Sunday | April 26, 2015
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Your Views for March 30

Makes no sense

In the midst of our country’s financial bind of over $16 trillion debt, the inability of the Senate to write a budget and the crumbling of our post office, our new U.S. senator, Brian Schatz, is proposing the expansion of our national parks. They are laying off park employees. How will they pay for this?

How silly is this? He wants to spend money for land and people, when the federal government is laying people off.

Does this make sense? I think not.

Bob Dukat


County salaries

Regarding your front-page article of March 26 on salary hikes for county officials: Where to begin on this one? There are so many question marks, red flags, call them what you will, that I’ll limit myself to an arbitrary four comments.

1. The mayor himself says, “We don’t believe it’s the best time for raises.” He’s done a very good job of controlling the budget, and his thoughts on anything budget-related should be listened to.

2. These increases are “only $225,000.” A hundred-thousand here, a hundred-thousand there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money.

3. The mayor makes less than some of the people he supervises, so his salary should be increased. This is the cart pulling the horse. Past errors shouldn’t be “corrected” by poor decisions today.

4. As a union worker for 21 years, the biggest contractual increase I ever received was at 3 percent per year over a three-year contract. Most contracts, I got less, and sometimes no raise at all. Now, in the interests of fairness, we’re doling out 6 percent to 20 percent increases? Fairness to whom? They’re going back to 2009 salary levels? Must be rough to have to re-adapt to $100,000.

The Salary Commission’s decisions can’t be overridden. Why not?

Patrick Donovan


Selective enforcement

I marched to stop GMO on Saturday, March 16, in Hilo with hundreds of supporters. It was a peaceful march from the Kamehameha statue, with concern people from the community young and old.

Before our march, there were police watching us park on the grass, and nothing was said. I did get a ticket, and so did hundreds of others. My question is: Did the police retaliate because some of the protesters were walking on the road, or what?

I drive into Hilo a couple of times a week and see people parking on the grass in front of the statue, police drive by. The Merrie Monarch parade is coming up in a week in Hilo, and I do march with a Native Hawaiian group, and we park on the same grass and never did get a ticket.

Kini Burke



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