Letters to the editor: 12-08-19

Sentencing ‘deal’ leaves taxpayers out

In Friday’s West Hawaii Today, I read that a local realtor, Jene Green, accepted a plea deal after she had been caught stealing public funds. That’s right, accepting public aid, and knowingly lying about your earnings is indeed stealing from the taxpayers. She stole from you and me.

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Now, what is extremely annoying is the fact the prosecutor’s office let such a weak plea deal happen: pay back $12,812, serve 100 hours community service, 30 days suspended jail time, and pay fines of $212.88. Really? And, of course, this all goes away if the thief complies with the terms. What is more galling is the fact Green stole $27,241, (while earning $360,158.03). What happened to the rest of the taxpayers’ money?

My next question should be on everyone’s mind: Who exactly is looking out for the taxpayers of this county? It certainly does not appear the prosecutor’s office has our best interest in mind. It certainly does not appear that Superior Court Judge Melvin H. Fujino has our best interest in mind, by approving this inadequate deal.

Let me guess, it’s the old adage “don’t worry, taxpayers got lots of money.”

Shame on all of you that had a hand in this “deal.”

Robert Brogan

Kailua-Kona

Conservation a bipartisan issue we should all agree on

Most of my commentary in the past has been about counter-punching liberal excesses, but today I would like to comment on a by partisan issue that almost everyone can get behind.

Recent comments in the paper have been talking about single-use plastic and for those of us old enough to remember a time when there was no plastic, I think we are in a better place to lead on this issue.

Let’s start with the plastic water bottle. There are thousands of vacation rentals in Hawaii that by having better water filtration systems on their property could vastly reduce the plastic waste. If you did not filter at the faucet you could still use Britta and other products that work very well.

I have 10 vacation condos and have made that switch and my guests love it. No more hauling cases of water up three flights of stairs! Think about the impact of the resorts getting on board with Brittas in all the hotel rooms or just setting up filtration for there water. This is just one item out of many, but it is a good start.

As a community we can band together and support redesign of packaging coming to Hawaii! How many items are packaged so hard you need a saw or utility knife to get it open (child proof and adult proof)? Think also about how we broke away from the plastic bag and how it was such a big deal when it started but now all our cars and trucks have a few reusable bags in them. We do not even give it a thought anymore.

We now are addressing the plastic utensils. How long before we pack our own set of utensil products in a small container with a set of napkins and, god forbid, we have to take them home and wash them?! The world will not end. Trust me.

The product list is endless, so starting now is a very good idea especially for the wildlife that is being poisoned daily by our carelessness in disposing of these items.

Just look to the seabirds dining on plastic lighters and caps in our own back yard! Is there a financial cost to all this? the short answer is yes but there is a cost to everything we do in life. This cost is minimal compared to the gift we receive by taking a proactive part in restoring our environment.

This is neither conservative or liberal it is just common sense — something that is in short supply these days.

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Bob Johnson

Kailua-Kona