Barbecued chicken causes pollution, too
Rich or poor, brown, black or white, we all breathe the same air. Looking forward to cleaner air on Thursday, with the strict smoking ban, but dreading the Jefferson School annual pollution event.
If smoking is to be restricted to home, then something must be done about polluting "Huli Huli-style" chicken smoke. These events do not belong in high-density residential areas like Waikiki. We already suffer from heavy exhaust fumes which blacken our lanais, walls and floors. Should schools be allowed to cause stinking, oily, black smoke to enter our homes and lungs? Should schools be allowed to sell high-fat, carcinogenic food? Poor public relations, Jefferson; bad example, Jefferson.
What is real value of hydrogen fuel?
"Hydrogen fuel gains ground at Hickam" (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 12
) suggests that the use of hydrogen is a step "in helping the islands to break dependence on imported petroleum."
The point is made twice in the article. Unfortunately, hydrogen is merely an energy carrier, not an energy source: "It does not exist in a pure form and has to be extracted from something like water," note the authors. The energy required in this extraction process (e.g., electrolysis of water) is the true source for the energy later released in the hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle (where water is recombined). Therefore, the real issue is where the energy required to make hydrogen comes from.
The article gives "250 kW portable diesel generators" or "ground power stations" as examples. Does that make the islands independent from imported fossil fuels?
It's not about Iraq; it's about Watada's honor
First Lt. Ehren Watada is not a hero. This guy is an insult to the uniform he wears, an insult to the flag he swore to serve under and an insult to the country he swore to protect.
Forget the rightness/wrongness of the Iraq war. This has nothing to do with his service to his country.
He enlisted in the Army and made a commitment to serve.
The heroes are the men and women who make a commitment to serve and then do so even if along the way they might not be sure of exactly what is going on. Watada made a commitment, and now he thinks he can just choose to ignore that commitment.
Sorry, fella, that is not the way the world works.
It seems that the news coverage dwells on the fact that there is some sort of support for his stance. If you went out on the street and interviewed some of the people who passed by, I think you would come out with a different answer.
I hope he goes to Leavenworth for the full eight years.
Use photovoltaic for rail backup power
The recent islandwide power failure from the earthquake was a wake-up call for many. Would someone in authority please seriously consider placing photovoltaic power cells between the rails of the upcoming, and seeming inevitable, Honolulu rail transit route? Such a solar electric system would free the train from Hawaiian Electric's fossil fuel grid -- think about being able to safely get around when all the traffic lights aren't working -- and would free us taxpayers from having to pay to power it, as opposed to building it in the first place.
Money is taking a toll on human civilization
Everyone needs money to live on. Money is guiding our lives. The problem is that the need and greed for easy money is getting out of hand. Money is the root of corruption in every aspect of our lives. People, organizations and government agencies are tainted by money that is offered to them illegally, under the table, for favors.
If we say anything against them, like drugs, tobacco, alcohol, pharmaceutical companies or even big oil companies, we are jeopardizing our lives, our jobs or even our children. Recently, an editor in Mexico was murdered when he wrote about the corruption of the drug people and government officials. Before that, some people were beheaded for going against the drug people; these drug people were so open and didn't care.
Soon it might come to the point where these people with money will be able to control our lives and we are not able to say anything. I hope people realize how serious this is getting. Nothing like good hard work to make money with sweat and enough to live on comfortably. Even now as I write this, I am jeopardizing myself.
Francis K. Ibara
Don't blame gays for 'moral decline'
As an Eagle Scout, it's always so sad for me to see when dispirited losers need a scapegoat to blame for their misfortunes. One letter writer (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 9
) claimed the overwhelming Democratic election victories will bring about the moral decline of civilization in America because the Democratic Party, unlike the Boy Scouts, will not discriminate against anyone.
It's not too long ago that Jews, Japanese Americans and African Americans, among others, were the targets of such discrimination. Of course, today, thanks to President Bush and the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party, the target is gays.
"Let's bash the gays and bring out the religious zealots to get votes." That was their rallying cry. Fortunately, this time, it didn't work. Some people want to protect American marriage from self-destruction because -- can you believe this? -- gay people actually want the same rights, benefits and obligations as everyone else under the law. When well more than half of all American marriages end in divorce, I don't think we can blame that on gay people.
The moral decline of America, if there is such a thing, and I doubt it, is not in our stars, but in ourselves. Look in the mirror and maybe you won't cast the first stone against others who might be a different color or who don't meet your image of what America should look like. Maybe you have it wrong and the rest of us have it right.
Van cameras could have saved lives
Remember the unpopular van-camera program? Remember how most people agreed that the cameras slowed traffic? Remember the Legislature's lack of courage to support the program?
Now look at our traffic deaths and the fact that 50 percent or more are speeding-related, and think about the fact that the cameras would have paid for themselves. What we had was a lack of political will to buck popular sentiment in favor of the general safety and well-being of our community.
HPD has tried to stem the tide and is increasing its efforts, but what about the avoidable loss of life? What about all the families left behind to forever grieve? Is it possible that we could have saved just one family from the awful and avoidable death notification?
Expect more of the same if we continue to elect people motivated by self-preservation.
Kenneth L. Barker
Rude neighbors set off aerial fireworks again
Well, as of Nov. 1, the folks by Kaimiloa School and the Hanakahi/Hanaloa intersection have again started shooting their aerial fireworks and bombs at any time, day or night. They show their insecurity and immaturity every year at this time and hold the community hostage to their explosions whenever the whim suits them.
Their disrespect and contempt for the community can be stopped, but we must take the lead. Neighbors and those who know who is showing this contempt can call the police from a pay phone at any time and give them the names and addresses of those shooting the aerials. This way, your home phone or cell number is not on record, but the police have a lead and a way to stop the problem.
These are not tourists or military families, but local people who have forgotten what it means to be part of the community. Why should we have to put up with this year after year after year? Give the police a chance to assist by passing them names and addresses.
Hum along and 'Keep the Country Country'
Hum Steve Miller's "Going to the Country" and sing:
People on the island know where to go,
Up to the country where life is real slow,
We like green space with some elbow room,
But now the natural coast may soon be doomed
Chorus: Hey ho, no more condos, save some green space for our keiki to know
Hey ho, do what's right, keep the country country is everyone's fight
From Kawela to Kahuku and down past Laie,
Condo commandos are stalking on their prey
They'll give us some parks at a few select spots
Where they'll pave paradise and put up parking lots
Developer folks got one thing on their mind
That's make a lot of money and leave the islands behind
But then the kamaaina are stuck forever more
With condo-fed traffic jams and tourist shops galore