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Letters: 6-5-17

Updated: 
June 8, 2017 - 7:46am

Don’t ruin what makes Hawaii special

Please stop the development of Kahaluu bay. The only reason tourist come to Hawaii is the beauty of nature and traditional culture. Turning the islands into Miami Beach is like cooking the goose that lays the golden egg.

You’re throwing away our long-term economic success for all so that a few developers can get rich now.

Christopher Dean

Kailua-Kona

Find other ways to fund the budget

The need to raise real estate taxes to balance the budget is actually a pretty bad idea but relying on property taxes for the bulk of county revenues is a worse idea. The ephemeral nature of the real estate market and hence property evaluation is too vulnerable linked to the vagaries of the economy.

The county budget increased about 100 percent from the real estate bubble during the first tenure of Mayor Harry Kim. The good times were rolling. The bubble burst and Mayor Billy Kenoi had to impose austere measures, yet his entire tenure had only a 20 percent budget increase. Property valuation in the county is recovering at a 6 percent yearly clip, about the same as the suggested increase. So, in effect, the mayor is asking owners to simply “pay forward” next year’s tax increase.

I trust the mayor, in return, will reduce the property tax rate 1, 2, and 3 percent over the next three years, respectively, to balance this gracious concession. Realistically, the excise tax, that visitors also pay, should be raised rather than the highly regressive property and gasoline tax. The residents have then at least some control where they can employ discretion in spending their few disposable dollars. The gas-tax yearly increase won’t even build one mile of new highway but it surely will hurt the working commuter experiencing the public transportation quagmire.

Nonresident owners already pay higher property taxes. A minimum tax base of $200 won’t even cover the cost of maintaining those records and sending out notices. New taxes are just around the corner; internet purchases, more responsibility deferred to states by federal government cutbacks to cover child care, health, and food support. In the interim, find other ways to fund the tax-base of the county rather than the fickle property taxes. Create some long-term stability.

Mike Reimer

Kailua-Kona

Send love to local family; stop support for others

A deserved response was in order to offer another viewpoint and to celebrate the life of the lost in the fiery crash of May 16.

You see, your article omitted the life of the man, in your call to raise funds and respect the behaviors that led to the loss of one Hawaiian who made the most of life.

I am a transplant to this island that had a life-threatening illness only two years ago, a fear evoking crisis for my family, my children and the love of my life that I had rediscovered only three years prior. My illness was sure to take my life with a poor prognosis. Before I could let go I came to this island one more time and by fortune I met the man who now lies dead. I sought healing and strength to go back to the fight.

I met this Kamuela Hawaiian man who shared prayer and his wisdom on living life to its full potential through all adversity. While speaking his lesson, he promised to pray for me and he offered me a carved sculpture in wood representing the spirit of healing with my name carved in the spine. I took this sculpture to the mainland where I held it tight until the day I was released from the hospital and cleared from lymphoma — it would not take my life.

My life has been forever changed and the Pidgin Bible states, “I wen worry, but no matta wea I stay, like tell God, ‘mahalo plenny’ cuz Christ, he wen fight an win ova da bad stuff, and you guys stay tight with him” (Numbers 2:14). I will forever carry tight in my heart our lost Hawaiian, his wife who is clinging on so she as widow is there for five keiki left behind.

The reckless behavior and the perpetrators that caused this senseless loss are spotlighted in your article. They were living outside of the ohana and the island ethos that protects its own, as a blessing. In return, a man of honor’s life has been taken and the voice I met silenced forever in the sounds of the tide.

In this print, this malihini sends love to the family of this beautiful katakana whose personal aloha spanned the ocean abroad. May I ask you to stop the support of those who cause hearts in the Hawaiians to mourn, give and raise his hand to Christ recognizing our lost kane.

Traci Balandran

Kailua-Kona

Who do they represent

At a recent public meeting it was brought to everyone’s attention that “our” island state senators and state representatives did not fight for our island to receive the full amount of the Transient Accomodations Tax, which is causing our property taxes to be raised. Ask them how they voted.

Who are these people representing? It doesn’t look like us, who elected them. The newspaper needs to print how they voted on budgets, new bills, laws, and regulations at least once a month so we know if they are truly representing the Big Island and its people. Contact your senators and representatives and tell them what you think!

John Powell

Kona

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