The mountains were clear this morning, and so was the sky above them, which is why Arcturus stood out so boldly, glowing red as Mars and capturing my attention when the dogs and I went walking.
I happened to turn on KKCR while heading over to the beach yesterday afternoon, and the interview with 2nd Congressional District candidate Tulsi Gabbard unexpectedly caught my attention. I really knew nothing about her, but she was saying all the right things. For starters, she wants to bring the troops home from Afghanistan ASAP, and since she's been deployed twice to the Middle East with the National Guard, she knows how badly war sucks and wouldn't be quick to wage one.
What's more, she'll fight to have GMO foods labeled. And when host Jimmy Trujillo asked about her stance on health care, she spoke of how her brother couldn't afford insurance for his son, who has a pre-existing condition, before saying, “The government has a responsibility to take care of people who don't have a voice, and that's us and our families.”
In the course of 15 minutes, my thinking shifted from, I am not even going to vote this year, I am so disgusted with politics, to wow, she sounds like someone I could support. Shows you just what a dreamer I am, always holding out hope that things might actually change through the political process.
I was brought back to reality when I heard SHOPO will not be endorsing Justin Kollar for Kauai prosecutor. Though they haven't come out officially as backing incumbent Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho, it kinda tells you something when a law enforcement organization blows off the squeaky clean candidate in the race.
In other news, I just got a copy of the County Attorney's opinion that holds people who operate a transient vacation rental can still claim a homeowner's exemption on their real property taxes. The key is whether it's the taxpayer's “principal home." To use the example in the opinion, someone can rent out their property for three months, and still claim it's their principal residence. But what about renting for nine months? Or six months? And how, exactly, is that principal status determined and — ha ha— enforced?
So I'm left wondering, how is it that the county considers a TVR a commercial property for purposes of assessing trash collection fees, yet it can be treated as a principal, personal home when it comes to property taxes?
Meanwhile, a WESPAC-backed effort has begun to have the Hawaii population of green sea turtles “delisted” as a threatened species, as I reported in Honolulu Weekly.