Kaniela Ing’s Campaign Complaint

Can we rely on his financial decisions? (May 18, 2018)

Rep. Kaniela Ing said he was raised to know it’s OK to make mistakes “but only if you fix them’” (“Hawaii Congressional Candidate Accused Of Campaign Violations”).

I was raised that way as well, but I needed to explain to those who were harmed by my mistake of my solution and promise to avoid it from happening again? Does he feel we the state of Hawaii were harmed by his error?

Probably not, but we were because his mistake makes Hawaii look poor in judgment if we elect people who do questionable things. He never realized his error until he was caught?

Rep. Kaniela Ing. Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Well that view of serving the state of Hawaii is why we have a commuter rail system that seems to bankroll more out of work politicians then the construction cost needed to complete the project. How many times have our politician asked us to write another check for their fellow representatives mistakes on our projects?

If we keep electing representatives like Ing and accepting their repeated explanation that they can fix their errors, we will keep paying for their “mistakes” through higher taxes and mismanaged projects.

If he cannot manage these small financial issues on the campaign, then how can we rely on him to make our large financial decisions for us? Ask him, who does he turn to for financial advice on our state projects — maybe that is the person we should elect to replace him.

— R. L. Farrell, Waikiki

Hawaii’s Newest Super PAC

They suffer too few consequences (May 18, 2018)

All Hawaii, let’s not forget that Citizens United has been an abomination for our country by allowing the creation of super PACs and destroying the integrity of our elections (“New Super PAC With Pro-Rail Ties Emerges In Hawaii Elections”).

PRP was guilty of defaming Ben Cayetano in his run for mayor and fined $125,000, which was a pittance given PRP’s millions. And a half-page apology in the papers was soon forgotten by most of the voting public.

With that being the only consequences a super PAC faces in swaying an election, we can be sure such activities will happen again. 

— Mark Doo, Honolulu

Hilo’s Rental Housing

Time to think about housing lava evacuees (May 18, 2018)

I read your article about the lack of rental housing in Hilo (“Big Island: It’s Nearly Impossible To Find A Place To Rent These Days”). It’s time for our government leaders to start thinking creatively about housing the hundreds, possibly thousands, of lava refugees/evacuees.

I’m not a housing expert, but I’ve been thinking a lot about short and intermediate term housing. One size cannot fit all:

  1. Make available the UH Hilo dorm rooms that are not currently occupied this summer
  2. The Army or National Guard can quickly build a tent city in a safe zone. Allow people to bring their pets.
  3. Hotels that are losing visitor bookings could be subsidized by the government to house lava refugees. I believe FEMA has done this many times during other natural disasters.
  4. Open parks for free camping. Add a campground host and possibly security to keep the area safe and organized.
  5. For evacuees with limited resources, help them relocate to other parts of the state or mainland if they have friends or family who can house them.

— Lynn Beittel, Waimea

Our Minimum Wage

It’s not meant to provide a livable salary (May 18, 2018)

Dawn Kubota’s commentary on the minimum wage defies logic of many economic models (“Hawaii’s Conservative Democrats Leave Workers Struggling To Survive”).

The more labor costs goes up, so does the cost of goods and services go up. Could you imagine a cheeseburger costing $15? It’s already happening.

The berated golden arches is now installing kiosks to replace cashiers. A $20,000 piece of hardware is much cheaper than a $32,000 employee that really cost $90,000 after tax (employer contributions), insurance and vacations.

Let a good economy create the wages that one needs to have a decent standard of living. The minimum wage is meant to kick start ones employment life and teach work ethics.

As a professional, I know first hand as most other professionals know, you start off at near minimum wage. A law clerk, an architect intern, a medical intern and even commercial pilot. Every one of these professions pay their interns the least they can as the intern learns the profession. As their skills improve, society is willing to pay a premium for what they can contribute to that person’s needs.

The economic boom is causing wages to rise already. The opportunity for upward mobility is being created every day. More than 2 million new jobs have been created in the last year alone.

— Mario Tadeo, Kailua

Higher Taxes For Schools

Let’s vote yes on the constitutional amendment (May 18, 2018)

I am writing in support of the proposed constitutional amendment to help fund public education in Hawaii (“Funding Public Education Can Change Our Destiny”).

Currently, I own a small condo in Denver. I pay $802.40 a year in property taxes. As this is considered an investment property in Colorado, half of my taxes — $401.20 — go to public education. It says so right on my yearly property tax bill. I am thrilled to know that I support public education students!

In contrast, the Trump tower in Waikiki quickly sold over 400 units that cost over $10 million dollars each. If rich foreign investors can afford multi-million dollar properties, they can afford to pay taxes to help educate Hawaii’s children.

By utilizing a tax strategy that is accepted as common practice in every other state, we can properly fund facility upgrades, teacher salaries, and reinstate a wide variety of elective courses that enrich student learning and engagement.

I urge Hawaii to support the upcoming constitutional amendment so that we can ensure our keiki have the educational opportunities and skills they need to compete in the worldwide economy.

— Vickie Parker Kam, Makakilo

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