So what if France, U.S. agree on Lebanon?
I read with wry amusement the Star-Bulletin's August 6 front-page article "France, U.S. agree on Lebanon accord." Strong work, yeah?
Just one nitpicky detail: Maybe the U.N. bureaucrats brokering this deal should try to get the actual combatants, the Israelis and Hezbollah, to agree to this deal, too.
Your U.N. tax dollars at work!
Lay gillnet ban needed to save near-shore fish
Times Supermarket has resorted to importing fish from Australia
for Hawaii consumers due to overfishing and lack of local fish. Our state's spiny lobsters are totally wiped out, with many fish species to follow. We have a decline of more than 75 percent in near-shore fish mostly due to lay gillnets that kill everything in their grasp, including juvenile fish.
Hawaii is the only coastal state that does not have a lay gillnet ban. We do not need new rules that will not be enforced by the state Department of Natural Resources; we need a complete ban that will be enforced, with huge fines against violators. This ban is pro-fishing, not against. As you can read on the Web site www.faircatchhawaii.org, fish populations will come back strong with a ban, and then everyone is happy. You might have to get used to the exotic fish from Australia unless our state wakes up and passes a lay gillnet ban, or local fish buying will be a "remember when."
Don't lock stadium into football mode
The Stadium Authority, under the Lingle administration, has decided to fix Aloha Stadium into the football configuration permanently. In view of the multipurpose facility as envisioned by the late Gov. John Burns when it was constructed in 1975, why is this administration taking this step?
Throughout the intervening years, people have enjoyed Aloha Stadium for many different events: football, baseball, soccer, concerts, the Carole Kai Fun Run and high school graduations.
If locked into the football configuration, the other events I have listed will be either eliminated or heavily affected. Baseball has been an integral part of Hawaii since the early plantation days. And today there are more than 35 professional baseball players with Hawaii roots who proudly represent our state. If Aloha Stadium is eliminated, it would greatly affect professional, college and high school baseball in the future.
The Lingle administration should rethink its position for the sake of all of our people.
Beaches contaminated by 'unknown sources'
A recent report by the National Resources Defense Council found that in 2005, U.S. beaches experienced 20,397 days of closings and advisories, with 14,602 days (72 percent) attributed to "unknown sources" of pollution (Star-Bulletin, Aug. 4
). Increasing evidence is pointing to contaminated beach sand as the likely culprit for unexplained beach closings.
According to studies cited in the Clean Beaches Council report "State of the Beach: Bacteria and Sand," bacteria survive in beach sand longer than they do in water. Beach waters become contaminated as they lap across shores rich with bacteria. The report cites a U.S. Geological Survey study showing that bacteria levels in sand averaged five to 10 times higher than adjacent swimming waters.
The thought of "unknown sources" of beach pollution should trouble us all. Tackling the problem of contaminated sand will help us win the struggle for cleaner beaches.
Clean Beaches Council
New hospital cheaper than Mayo Clinic
Since moving to Maui in 1967, I have made 24 trips to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Now that I am getting older, it has become increasingly difficult to travel. It would be wonderful to have quality health care here on Maui.
My son recently had surgery at Queen's on Oahu -- he was hospitalized for five weeks, necessitating the need for us to rent an apartment there so we could visit him. Extremely expensive and very inconvenient.
Some years ago it was necessary for me to have knee arthroscopy. I was informed I would have to wait five weeks to have the procedure done at Maui Memorial Medical Center -- not acceptable!
We need to improve health care available on the island. MMMC cannot deliver all that people need and want. The proposed Malulani Health and Medical Center facility would bring substantial private-sector investment in Valley Isle health care. Maui residents deserve the same level of care as Oahu residents take for granted.