Letters to the Editor
VOTING A RESPONSIBILITY TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY
As Election Day 2006 approaches, I hope people are taking seriously the responsibility that comes with voting.
As a 16-year-old, I cannot yet vote, but wait eagerly for the day I turn 18 and can.
However, I am old enough to know a problem when I see one. As a 16-year-old in the state of Hawai'i, it troubles me when I walk into Longs Drug Store to buy cough syrup but can't. Why? Because you have to be 18 to do that!
What about when I go to Blockbuster to rent an "R"-rated movie? Nope, can't do that either.
However, I am able to get an abortion or emergency contraception without parental consent.
I am not debating whether it is right or wrong, but am I the only person in this state who finds it troubling that I can get an abortion but I can't buy cough medicine?
I hope people will take time to really think about what voting means to them. Don't follow the crowd. Vote for whomever you feel will get done what needs to be done.Brittany Olson
KHET GOOD CHOICE FOR ELECTION DEBATE
Now that Sen. Akaka has agreed to a debate, Rep. Case continues to complain; this time that the chosen venue (KHET-PBS Hawai'i) does not have the viewership of the commercial stations.
I don't think he needs to worry. We live in an age where viewers flip effortlessly among hundreds of television channels. Those interested will find the debate, those not will select another channel, regardless of the channel the debate is on.
But with KHET's unique statewide network (which is not duplicated by either cable or the commercial broadcasters), more of Case's rural constituents will have an opportunity to watch. I'd say that's a plus.James B. Young
Former executive director, KHET-Hawai'i Public Television (1980-93)
UNDECIDED VOTER LOOKS FORWARD TO DEBATE
Senator Akaka is now willing to debate Ed Case in front of the American Association of Retired People on Aug. 31.
It is easy to see that his pick of fields to play in is slightly tilted in his favor. Let's hope we get to see his views rather than a trip down memory lane. As an undecided voter, I am looking forward to the game!Sophie Mata'afa
TOO MANY LOOPHOLES IN NEW SECURITY SYSTEM
Why are there too many loopholes in the system?
Why can one person take a liliko'i pie home to Honolulu and another can't? Is there a ban on water-filled bras? You can buy them at Macy's and still wear them. Are the TSA people going to tell women to not wear this particular item? What about the "gel" type insoles that you put into your shoe? Should we ban those also before getting on the plane? Can the TSA people get it straight so the travelers know exactly what they can or cannot bring onto the plane?
The travelers are the ones getting stuck throwing away a perfectly good liliko'i cream pie!Carol Morimoto
PRO GOLFER MUST KNOW RULES, SPIRIT OF GAME
I was confused about the caddie-dismissal issue, so I went to my dictionary, which gave the following definitions: A caddie is a person hired to carry a golf player's clubs and find the ball. A professional golfer is one who develops expertise in an occupation normally regarded as a pastime. Expertise is the possession of exceptional skill and knowledge.
One of the revered and ancient traditions of golf is that the golfer is responsible to know the rules, and when an offense of the rules is committed, the golfer is to declare an appropriate penalty upon himself or herself. For example, Zach Johnson penalized himself when the wind caused his ball to move as he prepared to putt in the Sony Open last year.
A golfer deserving to bear the name "professional" must not only know the rules, but must understand the spirit of the game, and that has nothing to do with age, gender or caddies.Toby Swanson
NEIGHBOR ISLANDERS RESENT SUPERFERRY
I was surprised and encouraged by your editorial regarding the urban plight of the Neighbor Islands (Aug. 14).
In light of your whitewashed Superferry article of a couple of weeks ago, however, I must question which reflects your true colors. The Superferry is an exquisite example of how O'ahu can bully the Neighbor Islands with its political leverage. The Superferry is so weighted to serve Honolulu and victimize Maui, Hawai'i and Kaua'i that it is no wonder that there is almost unanimous citizen resentment here toward the project.
It will bring us no benefits and many detriments. Our concerns include increased traffic, crime and drugs, death and injury to endangered species, overcrowding of our fishing and surfing spots, increased numbers of homeless arriving, just to name a few.
You are the premier voice of your island, and a voice that reaches us as well. I urge you to speak out with a complete assessment of the issues and strongly lobby the governor to comply with all of the Neighbor Islands' county councils' requests to require an environmental impact study to be performed as stated in the law (HRS 343-5).David H. Dinner
GENEROSITY MADE BINGO NIGHT A SUCCESS
On Aug. 10, something wonderful happened to our community. A group of people with loving hearts and hard-working hands came to our community and did a wonderful thing for all of us patients, for the entire community. They made us so happy that people outside of Kalaupapa still remembered us.
We want to thank Ms. Lani Gambio and the Hawai'i Filipino Women's Club for their generosity and hard work in searching for items for our annual Bingo Night.
Our Bingo Night was like a wonderful chaos with everyone screaming and yelling as they picked up their prizes. We had the time of our lives.
People like them are blessed because they think of others. A lot of us are aging and our community is dwindling. When someone is kind enough to give her time and energy, a thank you is not enough, but it is what we humbly offer.Cathrine Puahala
NATIVE PLANTS CAN'T COMPETE IN LOWLANDS
Trying to control invasive plants once they are well-established in the Islands is pointless. It's like trying to keep the ocean from coming ashore by aiming a blowdryer at the waves.
The real cause of the demise of native forests has been (and still is) hoofed animals like pigs, goats, deer and sheep. Without these animals clearing the way, invasive plants generally have a hard time invading.
Meanwhile, we need to come to grips with the fact that non-native forests are here to stay in Hawai'i's lowlands. Native plants will never grow in such forests again because they simply can't compete. Diversity of alien species in lowland forests must be maintained and even promoted to help limit erosion and protect reefs. No efforts should be made to control alien plants in these areas.Eric Rosenfeld
YEARS OF OVERFISHING HAVE LED TO DECLINES
Twice within three months, I rescued sea turtles that were drowning after being caught in gill nets. Both incidents happened at Alala or Lanikai point, in broad daylight by my home. The net was in exactly the same spot on each occasion. In fact, it was the same net that had been repaired! These turtles were so near death they allowed me to hold them out of the water, without struggle, while I cut them free.
The waters of Kailua and Lanikai have been my playground and that of my children for the past 50 years. My family moved from Waikiki to our home by the beach in Kailua in 1955. I have lived in my house in the Lanikai area for the past 24 years. In that time, I have seen a massive decline in all marine life in the bay.
This is not just a one-sided problem. It's years and years of catching and keeping anything that moves in the ocean. Years of taking hundreds of lobsters out of season every summer. Years of poking undersized tako, and gill-netting anything and everything that swims by.
Having been raised on and under these waters, I stopped diving for reef fish and lobster years ago, kind of my own conservation plan. Unfortunately, self-regulation is not going to bring back the sea life in nearshore waters.
The state needs to implement a sort of rolling blackout or moratorium for overfished areas. Let the fish stock recover, and then open up these areas again with certain restrictions on size, quantity or weight. Gill nets need to be manned at all times and only used during daylight hours.
If something is not done soon, our children's children will never have what many of us who grew up here had: a clean and vibrant ocean filled with abundant and beautiful marine life.Mark Simunovich