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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Letters to the Editor

June Jones, Tim Chang performance overrated

I can't believe the Warriors got spanked 69-3. Here are some questions I asked myself as I watched this unfold:

• Does June Jones deserve to be the No. 1-paid state employee?

• Has Tim Chang ever led UH to a meaningful win? Seems as if he and Jones say all the right things, and after five years of this I sum it up in one word: overrated. You know how that song goes, don't you, June.

• Will UH blame this loss to Boise State on the blue turf? There is always an excuse. Tim is a fifth-year senior, June. Stop making excuses. He is all grown up, and I am sure he will make a fine QB coach next year for UH.

• Why does UH football get more of the headlines? The women's volleyball team is No. 2 in the nation, and it has to take a back seat to the football team, which hasn't really amounted to much but hype. I don't even like volleyball, but this is ridiculous.

Mike Todd

Lane markings hard to find in rainstorm

On Saturday night, my wife and I drove from our home in Temple Valley to Pahoa Valley in the rainstorm that took the island by surprise. Going down Kamehameha Highway to the Pali and then over to the Leeward side was nerve-wracking due to lack of reflectors or anything that can be seen in those conditions marking the lanes.

This is not the first time or place on O'ahu that this has been a problem for myself and other drivers. Why is it that the Big Island can mark its roads effectively and we can't?

Bill Schroeder

Long-term testing is critical in GMO 'foods'

Andrew Hashimoto, dean of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawai'i-Manoa, claims "all tests" have judged genetically modified (GMO) papaya safe to eat (Oct. 17 commentary). Which tests? FDA scientists urged long-term feeding studies be done on all transgenic foods. These experts were ignored by their politically appointed superiors. Long-term feeding studies of genetically engineered "foods" have never been required.

Many scientists are asking if the antibiotic-resistant genes added to GMO "foods" (including GMO papaya) could be helping fuel the dramatic increase in antibiotic resistance in our population. FDA scientists warned that "It would be a serious health hazard to introduce a gene that codes for antibiotic resistance into the normal flora of the general population." To emphasize their concern, they capitalized all the letters in this key sentence.

GMO papaya contains a string of amino acids identical to a known allergen, yet was granted "an exemption from the requirement of tolerance," sparing this likely allergen safety assessment.

These papayas are in Hawai'i's supermarkets and restaurants. My friend ate a Rainbow papaya for lunch every day for about a month and developed symptoms of arthritis. After learning the fruits were GMO, he stopped eating them and the symptoms left.

It's outrageous that organic growers have been told to bag each flower on every tree to prevent GMO papaya contamination. UH must supply GMO testing for papaya seeds and trees. Growers deserve to know what they are eating and selling.

UH released this invasive species into our environment. UH must take responsibility to clean it up.

Eloise Engman
Makawao, Maui

'Share Your Aloha' capture sentiment

Thank you, Honolulu Advertiser, for the Dispatches section of your Web site.

A nephew of mine is being deployed to Afghanistan. As I visited your Web site, I was drawn to the "Share Your Aloha" section and soon found myself weeping over the intimate thoughts and feelings shared by caring loved ones for their sons, daughters, husbands and wives.

War is a terrible thing; it puts our children in harm's way. They know this, and yet they still volunteer. This tremendous demonstration of bravery is what makes us so proud of them. It is also what sustains our hopes for their safe return.

So, to the incredible men and women of our armed forces, to my nephew Jonathan Ferreira: We wish you Godspeed and a safe return home soon.

James Kauhi
Makawao, Maui

Where's patriotism to match belligerence?

Recently there's been a lot of talk about reinstating the draft, and the idea is clearly very unpopular. This has set me puzzling over what's happened to the concept of patriotism over my lifetime.

I was born shortly after World War I, and my generation grew up assuming that it was the patriotic duty of each generation (of men, at least) to defend their country when it was threatened. When World War II came, I went into the Army along with pretty much everybody else, and wouldn't have wanted to have it any other way.

Today from all appearances, a lot of Americans genuinely believe that our country was seriously threatened by Iraq and generally support pre-emptive wars. But the Iraq situation has stretched the Army extremely thin — so thin, in fact, that it's hard to imagine how it can be prepared to cope with any emergency that might arise. Nevertheless the supporters of the invasion are not rushing to the recruiting centers in great numbers.

Furthermore, it appears that most are vehemently opposed to a draft (which might, incidentally, contribute to a more equal distribution of the burden). Still, many of them think of themselves as very "patriotic."

I simply don't understand this new kind of patriotism where a man wants his country to pursue a belligerent policy toward the rest of the world but insists on all the fighting being done by others. What is it that's happened to us?

