them about the bills, SB588 and HB1339.
‘A’A I KA HULA — Dare to Dance!
ANTHONY SIMMONS, President, Maui Dance Advocates
DMVL RUNS EFFICIENTLY TODAY
About a year ago, I wrote a letter to the editor expressing a multitude of complaints about the Department of Motor Vehicles and Licensing.
Since I’m not just a complainer, I would like to express my thanks to the DMVL for the efficient and rapid handling of my driver’s license renewal.
In and out the door in under ten minutes, including picture, vision test, application and new license. WOW! Great job.
DOUGLAS WEST, Lahaina
HOOPS TEAMS APPRECIATE COMMUNITY’S SUPPORT
The Lahaina Boys Basketball Program, which includes the varsity, junior varsity and Menehune teams, would like to express their deepest gratitude for all the companies and individuals that have supported our teams throughout the year.
The monetary gifts that you have given have helped us with travel, uniforms and various tournament expenses for the year.
But more important, we thank you for all the moral support you have given. Without your support, we would not have been successful. There are truly no better fans than the faithful Lahainaluna fans. You are number one in the state. Go Lunas!!
COACH JOHN DUDLEY, Lahaina
ANIMAL CRUELTY ISN’T CULTURE
To “top of the food chain guys,” cannibals are on top, so no objections when they want to fatten you up before they slaughter you. And if you encounter a tiger, in the ocean or jungle, be sure to advise them who is on top.
“I have the right to eat what I want; don’t tell me about abusing and torturing animals.” RESPONSIBLE breeders of animals for consumption believe in giving animals best treatment they can before the inevitable end.
Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council says “my stock receive highest standards of humane care and treatment.” Factory farms have no standards except making money. French law requires force feeding, gavage (torture) to manufacture foie gras. You do not have to be a vegetarian to believe torturing animals is morally wrong.
To the blood sport fans, watch your back when you strap that blade on the chicken. It just might get you, like the one in California this month. Dog fighters, there’s a bounty of $5,000 on you and the economy is down. If you have no morals, maybe have some sense.
“Respect the culture.” Whose culture? Hawaiians or any group who arrive here after them? Indians revere cows. Westerners don’t torture or consume domestic companion animals, nor eat whales or dolphins. When cultures clash, laws get passed.
Animal abusers move on to be human abusers — that’s the slippery slope of concern.
MIKE MORAN, Kihei
SENATE GAVE IN TO ACLU
I thought I had already seen some of the saddest events this country has had to endure in recent times, but the Hawaii Senate’s decision to ban prayers prior to their daily sessions really takes the cake.
Not only does Hawaii now hold the dubious distinction of being the first state to approve such a ban, but the reasons for its doing so are ridiculously lame. Once again, our state legislators have exhibited their collective ignorance of the very documents that each of them has sworn to preserve, protect and defend. The one glowing exception to this is Sen. Sam Slom.
The intimidation tactics of the ACLU are tiresome repetitions of well-worn arguments that were inaccurate to begin with. I’m still waiting for someone to show me exactly where in the Constitution this so-called “separation of church and state” is printed. Maybe it is only in the revisionist (post-1920) progressive version. The First Amendment in my version says that the government “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….” That’s pretty clear, I think. I am sickened at how the ACLU has abused our own legal system with its repeated attempts to deprive Americans of their basic God-given freedoms. What’s worse is that Americans have allowed them to keep doing it.
Shame on those in our Hawaii Senate, and in the State House of Representatives as well, who would even entertain the notion of legislating God out of our government in this manner. But since the majority of them are lawyers — and many of them probably are ACLU members themselves — it should be no surprise to anyone that another attack on religion (especially Christians) would be their first order of business this year. I wonder how many of them know that the largest church building in this country is the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. — and that Congress recommended that it be used for church services even before it was used for official government business?
Do they know that it was Congress that also commissioned the first Bible to be printed in America for use in our public schools? More than half of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were clergymen of various religious denominations. So tell me again, ACLU, what does that “separation of church and state” stuff really mean?
The best way to gain control over the populace is to take away its heritage, remove every remnant of a sovereign God from its society (replacing it with government) and dumb-down the children. Hawaii, it’s time to wake up.
The ACLU and other organizations like it will not stop hacking away at our foundations until they are entirely destroyed. If our legislators no longer pray inside the state capitol, then we citizens need to pray in their stead every day that they are in session, preferably on the steps of that building. When election time comes around again, let us all remember whom among them thinks we no longer need God in our government.
RHONDA GLASS, Founding Member, TEA Party Maui
THE FOLLY OF THE FLUSH
Wake up, folks! In order to avoid dire costs and consequences, practice some preventative medicine. Ban the flush toilet on Maui.
I have come to believe that the idea of the flush toilet has become one of the gravest mistakes of our human civilization. Taking fresh, potable water to flush away the inconvenience of human manure, endocrine-disrupting compounds, pharmaceuticals and cancer promoting synthetic (chlorinated) organic (carbon-based petroleum) compounds (SOCs) is outrageously ignorant.
The folly of the flush toilet and our mentality of flushing everything down-the-drain will become evident on Maui when we get around to analyzing the flow of endocrine-disrupting chemical compounds and cancer-causing chlorinated petroleum distillates in our waste streams. We will find that the risk to our personal and ecological health is far too high. We must act boldly to correct this folly.
The appropriate solution is to keep human excrement out of the water/wastewater stream and to use advanced oxidation processes (instead of chlorination) to break down all natural and synthetic organic chemicals in our current water supply and waste streams. Another appropriate solution is to use
oxidation/reduction and/or anaerobic bacterial digestion technology to convert waste stream nutrients to beneficial use in food and energy production.
Please do your research and demand comprehensive chemical analysis to screen for these emerging chemical contaminants in our water influent and effluent streams, sludge/biosolids, compost products, production and injection wells, near shore springs and reef system up-wells.
THOMAS ALLEN CRAIG, Makawao