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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, May 4, 2002

Letters to the Editor

Humane Society could have used money better

I cannot believe the media response to the Hawaiian Humane Society spending $50,000 to save one dog. The question someone needs to ask is: "How many dogs does the Hawaiian Humane Society put down because of lack of space?"

I have been to the Humane Society. It is one of the smallest facilities I've ever seen. The money could have been used to help many abandoned or abused dogs and cats have enough time to be adopted by a loving family or individual.

However, on the society's behalf, the media have made its decision a profitable one. I'm sure donations will come in by the thousands. I sure hope some of that money can go to helping animals here on O'ahu, and hope one day Americans will learn to care for unknown animals and people.

Chris J. Torres

Keep the faith despite priest abuse scandal

I am, as many Roman Catholics are, dismayed and appalled at the recent revelations of child molestation perpetuated by priests. However, I would plead with my fellow Catholics not to lose their faith in the Holy Trinity because of the institutional failure of the church hierarchy to appropriately address this horrible tragedy.

Remember, this is the same church that brought us the Inquisition and the Crusades, and didn't really do such a bang-up job dealing with the Holocaust of World War II, either, among other things. But take a look around. Now more than ever in our world is the time to embrace the teachings of Jesus (or whichever faith you believe in) and return to the power of worship and prayer.

This issue is not about homosexual priests and celibacy. It's about pedophiles who choose to become priests because of the access to their prey and the capacity to cover up their crimes.

If you think this horror is conducted primarily by priests, you are sadly mistaken. The Roman Catholic Church scandals are only the tip of the iceberg. This tragedy is far more pervasive than anyone wants to admit.

I am also dismayed by the apparent lack of focus and concern for the poor people who had to suffer this tragic harm. We, as a society, must take a serious look at ourselves. Have we done enough to protect these most vulnerable members of our community? Have we put in the time and effort to confront this issue head-on and replace our ignorance with knowledge and understanding? Apparently not.

Gary Maxwell

Green iguanas aren't threat to us, plants

Iguanas are showing signs of being established in the wild once again on O'ahu. State government officials warn that green iguanas are "a threat to native plants," "have been known to eat birds" and "can be harmful when confronted by humans," but such statements are exaggerated:

• Green iguanas are not a significant threat to native plants because they don't consume that much and don't thrive in places where threatened native vegetation occurs.

• They don't threaten birds (they are vegetarians).

• It is ridiculous to say that they can harm humans. They can whip their tails to defend themselves, and that's it.

Let's not get all uptight about these harmless and passive creatures being established in our forests. Our time and resources should instead be concentrated on realistic threats like brown tree snakes, feral pigs and miconia plants. Please appreciate iguanas and leave them alone.

Eric Rosenfeld

Motorized scooters can't use public roads

The April 26 editorial "Motorized scooters: Give us a break" did not relate additional important points: Drivers of motorized vehicles on public roads by law have to be 16 years old or older, pass written and driving tests, and have insurance. A motorized vehicle must be registered and pass an annual safety inspection.

Motorized scooters do not meet any of those legal criteria. To allow them on public sidewalks is dangerous and irrational.

Motorized scooters and potentially their drivers do not meet the legal requirements to use public roadways. Police should enforce the law.

George Winter

Adm. Blair was right to spell out our policy

I disagree with Tom Plate's comment on Adm. Dennis Blair's recent speech in Hong Kong about his re-emphasis on the U.S. commitment to defend Taiwan (Focus commentary, April 28).

Mr. Plate's point is not to irritate China over the Taiwan issue. But the lessons of history are quite clear. The European appeasement toward Nazi Germany probably encouraged Hitler. Ambiguous U.S. signals toward Saddam Hussein led to the invasion of Kuwait. In 1996, China's decision to launch missiles over Taiwan to intimidate the presidential election on the island nation may have been a misjudgment on then-President Clinton's China policy.

I think Adm. Blair is quite correct in making the U.S. policy clear to the Chinese.

Naoky Tsai