Letters to the Editor
LEGAL CHALLENGE SEEMS MORE ABOUT THE CASH
The Kamehameha Schools settlement changes an "invisible" young man's name from "John Doe" to "John Dough," making his lawyers become Doughboys.
What still is unclear is why "he" wanted to go to a Hawaiian school? Did he want to learn the language, history, martial arts and customs? Weren't such opportunities available elsewhere?
Or is this really about dough?J. Arthur Rath
STATE SHOULD GIVE CAMERAS THE RED LIGHT
Someone wrote in advocating red-light ticket cameras (Letters, May 6). Such cameras increase accidents at intersections.
A recent, extensive study done by The Washington Post shows accidents doubled at intersections where the cameras are used in Washington, D.C.
www.Thenewspaper.com has five pages of links to news articles (including The Washington Post's) chronicling the devastating effects of these cameras. There are headlines like these:
At the National Motorists Association Web site, there are 15 studies from the U.S., Canada and Australia showing that red-light ticket cameras increase accidents and only serve as a revenue source.
The National Motorists Association is so confident that engineering solutions are the answer to most red-light violations that they offer the following unmet challenge:
"Show us any camera-equipped intersection that still has high numbers of red-light violations and we will guarantee a minimum 50 percent reduction in red-light violations through the application of engineering solutions. If our recommendations fail to meet our minimum goal, we will pay the community $10,000 to be used on any traffic safety program or project it chooses."
My wife and I do not want to get rear-ended so that the state or county can get ticket money. No red-light scams in Hawai'i!W. D. Woodward
CALIFORNIA HIGHWAYS PUT HAWAI'I'S TO SHAME
I recently returned from a short jaunt to Southern California. I spent most of my time in the Irvine and Newport areas of Orange County and also traveled down the I-5 to the town of Del Mar. Since Californians are noted for their driving habits to get from place to place, I spent my fair share of time on the road.
I want to inform all of my fellow Hawai'i residents of how pleasant the roads are in California. I could not believe how smooth and well maintained every surface street and freeway is there. It's like glass: devoid of any pothole patches, bumps, uneven surfaces or irregularities. Driving was a sheer pleasure!
Comparatively, our roads are the polar opposite, bordering on something one would find in a Third World country. I drive all over Honolulu as part of my job and daily routine, and it's easier to count the well-paved roads and earmark the rest as either poor, bad or worse.
Although it is not completely Mayor Hannemann's fault, he has definitely not delivered on one of his campaign promises to get our roads back in shape. With the highest state taxes on gasoline, which include taxes to be used for road maintenance, we deserve a tremendous amount more.Will Bryant
MAMMOGRAMS CAN'T DIAGNOSE ALL CANCERS
I read your May 14 front-page article on the decline in breast cancer screenings. I am part of the 12 percent of women — that's one in eight — who have dense breasts in which mammograms cannot tell the difference between cancer and healthy tissue.
I found a lump and had a mammogram in March. The letter reporting the mammogram results said no cancer was found. The letter didn't say that if there is cancer, the equipment is not able to tell.
My doctor later ordered ultrasound and a biopsy. I have breast cancer, and the tumor is large. My doctor is still looking for cancer elsewhere in my body.
I hope doctors who order mammograms for their patients and women who count on this screening for peace of mind notice those of us for whom mammograms cannot screen for cancer.
Please, if you have dense breasts, ask your doctor for alternative screening like ultrasound or an MRI instead of a mammogram. For me the mammogram was a waste of my time and HMSA's money. I should have asked for alternative screening right away and am now sorry I did not.Kathryn Bob
RESIDENTS TO BE HEARD ON MOLOKA'I PROJECT
Contrary to what Mr. Glenn Teves would want your readers to believe in his May 14 letter to the editor, the Moloka'i community has not yet spoken on the La'au Point Project.
Moloka'i will declare its position on the project when the application for a special management area permit is heard by the Moloka'i Planning Commission. At that time, residents can present their positions on the project before nine commissioners, all of whom are residents of the island. Based on the requirements of law governing special management area permits, the commissioners must take into serious consideration the environmental, social, economic and cultural impacts this project will have to the island.
