Letters to the Editor

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Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Military families endure stress

During World War II our family received a shocking telegram from the War Department, notifying us that my father had been wounded in the South Pacific. We did not know then that his injury was not extremely serious, though he carried mortar shrapnel in his leg for the rest of his life. He had volunteered for the U.S. Marine Corps, and he was in the 4th Division.

I was an 11-year-old boy then and had been taught not to cry no matter what happens. However, while my father was recovering on a hospital ship off Saipan I sometimes hallucinated, and I saw him sitting in his favorite chair at our home in San Francisco. I have repeatedly learned since then that the public generally does not realize the great stress that can be suffered by families of military personnel.

Edward Arrigoni

Wahine will do even better next year

The University of Hawaii Wahine Volleyball players, coaches and supporting staff deserve commendation for a great accomplishment. They fought the odds and kept winning, but the traveling and living out of suitcases had a detrimental effect in the end. They could and should have won in Green Bay. They lost the game on a play that has been their problem all year long -- just a simple drop shot over the net. The team has lost many points during the season because players are not adept in keeping the court covered. They appear to "bunch up" to defend against a kill, thereby leaving an area open for a simple drop shot over the net.

The loss of two seniors will be felt next year; however, it will be compensated by the returning starting players having had a full year of experience of playing together. They know each other better, and they will correct their weaknesses resulting in a stronger and an all-winning team next year.

Howard S. Okada

Musicians sometimes have to cut corners

John Berger's Dec. 10 review of Raiatea Helm's new CD was very positive overall. However, the snip about the use of "tinny synth strings" instead of real strings struck a nerve. CD sales in Hawaii and elsewhere are down 60-70 percent due to file sharing and burning. The budget constraints created by such adverse market conditions dictate that artists and record labels be extremely cautious about spending more on a project than they will recoup. Like Berger, I, too, would have enjoyed hearing live strings, but the cost was prohibitive.

Let's hope that people start buying CDs again and that the music industry climbs out of the hole it's in. Until then, I would suggest that Berger refrain from tarnishing otherwise stellar reviews with comments that cater to music purists who are probably not involved in the difficult and risky business of making and selling CDs in Hawaii.

David Tucciarone

Moving healthy coral wasn't necessary

Regarding the Dec. 9 story about transplanting coral, with the photo of the Army diver floating with a 25-pound chunk of healthy, living coral ... Ouch! It's like pulling out perfectly good teeth. Kaneohe Bay's smile will never be quite the same.

Karyn Herrmann
Marine biologist
Hawaii Kai

Support our troops by conserving oil

I cannot help but notice the unfortunate hypocrisy exhibited by people who place a "Support Our Troops" sticker on the back of their large, gas-guzzling automobiles. I also support our troops, and I do so by facing the facts. The original excuses for going to war in Iraq have been deemed illegitimate: The 9/11 commission has made it clear there is no link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida. The Iraq Survey Group has reported that there are no weapons of mass destruction and have not been for several years.

What is clear is the direct connection between the Bush administration and oil interests. The facts point to the tragedy that our troops are fighting a war over oil. If you truly want to support our troops, decrease your dependency on foreign oil by driving a more fuel-efficient automobile or riding a bike. Real patriotism requires us to be informed citizens, not mindless cheerleaders. Patriotism asks us to have the courage to face the facts and make sacrifices. Consuming oil contributes to the problem and does not support our troops.

Justin Avery

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