Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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April 08, 2009 - MidWeek
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Mufi and taxes

In his distorted diatribe unfairly attacking Mayor Hannemann, perennial critic Robert Kessler seems to have misplaced a few facts (MidWeek Letters, April 1). For example, the sewer fees he disdains are paying for major waste-water system improvements that are long overdue to protect public health and safety. As a Waikiki resident, Mr. Kessler has directly benefitted from significant capital expenditures on such improvements in his neighborhood. Mr. Kessler’s claim that the mayor raised bus fares prior to this year is simply untrue.

And Kessler’s attempt to blame the mayor for his alleged higher property tax bills since 2004 ignores the fact that the residential property tax rate was lowered twice during that period, and was never increased.

The mayor does not control the housing market or the value of individual properties, but he is very sensitive to the impact that increased property values can have on tax bills, and he supported the tax rate decreases accordingly when city finances allowed.

The residential real property tax rate was $3.75 per $1,000 of assessed value when Mayor Hannemann took office in 2005. The rate is $3.29 today - 46 cents lower per $1,000 of value.

Mark K. Oto
Deputy Director, City
Department of Budget and

Fiscal Services

Murakami shuttle

This past weekend, as I waited for a friend to arrive at the UH baseball game at Les Murakami Stadium, I watched as many elders struggled toward the entrance. They limped, they hobbled, they were on canes, to describe a few of the arrivals. A thought came to me as I wondered how many more of our elders would attend the game if they had a shuttle from the parking lot to the entrance. Just a thought.

Robert Martin
longtime UH baseball fan

A marriage patent

Legally, I am in agreement with opinions expressed by Keith Haugen in his recent letter regarding civil unions. In the fields of publishing and patents, we are faced with protected rights and unprotected rights. There is such a thing called public domain access when authors or owners abdicate their rights. But when an author maintains those rights, it must be protected.

Well, marriage was invented by and for heterosexual couples. There is no dispute of this fact. Interestingly, gay couples seek to imitate straight couples. Why? One who copies does not own what he copies, and it has nothing to do with discrimination. Even without economic benefits, marriage is founded in male and female unions. Heterosexuality is loftier than any manmade policy.

Face it, it is not about gay sexual acts, these are the invention of perverse behavior. Those practicing them have secured the rights to do it, so fine. But such behavior was never about marriage, but about liberties to engage in pleasure. Gay people did not invent marriage, and they have no moral or legal right to such a designation.

But we have reached the limits of the virtue of democracy when it begins to skid into these vices. We cannot deny equality of civil unions, but equality is about universal protection, and the institution of marriage requires that protection. Just because marriage is in tribulation today due to the readjustment of female roles, let us not forfeit the lofty honors acquired by true marriage: It does not belong in the same institution as gay sex.

Michael S. Teruya

Misguided faith

I have been saddened by the words and actions of many of my Christian brothers and sisters in the hateful way they have opposed offering men and women who are their tax-paying American neighbors the same legal and civil rights they enjoy. In fact, in their words and actions, I see the work of Satan. I truly believe that when these people of misguided faith do meet Jesus at the gates of heaven, He will remind them that His work on Earth was all about love and forgiveness, and that He will forgive them these terrible sins they are committing, allegedly and erroneously in His name.

Denise Lau-Jones

Send your letters to MidWeek Letters, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 500, Honolulu, HI. 96813; by fax to 585-6324, or by email to dchapman@midweek.com. Please include your name, address and daytime and evening phone numbers. We print only the letters that include this information, but only your name and area of residence will appear in print. Letters may be edited for clarity and space.
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