Your Views for February 17


Property taxes

The county government states that the property taxes will not be as little as they thought.

The County Council and/or the administration have decided not to look at looking at the way property taxes are levied. There are many inequities in the property tax laws and should be reformed. All homeowners should review their tax bills, and look at the assessments, as the county assesors are behind in the decline in property values. Look at the recent sales of properties in your area, and if your assessment is too high, file an objection with the county.

Bob Dukat

Pahoa

Training prisoners

Kulani prison could best rehabilitate inmates by giving them a good quality of life in prison and a career they can actually earn a good living with afterward. This is unlikely to be true if all they are offered is the traditional farming, plumbing, carpentry and electrical programs. Farming is low pay and hard work, and risky.

The “trades” require a high level of literacy a great deal of detailed work and paperwork, and so are very often a poor match for our prisoners, who have often been educationally disadvantaged.

The best answer is the one I proposed at the Hilo public meeting on reopening Kulani: training detection and service dogs. Working with dogs offers inmates a job they can love that loves them back. It gives them a wholesome kind of affection and a type of social life whih is very therapeutic, which minimizes stress, and helps them develop better self-control. It also gives them something that they are involved in, e.g., saving lives by creating cancer detection dogs, which is bigger them they are, a “higher purpose” in life.

It would help them to behave in other aspects of their prison lives, because they would not want to be kicked out of the program. Once they graduate and are certified to train detection dogs, they can help Hawaii and the world in many ways, and earn $20,000-plus per dog. One person could train three sets of five dogs per year, earning $300,000!

Carl F. Oguss

Hilo

Don’t build TMT

I’m sitting here with the HTH article “TMT’s next hurdle” and wondering how in the world can a development over 18 stories high and over eight acres of excavation on Mauna Kea satisfy the eight criteria for granting the conservation district use permit. Build anything that enormous anywhere, and it will impact the environment.

Many of us continue to practice a cultural and ceremonial lifestyle connected to this sacred mountain, and we have every intention to pass those traditions on to the generations to come. If this massive telescope is built on the mountain, it will severely impact us on all levels.

I pray one day that we will consider all development on our island home as our ancient peoples did, with the utmost care and thought to the true impact upon the sky, the land, the sea and the ultimate health of all people. Let our decisions now and in the future not cause destruction, desecration, over-development and disturbance that our children will have to take care of, clean up, cry or be angry about, and blame us for now and for a long time to come.

To my children and my grandchildren, I say simply, I have based my decision to stand on behalf of Mauna a Wakea, because you are sacred and our Mauna is still sacred. Therefore, I proceed with my ancestors and guides, my people, my culture, my children, my Mauna, and my Hawaii in my heart — i ka piko o ke aloha, i ka pono, as it should be, truly with Aloha for all.

Pua Case

Waimea

 

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