While there will be other publicly sanctioned opportunities for the community to participate in the decision-making process, none is more meaningful than the forum before the Moloka'i Planning Commission.
For many of us who advocated for its creation nearly 20 years ago, the Moloka'i Planning Commission is the rightful representative body for the island on matters of land use. Until these processes are completed, any notion that the people have already spoken is silly and for one to infer otherwise is ridiculous.John R. Sabas
General Manager of Community Affairs, Moloka'i Properties Limited
'BACHELOR' DETRACTED FROM MEMORIAL DIGNITY
At about 8:30 p.m. May 14, I spent a few moments channel-surfing in hopes of finding a single bit of programming worthy of an audience — to no avail.
But I caught a glimpse of a familiar picture as I passed by a local ABC network channel. It was the USS Arizona Memorial.
After six years as a naval officer stationed at Pearl Harbor, and several more as a retired citizen of Hawai'i, I came to have a deep respect for the memorial and what it represents in memory and recognition of the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice, not just at Pearl Harbor, but around the world, in response to the attack on our country.
I was appalled when I realized the memorial was being used as a backdrop for scenes of yet another mindless reality program: "The Bachelor: Officer and a Gentleman."
The scenes of a uniformed naval lieutenant parading one woman after another up and down the gangway to the memorial to satisfy the premise of the program were more than I could accept.
I can only react with anger and disgust at the outrageous desecration of the memorial by the ABC network, the National Park Service and the Pacific Command, whose agreement was necessary to allow this to occur.
I am equally embarrassed that anyone wearing the uniform of a naval officer could be so ill-informed and could demonstrate such a lack of respect for his fallen comrades.
With Memorial Day only days away, I hope I am not the only one who sees this incident as it really is. I hope others will join me in expressing contempt for the "anything for ratings" attitude of the ABC network, and disappointment at the National Park Service and the U.S. Navy Pacific Command for their failure to guard one of our most revered memorials from this act of commercial exploitation and disrespect.Jim Delaney
Retired U.S. Navy commander, Washington, Utah
IRAQ WAR CONTINUES TO DRAIN OUR STRENGTH
I wonder if people have considered what the war in Iraq is doing to our country — even in the midst of claims of progress or victory? There have been a tremendous number of ongoing casualties, not merely the 3,400 deaths of American youth, but thousands of young men permanently scarred and often without adequate care.
There are the poor, innocent Iraqis caught between insurgents and American troops, whose frustration sometimes makes them merciless with the people.
The war has caused the national debt to soar and many public services to be reduced or limited in funds. Think how those enormous expenditures could meet the pressing problems in our communities, in schools, and homelessness, health and poverty issues. The poor are getting poorer and what jobs are here are low-paying. There are few public projects to reduce the problems. Yet the rich get richer, feeding off the areas of technology that support the war.
And we still have our dependence on Mideast oil, so we cannot disentangle ourselves even from those who fund the insurgents or support them in various ways.
Our own civil rights are limited in a variety of ways, making travel more complicated. It is spurring the development of a "Big Brother" society, watching our every move.
We must get out of Iraq and close this hemorrhaging wound. Those responsible for it should be investigated and made to take responsibility for their actions and deceptions.Alfred Bloom
SYMPHONY FANS SHOULD SIT WHERE THEY WISH
The current management of the Honolulu Symphony is alienating the public by not allowing them to purchase individual tickets in the balcony, even though it is usually more than half empty. Only season ticket holders are now able to buy seats there. in years past, the general public has been able to buy tickets in any section.
The end result has been people who prefer to sit upstairs never attend a concert, which means lost revenue.
Why would the symphony management try to dictate where people should sit? Why has the board of directors allowed this absurd policy to continue?
Even the finest symphony needs an audience to exist. If the current symphony management continues on this track, our fine musicians may end up without an audience.Anne Tam