Cub Scouts shouldn't play with guns
I was rather surprised by your front page photograph last Thursday
of the Cub Scouts participating in simulated military exercises at Schofield. It reminded me of images of Palestinian children holding toy weapons at Hamas rallies or of boy soldiers in Africa.
A society or organization that encourages children under the age of 10 to "play" with military weapons has some serious moral and ethical problems. And certainly is not in good company.
What if someone stole your war medals?
I wonder if the same punishment as Eddie Ayau of Hui Malama (Star-Bulletin, Dec. 28
) would be imposed on a person who stole the bones of the many war heroes and their precious war medals from Punchbowl cemetery or even Arlington National Cemetery? What would Judge Ezra's decision be?
In 1905 Mr. Forbes and Mr. Wagner did the exact same thing. They went to our ancestors' graves (in caves, a traditional religious practice) and stole their bones and war medals (their weapons -- pahoa, au and ihe -- and battle regalia -- ahuula, mahiole -- not to mention their gods) and sold them to Bishop Museum and others. Can you imagine if they had eBay in those days?
Hui Malama should work within the law
While I might sympathize with Hui Malama's (and other Hawaiian interest groups') reaction to the artifact situation, I am not sympathetic to the actions and conduct of its leader
or any other person who acts in a similar manner and I believe that incarceration was proper. Eddie Ayau knowingly defied the law and the legal representative of the government (the judge), and thus did not enlist the degree of sympathy that he might had hoped for.
From what I read and hear, Mr. Ayau has likely upset a number of Hawaiian members of other Hawaiian groups who total an aggregate number of members greater than Hui Malama. He has likely caused the various courts to be more critical of the actions of various Hawaiian groups, not only in the artifact arena, but in the sovereignty efforts as well. There has been no religious, ethnic or racial persecution. I question what will be categorized as being positive as a result of his actions?
Remember, the laws of the land have been in effect and successful longer than any of us who are on Earth now. Obey them, change them if necessary, but don't purposely defy and break them. To do so will only serve to defeat your purpose and goal.
Bernard G. Judson
Chemical companies hurt our farmlands
Two of the largest chemical companies in America are farming on Molokai. Their past products include dioxin (used in Agent Orange) and PCBs, a toxic chemical used as an industrial coolant. From 1962 to 1970, dioxin was sprayed on more than 100,000 U.S. troops in Vietnam. These two companies are fighting the claims filed by veterans for disabilities caused by Agent Orange. PCB production in Anniston, Ala., turned that town into one of the most polluted patches of America.
Monsanto and Dow are the new farmers on Molokai. They say, "Don't worry," but if you do your homework, you will realize that they are doing "field testing" on our farmlands instead of in their laboratories. You also will find that they do not have to put on their permit application where these tests are and what they are testing here.
We feel threatened by these new farmers on Molokai, and seek relief from our government officials. We do not trust the new farmers or their products, nor do we trust the government mechanisms in place now. We request a formal community-level mechanism, representing all parties, to regulate and monitor these new farmers.
Hui Ho'opakele 'Aina
The problem is design, not pedestrian laws
I was saddened but not surprised to see that another person has been struck in a crosswalk on Oahu, this time with deadly results ("Oahu traffic deaths rising," Star-Bulletin, Dec. 26
). The governor immediately proposed increasing penalties for crosswalk violations. But the problem is not that drivers wish to endanger pedestrians, and must be coerced through law not to do so. The problem is that the design of our roadways and crosswalks is inherently dangerous.
A pedestrian who begins crossing a street in an unsignalized crosswalk might be blocked from the view of oncoming traffic by parked vehicles and others in the first lane. Drivers are routinely scanning the roadway, noticing others changing lanes ahead, a traffic signal coming up, bicyclist on the right ... when suddenly the pedestrian becomes visible almost immediately ahead. At best it's a fearful moment, at worst it's a tragedy.
Lawyers and politicians respond to public policy problems by proposing more laws. But the fundamental problem in so many of these deaths is not legal but one of design, and unless we improve that design we will continue to see an increasing number of pedestrian fatalities.
Sometimes it's better just to take the car
One night I decided to leave my car at home and take the bus from Waikiki to the Ward Theater complex. I got out of the movie at 9:10 p.m. and walked the two blocks to the bus stop on Ala Moana Boulevard. I exhibited great bravery attempting to cross busy Ala Moana as three cars ran the red light.
I waited for the bus with 10 or 12 other people. Finally, at 10 p.m., a bus arrived. I could almost see my breath inside the cold bus as it made its usual dog-leg into the Ala Moana Shopping Center. We all gasped as the driver announced that this was the end of the line for his bus, so "everybody off."
Now it was 10:10 p.m. We waited and waited for another No. 8, 19 or 20 bus to arrive. At 10:30 p.m. one finally pulled up. Crowded of course, but I was happy about this, since the warm bodies took the chill off the frigid air. I finally arrived in Waikiki at 10:50 p.m, one hour and 40 minutes after the show let out.
I'll take my car from now on, thank you, even if it takes 15 minutes to find a parking space.