Letters to the Editor: May 2, 2021

Dangerous move

Our state legislators must be crazy. They are in the process of eliminating the tobacco prevention trust fund, which is the main funding from tobacco companies to educate smokers of the dangers of smoking and vaping. With the numbers growing on student vaping this is just plain irresponsible. They will then just dump the funds, ($4.6 million last year), into the general fund and use it for their other projects. Now, maybe, next year the entity running the prevention program is hoping to get some kind of funding from the state. That won’t work as the monies now come from tobacco companies and the change will come from the taxpayers, and we will not have any monies to help our students and citizens to understand the real dangers involved. I am a 40-plus year smoker who quit 12 years ago and have suffered most of the major problems involved with smoking. Call your legislators and let them know how dangerous their move to remove the trust fund is.

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David Macdonald

Captain Cook

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Another government-created mess

This should be enshrined as a case study in how government creates problems and then “fixes” them to the detriment of all. Keep in mind that the government’s answer to everything is to hire more people and spend more money — it’s how they perpetuate their jobs. And so it was with the short term vacation rental (STVR) issue.

They mandated permitting, rules, fees and fines to manage the problem. This required more manpower — sorry, person-power. They hired seven new employees to handle the management of all these rules, fees and mandates. Every union employee is entitled to pay, benefits, pension and other perks that seem to go on forever, but now because of COVID and the lack of tourists, guess what? The program cannot pay for itself. Employee costs and benefits already consume 65% of our county budget. This was a bad idea.

As the paper said, “The program was to be self-sustaining through permit and renewal fees and fines.” Oops, that won’t work this time due to perhaps, another government created problem, the lockdowns and choking of our economy and livelihoods. Another front page story tells us that State lawmakers “look to a more ambitious 2022 session.” For all of our sakes, let’s hope not.

Mikie Kerr

Waikoloa

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‘New policy, no can’

Undelivered mail found scattered in remote areas and on beaches … undelivered packages mysteriously disappearing and unaccounted for … U.S. Postal Service online resources broken and unresponsive… chronically ill patients deprived of timely delivery of medicine…

No one can doubt that the postal service is in shambles. Ironically, when it has been needed the most by America, USPS has utterly failed its mission. Just a year ago, it was the envy of the world and America’s most respected institution.

Today, USPS is literally in chaos, saddled with corruption, incompetence, and dishonesty. Delivery mistakes and mail theft by postal employees have become the norm, rather than the exception. I recently received a hand-written note from my letter carrier, explaining his justification for refusing to deliver packages.

It said simply: “NEW POLICY, NO CAN.”

The scribbled note speaks volumes. Is it really a new policy not to deliver packages that have already arrived on the island? Moreover, isn’t there a basic literacy requirement for letter carriers? Shouldn’t public employees and/or contractors at least be able to demonstrate competency in English? Undoubtedly, many of the delivery mistakes we are seeing now stem from a basic inability to read and write, not just language but also numbers, as in addresses.

One theory, which I recently heard espoused by a postal employee, is that USPS carriers and staff are conducting a “silent strike,” with the objective of alienating postal customers so that public opinion will turn against the incompetent officials appointed by the previous administration in an attempt to subvert mail-in voting. As much as I may sympathize, I’m unable to endorse, or for that matter live with, the wholesale mail destruction, employee theft, and overall incompetence of the pitiful remnants of the once-great U.S. Postal Service that we are forced to endure today.

The Constitution provides for a postal service. Nowhere does it require that it be a profit-making entity led by small-time, backwoods, greed-motivated yay-hoos bent on rigging elections for lunatic fringe con men. That having been said, don’t take it out on me, please. I need my meds. Without them I will die… which, conceivably, is what the lunatic fringe has in mind.

Dennis Foster

Kona

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