Letters To The Editor

City responds

The City Department of Planning and Permitting wants to thank Bob Jones for bringing the issue of Ward’s Rafters to the public’s attention in two recent columns. I’d like to clarify a few points.

First, we are not ignoring the court order that was issued in response to violations uncovered by the City in the 1990s. Inspectors have gone out on several occasions to inspect Mrs. Ward’s home, with police escorts and even undercover inspectors. Although the court order prohibited running a business in the home, it did not limit the number of “guests” or events.

During our inspections, none of the people attending, including undercover inspectors, were asked to pay in order to enter the home and listen to entertainers. With no admission being charged, those in attendance are considered guests, which is allowed under the court order.

More importantly, we hope Mr. Jones’ column will impress upon the Wards and their guests that their musical enjoyment comes at the expense of the neighborhood.

David K.Tanoue,
Director, Department of
Planning and Permitting

From an ex-Rafter

Kudos to Bob Jones for his columns on Ward’s Rafters. I served as a volunteer for Jackie Ward at the Rafters. She told me neighbors were complaining bitterly about the noise and disruption. She laughed and called them jerks in so many words. I never went back. Many people have a distorted view of her. Thanks for clearing the air.

Robert Rau

For the ‘little guy’

God bless Bob Jones for his columns on Ward’s Rafters. I have family living in the area, and this has been a problem for years upon years. Mr. Ialea and others have spoken to their neighborhood board, without any results. The police are called weekly.

I hope Mr. Jones sinks his teeth into this issue. He is now the voice for the “little guy” in a world where “who you know” sometimes keeps sweeping things under the rug. The neighborhood and their ohanas will be watching and cheering you on. Thank you so much!

June Gorgonio

Who’s the threat?

Kudos to MidWeek for publishing Pat Buchanan’s articles about world affairs. I don’t always agree with Mr. Buchanan’s views about U.S. politics, but his analyses of world affairs are consistently excellent. Last week’s “So Who Really Wants War With Iran?” is particularly timely. Not one single news channel veers from the U.S. line on Syria and Iran and Palestine and, unless one searches the Internet for honest news, we would never know what is going on in the world. On this evening’s news, Iran has been condemned, arbitrarily, for car bombings in India and Thailand.

Did the U.S. equally condemn Israel for the car bombs in Iran where people actually died? No.

Buchanan’s most-telling line in his column is worth pasting (re: Israel vs. Iran): “Who is the existential threat to whom here?”

Judith Lutfy

Romney’s rate

Dan Boylan’s column berated GOP presidential front runner Mitt Romney for “only” paying 15 percent tax on $42 million in income, which amounts to $6,300,000.

Mr. Boylan seems to not understand the tax code. Romney’s income is derived almost entirely from capital gains from investments which are indeed taxed at 15 percent. But for Romney to get income from capital gains, he had to earn income at the upper income levels of 25 percent. There are millions of elderly investors such as myself who depend upon dividend income from our investments in stock/bond/CDs taxed at 15 percent to supplement our Social Security. It is so hypocritical of Mr. Boylan to begrudge Romney his tax rate when he pays 0 percent state tax on his state ERS pension.

Garry P. Smith
Ewa Beach

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