George Grace

World Invitational Hula Fest needs help

Hawai'i gives wonderful lip service to appreciating, respecting and supporting Hawaiian culture and traditions. In reality, the Pro Bowl football game receives millions of dollars a year plus the profits from the stadium parking and concessions. But the state of Hawai'i and the powers that be give nothing to honor the Hawaiian ali'i (Kamehameha Day Parade, Prince Kuhio Day Parade, Aloha Festivals) nor to the World Invitational Hula Festival.

The World Invitational Hula Festival, Nov. 11-13 at the Waikiki Shell, is in its 13th year and brings in over a million dollars in business. However, the festival has been so ignored by financial backers that it is scrambling to survive.

Hula dancers are coming from Africa, France, Japan, Iran, North America and the South Pacific as they love Hawaiians and our culture. Although this festival publicizes Hawai'i globally, there is still no respect for Hawaiians. Pat them on their heads occasionally but give them no money to continue worthwhile events.

Eventually the host people, the Hawaiians, will just fade away. Auwe. Where else can you enjoy a relaxing lomi lomi and sip on kava while watching handsome kane in malo and scintillating wahine performing on stage?

Lela M. Hubbard
Na Koa Ikaika

Anti-war sentiment within the military is hypocritical

I am responding to the Oct. 24 article "Military families criticize Iraq war." I am a military spouse whose husband is currently serving in Iraq as a grunt. I want to make it clear that those interviewed who are against the war in Iraq and Afghanistan do not represent my (and I'm willing to bet many families') true stance.

In fact, I resent that they assume a good number of spouses feel stifled by the pressures of the "military culture." I feel completely free to speak my mind, and I happen to support my husband and his patriotic deeds.

Dietra Meyers Tremblay mentions that she "finds the military and its policy on not questioning our commander-in-chief quite ironic." She is entitled to her opinion. But what's ironic (and hypocritical) is a military member who voluntarily chose his career path in the armed services and questions his boss' direction. Do you think a big boss like Donald Trump would tolerate his employees speaking negatively about him? Regardless of what you think you signed up for, this crisis we are in today is it.

Tremblay also mentions that anti-Iraq war views are under-represented by the media, but the reality is that those views are from the minority within the military and it is negative feedback to our troops, something their morale could do without right now.

If you or your spouse is skeptical and uncertain about the actions that our current and future president takes, perhaps you need to re-evaluate why you are involved with the military. Our men and women fighting for this cause are depending on every service member for support, and now is not the time to pull out or question their boss. Americans chose this president and entrusted him with the security and safety of this incredible nation, and that is what democracy is about.

D. Tennant

Amendments should be in plain language

I just came back from voting in Kalihi and I have a question maybe you can help me with: Why is the back of the ballot written in a language for first-year law students and not for the everyday person?

English is my first language, and I had to reread what I was voting on several times. Why can't they just ask, for example, "Do you want to know if your new neighbor is a sex offender?"

J. Hope

Recorded messages invaded my serenity

Critical presidential election or not, my privacy has been invaded.

A week before Election Day, recorded messages started to be left on my telephone answering machine — many more when I was home to receive them.

Saturday, Oct. 30, before 7 a.m., my phone rang with the first of more than eight calls that day alone.

Sunday, at 4 a.m., I unplugged my phone — but lest I miss a real call, I later replaced the receiver. But even on Sunday, the calls came again. How rude!

All these messages were from or for both political parties, as well as various local officeholders and wannabes, some out of my district.

Is this not solicitation? An invasion of privacy?

Joan Huber
Diamond Head

How will bugging us get them our votes?

As the past week has wrapped up, I had over five calls daily from Bush, Kerry, Cheney, Clinton, Duke, Mufi, Dan and others from the motley crew.

What marketing company has sold these jokers on the idea that bugging us at home will get them our votes?

What do I have to do to opt out of this phone-calling mayhem?

Help! I don't want to answer my phone anymore!

Ed Rivers

Enough already with your phone calls

An open letter to all candidates who called my phone with taped messages:

One: I wouldn't vote for you if you were the last person on the face of the planet.

Two: Didn't your mother teach you any manners?

Three: I already voted, and I don't want to hear any more messages. EVER.

Four: If you want people to vote for you, tell us what you stand for — in the newspaper, on the radio and on television. Even in mailed flyers. But NO MORE PHONE CALLS!

B. Alau

Bush's double standard

Isn't it kind of ironic that President Bush bashed trial lawyers so much but he depended upon trial lawyers to take the presidency in 2000, and that teams of lawyers tried to disqualify voters to contest yesterday's election?

Myron Berney