Letters to the Editor
Giving up indulgences one way to contribute
Our president asks us to return to normal. Although I'm eager to do so, I'm lacking the funds to shop. So you know what? I'm giving up those things I thought were important: beer (sorry, Bud!); golf (what do I do with my three sets of clubs?); and gambling (including an annual Las Vegas trip).
Giving up these has not been difficult. With these savings of over $2,000 annually, I'll be able to buy more local products. Maybe other kama'aina can give up their indulgences.
Stadium security isn't about terrorism
Regarding the security at Aloha Stadium: It all boils down to not bringing in contraband food and beverages.
Banning purses and bags but allowing fanny packs is ridiculous. I think the stadium management fell down too many times on the AstroTurf. They got everything mixed up about security. I still can strap TNT to my chest underneath my shirt and parka, and carry my 9mm in my pocket. But God forbid I bring a bag with baby food and diapers into the stadium.
If they really want security, they would have metal detectors at every gate. I think fans won't mind having their bags searched, but banning them altogether because of time restraints is ludicrous.
We can always show up early to each game; we do it already at the airport.
It all boils down to losing money at the concession stands.
Media ground rules are being ignored
The Oct. 11 Advertiser, page A3, included the statement " ... most personnel on the ship cannot be fully identified under Navy media ground rules."
On page A2, an Associated Press photo showed an F-14 aircraft with the name of a crew member as large as life for all to see.
Also, the front page included a name of an officer briefing the crew of a returning B-2.
I have not included the names of personnel involved to go along with Navy media ground rules, which should apply to all services during this period of military activities.
Bad ideas won't help
Ideas to spur the local economy are probably needed right now, but the latest ones prompted me to write my first op-ed letter: A light-show-type parade through glitz 'n glitter Waikiki or more beach brunches are not going to lure most of us into spending more money in hard-hit businesses. Good grief! Where's Charlie Brown?
FSM will continue its support of U.S.
Immediately after the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., President Leo Falcam of the Federated States of Micronesia released a statement condemning the attacks in the strongest possible terms and offering heartfelt condolences to President Bush and the American people for the thousands who died and the terrible destruction.
The president also expressed the FSM's full support for the planned U.S. war against terrorism worldwide.
In a message to our citizens serving in the U.S. armed forces, he urged them to do their best and assured them of the full support of their country for them, for the United States and for the fight against terrorism.
A few days ago, following the U.S. attacks on terrorist targets in Afghanistan, the president, during a cabinet meeting, expressed the willingness of the FSM government to "consider offering to the United States to stage in our islands what they need to stage for forward movement" of troops.
I am confident my country will continue to be a dependable friend and ally of the United States.
Kasio E. Mida
Consul general Federated States of Micronesia
Discount for elderly visitors is missing
My wife and I are home from a week in Honolulu, of conferencing and enjoying a touristy pleasure or two. No question, our Waikiki hotel and others were hurting for business. The more reason to wonder is that the city's welcome isn't all that warm for seniors like us, who bulk large in Hawai'i's visitor trade?
We took the city bus to see the USS Missouri at Pearl Harbor, one route out, another back, and found there was no lower senior fare except for residents with special cards. At 81, and my wife using a cane, we paid the full $1.50 each. Oddly, during an hour on each bus, we noted very few riders paying cash fares. And seats marked for the "Elderly and Disabled" had some sort of special allure for the healthy young.
We hope to be back and that, by then, as visitors we'll enjoy the same fares as locals.
James W. Kelly
San Bruno, Calif.
Developing water sources essential
The Department of Health cautions everyone to clear their yards of containers with standing water because of the dengue outbreak. What do the thousands of people on the Big Island do who have standing containers of from 5,000 to 20,000 gallons of water in their yards?
This is their only source of water. It is used for domestic consumption, cooking, bathing, agriculture, firefighting, etc. It is the only source of water for these people.
Wouldn't it be nice if the governor would include water source development on the Big Island as part of his billion-dollar construction plans? This would be a very productive construction project and would go far to improve the quality of life (i.e., basic health and safety) in these communities.
Ocean View, Big Island
Reapportionment panel vote took courage
I would like to commend and applaud Reapportionment Commission Chairman Wayne Minami's decision one that took courage, independent thinking and personal integrity. His was the deciding vote to exclude Non-Resident Military Dependents (NRMD) from the population count, a hotly debated issue during these last few months. An NRMD is the spouse or children of an active-duty military person who chooses another state as his or her residence and where they pay taxes.
This was not a question of whether they are allowed to vote or not. The question was whether to include them in the population base when determining the boundaries of voting districts.
