Letters 2-14-2013


Beverage tax

A regressive effort

When is our government going to stop trying to protect us from ourselves? Now, they want to tax sugary beverages. Will they also tax powdered drink mixes, like Kool-Aid and Tang? How about SodaStream-type products? Sweetened iced teas?

What percentage sugar will be classified as taxable? What about people who make their own lemonade and squeeze their own orange juice? Are they going to tax oranges next? After all, they are high in sugar.

Bottom line is, this is a regressive tax; those with the lowest income will be hit the hardest. And, it won’t change people’s habits enough to make a difference.

Educating people about the dangers of high sugar consumption will have a bigger impact over time.

Bekke Hess

Manteca, Calif.

Kealakekua Bay

Back to Nature

The closing of Kealakekua Bay to anyone and everyone using kayaks and float boards at first seemed to me a bit heavy handed as a response to the issue of illegal vendors/unregulated commercial activity.

However, after a recent spectacle that I witnessed in the bay the last week of January, I am now somewhat conflicted. As I sat on the shore I was privileged to observe a pod of whales and calves suddenly engage in a display of spouting and breaching and fluke-slapping that went on for no less than 30 minutes.

I saw two whale calves breach entirely out of the water in the area close to Napoopoo Beach where the spinner dolphins usually hang out — quite a bit farther into the bay than I’ve ever seen whales before.

It was incredible to experience the bay in a natural state, free of human intrusion.

In describing this event to a long-time local resident, I was told that 20 years ago, before the current onslaught of commercial activities in the bay, this was a regular occurrence.

I sympathize with those who are trying to make a living by renting kayaks to tourists; it’s difficult to earn a living in these challenging economic times. But at the same time, I also really enjoy seeing the natural wildlife returning to a safe, nonthreatening habitat.

Unfortunately, it seems we have to choose one or the other.

Quintus Gwynn

Napoopoo

Tax increase

Excise rate grossly understated in report

Since when is a 1 percent increase considered an increase of a penny?

Not only that, the 1 percent proposed change in the GET rate represents a 25 percent increase in what we now pay for GET.

Your (incorrect) use of “a penny” makes the proposed increase seem minor, when in fact, a 25 percent change is a huge increase for taxpayers, and your article should have presented this fact in the headline and in the text.

I think you owe WHT readers an apology or correction.

John Jacobson

Kailua-Kona