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Great Green Comparisons

Thanks for the article “Is It Really Green?” (June 2009). You did some great comparisons and didn’t try to simplify the issues like so many “easy to be green” articles do.

FYI, I keep glass containers in my car for to-go orders and leftovers. Until we have commercial composting facilities, biocompostable products are a problem. They go into the trash or the recycling stream because people don’t know what to do with them.

Without exception, whenever I bring in my own to-go container, the servers in the restaurant are thrilled. For shopping bags, I love because they are small and fold up in my purse — eliminating the “I left them in my car” problem.

Andrea Dean

Buy Local, But Keep Prices Sensible

As long-time residents, we always try to support local businesses (“8 Ways to Fire Up Hawaii’s Economy,” May 2009) and used to go to Waikiki often for dinner.

But when one advertises validated parking and you find that it is $2 off and you still pay $9 to go to a restaurant, or $11 with validation at Hilton Hawaiian Village to attend a party, would that encourage many to return? We haven’t been back for six months.

Merle Crow

‘Social’ Gambling Can Help State

I was impressed to read about legalizing gambling in your article “8 Ways to Fire Up Hawaii’s Economy” (May 2009).

About four years ago, I wrote to Gov. Lingle and local newspaper editors on the topic of “social” gambling. During that time, many were advocating gambling as the government discussed reducing public library hours and the A+ after-school program for children.

I once was in charge of the Army NCO clubs and bingo was our biggest income producer. When I retired in November 1973, the gross revenue for bingo was $770,000 and the net profit was 42 percent. The profits paid for the construction of the Skyview Terrace at Fort Shafter, which cost approximately $1.2 million.

My suggestion to the governor was to legalize bingo as social gaming entertainment. Currently, military clubs circumvent the anti-gambling law by, for instance, giving customers free bingo cards that can win cash prizes when they pay for their buffet dinner.

My suggestion was to let the state charge an annual fee for gambling licenses to nonprofit organizations — churches, the military and other community groups. Licensees would also pay the state 10 percent to 15 percent of their gross. To substantiate my proposal, I included a copy of the Minnesota 2004 Congressional Report showing $71 million in revenue from bingo alone.

This increased income would reduce furloughs for state workers.

Tony Garcia

Life Off The Grid Even Cheaper

Just wanted to comment that our diesel and propane bills are actually $120 a month in the winter and go way down in the summer (“Modern Life Off the Grid,” June 2009). Our true average for 9 months of the year is closer to $60 a month. Off-grid living definitely is a great savings in the long run!

Judi Steinman

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