After hearing testimony from many Neighbor Island residents against inclusion, Minami revisited the statutes and realized that in fact our state Constitution mandates that NRMD are not permanent residents and therefore should not be included in the population base. Voters in 1992 reaffirmed that by a vote of 2 to 1. He concluded that the wishes of the voters of our state should prevail and changed his decisive vote.
I commend Minami for his leadership and thank him for restoring my faith in the democratic process in Hawai'i.
Member, Reapportionment Advisory Council
Nate Jackson left lasting impression
We returned to Honolulu recently after a tour group trip to see the UH-SMU football game, ending with a trip to Las Vegas. It would be remiss if we did not mention the deep impression Nate Jackson left with our grandchildren after the football game.
When the team was leaving the field, our grandchildren, who live in Texas, toting their handmade posters, lined the sides of the tunnel to have a look at the winning Hawai'i Warriors and shout their words of praise.
When Nate Jackson passed through, he took one look at them, smiled, removed his gloves and gave them to the kids. The kids were thrilled, mostly to be recognized by such a good player and to know that staying up late to make the "Aloha," "Hawai'i" and "GO UH" posters did not go unnoticed.
Nate Jackson's genuine character and display of appreciation will be a lasting impression to these 10- to 12-year-old youngsters.
Using toxic chemicals isn't the right solution
As a frequent visitor to Hawai'i, I was deeply disturbed by your recent article on DDT, which seemed to glorify the days when the pesticide was "fogged" into the streets of Honolulu at night.
There is, of course, understandable concern that dengue fever may stifle tourism. But I would like to suggest that the overuse of toxic chemicals in the environment will do even more to discourage the many thousands of visitors, like myself, who flock to the Islands for the wonderful clean air and healthy lifestyle.
Rachel Carson didn't merely find that DDT killed a few raptors, as you seem to imply. She revealed that DDT, in addition to being toxic to humans, disrupts the balance of nature at every level and makes pesticide use even more necessary in the long run.
Let's keep our beloved Islands as free of toxic chemicals as we possibly can. Here in California, the grape industry is trying to stop the spread of a vineyard pest by importing the insect's natural enemies. Perhaps a similar approach would provide a nontoxic long-term solution to dengue fever.
Mill Valley, Calif.
Baby oil does the trick
I have a suggestion for all residents regarding dengue fever. Try using baby oil. I know it does not feel comfortable being slick with oil on your skin all day, but I found that the baby oil repels mosquitoes as well as fleas. It worked for me.
Legislators: You must not fail Hawai'i now
We believe Gov. Cayetano's proposal for a $1 billion construction package for the state and President Evan Dobelle's plan for the University of Hawai'i, including especially the building of a new medical school and research complex, together constitute a brilliant program for overcoming a recession and protecting Hawai'i's future.
While these proposals will require the purchase of state bonds that will have to be repaid, they are at the lowest interest rate available in years. Much of the money spent, through a multiplier effect, will find its way several times into the payrolls of our workers. This will employ people, who will pay taxes and stay off the welfare rolls and, importantly, out of Med-Quest, our poverty-level Medicaid health program. A significant portion will be siphoned back to the state's coffers via the excise tax and income taxes.
It is the time to rebuild the entire state's decaying infrastructure its buildings, roads, bridges and, especially, its schools before the problems become insurmountable. It is time to build a rich and clean alternative to tourism, including both biomedical and health research, and truly make Hawai'i the "Health State," as tourism takes a hard blow from the events of Sept. 11.
The governor's proposal may be the only effective way to prevent the state from falling into the most serious economic doldrums we can imagine.
His proposal does not deserve the skepticism that some legislators, used to years of economic downturn and frustration, have expressed; rather, it requires their enthusiastic support.
In our view, the program must be developed very broadly, with a strong perspective on improving Hawai'i's economy as a whole. Developing the university and its status as a center of excellence will attract out-of-state students and also play an important role in improving Hawai'i's economy.
Granted, each island should get its fair share of the benefits of any economic-revival package, but efforts must be directed to where we can get the biggest bang for the buck.
Why should the Hawai'i Coalition for Health be interested in the economic stability of Hawai'i? Because poverty substantially reduces our ability to be healthy. A severe economic downturn would seriously undermine our existing health system.
Please, members of the Legislature and leaders of Hawai'i, do not fail us when we really need your most imaginative and creative thinking and action. Time is of the essence.
For the Hawai'i Coalition for Health:
Arlene Jouxson Meyers, President
Rafael del Castillo
Richard S. Miller