It wasn't the burgers -- it was the bacteria
Hah! Now I know why I'm fat. It's the bacteria's fault. A study that appeared in the journal Nature this week showed that the bacteria called Firmicutes is more abundant in fat people and the bacteria called Bacteroidetes is more abundant in normal-sized people. Firmicutes makes fat people cute and cuddly and Bacteroidetes is a bacteria on steroids that eats up the calories in skinny people.
I didn't eat too much pizza or drink too much beer. It was always the bacteria's fault.
Haraga brought good changes to DOT
It was both a shock and a surprise to learn of the departure of Rodney Haraga as director of the state Department of Transportation
. During his tenure, the residents of this state witnessed a remarkable change in the attitude and responsiveness of that agency. For those who had to work with previous transportation directors, the difference was very noticeable and welcomed.
Under Mr. Haraga, it seemed like the department had emerged from a dark period, where scorn for the public was the accepted norm, to a period of enlightened leadership. Haraga seemed to enjoy meeting with the public and responding to people's concerns and actually followed up on the suggestions made by residents concerning highway and traffic conditions. Under his administration, the DOT responded more quickly to everything from filling potholes and installing needed signage to repairing major landslides blocking highways. Whatever the reasons may be for the governor's decision not to reappoint him, Haraga will be greatly missed.
It's just not as good without Corky
I would be remiss if I did not, at the end of the year, pay homage to Star-Bulletin cartoonist Corky Trinidad. Not having his editorial cartoon during his vacation
is like heavy withdrawal. His wit, charm, common sense and intelligence far surpass others in his field. Every once in a while, he sneaks in a cartoon that reflects on a little-known local issue ... and you have to really think about the message he is sending.
Keep us the good work, Corky, we look forward to the new year with high expectations.
Jerry B. Norris
Government relations specialist
Office of Hawaiian Affairs
Breaking a contract isn't complicated
Sorry, Ms. Gaines ("Watada is a hero in his own right," Letters, Dec. 21
), there is nothing complex about honoring a signed contract, especially when 1st Lt. Ehren Watada was not under duress when he committed to become an officer. My son also signed as a young 2nd lieutenant in the early 1990s and honored his commitment then. Watada appears to be an intelligent man, but his reasons for not serving are certainly not compelling enough to warrant justification ... his First Amendment right notwithstanding. He deserves to be court-martialed and to spend time in prison; appropriate social justice, in my opinion, should prevail.
What we need is expanded bus service
If I ran the zoo (Thank you, Dr. Seuss), I know just what I'd do: Go wit DaBus. An illuminating expert presentation on 'Olelo last week carefully explained the advantages of bus vs. rail, especially with dedicated, no-automobile roads. Submersible tunnels! Sure, build the overhead road, maybe a tunnel, but only for the bus. In the meantime (meaning, now!) start by upgrading and expanding our existing bus service. Post more schedules at stops, add stops and buses, build a bigger bus yard, expand management and run a deficit while building a new overhead, Kapolei to the University of Hawaii ... for buses only.
Riders, drivers and the state should find the transition less traumatic than bringing rail back to Oahu.