Letters to the Editor
Neighborhood board cowardly, un-American
When a member of the Wai'anae Neighborhood Board refuses to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, it's offensive; but when the entire board, except one, refuses to vote on its position regarding the Army training at Makua, it's cowardly.
The board members, except one, refused to consider or vote on the following resolution: "Be it resolved that the board vote to condemn the 9-11 attack and support the response of the government to defend the U.S.A." That's just plain un-American.
But that is exactly what happened at the November meeting.
The lovely Kaka'ako Park was built and paid for by taxpayers for the enjoyment and recreation of Honolulu residents and our visitors. It is not an appropriate place for gravestones.
It was not the site of the Ehime Maru accident. A more appropriate place for reminders to families of victims is in their own hometown, on their own island.
Your front-page article on Nov. 11 on the sad state of maintenance and repair in our public schools was enlightening. You do a very needed public service to resurface a long-standing problem in our public schools.
However, there was one drawback to your report: the photograph on page A5. I could find no connection between the photo and the maintenance problem you were trying to illustrate. The maintenance problems at Farrington, I'm sure, are severe. A good photo would have helped a lot to emphasize the problem.
So the state doesn't want to inform incoming passengers from areas of the world in which dengue fever is epidemic to contact health authorities if they come down with symptoms soon after arriving in Hawai'i. These government people make me sick.
Veiled Afghan woman cartoon in poor taste
Was the intent of Dick Adair's Nov. 6 editorial cartoon, "Hawai'i troops await deployment" just some guy's ironic and tasteless point of view? In this cartoon, a soldier glumly envisions a veiled woman while a curvy bikini-clad female strolls by on the beach. What is the point of this?
Whatever the point, the juxtaposition of the bikini and the chador, seen through military-male gaze and fantasy, not only insults devout Muslim women who choose to veil to various degrees for modesty within their spiritual commitment, but also trivializes the terrible plight of Afghan women.
The Taliban have not just covered women's bodies, they have severely restricted their fundamental freedoms and human rights, all of which are supported in the Quran. As a Western woman, virtually every choice I make during my day is prohibited to these women. But I think the brutally repressed women of Afghanistan would give first priority to be free to work and feed their children, to be educated, to move about at will than to parade the beach nearly naked.
If the bikini was intended to be a symbol of women's freedom, I think a better one could have been selected. Of course, contrasting the veiled woman with a Western female doctor, lawyer, teacher or soldier wouldn't have enough sex appeal or humor as cartoon fodder. On the other hand, this topic just isn't funny.
It's not just Manoa against power lines
HECO is attempting to build massive steel poles and string unsightly thick cables over Wa'ahila Ridge in Manoa. HECO's lawyer at the recent Department of Land and Natural Resources hearing portrayed the project to be objectionable just to the rich people in Manoa.
That is the furthest from the truth. I live in Kailua. I don't want those lines anywhere on our lovely island. I don't want us dependent on fossil fuel for all our precious energy needs. I don't want to upset the cultural practices and ecological balance of fauna and flora on the sacred ridge.
As a ratepayer, I don't want my money spent on a redundant line where there is no dire need. Electricity on O'ahu is reliable. What goes on in one community affects every community on our tiny island.
I hope the land board understands that this project will affect tourism, our economy, our energy future and all of us.
It is time to manage Maui water resources
Over the past 150 years, almost a half a billion gallons of water per day have been developed and can currently be diverted from streams or pumped from the ground on Maui. This has occurred in a haphazard manner, at the whim of anyone who can afford to fill out a form to drill a well or secure a license from the Board of Land and Natural Resources. No agency manages our water resources and water development. Ê
Water users are supposed to report the amount of water pumped or diverted to the state Commission on Water Resource Management, but only the Maui Board of Water Supply (which has access to less than 10 percent of the developed water) and a few others comply. Thus there is no record of water pumped, and most users keep pumping data secret.
Maui Island is divided into six aquifer areas and 25 smaller aquifer segments. These divisions are primarily political subdivisions, and water flows underground from one area to another. One aquifer segment has gotten more attention than all of the others because it should be the pearl of our water resources, if it were performing properly. This is '?ao Aquifer, the pie slice of the West Maui Mountains that faces the tradewinds.
The U.S. Geological Society recently published a report that states that the current levels of withdrawal are unsustainable utilizing current infrastructure.
