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Friday, March 19, 2004




Why can't people use trash cans at beach?

What's foul at Sandy Beach is not just the recent sewage spills percolating in the water -- it's the enormous amount of litter embedded in the sand. Beer bottle caps, broken glass and cigarette butts dot the shoreline of this favorite body-boarding spot, making an otherwise beautiful beach downright disgusting. There are numerous trash cans around the park; are people really that lazy and spoiled that they can't walk 20 feet to dispose of their garbage?

Litter not only detracts from the natural beauty that makes our island home the envy of many, but other ripple effects are damage to the environment and tourism industry. We have no one to blame but ourselves.

I guess the old axiom of "malama ka aina" isn't bringing about the desired result. How about just picking up after yourself!

Marie Tutko
Mililani

Poor Rusti is trapped in a cage of illogic

If I read your March 12 story about Rusti the orangutan correctly, the Honolulu Zoo has had him for seven years, and NOW they are worried that he might harm somebody? So they don't want to accept Orangutan Foundation International's gift of $200,000 to build him a permanent home?

Only in Hawaii-nei!

Linda Botelho
Broomfield, Colo.
Former Hawaii resident

Kakaako needs a more recognizable name

What's in a name? Everything. Let us give Kakaako name recognition worldwide. I believe that the state should re-name Kakaako to Ala Moana Makai, even if the new name is only honorary.

Jerry G. Souza Sr.
Pearl City

Shark fin soup served with side of mercury

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration FDA must change its warning on mercury poisoning regarding the consumption of shark fin soup to a complete ban. The House of Representatives already has voted to ban shark finning.

Worldwide approximately 100 million sharks are killed yearly; one fin is sliced off and the rest of the shark is thrown back to the ocean to die a slow death. The fin is used to make the expensive shark fin soup served in Chinese restaurants.

This virtually tasteless (chicken broth adds flavor), over-priced soup is the reason why the world shark population has declined as much as 90 percent. Customers seem to have no idea that by ordering shark fin soup they may contribute to the extinction of a 400 million-year-old species.

Dried shark fins have no taste, no nutritional value and are toxic to the human body due to mercury. Vegetable bean curd is an excellent alternative that gives the same gelatinous texture as shark fin but rich in nutrients and has no harmful mercury toxins.

There is no control worldwide on the commercial shark fin trade. U.S. Customs must ban the importation of shark fins.

Tom Sebas
Honolulu

Weekend 'Meatout' will promote good habits

Last week, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Julie L. Gerberding warned America that obesity is catching up to tobacco as the leading cause of death in America. Obesity is a precursor to diabetes, heart disease and cancer. At the current rate, the annual obesity death toll is expected to surpass 500,000 deaths annually, rivaling cancer deaths.

Thus, it seems only fitting that the Great American Meatout observance should surpass the Great American Smokeout in the number of local events and media coverage. Indeed, the current Meatout Web site (meatout.org) lists nearly 1,000 educational events in 50 states and 20 other countries.

At each event, volunteers are asking their neighbors to kick the meat habit on Saturday (the first day of spring) and explore a plant-based diet. Ten cities are hosting hundreds of billboards and bus cards carrying the Meatout message. Thirty governors and mayors are issuing special proclamations encouraging their citizens to explore a wholesome diet of whole grains, vegetables and fresh fruits.

The times they're a changing. Are state lawsuits to recover Medicaid costs from meat companies next?

David Kindenpack
Honolulu

Spain's anti-war vote encourages terrorism

The bombings in Spain show how vulnerable we all are to terrorism and how important strong and steady leadership is. The Spanish reaction of pulling their troops out of Iraq as a result of this attack lets the terrorists win. We all shall soon see the results of their capitulation with more attacks elsewhere.

We need President Bush's steady leadership to continue the war on terror and protect us from future attacks at home. I would much rather see us fighting them in their homeland than ours.

Russell Kemp
Pahoa, Hawaii

Support extremism, fill up an SUV's tank

It's not our insatiable appetite for oriental carpets that is fueling Wahhabi extremism and terrorism. "It's the oil, Stupid!"

Every time we fill the tank in our SUVs, we make a contribution to Middle Eastern Wahhabism, whose schools teach hatred and finance al-Qaida. Let's not kid ourselves: We contribute to terrorism by not living closer in and walking to work, by demanding larger and heavier gas-guzzling vehicles rather than supporting fast, efficient public transportation and by tolerating an administration in Washington that favors Israel over the Palestinians.

We can control our appetite for foreign oil and make some desperately needed changes in U.S. foreign policy, or we can keep sending our sons and daughters overseas to be maimed and die.

Thomas Dolan
Honolulu

Fly me to the moon, Mr. Doom and Gloom

I am not a rocket scientist, nor am I a qualified accountant, plus maybe I have no knowledge of what I am talking about. But in basic family economics, if both parents are working, one as a policeman, say, and the other as a cashier at the supermarket, with three children, the odds are pretty much against them attending Punahou School, and having a Rolls-Royce in the garage, plus a Ferrari for weekend speed trials.

Social Security payments are deducted each month from their wages, which presumably should add up to a reasonable retirement. Plus other pension schemes they might enjoy from both professions, into which they have diligently contributed in trust.

So who is this soothsayer or Mr. Gloom and Doom Alan Greenspan, who says Congress should reduce Social Security benefits so it can withstand the waves of baby boomers rapidly approaching retirement? Perhaps we shouldn't be required to pay into something that won't be there when we retire. He goes on to say this dramatic demographic change is certain to place enormous demands on our nation's resources, plus we are overcommitting. No kidding.

What are we doing on Mars? Or on the moon, as proposed by President Bush, spending billions upon billions to do what?

Also, for good measure and/or additional lunacy, throwing $10 million bombs and $30 million aircraft down the tubes in Iraq. Plus launching $20 million missiles from $500 million warships. It defies logic.

Do we not rob Peter to pay Paul? Or do we become another North Korea, with most of us living in poverty and the biggest useless arsenal of weapons the world has ever known?

Mr. Greenspan should be on board the next moon mission and left there.

John L. Werrill
Honolulu

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The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (150 to 200 words). The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include a daytime telephone number.

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