Letters to the Editor – 5/20/15

Balanced opinion
I find Jay Sakashita to be an insightful columnist. “Religion is a Reflection of Our Values” was a joy to read and share with others.

This quote is enlightening: “Yes, bigotry and ignorance fester in religion; but compassion and wisdom plant roots in its fertile soil to bloom there, too.” Religion provides comfort for many. This truly is fair and balanced opinion writing at its best.

Our policy makers, when dealing with worldwide conflicts, now recognize extremists who use social media as a weapon. They recruit people who already have personal dissatisfaction, frustrations or grudges. All of this evil operates under the guise of religion.

Using this reasoning, President Obama was correct when he refused to refer to these terrorists as Islamic. They are Muslims who use religion to reflect their lack of human dignity.

Jim Wolfe

No foresight

The charade of our state government holding the city government to only a fiveyear, $1.8-billion rail-tax extension now has played out. Oh, and the state gets a cool $180 million out of that. We taxpayers now must show how glad we are that our state government has spared us … what? Not a tax increase. Oh, a permanent tax increase? Gee, thanks, but don’t be surprised if, in five years or less, the still-not-completed rail project will come back and be granted another extension because of unforeseen circumstances — escalating labor and material costs, higher acquisition fees or problems with the rail cars. Who could foresee that happening? Not HART.

Peter Chisteckoff
Mililani Mauka

Broken state

It’s baffling how this broken state works. When it comes to potential jobs or revenue, the government, HTA, HDCA and developers have pronounced tendency to overestimate. Case in point: Hawaii officials stating if the Obama library was built here, it would generate between $300 million and $600 million in new economic activity, and create up to 2,000 new jobs. You could cut those numbers in half and I’m still not buying it, yet Hawaii voters have a pronounced tendency to believe such numbers.They re-elect the same officials, akin to snake oil salesmen, who produce such misinformation and flimflam.

But when it comes down to factual revenue streams or actual building costs of road repair, information system programs, rail, hospital systems, etc., the numbers never seem to add up. If it’s going to be expensive, then at least be forthright and have the decency to tell me the truth up front. Don’t backdoor me with tax extensions, increased fees and the like after the project is started or completed.

The heart of the problem: No consequences for such immense non-performance by elected officials. Pat Kelly Kaimuki