Keep life-saving Kahuku Hospital open
On Sunday, Nov. 12, my girlfriend's son-in-law was involved in a serious motorcycle accident on the North Shore, resulting in a collapsed lung. He is a very experienced rider; however, accidents do occur even to the best riders. Long story short, his sister-in-law, who is a registered nurse, rushed him to the Kahuku Hospital emergency room, where he was diagnosed and stabilized until transport to Queen's emergency room via city ambulance could be arranged.
Without the Kahuku facility, the long drive to either Wahiawa General Hospital or to Castle Medical Center on a Sunday afternoon on a two-lane highway with the normal Sunday traffic could have resulted in a very different, tragic outcome. Please do not let this happen.
Highway patrol would reduce car wrecks
Kudos to Chief Boisse Correa of the Honolulu Police Department for his speed task force
; however, I'm sure that even HPD realizes this is not going to stop the carnage on our roadways.
Not until those in power provide HPD with the funds necessary to create a highway patrol division that patrols the freeways and other roadways deemed appropriate will there be any hope of lessening the carnage.
Speed is not the only cause of the tragic accidents on our roadways, nor is it the most serious cause.
An HPD highway patrol division is the most cost effective way to provide 24/7 traffic enforcement on our freeways. They already do accident investigation and traffic control when needed ... why reinvent the wheel with a different state agency? Give HPD the money and save taxpayers unnecessary expense. More important, save our lives!
Air passengers abused right to free speech
A woman was removed from a plane recently because she refused to cover up when breastfeeding her infant. Breastfeeding in public should never be disapproved of, but deliberately exposing one's breast in defiance of the reasonably expected feelings of others should be.
A group of Middle Eastern-looking men reciting Islamic prayers and speaking with disapproval of American foreign policy within the hearing of others should not be prosecuted. It was their constitutional right.
It might have been inappropriate, however, to exercise that right on an airplane in defiance of the rights of others to be free of reasonable fear when traveling 500 mph at an altitude of 36,000 feet. Their eviction from the plane, while unfortunate, was the reasonably expected consequences of their apparent insensitivity to the post-9/11 sensibilities of the traveling public.
With rights come responsibilities. We have the right to speak, but it is irresponsible to shout obscenities in a kindergarten classroom. It is wrongful to deliberately sneak up behind an elderly person with a heart condition and scare her. The public also has a right to be disdainful and disapproving of those who exercise rights in disregard of the rights or sensibilities of others or in disregard of the public expectations of good behavior. Abuse a right and you may lose a privilege.
Nelson S.W. Chang
BLNR made the right decision on gillnets
After hearing hours of passionate testimony from members of the commercial fishing industry, recreational fishing community, Hawaiians and environmentalists, the Board of Land and Natural Resources approved new regulations on lay gillnet fishing (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 18
). Kailua Hawaiian Civic Club lauds the BLNR for taking these first steps to protect Hawaii's endangered ocean resources from the indiscriminate and irresponsible use of monofilament gillnets. Most important, we commend their recognition of incorporating traditional fishing methods and protecting Hawaiians access to ocean resources. The ruling addresses the realization that Molokai needs regulations appropriate for its unique situation. What works in Kailua is not transferrable to Molokai.
It was not an easy decision, but through these changes, over-harvested areas will have the opportunity to replenish. And with increased education on responsible fishing and community based management, we ensure future generations ability to experience an abundance of aquatic life and perpetuate ancient Hawaiian fishing methods.
Kailua Hawaiian Civic Club
Silly slogans demean our troops' sacrifice
First it was "stay the course," then it was "cut and run" and "stand down as they stand up" ... now we have "go big, go long or go home." Isn't it time to take the rah-rah out of this discussion now and tell it like it is? Rather than "go big," shouldn't we say we need to commit another 50,000 troops to the Iraq theater? Instead of "go long," say that we will be committing U.S. forces to Iraq for the next five to 10 years. For both, perhaps "we will need to reinstate the draft to accomplish either of these objectives."
What's next? "Do it for the Gipper"?
Did somebody put some athletic shoe manufacturer's PR department in charge of framing the Iraq war issues for us? Iraq is not a football game. Our kids, our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers are dying over there. Regardless of how you feel about the war and what this country should do from this point forward, don't we at least owe it to them to have a real debate with real words and real facts and real discussion? To do otherwise demeans their service and their sacrifice and the sacrifice of their families. They deserve more. We owe them more. They have been doing their jobs -- it is now time for us to do ours.
North Shore traffic already intolerable
I am utterly amazed at state circuit Judge Sabrina McKenna's decision that Kuilima Resort Co. does not have to do a new environmental impact statement on the planned expansion of hotels on the North Shore of Oahu (Star-Bulletin, Nov. 14
). I have lived on the North Shore for 36 years and the traffic has become an enormous problem. I know that the number of visitors to Oahu in 1985 was 4.8 million and the number of visitors to Oahu in 2005, 20 years later, was 7.4 million. The projection for 2006 is even higher.
I invite the honorable judge, the City Council, mayor and anyone who is in a position of power to take a drive out to the North Shore and experience the traffic snarl from Haleiwa to the Turtle Bay Resort every single weekend. (Weekdays aren't much better.) Nowadays there doesn't have to be a surf meet, media-hyped "big waves" or a federal or state holiday to cause traffic congestion. It is an everyday occurrence. It is obvious that 3,500 more hotel rooms will increase the traffic headaches. It will be intolerable.
We need to remember to respect the land and take care of it and to respect our residents and visitors, as well. If these hotels are built, it will be too late.
Now let's put a deposit on cigarette butts
We are coming closer to equality with the new smoking ban. When it became illegal to drink a beer on the beach or in the street, I am sure it was a major deal and people were a little bit upset. It seems like everyone is fine with it. Now that beer drinkers have a deposit on the bottle, they drink at home, so why don't we start working on a cigarette butt deposit with 10 cents per butt? The state could use that money for many things, like homeless programs, health insurance for the needy, school improvement and park maintenance.
I'll bet many people would pick them up. All the butts would be returned to the factory (Phillip Morris), and we would have a cleaner island.
It would not stop anyone from smoking and every smoker get his money back (you still have a little bit of freedom left).