John McCain

He was for endless wars as the world’s policeman

Regarding the Aug. 27 Community Voices that states, “Were the GOP made up largely of men and women of John McCain’s character…” (“Charles Djou: The Courage And Resolve Of John McCain”).

With more of that kind of character we would be at war with or bombing Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, Georgia, Ukraine, Kashmir and Iran. Not to mention possibly North Korea, Russia and China.

That kind of character that engages us in endless wars as the world’s policeman, I can do without.

— Drew Brumbaugh, St. Charles, Iowa

Price Capping

It may be immoral, but price gouging can prevent hoarding

The author of the Letter to the Editor titled “Price Capping: An appropriate role for government,” which was in response to the Joe Kent of the Grassroot Institute’s “Community Voice” piece “Hurricane Lane Will Worsen Shortages,” makes an unsubstantiated claim that price gouging leads to shortages.

We can disagree on if price gouging is moral, but what proof is available that it leads to shortages? By nature, it’s designed to prevent shortages from happening by limiting the supply available so there is enough for after a disaster. Price gouging discourages people from hoarding and encourages businesses to restock supplies.

I noticed several people in my community weren’t able to get gas, water and other supplies as early as Aug. 21 because people had bought them all. If those prices had been higher, those who took all the resources first would’ve been more mindful of the quantities they purchased.

But even worse is what the aftermath would have been had the storm hit us hard. If ships are unable to transport goods to the islands for several days, those empty shelves of water stay empty.

Price gouging encourages people to ask, “Do I really need this much?”

— Michelle Bennett, Hauula

Short-Term Rentals

Most condominium rules prohibit renting

We have a slightly different take on the mayor and Department of Planning and Permitting’s property tax scheme at the expense of condominium life (“Caldwell’s Short-Term Rental Plan Holds Real Promise,” Aug. 29).

Another factor has come to light — that most condo rules forbidding short-term rentals are in the bylaws and not the Condominium Property Regime. Bylaws are generally amendable by majority vote of the board.

This will lead to major battles in condo boards about whether to allow or forbid bread and breakfasts and transient vacation units and undermine those folks who thought their home was strictly residential.

View our website and take 45 seconds to read the attachment on condo impacts.

— Larry Bartley, Save Oahu’s Neighborhoods

Investment Tax

It’s a slippery slope

The constitutional amendment, sponsored by the Hawaii State Teachers Association, a government labor union, is a ruse to find more ways to tax the residents of Hawaii (“Hawaii Counties Ask Court To Block School Property Tax Measure,” Aug. 29).

The wording is unclear and the results will be higher taxes. This is also a slippery slope for the state to increase this thing at their will.

Since when does a government labor union have the power to tell the government how to tax the people of this state?

There should be no government employee unions.

— Bob Dukat, Pahoa

Don’t tax retirement homes

My husband and I built the house of our dreams in Princeville, Kauai. Our occupancy permit came in 2009.

My taxes on Kauai were raised several years ago when Kauai doubled property taxes on second homes over $1 million in value. The assessor pushed our house into the $1 million category. My husband died in 2011. As of now, I get no $200,000 homeowner’s exemption and my tax has been doubled.


Rather than paying what would be a tax of $2,897.40, I pay $7,173.00. I never rent this house to anybody, but am taxed as though I use it for rental income.

This is not “investment real property” at all. This is a retirement house for me (I am 75). And now an additional statewide property tax hike may come due to the proposed funding of schools through additional “investment real property” taxes.

Yes, that term must be defined. I shall never sell this house, hence it is not an investment and generates no income. I pay all expenses with my retirement funds. Period.

Thank you for reading this letter.

— Diane Granholm Armstrong, Princeville

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