THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR LIFE BLOOD DONORS
I would like to thank and express my deepest gratitude to the blood donors whose blood made up the transfusion that gave me strength, hemoglobin and platelets during my chemo.
I am particularly grateful to the strong blood that withstood the chemo attack in October. Whoever you are, thank you for sharing your life with me. Please keep donating. You just have to see the chemo clinics and how many of us need your help.
I refused and refused transfusions until it was finally necessary and then realized the benefits.
FEROZA JUSSAWALLA | Honolulu
BLASTS NEAR MEDICAL CENTERS CONCERNING
I've spent most of my life in Moanalua and love my neighborhood and our Islands' local cultural traditions.
However, the bomb-like firework blasts that rang out through Christmas and New Year's exploded right next to our three neighborhood medical centers at Tripler, the VA Nursing Home and at Kaiser Moanalua.
I am saddened at the potential impact that might have had on people's suffering, especially that of our military members who are being treated for war-related injuries including post-traumatic stress disorder.
TINA SHELTON | Moanalua
CONSIDER ISLES' MANY WAR-WEARY
As the great fireworks debate rages, let's remember an often forgotten segment of our population.
Perhaps their number is comparatively small when held up against some 8,000-plus fireworks permits. Still, I think their voices should be heard.
Hawaii is probably home to more combat-tested men and women per square mile than almost any other state in the union.
A percentage of those — from any one of our nation's wars — would rather be somewhere other than Hawaii during our macho displays of fire power. This may either be due to PTSD or some other well-earned fear of loud explosions. If I were one of those battle-wearied people I would have been looking for a bunker New Year's Eve.
Ultimately we could confine our pyrotechnics to our public displays and take the dangerous and deafening explosives out of our neighborhoods.
An intelligent person could then choose to stay away from the big bangs. And if they haven't already, those who love making the big bangs and blowing stuff up should serve their time on a real battlefield and at least make their noise count for something.
REV. BRUCE R. BETKER | Chaplain, lieutenant colonel, USAFR retired, Käneohe
SUPPORT A CATALYST IN KIDS VOTING
In the last Kids Voting Hawaii general election, more than 60 percent of the state's public school students logged on to vote. The ongoing and enthusiastic support of Superintendent Pat Hamamoto has been the catalyst for teachers embracing the Kids Voting civic education curriculum and ensuring that students who wanted to, could cast ballots and have their voices heard. Thanks to Pat's leadership, over the years more than 300,000 public school students have experienced democracy first-hand in Kids Voting Hawaii elections, and her ongoing commitment and example also enhanced awareness and participation among independent schools.
Kids Voting Hawaii volunteers salute the unwavering support and encouragement from Pat and her DOE team, and wish our valued partner in civic education all the best in well-deserved retirement.
LINDA COBLE | Chair, Kids Voting Hawaii
GIVING UP FREEDOM FOR SAFETY A BIG RISK
While I understand the concern of many who say more security is fine with them, "tap my phone," etc. — I'd like to express a word of caution.
It's too easy to imagine an eventual step of requiring a permit to travel, by any means (for those remembering the USSR, sound familiar?). Depending on what sort of administration we have, regulations can be interpreted in many ways.
Repeating the adage is worth remembering — those who give up freedom for the cause of safety often end up with neither.
LANCE BATEMAN | Honolulu
WALLET'S RETURN CAME JUST IN TIME
On Christmas Day someone turned in a Ziploc bag containing my driver's license and $25 cash to the Käneohe police station. The officer on duty called me and I was able to pick up my ID, which I needed to pass through airport security that same evening for a flight to the Mainland.
That was a big deal. Mahalo, Hawaii resident, for a memorable Christmas gift. I will remember the aloha and pass it on.
LESLIE HOPF | Boulder, Colo.
THERE ARE MORE PRESSING ISSUES
One would hope that the Legislature and City Council, and our mayor, have more pressing issues at hand (education, state and city budgets, unemployment, homeless) than renaming places after President Obama. Places being considered obviously were named for a reason — let it be.
If there is a new park or school to be named, discuss it then.
And the thought of placing the president's childhood Beretania Street condo on the historic register is ridiculous. We need our leaders to lead — we have more pressing issues to be resolved.
CHRIS SATO | Waipahu