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Your Views for March 31

‘How dare you’

I have a few things to say about the top story on March 28 (Tribune-Herald) regarding the mayor getting a $22,000 raise and other county employees getting 19 percent raises, as proposed by the Hawaii County Salary Commission. Since I am not allowed to use offensive language, I will do my best to control my anger.

First of all, to the Salary Commission: How can you possibly think to give raises of this magnitude (or any magnitude) in this recession? How dare you add to our overwhelming deficit, where services are being scaled back, poor people have to pay to ride the bus, there are no jobs to be had, our taxes on things like car registration have doubled, there are thousands of hungry families, and on and on.

The Salary Commission’s mission includes setting the salaries and benefits of all county elected officials and appointed directors so that they have a reasonable relationship to the compensation in the public and private sectors.

Therefore, you elected county folks work for us, the people, and until we get 19 percent pay raises in our sector, forget about accepting this entitlement of the grossest blatant misuse of power, which is causing the budgets of county, state and federal governments to be overwhelmingly the main cause of our economic problems.

Here is the contact information for the Hawaii County Salary Commission: Gerald Perkins, Newton Inouye, Searle Grace and Karolyn Lundkvist can be reached by calling 961-8361.

Sara Steiner


Raises irresponsible

Hawaii County is deeply in debt and spends more than it takes in, which has resulted in furlough days given to its employees to cut the cost of government.

Our mayor has plenty of money to spend on his trips. He promised, if re-elected, he was going to build an incinerator to burn our trash and turn it into electricity. He has not done that but is planning on giving millions to a company to sort out our rubbish. An incinerator to generate electricity would cut our electric bill so people can afford it.

Now he wants to be given a $22,000 raise … just because some longtime employees, through longevity, make more than he does.

We are in an economic downfall, and I have not seen our mayor do anything to create more jobs. Our children graduate from school and then they have to go to the mainland to get a decent job.

Good work, mayor. Yes, I did vote for you.

John Gallipeau


Recycle those books

Doesn’t our Hilo Public Library care about the environment? I’ve seen them dumping box after box after box of books and magazines into their Dumpster! Can’t they take them to the transfer station, so they can be recycled?

Mel Holden


Gun-control ideas

As our nation moves into the debates relative to stricter gun control, I would like to make people aware of an apparent disparity in the way in which we protect animals and do not protect our citizens.

Shotguns that are used to hunt migratory birds are required by federal law to have a magazine restriction that limits them to two shells in the magazine and one in the chamber. For ease of enforcement, the 1918 law is also applicable in some states to nonmigratory small-game hunting, (e.g. pheasant). The law is still considered valid today because although market hunting no longer exists, the law prohibits hunters from firing repeatedly at birds as they pass out of lethal range. For the same reason, many states also limit the number of rounds in the magazine and chamber for big-game hunting (whitetail deer).

For almost a hundred years, we have protected wildlife by either limiting magazine capacity or limiting the number of rounds that may be loaded, regardless of magazine capacity. We have laws on the books to protect our wildlife, but not our citizens.

As in many issues, there is no single solution to the gun violence that pervades our society. However, a multi-pronged approach that limits the number of shells or rounds in a magazine, more comprehensive background checks (including checks for past domestic violence), and better reporting and detection of prior indications of violent tendencies can all be part of the solution.

Clyde Shiraki

Mountain View


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