Life brings us many reasons to give thanks
Aloha and hafa adai from Guam. This Thanksgiving opened my mind to many new views and ways of life. I suddenly realized how blessed I am to have family, friends, clothes, house and food. Living without my everyday needs would be a nightmare.
I now realize how ungrateful I have been. God has blessed Guam and Hawaii in many ways and too often we are ungrateful for God's many blessings. In life you will face challenges and meet people you never expected to. These challenges and people can change the way we view and live our lives.
We should be full of thanksgiving just because we are American. We have freedoms and rights that many across the world long to hold. This holiday season let's keep a thankful attitude and make this Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year a memory and lesson that should never be forgotten.
Makakilo drive simply must be extended
The much-ballyhooed Kapolei traffic projects partially funded by Campbell Estate (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 21) will do little to relieve traffic problems in Makakilo, which will still have only one outlet. They will, however, relieve congestion in business areas where (presumably) lease rent is paid to the estate. One would be more inclined toward gratitude if Campbell Estate and those developers continuing to build homes on the hill were to help expedite the extension of Makakilo Drive to the new North-South H-1 interchange scheduled in the Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) for fiscal years 2004-'06.
The cost for extending Makakilo Drive is projected at $8.5 million. With federal funding at 80 percent, the cost to the community would only be $1.7 million. This is less than the state's plan, for example, to replenish the sand on Waikiki's Kuhio Beach. It's nice to help the tourists, along with the businesses that need tourism, but it also would be nice to help leeward commuters. The time- and energy-saving benefits of adding the Makakilo Drive extension to the current TIP should be obvious to developers and state and city transportation planners.
We don't need another military land grab
The U.S. Army wants more of our beautiful islands for training the Stryker brigade for urban warfare. Why here? we wonder. Probably because military leaders see our whole state as a desirably situated military base with civilians attached. Also, our leaders have always been happy to give more land because "we need the jobs."
Well, we know what happens to land used for live-fire military training. It is ruined for any other use. So now they want more land on Oahu and the Big Island to destroy.
Senator Inouye announced last June that the Strykers were coming. Only then did the Army play the game of asking for our approval, seeking public input at meetings on private property.
Concerned citizens tried to bring attention to the latest military land grab with their protest signs. Seven fine people were arrested for criminal trespass.
I surely hope that their acts of resistance will help more islanders realize the consequences of the further militarization of Hawaii.
Marines should clean up Waikane Valley
Yes, the military should honor their lease agreement and clean up the Waikane Valley mess (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 14). Although not many have ventured into this lush valley and are unaware of the beautiful scenery and gorgeous view it has to offer, the people who have lived and worked this land long before the military asked to borrow it can tell you lifetime stories of hidden natural treasures.
Like the layers of irrigation stones marking taro patches of old that was part of the way of life, now covered by Hao trees, you can see how the Hawaiians used the contours of the land to bring water down from the mountain. Further up are hundreds of mountain apple trees with the largest, reddest fruits you ever saw. I remember the colorful birds that ate the apples while we picked them and the beautiful music they sang. We knew never to follow them while trying to catch them or we'd end up on "Unsolved Mysteries."
I hope the Kamaka family perseveres and preserves this heritage.
Preventing training helps our enemies
Malama Makua and Earthjustice must really be proud of themselves by blocking our military from training at Makua. The lack of training our military is experiencing will cost lives when they go to war soon.
As a Vietnam veteran, I would like to say "mahalo" to Malama Makua and Earthjustice, the supporters of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden here in Hawaii.
Ronald L. Edmiston
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Dirty gutter talk
Those orange rolls that highway engineers have been shoving into storm drain openings -- there must be a more efficient or practical or attractive way to filter out road debris. These things are about as useful and pleasing to the eye as huge, discarded cigarette butts.
Send your ideas, drawings and solutions by Thursday, Dec. 17 to:
Or mail them to:
c/o Burl Burlingame
500 Ala Moana
7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
c/o Burl Burlingame