Tomorrow, the state Commission on Water Resource Management will meet at 9 a.m. in Room 207 of the Trask Building in Wailuku to consider a Petition to Designate the '?ao Aquifer as a Ground Water Management Area. Many on Maui feel that it is not only time for the waters of '?ao to be managed, but that the entire Wailuku and Central areas should be managed as well if we want to save their viability and the ability of Maui to provide the clean waters of life for generations to come.
Maui County Board of Water Supply
Restaurant smoking stirs community
Let public decide on ban on smoking
Hawai'i needs a law banning smoking in all public establishments submitted for public vote. And "We the People" need to ensure that it passes. Anything less, including any compromises, is a cop-out, a failure of the system a failure of the very people you voted for to the City Council to do the right thing.
Let's first talk about life. Are we compromising the lives of every infant or child whom we take to a diner? What about your grandmother, whose health would be jeopardized by taking her out to dinner? What about your relative or close friend who works hard, every day, who has to breath in secondhand smoke, which has been proven to kill. Yes, I said "kill." Why should you risk being killed by secondhand smoke?
Let's talk about the inconveniences. Why should you have to pay for expensive dry-cleaning of your nice jacket because you wore it one time to a smoke-filled restaurant? Don't you start wheezing? Doesn't your throat hurt? Don't your eyes burn from secondhand smoke? Can your children tell you of these effects when you take them out to dinner?
Let's talk about costs. In California, there was a lot of spending on campaigns trying to defeat the smoking ban law, citing lost patronage at restaurants. Wrong! At the end of the day, there was no measurable drop in business. In fact, many people surveyed said they went out more.
Von Kenric Kaneshiro
Shun restaurants that allow smoking
I, for one, am sick of dining in so-called nonsmoking sections.
Secondhand smoke still drifts in from the smoking section, jeopardizes my health, spoils my meal and makes my clothes and hair reek of someone else's filthy habit. I sympathize with employees working in those conditions.
Auwe to the City Council members who ignore public health and kowtow to special interests. Auwe to a mayor who waits to see which way the political wind blows before he takes a stand. Is this leadership? If any of you seeks another office, the public will remember your lack of conviction.
There is one simple solution to restaurant smoke: Dine only in restaurants that provide a smoke-free environment, encourage them to advertise the fact and tell your friends about them. When you make a reservation or walk into a restaurant, you're asked, "Smoking or nonsmoking?" At that point, simply say, "No thank you, I only dine in restaurants that ban smoking. I'll go elsewhere."
In today's economic climate, you'll be surprised how quickly offending restaurants will change their policy. The solution to cowardly politicians is just as simple: Vote them out.
Kerry A. Krenzke
Voters will remember those opposed to ban
As a nonsmoker, I am very disgusted and disappointed again with the City Council. A restaurant smoking ban was a "no-brainer." To council members Romy Cachola, John DeSoto, Rene Mancho, Andy Mirikitani and Jon Yoshimura, who voted to kill the proposal to ban smoking in restaurants: What were you thinking?
Based solely on "they are worried that the Japanese will not come to our Islands and puff smoke in front of nonsmokers"? Japanese are very respectful, and I don't think they would mind not smoking for an hour in a restaurant. Hey, they travel to Hawai'i for eight hours on a nonsmoking flight.
I frequent many restaurants that are nonsmoking, and the air smells clean. I also have been to restaurants that have smoking areas that are a few feet away from nonsmoking areas, and the smell of smoke is everywhere. The food even tastes of smoke. It is the worst feeling when my wife and I are having a nice dinner and someone is smoking only a few feet away.
I don't know what it is going to take to ban smoking in restaurants here. Many states have this law.
You City Council members are supposed to be educated people. You are supposed to support the people of Hawai'i, not foreigners.
To the five members who voted to kill the bill, you will never advance in your political careers. You have just lost a lot of votes. I'm sure the people will not forget. To the members who voted for the ban, Duke Bainum, Steve Holmes, Gary Okino and John Felix, mahalo for your support.
Robert L. Souza
Children also inhale dangerous smoke
Smoking should be banned from restaurants. It's not very healthy to eat and inhale smoke at the same time.
Children may be in the restaurant. They may not be the ones smoking, but they are the secondhand smokers. They inhale the dangerous smoke.
As for the restaurant losing its business, that is not true. If you ban smoking from all restaurants, smokers have no choice but to not smoke. They won't stop going to a restaurant just because they can't smoke. And, if all restaurants have the ban, smokers have no other place to go.
Tourists can handle not smoking for an hour or so. If they can ride in the plane for about six or seven hours, I don't see the problem in two hours of not smoking.
'Aiea High School, Peer Education