Letters 3-1-2013


Sequestration

The local impact

I am a federal employee and work at the Kona International Airport.

Friday, unless Congress acts, a portion of the 2011 Budget Control Act called sequestration will go into effect.

All politics aside, my employer, the FAA, has determined it can only meet the budget cuts enacted by Congress through furloughing me one day every two weeks.

I will lose several hundred dollars out of my paycheck. I still have to pay my mortgage, car loan, insurance and send a monthly check to HELCO.

However, I will have to make cutbacks in our family budget that will directly affect the local economy.

Eating out once a week: No more of that. New kayak: Not this year. Support of the Hawaii Island Food Basket: Sorry. Vacation to Oahu for shopping: Cancelled.

The politicians in Washington might be too consumed with their national agenda to understand the local impact.

Jeremy Withrow

Kailua-Kona

Thirty-Meter Telescope

Stop offensive project

Even those of us from far away recognize just how destructive and invasive it would be to kanaka maoli and their highly threatened way of life for yet more desecrating telescopes to go up against their will.

Their spirituality and religious beliefs are under constant attack.

Please stop this offensive and cruel project from going up. Aloha.

Santos Alavarez

Jersey City, N.J.

Marijuana laws

Rights out the window

“Senate considers making marijuana a civil offense not a criminal one.” Thus the rights of a defendant go out the window. No more reasonable doubt defense, no right to an attorney. No more due process. Cops’ word is preponderance of evidence. You pay.

Civil penalty is a mechanism invented by prosecutors that has no basis in the Constitution, but makes their job easier.

Next step, so-called civil forfeiture: We suspect you are committing a crime, but can’t prove it; we take your car, you have to prove your innocence to get it back. No joke, Hawaii County takes pride in how much property it has seized under civil forfeiture statutes. Another intrusion not authorized in the Constitution.

Ken Obenski

Kaohe